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Transformers filmed robot action in Michigan and UK

Transformers 5Transformers: The Last Knight generated millions in economic activity for Michigan in the northern US and also filmed extensive action scenes in the UK.

The movie is the fifth in the lucrative Transformers franchise that was first launched in 2007, and is once again directed by Michael Bay.

Production was based at Michigan Motion Picture Studios outside Detroit and the overall Michigan production schedule stretched to more than 200 days, delivering economic activity worth $34m. 

In recent years Michigan has hosted major movies including Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but then in mid-2015 authorities cancelled the state’s filming incentive. The Transformers team secured a $21m support payment, but was only able to do so through deals negotiated with the state before the tax credit was cancelled.

Local expenditures incurred in Michigan for The Last Knight’s shoot included $3.7m on cast and crew accommodation, $2.7m on transport costs and $800,000 on catering, according to figures from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

“When major productions such as this come to a local community, everyone stands to benefit,” said senator Chris Dodd, who is also chairman and CEO of the MPAA. 

“Local businesses, individuals and families see the positive impacts of this film long after the production leaves.

"The motion picture and television industry helps to support over 16,000 jobs in Michigan. I am proud to see films like Transformers: The Last Knight positively benefit the local economy.”

Transformers 5

Transformers also filmed extensively on location across England and Wales, spurred partly by a storyline that flashes back to the role of the robot characters throughout events and legends in British history up to the present day.

Sir John Soane’s Museum near Holborn in central London offered a historic location that became a key character’s grand home in the film. Elsewhere, footage for the franchise’s trademark frenetic action sequences was filmed in multiple central London locations, often in a matter of hours early on weekend mornings.

“The clash of cultures – in more ways than one – has been a lot of fun to support,” says Karen Everett, director of FilmFixer, which manages film offices in several of the featured London boroughs. 

“The chase scenes in particular, done with minimal disruption, prove once again that we have the infrastructure, the expertise and the goodwill to create incredible stunts on the streets of London.” 

Transformers 5Location filming decamped to Wales for nearly a month in the late summer of last year, with several dozen local crew hired to support the shoot in the Brecon Beacons.

“Having Transformers film in the Brecon Beacons National Park last summer was an exciting time for everyone involved,” says John Cook, CEO of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.

“We are lucky to have a wide variety of beautiful locations available here, including everything from dramatic open landscapes, native forests, spectacular waterfalls, and in this case a deserted quarry. 

“Our filming officer and team of park wardens are experienced in working with a wide range of filming requests and these in turn support the local economy.”  

The UK’s filming incentive support, studio facilities and crew base make it one of the world’s top production hubs. A May report from location filming agency FilmLA in Los Angeles found that as a filming location for big-budget US features, the UK is in fact second in popularity only to the US state of Georgia.

Images: Andrew Cooper/Paramount Pictures


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