Att. Michael Bay, I am available
Tower Automotive site, Art Museum to be used in "Transformers 3" scenes
By Tom Daykin of the Journal Sentinel
June 18, 2010 8:48 a.m. |(60) Comments
I think it's safe to say that Milwaukee development officials didn't foresee this use for the former Tower Automotive site: a backdrop for a major Hollywood film.
The Tower site, on the north side, and the Milwaukee Art Museum will both be featured in scenes from the upcoming movie "Transformers 3," it was announced Friday by Visit Milwaukee.
A cast and crew of about 150 will come to Milwaukee the week of July 12 to film what Visit Milwaukee calls "a pivotal scene" at the museum.
"Some of the stars from the film may be in town for the shoot," the release says.
The majority of the July shoot will happen at the museum, which will be closed for one day to accommodate the filming schedule.
The Tower Automotive site will also be used. All filming locations will be closed sets, and not open to the public.
Visit Milwaukee estimated the film will generate more than $1 million in local spending on salaries, hotels, food, fuel and miscellaneous equipment, supplies and rentals. It is expected that some local students will be hired as production assistants during the time the film is in Milwaukee.
“Transformers 3” is the second major Hollywood feature to shoot in Milwaukee in recent years. Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies,” starring Johnny Depp, shot at various locations around town in 2008.
The announcement comes even as Wisconsin significantly reduces its tax credit program for film production companies. The original program, which provided millions in rebates, was dropped after criticism that "Public Enemies" generated $5 million in spending -- but received $4.6 million in tax credits.
The new program offers up to $500,000 in tax credits. But Visit Milwaukee spokesman Dave Fantle says "Transformers 3" doesn't qualify for that particular program, and that no public money is going to the production in Milwaukee.
''They are here because director Michael Bay fell in love with the Art Museum (the Calatrava addition)
and wants to feature it in the film," Fantle said, in an e-mail. Along with generating spending, the film will provide valuable exposure for Milwaukee when it is released in July 2011, he said.
The production also is shooting for six weeks in Chicago, Fantle said.
“We’re really excited to showcase the art museum in what will be one of the most anticipated blockbuster films for next summer,” said Dan Keegan, museum director, in a statement. “The film will give the venue worldwide exposure during our 10th year anniversary celebration of the Santiago Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion.”
Locations used in past “Transformers” films, such as Hoover Dam and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Udvar-Hazy Center, have enjoyed a significant increase in visitors as a result of these films, said Keegan. The museum has been featured in numerous national and international advertisements, and serves as the city’s symbol for tourism.
There will be a casting call for paid extras on Saturday, June 26, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, 509 W. Wisconsin Ave. The extras will be needed for filming on July 12 and July 13, and the call is for both male and female "trendy, executive types." I guess that leaves me out...