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No Michael Bay, You Can Not Blow Up the National Mall

Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whitely was spotted on the set of Transformers 3 for the first time this week. But that’s not important. We’ll see more of her, I’m sure. What we might not see are the scenes director Michael Bay has planned to shoot in our nation’s capital. Allegedly the city of Washington, DC isn’t ready to let Bay and his production have the run of the place. Especially now that they know what he was planning on doing there.

According to The Washington Post, the city and Paramount Pictures are having a tough time coming to terms on how much of Transformers 3 will be shot on location there. On the plus side, the studio bringing the mega-budget film to town would mean revenue in the form of hotel rooms, equipment rental, meals (Hollywood loves to eat), temporary jobs. It’s no secret that when a big Hollywood production comes to town, the local economy benefits.

The downside, according to the National Park Service, is that Michael Bay has a vision — and that vision includes the following: staging a “car race” along the Mall’s gravel paths and flooding it with artificial light in order to shoot at night, and using simulated explosions and pyrotechnics at locations along Pennsylvania and Independence avenues.

Pennsylvania Avenue, that’s where the Obamas are living these days. I doubt the government — local, state or Federal — is going to let Mr. Bay do some ‘splosions on that street.

Despite all of this, the studio is still planning on shooting some scenes on location in DC. They just don’t know for how long. Said studio spokesperson Gabriela Gutentag, “We’ve gone from two weeks to 10 days to three days to seven days; I don’t really know.”

Currently the ball is in the court of the Parks Service and local officials in DC. Chances are that Bay, who is known for shooting his films on location as much as possible, won’t be able to shoot on the National Mall. However, it would be interesting to see him film a big chase scene that ends with a Transformer battle at the Lincoln Memorial. I’m just saying.

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet.

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