The low-budget thriller Songbird gained a lot of attention earlier this year when it became the first Hollywood movie to restart production after some lockdown restrictions were lifted on the film industry. Michael Bay was one of the producers of the film. In an interview with CinemaBlend, Songbird director Adam Mason confirmed that Bay had a very hands-on approach to the project, and even went so far as to direct some action scenes.
"He did a lot of the bike stuff, actiony stuff, the scene with the guys with guns. Obviously, Michael Bay, he had a lot of input into that. And he was heavily involved in post-production. So I got to live the Michael Bay Film School experience, for about five months; which is really a pretty incredible experience."
While his movies have never wowed critics, Michael Bay is generally acknowledged to be one of the best action movie directors working in Hollywood today, whose use of action cameras has elicited admiration from the likes of James Cameron himself. According to Mason, Bay's desire to direct parts of Songbird partly rose from wanting to figure out how to make a film in the middle of a health emergency.
"All of us were living through this extraordinary and terrifying year. And I think as a filmmaker, it's just been very challenging, just being stuck at home all the time, not being able to be on set. And I think for Michael, one of the things that interested him most in the project was just our ability to get back to work. No one in L.A. was, well no one anywhere was working, especially within the film industry. So for us, the big incentive was, 'How do we get back to work?;' and that was something that really appealed to Michael. So I think it was his curiosity, as much as anything else, but it was pretty incredible for me to get to watch him working, operating a camera, in PPE."
Songbird tells the story of lovers Nico Price and Sara Garcia, and their desperate attempts to support each other in a world of social distancing and a deadly virus that has devastated the global population. Mason is the director and co-writer of the film, and he found working alongside Bay on the project to be a great learning experience.
"There were a couple of things that really stood out to me. One was that when he was on set, I've never seen anyone with such [a] kind of passion. I don't know why I kind of always expected these very successful directors to be sitting behind a bank of monitors, sipping on lattes, you know? Whereas Michael is out, on the front lines, holding a camera. He's kind of physically leading the troops, which is something in my own... I come from a very guerilla filmmaking background, and that's something I've always done myself. But seeing him do that, with the amount of energy that he does it with, was pretty incredible. And then when it came to post-production, just the way that he edits, and the way that he conceives narrative was really interesting to me. That's very different from anything than I've ever done before."
Directed by Adam Mason, Songbird stars KJ Apa, Sofia Carson, Craig Robinson, Bradley Whitford, Peter Stormare, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Walter Hauser, Demi Moore. It will arrive at PVOD outlets on December 11. This news originated at Cinemablend.