One of the things that happens a lot in Chicago is the filming of movies. These can be small scale movies that will be unlikely to make a big impact to blockbusters. The recent Batman films were shot in Chicago for example. One film that really took over the city for a while was Transformers 3. I haven’t been to see the film – Netflix for that one I think – but they really destroyed the sections of the city around where I live if the trailers are anything to go by.
The city granted them an amazing amount of access including closing Michigan Avenue for quite some time. A lot was filmed across the river from us on Wacker Drive. Two aspects of the filming were fun for me. First they had made some pretty impressive effects for the cityscape with ripped up concrete and destroyed vehicles scattered around which you could get very close to. The second thing was the use of aerial filming. A lot of filming was done from an Astar and it seemed to spend a lot of time hovering near enough that I could take photos – admittedly through the windows which doesn’t always help.
They also had some skydivers both jumping from helicopters into the city and also base jumping from the buildings. I saw bits of that but was not close to it all. I did see a few sequences being set up. It is interesting just how long it takes for a sequence to be put together, rehearsed and finally shot. I saw a bunch of guys on wires getting hauled into the air numerous times before they finally shot it with the explosions going live.
They also filmed a sequence with explosions along the rooftops of a number of buildings along the ricer. We should have been suspicious as we sat in our living room in the evening when we heard the helicopter again but it was only as the buildings started erupting that we realized what was happening.