Do to my stay-at-home career, I’m not one to routinely venture outside of my little world. Most of my free time, though rather minimal, consists of watching an ample mount of film and television programming. I love motion pictures, especially the action and horror genres. So, when I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to witness the art of filmmaking in action, I jumped at the opportunity.
On September 15th, 2010, I had the good fortune of being near the Detroit area as segments for the filming of “Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon” were being filmed. The scene on Griswold Ave. was intense, to say the least. Though the many bystanders, hoping to catch a glimpse of the action, were held at bay, what was available to be seen was a sight, indeed. Scalded vehicles, flipped in a destructive aftermath. Disheveled cement and asphalt littered and the lined the parkway. A plethora of equipment trucks, lighting rigs and numerous crew members jammed themselves into the small avenues on either side. Many of the bystanders, including myself, were simply awestruck at the sheer magnitude of what we were witnessing.
After what seemed like mere moments, though almost an hour had passed, I headed to my scheduled business lunch in somewhat of a saddened state, as nowhere in that mess of equipment and bodies had I caught so much of a glimpse of one of the movie’s stars. No Shia. No Dempsey. No Fox, though I later found out she had been recast with another actress and would no longer be in the film.
Later, at one of the city’s many eateries, a few business associates and I were busily undertaking a deep swim in business-lunch paperwork, when a few crew members arrived for a quick in-between-scenes bite to eat. As they sat at the table across from us, we couldn’t help but listen as they described the setup for the next few scenes. Explosions, fires, intense heat; all leading my associates and I to the assumption that Detroit was about to, literally, become the image of a war zone. If we had only known how right we were to assume!
That evening, as I flipped on the television to catch up on the day’s events, local stations were reporting on the makeshift, nighttime battle scenes they were in the midst of hashing out. How awesome the scene must have look in person, I thought to myself. Although I regret not heading back to view the darkened round of filming, I was content that, though there were no mainstream stars to speak of, I was witness to something remarkable: the magic of Hollywood.