What’s the buzz on “Transformers 3?”
Filming of “Transformers 3″ has taken over the city of Chicago for over a month now, but things are beginning to wind down. Here’s a look at what the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and other media outlets have been saying about a movie that has captured the city’s attention for a majority of the summer.
- Jessica Derschowitz of CBSNews.com: “Smashed cars, rapid gunfire and heavy smoke filled Chicago’s streets – but it was only for a movie. “Transformers 3″ has been filming in the Windy City, and some normally busy streets have been shut down to accommodate the production. In one scene, some skydivers jumped off the Trump Tower, soaring over the Chicago River and landing on Wacker Drive. Over the weekend, sections of Michigan Avenue, in the heart of the city’s downtown, were closed to accommodate the filmmakers, who also staged skydiver stunts, fireballs, gunfire, and explosions.”
- Suzanne LeMignot of CBS2Chicago.com: “It was another exciting day of movie magic in Chicago Saturday as shooting on “Transformers 3″ continued. This weekend, the Magnificent Mile has been center stage for all the action. Hundreds of fans have enjoyed a front-row seat to all the filming, but some Chicagoans aren’t too happy about all the traffic headaches and street closures associated with the shoot. [...] Gibson, director Michael Bay and co-star Josh Duhamel stopped for a few minutes Saturday to pose with one of the Transformers characters – Bumblebee, in its pre-robot, automobile form – before an appreciative crowd. They praised the city of Chicago for its cooperation in creating a mock disaster scene on Chicago’s world-famous retail row.”
- Kathy Bergen of the Chicago Tribune: “Chicagoans might like to think the producers of “Transformers 3″ were drawn to Chicago by its arresting skyline, its capable talent pool and its good-natured willingness to put up with fireballs on Michigan Avenue and gun battles on Wacker Drive. But those local attributes only go so far. These days, movie producers expect potential shooting locales to show them the money. And Illinois is among 45 jobs-hungry states tripping over each other to financially woo movies and television shows. About half, including Illinois, offer tax credits, which cut producers’ costs by tens of millions of dollars at the expense of state budgets.The pool of rivals has doubled in the past four years, and the lures, for the most part, are getting fancier, with only a handful of states pulling back, either due to recessionary pressures or local scandals. A just-released study by the Milken Institute indicates that aggressive plays, by states as well as overseas locales, are cutting into California’s historical grip on the business.”
- Fran Spielman of the Chicago Sun-Times: ““Transformers 3” — the sci-fi action thriller filming in Chicago this summer — will pump $20 million into the local economy and create 200 jobs, including ten internships for inner-city students, Mayor Daley said today. Joking about landing a walk-on roll, Daley welcomed producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura to Chicago 30 years after the premiere of the landmark film, “The Blues Brothers.” “Transformers 3” is scheduled to open in late June or early July of next year.”
- Eri Ditzian of MTV.com: “Michael Bay has been utterly destroying Chicago, blowing up cars, demolishing streets, leaving mangled steel and crumbled concrete across entire blocks. That’s just what it’s going to take to make “Transformers 3″ a kick-ass flick and erase from our memories last year’s decidedly so-so second installment in the franchise. [...] While overall plot details remain tightly guarded, we do know the film dives into the space race between the United States and Soviet-era Russia. The Transformers are rumored to play an integral part in the nations’ battle for the stars.”
- Luis Arroyave of the Chicago Tribune: “A crowd of onlookers pressed up against a barricade to get photos of the actor, while others gathered to gape at the chaotic mess of flipped-over cars, fake chunks of rubble and dirt strewn across Michigan Avenue. A small hot dog stand propped alongside the famous boulevard completed the bizarre scene. [...] Some of the onlookers saw the movie’s stars, Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, film a scene in which they sprinted toward an upturned vehicle for cover. Clearly visible in the background is the Michigan Avenue Bridge, which also made an appearance in both of director Christopher Nolan’s Batman films. City officials believe films shot in Chicago that showcase attractive settings like North Michigan Avenue – even with the apocalyptic accoutrements — can increase tourism. That is one of the reasons the city was willing to turn a key section of Michigan Avenue over to “Transformers” until 5 a.m. on Monday. The estimated $20 million the film is projected tourism generate for the local economy and the 200 jobs it created also played a role.”