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Transformers 3 at KSC - SpacePod 2010.10.25

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NASA PAO Allard Beutel Prime has left the building. He is gone. However, we it's not even a reasonable substitute... but it is Allard Beutel, our favorite PAO, and he's going to tell us a little bit about what NASA is doing to coordinate with the folks that are filming this. He can't tell us much, but some of the things they are doing to work with the folks that are filming Transformers 3. Allard: Yeah. We have what's called a Space Act, that's a fancy name for a contract. So we have a contract with the studio to have them shoot here on Kennedy for five days so they will be shooting all this week starting on Monday, wrapping up on Friday They scouted dozens of locations across the center. Different facilities. Locations. The pads. The shuttle runway. Of course the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building They narrowed that list down across months and months and months. Literally whittled it down. In fact, they were whittling down locations up until right before they started shooting. And kind of changing on the fly, depending on their needs. A couple weeks before they started shooting we had an open casting call for Kennedy employees. Six hundred people plus came in and did extras. Whatever they asked. Gave them headshots, talked, and there were dozens of people who were chosen across the center. What they tried to do was not simply just access the people with badges they work at Kennedy and that makes sense. More than that, Michael Bay, the director of Transformers 3 and the other two Transformers films as well, one of the things he likes to do is have realism. One of the ways you do that is by having people who actually work in the business be extras, because your not teaching them what a rocket looks like. You know what your doing when he tells the extras "Do what you would do in a launch," they're doing exactly what they would do in a launch. There's no direction necessary. They're just doing their natural thing. So it obviously has a touch of realism to it. Part of the Space Act, we also have with that, NASA is surprisingly protective, and I think we can all understand of the insignia of NASA. What we call "The Meatball". That blue insignia is obviously very well recognized and we make sure it's not being used in a way, commercially, in a bad way In an inappropriate usage. In this case obviously it can be seen in the movie. In other movies sometimes, you'll notice , in other sci-fi movies you'll see they have something that looks like NASA, but it's really not NASA. That's because we don't have some agreement with them. In this case we have a contract with the studio to let them shoot in our facilities, have the NASA meatball in the background, those kind of things. And for us, I think it's a really important thing. That's why when we're involved in a movie that's not space exploration, but sci-fi, but the fact is this does give us a chance to open up our... ...what we do. The real space exploration. Exposure to audiences that we normally wouldn't have - through a blockbuster film. And you're talking about a world-wide audience. It's grossed hundreds of millions of dollars in the previous films. It's a natural fit in the sense that sci-fi and real space exploration and it also allows us to get into the summer blockbuster theaters and the kids see it and they say, "You know what. I saw NASA. Hey maybe I'll check it out and really go online to NASA.GOV and find out the real thing. It's one of those ways we've got to reach out to audiences we wouldn't normally reach. Now Allard, we know that you're the jaded NASA PAO, but are you excited? Are you having a little bit of fun with this? Personally? Oh yeah. Obviously it's a lot of work and they are putting in, the production crew, they are putting in long hours. They want to get lots of shots. They're here for, obviously, a very short amount of time so they got to get all of their shooting done in this finite amount of time. It takes a lot of personnel to support it. But obviously, we think it's worth it. Like I said earlier. This does get us to audiences we don't normally reach. But it also, in this case, it's fun. Y'know. You've got Hollywood now on the space coast and that's pretty cool. Thank you Allard. Have a good day!

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 23 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 63
Posted by: spacevidcast on Oct 25, 2010

NASA's Kennedy Space Center came under attack from the merciless Decepticons this week. However, Optimus Prime and his valiant band of Autobots fended them off, and then stood watch over the space center for the remainder of the week - along with the cast and crew of "Transformers 3, The Dark of the Moon." Although the set was closed -- there were some interesting revelations about what one can expect to see in the third installment of the highly-successful film franchise -- including a very special guest star.
Journalists that were present on Oct. 7, for the delivery of STS-133's payload were treated with the sights and sounds of Hollywood. Although these reporters and correspondents were kept on a very short leash the journalists present still managed to see the Autobots leader in truck mode, some actors in black soldier gear and some other tantalizing tidbits.
Numerous KSC employees have been selected to act as extras in the film. This serves the purpose of creating added realism to the film. Instead of training someone to "look" they know what they're doing -- more-likely-than-not those are the actual workers who do that job at America's spaceport everyday. Outside of this film being a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to appear in a big budget summer blockbuster, it also provided an opportunity to rub shoulders with real and upcoming movie stars.
Already, John Turturro, the actor that portrays Agent Simmons in the film has been spotted wheeling in and around the Vehicle Assembly Building. Shia LaBeouf (Sam Witwicky) has been seen with his character's new love interest Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Carly) wandering the set.
There is however one star whose presence in the film has been kept top secret. Her identity however, is crucial to the plot of the film which is said to revolve around the space age. She is none other -- than the space shuttle Discovery. That's right, the orbiter that returned America to flight twice is revealed to actually be a transformer. That is at least what sources close to the film are saying. Michael bay, the film's director, had his computer hacked during the filming of the first Transformers movie and has been notorious about spreading disinformation.
For NASA, having a motion picture film at KSC is a no-brainer. The Transformers series of movies is very popular with children and young people and this allows them to relay the NASA story to a whole new audience.
"This does give us the chance to open up what we do, real space exploration to audiences that we may not already have in a blockbuster film," said NASA's KSC News Chief Allard Beutel. "We're talking about a worldwide audience and it's a natural fit in the sense that it is sci-fi and real space exploration but also it allows us to get into the theatres and let kids see what we do, inspire them to look into what NASA is all about and reach an audience we may not normally reach."

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