Creativity poll respondents pegged Bayer, who works out of HSI satellite Mars Media, a hot helmer in the Action and Car genres. That's easy to see, considering his reel features those polo players that play ball on their Nissan Pathfinders; the extreme athletes that leap and twirl out of Busby Berkeley for Mountain Dew; and the fuel truck that swerves perilously through the street for AMD K6 processors. On such adrenalized fare, Bayer insists on what he believes to be the more genuine, old-school approach to action sequences, which involves filming in-camera as much as possible. "There's no substitution for doing something in-camera," he explains. "In Apocalypse Now, you really feel the director's vision. It's all amazing choreography - the helicopter sequence, the explosions, the pyrotechnics. It's a ballet of fantastic imagery that has to be done live. It's very stylized and it's all completely organic. They didn't have the luxury of special effects they have now. When I look at postproduction techniques today, things look very anonymous to me."
Bayer's high-octane work seem a tad ironic considering that his breakthrough spot was 1996's Nike "If You Let Me Play" via Wieden & Kennedy, which took top honors at the One Show. The commercial featured a montage of hopeful girls expressing their desire to play sports and was notable for its departure from the traditional talking-sportsman format. "I was known for sensitive portraiture," Bayer recalls. Today he still captures people impressively. He directed several "self-expression" spots for Cingular, including the ones with the opera-singing cowboy and Savion Glover tapping a message to his niece over the phone, and he's also slated to helm a spot for the Travel Association of America starring the big Dubya himself.
Nevertheless, Bayer seems especially amped up about burning the rubber. Most recently, he applied his in-camera approach to a cops-and-robbers virtual reality extravaganza featuring Bruce Willis for Visa, out of Saatchi & Saatchi/London. His no-fakery action spectacular for Lenny Kravitz's "Dig In" also just premiered on MTV. "The video really holds true for just about everything I do," he says. "I don't want you to feel like a magician is fooling you. There's no sleight of hand. If you see something, we did it."