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  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 8:11pm
NewsHong Kong

Transformers director attacked by 'zombie' triad wielding aircon unit

Michael Bay calls police after brothers demand HK$100,000 to shoot scene in Quarry Bay

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 October, 2013, 8:15pm
UPDATED : Friday, 18 October, 2013, 5:17pm


  • Yes: 76%
  • No: 24%
18 Oct 2013
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Total number of votes recorded: 545

American director and producer Michael Bay has described how he was attacked by suspected triads as he shot his latest Transformers movie in Quarry Bay.

The director fought off the attackers, one of whom was wielding an air conditioning unit. It followed an attempt to extort HK$100,000 from his Paramount Pictures crew.

Two brothers, aged 27 and 28, approached Bay on the set at 8.30am as the crew prepared to shoot a scene from Transformers: Age of Extinction in a ground-floor open space behind the Fook Cheong Building in King's Road.

The older brother, a technician, uses a ground-floor shop in the area as his office.

"The younger brother was accused of moving goods in and out of the shop and walking around in the area to cause disruption," a police source said.

The brothers, who also put some bricks on the ground to cause obstruction, claimed the shooting was affecting their business and demanded HK$100,000 compensation.

Bay recounted details of the incident on his website, while warning that “the story... being passed around is not all true!”

Bay said in the statement on his website: “Some drugged-up guys were being belligerent asses to my crew for hours... One guy rolled metal carts into some of my actors trying to shake us down for thousands of dollars to not play his loud music or hit us with bricks.

It took seven big guys to subdue him. It was like a Zombie in Brad Pitt’s movie ‘World War Z’ he lifted seven guys up and tried to bite them
Director Michael Bay

“Every vendor where we shot got paid a fair price for our inconvenience, but he wanted four times that amount. I personally told this man and his friends to forget it we were not going to let him extort us.

“He didn’t like that answer. So an hour later he came by my crew as we were shooting, carrying a long air conditioner unit. He walked right up to me and tried to smack my face.

“But I ducked, threw the air unit on the floor and pushed him away. That’s when the security jumped on him. But it took seven big guys to subdue him. It was like a Zombie in Brad Pitt’s movie ‘World War Z’ he lifted seven guys up and tried to bite them.”

The police were called, and while they were making their inquiries the older brother walked up and bumped into Bay, 48. The two brothers then scuffled with police, injuring three officers, before being overpowered.

The younger brother was arrested on suspicion of blackmail and assault, while the older brother was arrested on suspicion of assault.

Hong Kong police said Bay received minor injuries. 

The film’s studio Paramount said in a statement: “Contrary to several erroneous news reports... Bay did not get hurt in a fight on set.”

Calling the attack a “bizarre encounter with a man... wielding an air conditioning unit as a weapon” it added that Bay’s quick action prevented “what could have been a serious accident”.

At the scene, officers also arrested another suspected triad member - a friend of the two brothers - in connection with a wounding last week.

Wellington Fung, secretary general of the Film Development Council, said the Film Services Office had guidelines for location filming and normally film companies would negotiate with landlords of private properties and would not begin shooting without agreeing rental charges for their premises.

A notice at the Fook Cheong Building says preparation and filming there would take 19 days and that the film company would pay the owners' corporation HK$20,000 a day. Lee Ching-har, of the corporation, said shop owners negotiated compensation individually.

The owner of a beauty parlour in the space used for filming said she was not told much she would be paid. "They only said they would give me a lai see," she said.

It is understood the Transformers crew will be filming around Hong Kong for the next two weeks at locations including the Legislative Council building in Central and Sham Shui Po. The film is set for release in June.

