Thursday, October 03, 2013

Set Visit Reveals Sources for Transformers 4 Vehicles

In a post on the Shoot For the Edit forums, Nelson wrote about his visit to the set of Transformers: Age of Extinction. Since he works for Bay he left off all the juicy story details but he did drop some information on the origin of the various vehicles in the film. Also posted the pics of Michael Bay at work on the set.
As some of you know, I visited the TF4 set in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. I won't bore you with the details, but here are some things I noticed and discovered.

Michael has a totally new crew for this movie (aside from the DP & the AD). Stunt people & drivers, SFX crew, camera crew, and grips. I guess it goes with the whole "fresh" feel and look of TF4.

The truck company for Optimus Prime in TF 1-2-3 never wanted anything to do with the movie franchise. Before filming the first TF movie, the production crew approach the truck company to see if they could lend them 2 trucks. They said no. The producers then found 2 old rusty 1995 models that barely worked and gave them a paint job that got the job done with a very tight budget for chrome and stuff. This time around, Western Star (a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America) gave them 2 new trucks. No questions asked.

Optimus Prime was painted by West Coast Customs.

There are 2 of every car, truck, and vehicle in this production (one for back up).

1 Bugatti is owned by a private owner. The other is a loaner from Bugatti.

1 Lamborghini Aventador was purchased by the studio. The other was purchased by Bay (the one with the interior shots in the movie).

1 vintage 1967 Camaro SS (BumbleBee) is owned by the studio, the other by Bay.

Optimus and BumbleBee GGI renders are still being tweaked. Optimus looks grand and BB looks sleek, refined and badass.

Bay showed me a 5 min sizzle reel. It was f-ing amazing. After I saw it, he asked me "Kinda boring eh?" I think with all the pressure he's got, deprecating himself is his idea of humor. It also probably makes him strive more towards creating a kick-ass movie.

In the picture [to left] you can see BumbleBee's head (paper weight) made of car parts (gears and stuff).

All the catering trucks have California license plates, I wonder why? I wonder if the local catering companies got tossed because of the leaked call sheet? Some how the food is better this time around (IMO).
The next day Nelson provided a followup post to make a few corrections:
Yesterday I posted some details about my recent set visit to TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION. I took a bit of literary license only to discover that some details were erroneous.

I was mistaken in saying that Bay is using a new crew. Most of Bay's regular, trusted team are hard at work alongside him, with a few exciting new additions. Michael is well known for his loyalty and his crew is right there with him on this fourth installment.

I also said there is two of each car, but I was wrong; there are two of some models, three of certain vehicles, and only one of others. And, the bit about Michael owning the Lambo and retro BumbleBee was actually incorrect.

Another really important amendment: Twins Custom Coaches in Pomona, California, in tandem with many talented designers and artisans at Western Star, created the new Optimus Prime, which will definitely blow you away. My comments about the former truck used by the production were also misleading -- I was trying to give kudos to the movie's super talented art and transportation departments who turned found-treasure into the original Prime we all came to know and love. He was by no means a rust bucket.

And that sizzle reel . . . AMAZING! Some people misinterpreted my attempt at humor when I described Michael's reaction to watching his own work. He is never blasé about anything, but he can be very humble when we all heap praise on him after seeing what he's capable of creating on screen.

I had a great visit and will make sure to be more accurate going forward. One thing I can be totally confident in: TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION is going to KICK ASS!!!



  1. Dudemus:I'm curious as to what was on this sizzle reel, guys. What sceens where shown and who was in it. The one character that I just can't wait to see in robot mode is Optimus Prime. I also hope in this one Mike B will give us an even better look at big Optimus transformation. I liked the others shoots of it in the first three but it be the camera panning around with structures or obstacles getting into the frame of key points of his transformation or close ups just showing parts connecting to another. The highway transformation was good but it was mostly from the rear.

    1. I would LOVE to see the old Optimus rusted truck with faded flames transform just like the cartoons...that would be AWESOME!

  2. Martinus Prime10/03/2013 10:44 AM

    So that dumb and goofy looking sculpt is indeed Bee's new head. OMG, now I'm really getting worried!!!!
    It's obvious now that Bay goes completely goofy this time around. Or is this only to connect Bee even more with the little kids?

    Damnit Nelson, how is this Bee head looking sleek and bad-ass????? It looks like Wall-E.
    Now I'm even worried what all Transformer heads will look like. Are all heads going to look goofy? Or is Bay going totally TF:Prime with this new look? And Hound will actually be Bulkhead?

