It was reported that the original plans for the Capital called for a chase sequence with pyrotechnics at the National Mall. The NPS did not like the idea, with a spokesperson saying, "The National Mall is not an area in which Americans come to see high-tech action movies being shot." Negotiations to determine what would and would not be allowed continued with Bay finally getting approval but specifics on what was not provided. As the reduction to three days indicates, Bay clearly did not get approved for much.
[Kathy Hollinger, the head of D.C.'s film office] calls NPS the "most challenging" federal agency to work with.On one hand I want to wage against the bureaucracy as Transformers in DC would be fantastic but on the other hand I get why NPS said no. One of the mandates of the agency is to protect our parks and its monuments. If a stunt somehow went wrong and something historically important was damaged, they would have failed at their mandate and the blow back would be huge. People would instantly go from "Why wasn't this approved?" to "Why was this approved?” Considering the National Mall is nothing but historically significant stuff, the concerns are very valid. Still a shame as the odds of that occurring are very small.
"We put a lot of energy into this because we knew it would be this huge positive economic impact for the city," she says. "So it was going to be a few weeks, and now it's dwindled to a few days, and it dwindled to a few days because NPS shot down a few of the locations."
The Washington Monument was among those locations, though she couldn't recall the others. A scene planned for the Lincoln Memorial was approved. Park Services spokesman Bill Line's phone was busy during several attempts this afternoon.
"We worked our butts off more than we ever have before, to go as high as we could at NPS, to say, 'This is crazy,'" she says. "It's so frustrating, because it was an opportunity to really show the industry that this could be done in the District, that residents could be hired at a time when a lot of people are out of work. Business could have been booming in the fall."
I wonder what changes this has led to the production schedule. Does that mean the DC stunts were nixed? Being filmed in a studio and married to the DC footage in the editing room? Re-purposed for another location? Hopefully find out at some point. Thanks to Ann for the link.