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Will Michael Bay not be allowed to blow up the National Mall in Transformers 3?

06.10.2010

Is Destroyer of Worlds Michael Bay being seen as a threat to national security?

As much as we'd love to think so, not really. But in the eyes of National Park Service, he and his Autobots and his disregard for coherent cinema are certainly a threat to the nicely mowed lawn in front of the U.S. Capitol.

From The Washington Post: 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."


Producers from both Paramount and DreamWorks are said to be currently in negotiations with Park Services, determining exactly how many days the production will remain in the district and what they'll be able to do there.

The companies had planned a colossal number of filming days -- about 14 -- in addition to an expected month or more of time in D.C. for other production needs. Now the period of "principal photography" might be whittled down to less than a week, despite the project having director Michael Bay and producer Steven Spielberg at the helm.

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.


Keep in mind that TRANSFORMERS 3 is a $200 million-budgeted project. One that's creating jobs and injecting much-needed revenue into DC's local economy. Park Service, for all their "get off my lawn" crotchetiness, is I imagine cutting those figures in half. Hey, way to go!
Extra Tidbit: Here's my thing: You'd think the production would know what they can or can't do WAY BEFORE they actually got there. This reminds me of first year film school, where I didn't know you needed a permit to film at the mall and inevitably got chased around by security.

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