SATSOP — Scenes for the sequel to the popular Transformers franchise began filming this week at the Satsop Business Park, draping green screens on the ground in front of the giant cooling towers.
Alissa Shay, the business manager for the park, said that Paramount Pictures signed an agreement to rent the former nuclear site and had been renting office space for about two weeks as the site was being transformed into a movie set.
“We were getting nervous there because we were told that sometimes the studio will invest money to build sets, see everything and then change their mind and go home,” Shay said.
“Transformers 4,” starring Mark Wahlberg and rumored to star the Dinobots (robots that turn into dinosaurs) and a whole host of new transformers from the popular cartoon and toy line, is slated for release on June 27 with the title “Age of Extinction.” The film is the last one director Michael Bay has said he’ll helm.
Shay said some kind of filming was set to begin on Tuesday and would be continued on Wednesday. She didn’t have any details on what cast would be on site, if anyone. The rental agreement lasts for a week, although there were no promises that shooting would last that long.
A large green screen and set piece were being set up Tuesday afternoon near one of the towers as camera crews and film technicians could be seen scurrying throughout the park. Numerous trucks from Paramount Pictures were moving items throughout the area. In the park’s main building, numerous signs designated the areas for “catering,” “hair” and “makeup” for cast and crew.
Security guards were stationed at entrances to the park, allowing in only people who had business in the park or members of the Paramount crew.
The studio started advertising for extras to be in the film last weekend looking for “business and military types, very clean-cut and athletic.”
“I am really hoping this can be an economic boost to our community,” Shay said. “I’ve given them names of local businesses and catering companies.”
Savory Faire of Montesano catered a location scout meeting back in May.
Shay said the county had granted the studio the right to close the roads leading up to the business park except for those who are tenants or have business with the park.
Satsop officials have been marketing the site as a potential place to shoot movies more aggressively earlier this year and the Port commissioners set specific rates for utilization of the park earlier this spring.
Artist Etsuko Ichikawa recently rented one of the cooling towers to use a sound engineer to capture the echo of putting different sounds through the tower’s unique acoustics.
Satsop is now registered with Washington Filmworks, which took the place of the old Washington State Film Office, and helps movie, television and commercial studios find locations to film in the state.