“Transformers 3” Bringing Economy Boost to Chicago

{mosimage}With Transformers 3 filming in Chicago, Illinois, it created a bright spot in the form of boosting the economy there by 200 jobs as well ten internships, funneling in $20 million. Not to mention a little more mayhem compared to when The Blues Brothers last filmed there in 1980 by crashing a car into the Daley Center.

“Transformers 3” is certain to include even more scenes of death and destruction on the streets of Chicago.

“You’re gonna see a little bit of mayhem. You know, I mean it wouldn’t be ‘Transformers’ without it,” [Lorenzo] Di Bonaventura said.

“Hopefully, it’ll be fun. What we find is, people really end up enjoying the spectacle of what we’re doing.”

Read the rest at the Sun-Times, as well another from the Chicago Tribune.

'Transformers 3' to bring $20 million, 200 jobs to Chicago

June 16, 2010

“Transformers 3” — the sci-fi action thriller filming in Chicago this summer — will pump $20 million into the local economy and create 200 jobs, including ten internships for inner-city students, Mayor Daley said today.

Joking about landing a walk-on roll, Daley welcomed producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura to Chicago 30 years after the premiere of the landmark film, “The Blues Brothers.”

Then-Mayor Jane M. Byrne, Daley’s political nemesis, took a lot of heat for allowing a car to crash into the Daley Center during the filming of “The Blues Brothers.”

“Transformers 3” is certain to include even more scenes of death and destruction on the streets of Chicago.

“You’re gonna see a little bit of mayhem. You know, I mean it wouldn’t be ‘Transformers’ without it,” Di Bonaventura said.

“Hopefully, it’ll be fun. What we find is, people really end up enjoying the spectacle of what we’re doing.”

Daley said a certain degree of mayhem is fine with him so long as “safety comes first. . . . They’re very conscious of that.”

As for the “The Blues Brothers” controversy, he noted that it “didn’t destroy the Daley Center.”

“You don’t want to say where you can go, where you can’t go. They replace everything. They don’t destroy buildings,” he said. “This is all about creativity. They have to figure out their audiences. . . . Younger people are attached to this.”

Seventeen-year-old Montel Williams certainly is. A student at North Lawndale College Prep, he’s one of the film-loving Chicago Public School students lucky enough to be hired as an intern for the filming.

They’re already working on video and music production projects through a CPS partnership with the non-profit Free Spirit Media.

“I have a passion for film. It’s in my heart deeply. . . .  I’m ready for hands-on,” Williams said.

And what if it’s just a gofer job? No problem, he said.

“This is my career. I’m looking for anything out there that’s gonna benefit me and my career,” he said.

Daley added, “Even if you’re a go-fer, it doesn’t matter. You’re gonna meet people. And you’re gonna see how challenging it is to film anything. . . .  I’m very grateful. This is what individuals can do and make a difference in our city. They’ll be here [for six weeks], but they’ll have a long-lasting impact.”

Asked about a possible cameo appearance by Daley, Di Bonaventura laughed and said, “Well, I don’t know. I don’t know how the mayor would feel about that. It’s up to the mayor.”

Daley said he’s game. He joked that the producers and directors could make him look taller, fix his hair and “lose about 20 years of my life.”


Chicago Tribune

June 16, 2010

Daley welcomes 'mayhem' of Transformers movie

Posted by Hal Dardick at 1:30 p.m.

Some measure of staged “mayhem” is inevitable this summer in Chicago when the crew of “Transformers 3” comes to town to film the latest installment of the blockbuster movie series featuring destructive robots.

“You’re going to see a little bit of mayhem, you know, it wouldn’t be Transformers without it,” said Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, one of the film’s producers. “Hopefully it will be fun. What we really find is that people really enjoy the spectacle of what we do.”

Di Bonaventura was speaking at a press conference called by Mayor Richard Daley to tout the benefits of having the filming come to Chicago between July 10 and Aug. 19, as previously announced. Chicago is “one of just a few cities around the world that will be showcased in this film,” Daley said.

When asked about the potential for “mayhem,” Daley said it was being created in the name of art with all manner of safety precautions. He also asked “everyone for our understanding” when the filming leads to “street closures or other potential problems.”

Daley said the film and TV industry “is a growing part of our economic development strategy . . . because movies and TV shows made in and about Chicago showcase our city to the world, create excitement about it and create jobs for our residents.”

Di Bonaventura said they were still selecting specific sites to film, but would “be shooting a lot in downtown.”

Daley said that since 1989, more than 900 films and TV productions have put more than $1.6 billion into the local economy.

The jobs generated by the Transformers project will include 10 internships for South and West side high school students.

“I have a passion for film,” said intern Montel Williams, a 17-year-old North Lawndale College Prep senior. “I have been studying for three years with Free Spirit Media.”

He particularly likes the Transformers films, he said.

“I love the story, I love the actors,” he said. “I’ve got all the movies.”

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