Well, the Los Angeles trip is over. As I’m writing this I’m on my plane flying home. Have I mentioned I HATE flying and have a severe fear of heights?
Anyway guys, here are some of my quick thoughts and accounts of what happened yesterday (Saturday) at the Transformers set visit. I’ll expand a lot more in Monday’s and Wednesday’s Audio Editions.
– There were about 15 of us from the online media there (it’s funny to be called “online media”. I just run a little blog). There were guys there from MTV.Com, iFilm.com, JoBlo, Latino Review, IGN, CHUD, Wizard Magazine, IESB, Sci-Fi.Com and a few others. They all seemed like a good bunch of guys… that honestly… I just didn’t fit in with. But I’ll talk about that more later.
– The movie was being shot on a street in downtown Los Angeles. It was one of the final scenes of the movie where a big battle was going on.
– We were on set for 7 hours
– Whenever they started shooting a scene they would first fire off these loud and smelly green smoke bombs
– All the Autobot vehicles where there except for Optimus Prime. THEY LOOK SO FRICKING WICKED UP CLOSE AND IN REAL LIFE!!! Ironhide and Wratchet are HUGE.
– Jazz is a Pontiac Solstice… and looks slick as hell
– A couple of girls were walking around with these green tipped 25 ft. sticks representing where transformed robots were standing so the cast knew where to look.
– There were about 300 extras on set. Their job was mostly just to run around looking panicked and screaming as if Giant Robots were blowing everything up.
– Michael Bay had a great T-Shirt on. On the back of it was an Autobot symbol… and on the front were the words “GIANT FUCKING ROBOTS ARE COMING“. I really want one of these shirts.
– There were areas of the street that were made up to look as if something big had popped out from under the pavement. Giant mounds of pavement with wrecked cars on top of them.
– All of the main cast were there, and we got to privately talk to each one of them.
– The set was total mayhem. hundreds of people running around, crew moving cameras, repositioning lights, and a HUGE crane mounted camera, a Taxi car stunt, about 20 military guys, some cool small military vehicles… it was crazy.
– First of all, Michael Bay was amazingly friendly. He didn’t have time to come to our set up interview room… so what he did was just take a few minutes whenever he had the chance right there on set to come over to us and chat right there on the street. Honestly, the guy looked like a little kid on Christmas morning… he was having an insane amount of fun, and you could tell it the whole day.
– Bay didn’t give too much of anything away. He’s still trying to be as secretive as possible about the whole project
– Bay’s main personal area, where he had all his monitors and his seat set up… was only about 7 feet from where I was standing. At one point he was watching some footage from another day’s shoot with all the audio in it. he made sure to play it at full volume so i could hear it… but the monitors were facing the opposite direction from me. I could easily tell it was a scene with a Decepticon chasing Spike… it sounded amazing. Then Bay looks up at me with this grin and look on his face that basically said “Oh man, I bet you wish you could see what I’m looking at right now”. BASTARD!!!
– All the cast were legitimately loving this job. You could see it on their faces all day. I totally expect an actor to say crap like “Oh yeah, this movie is going to be really good”… they’re SUPPOSED to say that. But with these guys it was different. I could tell they LOVED it, where having a huge blast with it, and honestly knew they were a part of something really special. Some of the words used all the time were “Big, Huge, Massive” and mostly “This is going to be something you have never seen before, and you just won’t believe your eyes”.
– We talked with just about every Producer on the project except for Spielberg. Including Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto and Lorenzo di Bonaventura.
– The producers said Hasbro had final say on all the character designs. I HATE that.
– One of the producers told us that no humans get killed, and there is no blood. I HATE HATE HATE THAT!!! I don’t give a fuck that no one was ever killed in the cartoon show. Screw the purists! This is supposed to be more real. I’m really disappointed in hearing that.
– There is a love story in the movie. I HATE that. Love story = screen time taken away from Autobots and Decepticons kicking the crap out of each other. That’s stupid. I know they’re trying to appeal more to women… but come on.
– Megan Fox, the actress who plays Spike’s love interest is HOT ALL HELL. When she came in our interview room, everyone had to take a tenth of a second to recompose themselves. I mean… WOW! Sadly, she also didn’t strike me as all that bright.
– None of the producers seemed at all concerned at any of the negative fan reaction to the images.
– I was able to grab one of the producers later and asked him privately how he felt about the fan reaction. His response was “It’s like a child who throws a tantrum because he thinks he’s getting something he won’t like on Christmas… but I’m the parent who knows that when they open that box they’re going to be blown away”.
– Don Murphy said the original idea was to do a G.I. Joe movie… but then the US invaded Iraq and they scrapped the idea. Hasbro then approached him with the Transformers idea.
– Every Studio said “NO” to the Transformers when Murphy was pitching it… until some of the younger junior execs at those studios heard that their companies turned the project down, then went to their older bosses and said “no no no no… we HAVE to do the Transformers”. Then suddenly they had a bunch of studios come back to them and say “we are interested after all”.
– Soundwave was in the first few concepts, but they realized he just didn’t fit the story. If there is a sequel, Soundwave will DEFINITELY be in it.
– This was funny… while we were interviewing Tyrese Gibson, Michael Bay used his megaphone from across the street and yelled “Tyrese is full of shit and the biggest bullshitter in Hollywood”. He just repeated that once or twice while Tyrese was trying to give us an answer.
– Don Murphy told me “We’d be crazy not to get Frank (The original voice of Megatron) back for this”. But the decision isn’t his.
– Josh Duhamel (The star of the TV show Las Vagas) said the best quote of the day as far as I’m concerned: “Make no mistake, this is the Robot’s movie… not ours“.
So there you have it guys… just some messy assorted notes on a 7 hour day being typed on a plane without any snakes. I’ll give more details and go into everything a little deeper in the Audio Editions this week. Overall I had an AMAZING trip… but it’s good to be home.
Sorry guys… I was looking over my notes again… the producer never said no one dies… he just said there was no blood… and whenever vehicles crash we see people get out. My bad. But interpret that as you will.