Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Architecture as Tinder: Michael Bay's Transformers4 blows up Chicago's massive, abandoned Santa Fe Grain Elevators

You have to give Michael Bay credit.  He's built a multi-billion dollar franchise, largely on just blowing things up.  And his location scout does a super job.

Bay is back in Chicago to film scenes for the fourth iteration of his Transformers series, Age of Extinction, starring Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz and former Chicago Mayor Kelsey Grammer.
After blowing stuff up in downtown Detroit, and locally at McCormick Place, Bay - or his second unit crew - were out at the long-abandoned Santa Fe grain silos this past weekend, at Damen and the south branch of the river.

This is what it looked like before . . .
This is what is looked like after being transformed by Bay's production design team into a facility for the Yang Ming company.
The facility was scrubbed clean of its locally created graffiti, replaced with super-sized Chinese characters (could any of our readers translate?),  with stacked shipping contains to serve as signage . . .
. . . and various props and production vehicles . . .
 
 
Knowing the slow pace of movie production, we didn't have the patience to stick around until they finally blew things up, but some observers captured the blast in a YouTube video.  (Warning: extreme profanity alert.)
We haven't been able to check out the condition of the elevator after Bay and Company had their way with it.  If you've got any pics, send 'em along.

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction is scheduled for release next year.

Read the full story - and see a lot more photos -  of this amazing structure:

The Power of Uselessness: The History - and Potential - of Chicago's Massive Santa Fe Grain Elevator

11 comments:

Amy said...

Did anyone find any "post" photos? I want to go check it out this weekend but I'm afraid of being broken hearted.

Pete said...

My train runs near there every day. As of Wednesday, it looks like the only part destroyed was that bridge/conveyor near the top that connects the two sides of the structure. Which was probably a major safety hazard anyway.

Lynn Becker said...

Pete - thanks for the update!

Anonymous said...

Kelsey Grammer is an actor, who played Chicago mayor in TV series "Boss". He has never been Chicago's mayor.

Lynn Becker said...

I suppose next you're going to try tell me he was never a psychiatrist either.

Rob cmraseye said...

Here are images from the filming including post of the silos....

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25996588@N03/sets/72157635284271494/

Rob cmraseye said...

In speaking with the locations manager, he said their deal with the City is to seal up the nooks and crannies and make it as impossible to gain access. The fire escape with the rope will go away, not sure if they noticed the one on the river side. All of the Chinese characters and their yellow banners will be removed, and the area cleaned up.

Lynn Becker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn Becker said...

Thanks to photographer Rob Olewinski for the update and the link to the great pics.

Rob also has pics of the Divergent shoot,

We wrote about the Divergent village set earlier this summer.

Anonymous said...

How is this good? Seems like a sad day for Chicago, selling itself out for a movie scene. Isn't there more awareness of the importance of our built environment than this?

Rick Lobes said...

The Damen Silo's have been a great photo back drop for myself and many others. I am excited to see it in the Transformers4 movie. Some of my shots

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202287733299398&set=a.10202287662097618.1073741890.1373090129&type=3&theater