Michael Bay secures US Navy destroyers to film TV miniseries The Last Ship
Filmmaker Michael Bay helped secure two active-duty US Navy destroyers for the filming of miniseries The Last Ship. Bay’s first TV production as a producer focuses on a Navy crew struggling to find a cure to a deadly virus that has wiped out most of the world’s population.
Guided missile destroyers the USS Halsey and the USS Dewey were recruited for the shoot and became filming locations earlier this year while in dock in San Diego, reports the LA Times.
Green screens and additional visual effects were used to create the illusion that the ships were on the open ocean.
“I've been slow and cautious about getting into television,” Bay told the outlet: “This was a really cinematic idea and was right up my alley. We absolutely could not fake that [destroyer setting] – the show just feels more real because there really is a lot of Navy in it. We really couldn't have done it without that.”
I've been slow and cautious about getting into television. This was a really cinematic idea and was right up my alley.
Filming on the destroyers became viable as location options partly because of the close relationship Bay has developed with the US military over the course of his feature career. Through big-budget movies like Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and the Transformers franchise, he has a strong track record of showcasing the military in a positive way.
The US military will often support film productions that depict the armed forces in a positive way. A high-profile recent example was Paul Greengrass’ true-life piracy drama Captain Phillips, which received extensive military support and the use of multiple ships and a helicopter off the Virginia coast to shoot the movie’s finale involving a Navy SEAL rescue operation.
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