Michael Benjamin Bay is an American film director and producer. He is best known for making big-budget, high-concept action films characterized by fast cutting, stylistic cinematography and visuals, and extensive use of special effects, including frequent depictions of explosions. The films he has produced and directed, which include Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and the Transformers film series, have grossed over US$7.8 billion worldwide, making him one of the most commercially successful directors in history. He is co-founder of commercial production house The Institute, a.k.a. The Institute for the Development of Enhanced Perceptual Awareness. He co-owns Platinum Dunes, a production house which has remade horror films, including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror, The Hitcher, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Despite his commercial success at the box office, Bay's work is generally held in low esteem by film critics.