Directed by Michael Bay, ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ is a sci-fi action movie also serving as the third installment to the ‘Transformers’ franchise. It follows Sam Witwicky as his life goes upside down when the Decepticons declare their latest mission to gain access to a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon. Sam and his new girlfriend join the Autobots to protect them, which ultimately results in a cataclysmic showdown in Chicago. As a fan of the franchise, we love the gritty action and crisp visual effects that keep us thoroughly engaged. Are you curious to know where it was filmed? If yes, we have all the news for you!
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Filming Locations
‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ was filmed in multiple locations, which include Illinois, Florida, California, Michigan, Washington, and a few other states. Apart from local sites, the production team traveled to countries like Russia, Cambodia, Africa, and China, where the shooting of the rest of the movie took place. Although preparation for filming began on April 7, 2010, the principal photography started on May 18, 2010, and concluded on November 9, 2010. Let’s dive into more details!
The pre-production took off at Indiana, the endearing “basketball-loving” state of the country. The northwestern region of the state was used in the movie, especially in a few locations around Gary in Lake County. The city, situated just 25 miles from downtown Chicago, stood in as Ukraine in the film.
When the team returned later to shoot a few more scenes, a stunt-mishap shook the entire place and the people. As a result, filming was temporarily halted on September 2, 2010. An extra got injured during a stunt in Hammond, and the seriousness of her injuries caused Paramount Pictures to bear serious consequences for alleged carelessness on its part.
The production reportedly started in Los Angeles on May 18, 2010, and continued through six weeks. The team extensively filmed in the city, covering locations such as Fourth Avenue, Sherman Oaks, and 5 South Main Street. The base was set up at Paramount Studios, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. The team also visited Long Beach and the Edwards Air Force Base (where they set up another base). In addition, it is said that the crew used the Playa Vista Stages at 6775 Centinela Avenue in Culver City.
The production team spent four weeks in Chicago filming a few scenes. The locations in the city that feature in the film include LaSalle Street, Bacino’s of Lincoln Park at 2204 North Lincoln Avenue, Michigan Avenue, and areas around the 108-story skyscraper Willis Tower. The shoot ended up being extended until September 1, 2010. The scene showcasing the duel between Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and Dylan Gould (Patrick Dempsey) takes place here. The Old Post Office serves as the exterior of the classified NEST headquarters.
Another significant filming location turns out to be Michigan which housed a good amount of pyrotechnics and stunt work. The production team was supposed to shift to Detroit in August 2010, but it got delayed due to the extension of the Chicago shoot. On September 23, 2010, a few scenes were shot at the former city hall in Detroit. Other than that, the Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester also makes an appearance in the film.
Towards late September, the cast and crew moved to Florida, ahead of the launch of Space Shuttle mission STS-133. The scenic beauty of the state is hard to ignore, and the production likewise entered the state to film a few scenes. The cameras rolled on Hurlburt Field in Okaloosa County west of the town of Mary Esther. In addition, the Kennedy Space Center in Titusville also makes the cut in the film.
The production team shot a few scenes in Washington, D.C., as well. The shooting took place at the National Mall, where a car race was scheduled to happen. However, on October 11, 2010, a tragic accident took over during the filming of a chase scene at 3rd Street and Maryland Avenue SouthWest. A Metropolitan Police K9 Unit SUV that didn’t know about the filming clashed with the Camaro that plays Bumblebee in the movie. The accident shocked everyone because the area had been sealed by the police. However, reports suggest that there was an issue with communication that caused the mishap.
The city of Milwaukee, on the coast of Lake Michigan, Wisconsin, also served as a filming site for the movie. Milwaukee Art Museum, located at 700 North Art Museum Drive, also makes an appearance in the film. The place impressively stores around 25,000 works of art. The next place that pops up in the film is the former Tower Automotive complex on Milwaukee’s north side, which was then under redevelopment along with the city’s equipment yard.
Other Locations in the US
Besides the locations mentioned above, there are a few other sites that feature in this iconic movie. The production team also moved to Texas for the purpose of shooting. On October 16, 2010, a flashback scene was shot at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. New York serves as another filming location as Bannerman’s Castle in Pollepel Island in the Hudson River also makes an appearance in the action film. Filming also took place in Atlanta, the distinctive capital of Georgia.
Other Locations in the World
The movie was exquisitely filmed in different parts of the world. The team spent a day shooting in the antique reserves of the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia. Deemed sacred by Buddhists all over the world, this complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also a popular tourist attraction. Other locations include Africa, China, and Moscow in Russia.