    But it's only logical that (some) car manufacturers just give/loan the cars, for a big production like this.
    It's the best advertising you can get.
    Western Star just giving 2 brand new trucks, no questions asked, damn that's some advertising faith!

    1. I wouldnt get too crazy looks like (and sounds like) it is made of junk laying around to look like BB head. You have to remember....if these main characters suck, then the movie is not going to do well.. DOTM make a billion dollars....he is not going to risk losing butts in the seats.

    2. Oh jesus give it a rest. It's a freaking paperweight made of junk parts, it's not his new head.

    3. Martinus Prime10/04/2013 9:43 AM

      That's the problem, Bay doesn't have be afraid of losing butts in theatre seats, it's a certain thing it will do a billion bucks again.
      That doesn't say he will do his own goofy things, look what he did with Q. And still he goes with goofy looking heads.
      Nelson mentions this time the sculpt, a sculpt is still to resemble the actual thing. The big round eyes bother me big time.
      People also complained since the 2nd movie, that Bee doesn't speak. Do something about it Bay.

  3. I can't wait to see the new Optimus as well. I feel since they are familiar faces to the audience, why not go ahead and showoff Bee and Prime? Lol of course I'm sure we wont see them until maybe Nov-Dec. I have a feeling this one will be big. Still a lot of time left in production and it just seems this movie has a lot going for itself. From the vehicles, stunts, characters selected, both transformer and human.

    1. Dudemus:I'm sorry guys, but this Megatron head thing is really bugging me out...I'm thinking that its actually Megatron's head that is going to cause all of this. I'm thinking now that these scientist are going to try and finish where they left off because Agent Simmons had said that Megatron is the source of Earth's advancement in technology "CD's, Microchips" etc. I have a theory that would suggest that when they start opening up his head that they will unknowingly trigger a locator beacon that will then bring this ancient Decepticon to Earth. Probably something Megatron shouldve done when he was alive, but giving the situation he probably wouldn't feel the need. Movie one:he kicked Optimus butt something terrible, movie two:he had The Fallen, movie three:he had a double agent the Sentinel. Plus he wouldn't want his army to feel like their leader was if lets just say again that Cyclonus is searching for his leader, this is how he finds him. Not knowing that he's dead. He goes this location and finds only his head knowing now that he's dead, he would not only want to destroy those responsible he would also want to find anyway possible to bring him back to life. This is where Unicron comes in. Unicron has the ability to destroy life or re-create it. movie 5: after he his failed attempt to kill Optimus in movie 4 he leaves Earth with Megatron's head in tow for Unicron. Megatron make his return as Galvatron to do battle with the Autobots again for some other reason or artifact Mike B could come up with...just a thought.

    2. Well that would mean that Megatron was awakened before they could advance the weapons technology aspect. Possibly they couldn't bc of the armor on his head. Now that its been cracked opened it made it possible?...what better way to get the best data but from a Megatron type Cybertronian.

  4. He said bee's head was a sculpt from cart parts, in essence a piece of art that can't match his head exactly because it's made of CAR PARTS not bumblebee parts, so take a deep breath, count to ten and relax

    1. Martinus Prime10/04/2013 8:32 AM

      Yes, but a sculpt is to resemble the official head as well. With the big round eyes, that's not a comforting thing.
      I'm curious if all the bots will still have the robotic eyes they had in previous movies. Do they look more human or do they still have cool robotic lenses with the metal irises?
      You gotta admit, this Bee and the Santabot have very goofy round human-like eyes, that's a not good thing.
      I'm still hoping the really bad-ass TF will still look bad-ass.

  5. "Michael has a totally new crew for this movie (aside from the DP & the AD). Stunt people & drivers, SFX crew, camera crew, and grips."--WHAT A SILLY LIE! Yeah..sure, he fired all his employees that worked for him on previous movies.. uh? 2000-3000 people fired then and replaced ? Please.. who could trust such a lie ??

    1. Well, stunt people and drivers are not employees of Paramount nor Bay's. They are independent companies. They are hired by the director and/or filmstudio.
      The SFX and camera crew etc. are employees of Paramount, they all do the same work.
      It's a good thing these teams do various work with different directors.
      Bay thought it was time to go with different people and a different stuntcompany. He watches stuff from other stuntpeople and looks who do awesome work, there are many and decides to give another company a chance.

  6. For anyone who hasn't seen, Nelson posted a sticky on SFTE correcting most of the totally incorrect info about the cast and vehicles. He was full of crap on this post and admitted it.

  7. That was supposed to say crew, not cast above

  8. Hence, why I don't believe most of what anyone (nelson included) says about the movies or characters in them.


               Creative Commons License