Additional reporting by Jeffie Lam


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This article is now closed to comments

those two are not triad members, just a couple of low life chicken poo born in the 80s, who believes our government and everybody owes them something, unfortunately there are a whole generation of them, we definitely need the transformers in HK
what the two pitiful spoilt Hong Kong people ! they thought it was ok by using the same manner against hk government to deal with the Hollywood crew ! A big mistake. others wouldn't give in to the uncivilized persons except HKG!
Bay just can't be bullied by paying off the bullies. American law forbids bribing which applies worldwide. Next time hire these thugs as extras to do some work at exorbitant price to cvircumvent the law.
The story should be included in the movie: HK traids vs transformers.
I hope these three ashholes resist further while in custody and prompt the police to beat them into a vegetative state.
This is front page news?
Tones of triads walking among us everyday in Quarry Bay or Central? And they are all law abiding citizens? I am alarmed that you don't.
Trying to blackmail a known Hollywood Director and his film crew. Makes you think what type of morons they are to think they can get away with it.
Two things I want to say. The director and producer, Michael Bay, should seriously consider hiring these two bloke-zombs as I call it, and give them a cameo role in Transformers. I mean, wouldn't it be great to get genuine real zombies originating from that neighborhood who can seriously whip up some Holllywood ****? And Bay wouldn't even need to pay what he normally pays for those actors and stuntman. And lastly, does this article deserve to be the main headline today, scmp??? Seriously????
'Transformers vs Hong Kong Zombies'.
They must be decepticons
This story deserves to be front page news ONLY if the two brothers/zombies/triad members successfully managed to stop Mr. Bay from making yet another crappy film.
Maybe they were just preventing him from making another terrible and noisy film that really should've probably ended at the first one.
Why is this even a frontpage news?
optimus prime wouldnt last a day against the hk pollution.
I wouldn't be surprised if one were to find out later that this whole stunt was staged to garner free press coverage for a lousy picture. Those hot shots wouldn't have known the difference between their a*ses and the concept of property. People need to be reminded that some years ago a perfectly fine beach in Thailand was illegally bulldozed over and the environment permanently damaged just to accommodate those neoliberal morons of Hollywood to film one of their mind-numbing blockbusters, they deserved to be in jail for the disturbances and the environmental damage they had inflicted on the villagers and their communal properties.
No different for US companies hiring Chinese princelings but now being investigated by the Justice Department.
It's OK that owners of premises used for movie shooting are compensated. How about the neighbors, eventually along whole street blocks, who have to put up with all kind of huge trucks, power generators, lighting, cars, people etc. making a commotion until the wee hours - as I have endured twice where I live?
Presumably these thugs never thought of earning a living. They just want to make a windfall out of extortiion. Hong Kong is blessed with a near full employment rate so if you work hard and embark on a continuous learning stint you can get your ample rewards. Otherwise its jail time for these guys who will get their just desserts.
Michael Bay might be suggesting that the next director for World War Z II(I doubt if there will be one) should consider to take advantage of the presence of 'zombies' in Hong Kong and to film another Hollywood production here. Haha.
Help saving some CG rendering time.......
Michael, you have just experienced a real life movie called,"HK War-Z". In Brad's War-Z movie, the zombies' pandemic was caused by an unknown virus or micro organism however, in the HK War-Z movie, the story line might be that, the zombies' pandemic is caused by a bite by Vampers. The name of the Vampers is called "Hong Kong Big Real Estate Landlords".
I mean vampires.
I guess these brothers' actions were fueled by years of childhood neglect and desire to become a star that their display of violence is the only course of action they know of that would draw some attention. It's a way for bottom feeders to say " let me in for casting, look ! I can be creative....
Bay should give every HK resident a lai see (red pocket) for seeing this upcoming movie, and not just the residents at the filming areas. AND why isn't he using any HK actors/actresses in the film? We need to see more Asia faces in Hollywood films!!
I wonder whether these two brothers just jumped out from nowhere. Surely they must have been staggering or walking strangely if they were described as 'Zombie-like'. Mind you, actors, directors, film crew, lighting crew, sound crew and all their equipment do attract a lot of attention so there must be a crowd during filming. I would say that it was rather bad luck.
Unfortunately that can't happen. It would lead to further protest marches against the police led by a foul-mouthed teacher.
Triads still in Hong Kong after all these years and wielding their thrust?
This time, albeit suspected, they appeared at Quarry Bay. But I am not going to wait about triads appearing at the Government House that front page coverage is justified.
oh Bee where are you


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