On the Transformers Set

In 1984, Japanese toy company Takara launched a new line of toys called ‘Transformers,” which was sold outside of Japan by Hasbro. The toy robots had the ability to convert themselves into cars, animals or aircrafts. The Takara toyline proved to be such a huge phenomenon that there have been Marvel comic books, animated series and a feature-length film based on the popular toys. And now, director Michael Bay is in the midst of shooting a live action Transformers film.

The movie is currently being shot in Los Angeles and while ComingSoon.net/SuperheroHype.com was on set, Bay (wearing a t-shirt that read “Giant F**king Robots are Coming”) was shooting one of the final scenes. While the studio has embargoed a lot of the set coverage, we can tell you that it’s going to be a huge action scene, because the entire street (Broadway between 8th and 9th) in downtown L.A. was blocked off and there were a couple hundred extras.

As the extras walked up and down Broadway, Bay paced the street making sure the new Bumblebee, Ratchet, Ironhide and Jazz were set and in place. There were camera cranes placed over the cars and at the end of the road were Styrofoam rocks made to look like concrete. It looked as though they had been blown up and two crashed cars were being loaded onto a tow truck.

There were men dressed in military uniforms standing in the middle of it all and unit publicist Gabriela Jutentag explained, “All the guys in military garb are all ex military. Real military, except of course Tyrese and Josh Duhamel. This is one of the scenes from the end of the movie so I don’t want to tell you too much about it. Obviously when you see everybody looking up and you don’t see anything up there, you can imagine what it is.”

Even though the film is being shot in LA, the story never clearly indicates the location. “I don’t think we’ve ever determined what city. Michael hasn’t gone to any kind of length to disguise Los Angeles by any means, but I don’t think there is a specific city. We’re going to go out about the last week of production, we’re going to go shoot in Chicago, Detroit, Boston, D.C. We’re hopefully going to be the first movie that’s actually going to go shoot at the Pentagon. We’ll see though. It hasn’t happened yet,” Jutentag added.

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura wants to keep the story under wraps. “We really don’t want to spoil the story. I know people are mad at us for it. We don’t want people to be mad…What’s the mystery by the time you get there. We’re desperately trying to hold on to some elements of it…Entertainment depends to a certain degree. So if you’re going to give away the surprise, then what’s left?”

But he did say a lot of the mythology is incorporated into the film. “We like to think there’s quite a bit of it. It had so many different iterations. That’s what’s complicated about it, is that which iteration do you think is the mythology and which one did you grow up with? That was the hard part.”

Another hurdle in making the film was the human element of the story, di Bonaventura told us. “Because these things are amazing. The scale of them is so big. How do humans play out? I’m sure as part of Jurassic Park’s issue. You start falling in love with the dinosaurs. But like, what about the people.? In a way the Transformers work themselves out, but how do you make sure the people have an equal role?”

All Tom DeSanto, another producer on the film, said about the story is that “the characters have a lot of heart and soul. They’re great characters… The robots are great. When you see this stuff you’re going to go, ‘I’ve never seen that before in my life.’ And you’re going to believe it. You’re going to believe that that truck or that car is actually standing there. But, you’re going to care and that’s the key.”

Stay tuned for interviews with the cast and Michael Bay. Transformers opens in theaters on July 4, 2007.

Source: Heather Newgen