Yes, the blog has been quiet for a while! Since the Michigan Legislature chose to abandon the Film Credits #1 there have been no movies filming and #2 I’ve been too depressed to write anything! Yes, there are some smaller movies being filmed here and there, but the days of the big budget movie that brings millions of dollars to the State are over. I know that the State of Michigan has a lot of other things to worry about at the moment, but even so, this was a really, really stupid move. Over the last 2 years since Batman v Superman filmed here for almost an entire year, I’ve watched from the sidelines as many many people in the industry have left the state for the still-growing movie industry in Atlanta, or other places that are more incentive-friendly. Whatever. It is what it is. For me, this is a hobby. Life goes on. But for those who had worked hard to establish a thriving creative movie industry here in Michigan, this is depressing.
Opinions aside, we have one more big movie coming to town and this will be our swansong until perhaps a subsequent administration sees sense and again decides to invest in the industry again. For a while, we thought the last movie might be John Green’s long-anticipated “Looking for Alaska,” and scouts were in the area looking for locations. I was pretty excited for that one. It might have been filmed in my own small Metro Detroit town, but it was not to be. Creative differences, problems finding the perfect ‘Alaska’ or something else derailed that one, and we were anxious to know what would come next.
Here it is. Michael Bay loved the ‘D’ and Transformers 5 or Transformers: The Last Knight is now in Michigan and has begun filming after a couple of weeks near Phoenix, Arizona. Other possible locations after Detroit include Chicago and England, but for now let’s try to enjoy the next 10 weeks they’ll be here in Michigan
From the Detroit Free Press:
“Transformers 5” expects to spend $80 million in the state during production. It anticipates hiring 450 Michigan residents as part of an estimated 850 cast and crew hires. There also will be a need for 700 extras. That could represent a major commitment of time and money similar to 2014’s “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” which shot extensively in metro Detroit in 2013 and turned a chunk of downtown Detroit streets into a replica of Hong Kong. “Transformers 5,” which will return star Mark Wahlberg, is the fifth film directed by Michael Bay to come to Michigan. Previously, he’s worked here on 2005’s “The Island,” the original 2007 “Transformers,” 2011’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” in addition to “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”
Where are they filming around town?
Our good friends at On Location Vacations have listed the following possible locations:
Michigan Motion Picture Studios (old Raleigh Studios)
1999 Centerpoint Parkway
Packard Plant (Transformers 3 shot here, too)
1600 East Grand Blvd.
Michigan Central Train Station
2405 West Vernor Hwy.
Cafe D’Mongo’s Speakeasy
1439 Griswold Street
MGM Grand Casino
1777 3rd Avenue
Who are we expecting to see on set?
Of course Mark Wahlberg is back reprising his role in the last movie. Joining him are Anthony Hopkins, Isabel Moner and Josh Duhamel.
As of today (June 20) filming has started in the streets around the Packard Plant (everyone’s favorite Ruin Porn location) and the plant itself is expected to be used in the next few days. Other movie stalkers are already on the job: watch for and on Twitter for updates as well as my Twitter feed and of course, this blog.
Keep your eyes open around town. If you see anything interesting let me know (@bananadoc) My schedule is tight this Summer, but I’ll be getting out to see the filming as much as I can. The Transformers sets are nowhere near as tied down as Batman V Superman, so only the minimum of stalking is required. Let’s enjoy this!