Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Transformers 2 in Bethlehem, PA

Shooting of Transformers 2 began on Monday in China...scratch that, a place that looks like China: Bethlehem, PA. Ok, so maybe Bethlehem does not look like China...until you transform their old steel plant by putting up Chinese letters all over the place, which is what Michael Bay's crew did over the past few weeks. Shooting began on Monday and continued last night and into tonight as well. The transformed steel plant is supposedly the setting for the opening scene, which takes place in a Chinese city. Tyrese and Josh Duhamel have been shooting on scene, along with participants of a casting call, consisting of a large selection of people of Asian-descent. All of this a town away from where I'm currently living in Allentown. Of course I had to check it out.

I headed over to Bethlehem last night, skeptical of being able to see any real action, but excited about it nonetheless. What happened was unbelievable. As I moved among a large crowd of spectators along the guarded perimeter, fans started cheering as Michael Bay came onto set in a golf cart. He hyped up the crowd with a megaphone, saying that he was so grateful to have some real fans at his set. I managed to get myself up to the front of the crowd, about 20 feet from Bay. He made eye contact with me and seemed to recognize me. I saw him talking to some security and then they came over our way looking at me. I thought, "oh shit, I shouldn't have taken those pictures earlier, I'm busted," but they motioned for me to come onto set. Michael Bay greeted me with a handshake, saying, "You're Kevin, right?" I slowly pinched myself and said, "how'd you know that?" He said, "Kevin's Blog...I love it! I read it all the time." I said, "really? thank you so much, that's awesome." He then asked if I wanted to sit next to him for the next scene he was directing. I did so, and mid-scene, he cut it. He said, "Hey Tyrese...go to your trailer, I got some fresh talent for this scene." After receiving dirty looks from Tyrese, Bay instructed me...

Ok, I'll stop. If you happen to suffer from extreme gullibility, I apologize but that was far from the truth. Truth is it was difficult to see any action from the handful of vantage points that were available, if there were even any scenes being shot while I was there. Most of what could be seen consisted of neon green and red signs of Chinese letters. I heard and saw the 3 apache helicopters come onto set, which had been taking multiple takes on Monday night. I missed Tyrese come onto set via white van by a few seconds but heard the 12-year olds screaming over him. Even though during my time spent there I did not see much action, it was very exciting knowing I was near where a scene of the movie will be and the fact that noone really knew what would happen next, considering Bay is all about explosions.

As far as unintentional marketing goes, I feel like this whole event will do a lot for what they have coined has Valleywood. Personally, I was all about Transformers when it hit the radar, saw it in the theater with my bros, and will most definitely hit up T2 next summer. However, for the Lehigh Valley and even extended surrounding areas, this news has created some big buzz. I'm sure people in the area who have never heard the word "transformer" are intrigued. Flipping through channels tonight, I personally turned on Transformers on one of the movie channels, something I did solely based on this whole event. I'm sure people are buying the DVD this week in the area and are probably going to be excited to see this scene in the movie next summer. As a director, I would definitely take advantage of areas outside of Hollywood that can fit the script...going directly across to the east coast to Bethlehem, PA is something I still cannot grasp...way to go Bay.

Here are some pictures that will surely blow you away:

(above left) I believe those Chinese letters translate to: you ain't gonna be seein' much more than this.

(above right) A helicopter...but not just any helicopter...a helicopter with Chinese letters on it!!

(left) Sign of the side of a truck parked outside

More pictures will be uploaded to my Webshots, sometime in the next century.

1 comment:

David Oblas said...

So I'm not sure if you heard, but I was laughing pretty loudly when I got about half way through your blog. Little do you realize, but Rick James visited me in a dream last night, and, while amidst yelling "I'm Rick James, bitch" he asked me if I new the author of Kevin's Blog. There's a whole celebrity following apparently!

Nice pictures btw... lame!