Monday, June 07, 2010

Transformers 3 Hitting Roadblock for DC Shoot

Transformers 3 production wants Uncle Sam to let it film at the National Mall but the National Park Service is rejecting most of the offers according to The Washington Post. The cause - the action sequences. Production had intended to spend around 14 days shooting in the Washington, DC area but negotiations with what production can and cannot do around the historic location could reduce that number to as low as three days.
Paramount spokeswoman Gabriela Gutentag said with negotiations ongoing, she did not know how many days the company would end up filming in D.C. "We've gone from two weeks to 10 days to three days to seven days; I don't really know," she said.

Bill Line, Park Service spokesman, said the producers "have asked to do some things that simply are not done on the National Mall," among them staging a "car race" along the Mall's gravel paths and flooding it with artificial light in order to shoot at night.

"A lot of this could be more appropriately shot in a Hollywood studio," Line said. "The National Mall is not an area in which Americans come to see high-tech action movies being shot."

Kathy Hollinger, director of the D.C. Office of Motion Picture and Television Development, acknowledged that the plans amounted to "a lot more than D.C. has ever been accustomed to in terms of scale and impact," including, for instance, simulated explosions and pyrotechnics at locations along Pennsylvania and Independence avenues.

"The robots will be here," she said. "It's not like they're going to be building and having these little miniature Transformers running around and then make them look real with CGI effects afterward."
I have no idea what she means by "The robots will be here." The phrasing makes me thing Hollinger thinks real scale models will be at the site. The National Mall is the core area of Washington, DC that most people think of when they visit the Capital which extends from the Lincoln Memorial to the United States Capitol Building. In between you have the Washington Monument, Reflecting Pool, Vietnam Memorial, multiple Smithsonian Museums and more. Net result is you are talking wall to wall national monuments and historical grounds.

As a result, I think the real issue is security as a film production brings with an influx of technical people that will want access to or film very near national monuments with a desire to set off explosives. From a security perspective it’s just a major nightmare to deal with. Just as bad, what if something goes wrong and a historical monument is damaged. While the idea of Transformers trashing Washington, DC would probably be visually exciting, I can see why the National Park Services is reluctant to take the risk. If things go right, pat back all around. If they go wrong, it will be pink slips instead.


  1. Hopefully they will be able to work things out. A climactic battle at the centre of the globe (DC, figuratively speaking) is a very, very big thing.

    And how many residents/tourists wouldn't want to be extras in a robot rumble?

  2. w4c bumblebee peaugh review:

  3. i know i would!!!! and for free!!! as long as i could be part of TF history that would be my payday, even as an extra

  4. Wow, I would love to get in on that action! If they need extras, I'm so in on this one! Come on, I need to know when and if they need extras.


  6. I was just in DC all of last week to do some sight seeing. The summer is the busiest time of the year because kids are out of school. No way that the national park service interupts thousands of vacations to allow shooting.

    As mentioned previously, explosions around 100 year old monuments and 150 year old buildings is not exactly 'safe'.

    I can see some filming taking place, but not what Bay would have wanted.

  7. I can understand the National Park Service not wanting to interupt the busy tourist season. That being said I'm still a bit suprised by this development. Has Micheal bay ever been told no by the US Government before when it comes to using locations or equipment in his movies? Given the work that was done in Pearl Harbor National Memorial for the movie Pearl Harbor as well as the Natinal Park Service's and DC metro's budgetary distress I would have expected Bay to get what he wants and he may still. He was able to get onto the Great Pyramid and Petra, I'd bet he'll get to shoot on the National Mall when all is said and done.

  8. shhhhaaaaaaiiaaaaaaaaa<3

    _buth ruba.


               Creative Commons License