Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Air Force Memorial Goes Hollywood

As one of DC’s newest memorials, the U.S. Air Force Memorial generally brings in around 250,000 visitors a year. Its three stainless steel spires, designed to resemble a bomb burst, stand 270 feet tall and are visible from miles around.

But perched on a cape in Arlington, Virginia, the Air Force Memorial allows an easily visible skyline of Washington, DC. It’s a great place to steal a view over the Potomac, the Pentagon and parts of the National Mall – which may be why Producer/Director Michael Bay and his film crew for the Transformers movie franchise chose it as one of their locales in their upcoming film.

Monday evening the Air Force Memorial got first row seats to a scene out of Transformers 3. The film's vehicles and equipment trucks drove up Air Force Memorial Boulevard, staring “eye to eye” with our symbolic architectural structure.

Not wanting to miss the action, I was among a large crowd of more than 150 flocking to the Memorial with a digital camera and cell phone in an attempt to snap a picture of the Transformers action. I was only able to snap a few pictures of props and the film crew’s setting up (though I’m not allowed to upload anything captured). But no plot secrets were revealed in the three-hour shoot (which includes time to set up, film and take down).

Also, the scene, unfortunately, did not invite any guest appearances by the film’s stars (i.e., Shia LeBouf, Josh Duhamel or John Malkovich) or even Bumblebee (though, dear Bumblebee may still be in the ICU).

However, the shoot will highlight the beauty of the Memorial and its representation of flight and the flying spirit of the Air Force. It’s a great opportunity to share our memorial that honors the service and sacrifices of the men and women of the United States Air Force and its predecessor organizations to the world.

Transformers 3 is the first motion-picture film to have been shot at the Memorial, said Colonel Pete Lindquist USAF (ret), managing director of the Memorial.

“The crew was very respectable to the landscape and the Memorial,” he said, detailing how the crew requested his approval of the grounds after they finished filming and breaking down. “They truly wanted to make sure they did not leave any scratches, scuffmarks or imprints on any part of our memorial.”

Though no high-speed chases may have been involved, I’ll be excited to see our Air Force Memorial on the big screen in the Hollywood blockbuster Transformers: The Dark of the Moon next summer!

- Staff member of AFA

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