The cab driver who dropped us off at Millennium Park told us that Transformers 4 was being filmed in Chicago. During our ride to the park we passed a few filming locations. We weren’t aware that any locations we wanted to visit that day would be shutdown for production.
None of the State of Illinois tourist sites or City of Chicago websites mentioned Transformers 4 being filmed or locations that would be impacted. This does a great disservice to the general public and tourist.
As we explored Millennium Park I kept seeing a helicopter flying around. I told my girlfriend that it seemed to be flying unusual patterns. It didn’t dawn on me that it could be part of the movie production.
Later that afternoon we headed to end our day at the Married… with Children fountain ( Buckingham Fountain Chicago landmark in the center of Grant Park ). I’d venture a guess the Buckingham Fountain is most recognized as the fountain shown at the beginning of every Married… with Children episode.
As we ventured down the street to Grant Park we immediately saw road blocks with police. The Chicago Bears had played earlier in the day – but the game was long over by this time. Once again it didn’t dawn on us that this had to do with the filming of Transformers: Age of Extinction.
When we crossed the street we found out that the area was blocked off to the general public. Again we crossed the street to head towards Buckingham Fountain. When we arrived at the fountain we weren’t aware that filming was about to begin. As I started recording the fountain an overzealous production staff member started directing the public to a light pole.
Keep in mind as he was giving his orders in what he thought was a polite funny way – I was backing up while filming. Yet he kept wanting me close to the pole. How he expected me to see that location when I was paying attention to what was in the viewfinder is beyond me. At that point I just stop recording and put distance between myself and this jerk.
Granted I really should thank the annoying twerp. Because of his attitude like he owned the place – making me move – I actually got a much better location to record the fountain and events. From what I was told the guy kept stating this was one of the most boring scenes in the movie.
It is rather obvious that my Sony video recorder doesn’t have the best optics for low light. The grey camouflage of the helicopter with the clouds behind – ended up washing out things visually.
While I fully understand the economic impact movie production brings to Illinois. From a visitor standpoint it really ruins a trip. I’m not the only one that day who had this opinion. Of course the production crews have the attitude that everyone is interested in seeing what they are doing. I did see one family further down the road ask a production member heading back to their hotel – when filming would take place. She and her children were unhappy when they found out they had missed an opportunity to see the movie being filmed.
During my previous visits to Chicago I had never got around to seeing the Buckingham Fountain. Honestly this production made my first visit miserable. Production staff basically are given full ownership of public land and act as if they own the world.
For the genre of movie Transformers: Age of Extinction is – I was surprised to a see a lot of big names normally not associated with those types of movies being involved. Mark Wahlberg & Kelsey Grammer aren’t names I associate with science fiction action films. Executive producer is Steven Spielberg.
I’m still trying to figure out how Detroit, Michigan was used as a stand-in for Hong Kong. But Detroit can definitely use revenue from movie production.
“McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, was redressed to portray a city in China”
From what I have seen of cities in China – I don’t get this one either. Then again what I’ve seen of Hong Kong doesn’t really remind me of Detroit. Guess we should love how movies completely bend the reality of truth.
The film is set for release on June 27, 2014, in 3D
Sure would be nice if these movie production companies figured out there is more to Illinois than Chicago!!
Skip the box office lines. Buy movie tickets in advance at Fandango
Buckingham Fountain is a Chicago landmark in the center of Grant Park
Buckingham Fountain was the eastern terminus of U.S. Route 66.
The Fountain was featured in title sequence of Married…with Children.
The Fountain was the starting point for the television show The Amazing Race 6 in 2004.
Governor Quinn Announces Record $184 Million Yearfor Illinois Film Industry Visits Set of New Blockbuster Film Creating About 1,000 Illinois Jobs
Kelsey Grammer on ‘Transformers 4’ set in Millennium park, Helicopter stunts on the river