Michael Bay Denied Permission to Destroy Washington, D.C.
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Wednesday, June 09, 2010
It’s a great day to be alive in Washington, D.C.! The primary-election aftermath has the political atmosphere abuzz, Nationals rookie Stephen Strasburg just made arguably the best pitching debut in Major League history, and the National Park Service dutifully declined Michael Bay’s requests to stage a couple weeks of extravagant Hollywood spectacle in one of the country’s most historic, hallowed locations.
According to the Washington Post, the filmmaker wanted to stage some Transformers 3 action sequences and large-scale night exteriors in and around the National Mall, including “a ‘car race’ along the Mall’s gravel paths.” The Park Service wasn’t having any of it; exhibiting what seems to be more common sense than contempt, a spokesman for the Park Service explained: “A lot of this could be more appropriately shot in a Hollywood studio. The National Mall is not an area in which Americans come to see high-tech action movies being shot.”
A veteran D.C. location manager told the Post that this really isn’t anything new: “We want to make the best movie we can make and that may mean pushing the envelope, and the Park Service is in the position of pushing back.” But the D.C. film office made little secret of its disappointment, noting that Transformers 3 will wind up cutting its shooting days in the nation’s capital as a result.
That could translate to millions of dollars lost by the city’s economy, though let’s face it: It’s not like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is good for buying more than one Rice Krispie treat and maybe a bottle of Vitamin Water in any given day, and Strasburg’s the better show anyway, trust me. Perspective, people, perspective.