Exclusive: 'Transformers 3' Chicago Set Video and Photos

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We've received exclusive photos and video from today's Transformers 3 production in Chicago.

Fellow Screen Rant writer Mike Eisenberg visited the set today and offered some intriguing details.

Upon first arrival, a number of girls were screaming. It was Shia LaBeouf - with his stunt double right behind him. Walking off set, onto the public street, he turned and got nervous, or maybe scared of the girls, and took off at a full sprint (with his double) right down the street. Very random...

All of the filming took place in Chicago's financial district on LaSalle St. - the same location as The Dark Knight's famous Joker/Batman showdown (the scene where the truck flips). Any flags, or other exterior decorations, on the buildings were replaced with torn and scorched ones. Cars and taxi cabs were shoved up onto curbs - and were also damaged and on fire. The previously reported craters were placed in the road.

While there weren't any tilting buildings this round, a helicopter with a front-mounted camera flew over the city and down LaSalle in between the buildings - true stunt flying. The chopper went to the Sears Tower and flew near the top. Two stunt-men walked to the edge and jumped. Wearing flying-squirrel wingsuits, they base jumped off the top of the Sears Tower - and another three followed moments later.

The Autobot and Decepticon vehicles didn't see much action but were still out in the open for all to see. Among them was a set of NASCAR Transformers. It's very likely the bots are part of the Generation 1 Race Car Patrol - Freewheeler, Roadhandler, Swindler, and Tailspin. All of them had turrets and weaponry attached to the front - weaponry that would make a Bond car look somewhat uninspiring.

Check out video of the NASCAR Transformers, the helicopter rig, as well as the base jumpers:


NEST squadrons and extras (with debris and blood makeup) walked amongst crowds heading to and from the set. There was also a series of explosions going off every thirty or so minutes - with PAs yelling "Fire in the hole" moments before. Crowds were moved where the explosions were not visible - but it was still unspeakably loud.

You can check out several of Mike's photos below - or check out the full gallery (with higher-res images) - HERE.

[gallery columns="2" orderby="ID"]

The report definitely seems to hint at a pretty amazing Chicago action-sequence - not to mention some exciting additions to the Transformer roster - in the form of those NASCARs. You might also notice that the twins are back (see column 1, row 10) - hopefully Bay will only be using them in moderation.

More than anything else, I'm interested to see what happens with regard to those base jumpers. Of course, there's still more action headed our way - as the Transformers aren't done with Chicago yet. Shooting continues at various locations until July 22nd. We'll be sure to keep up the exclusive coverage throughout the next couple weeks.

Transformers 3 is scheduled for a July 1st, 2011 release.

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