A black military helicopter roared to life in Monday's twilight, rising from the former Bethlehem Steel lot in front of a cheering crowd of hundreds. As the throng of toddlers, teenagers and grown-ups pointed and whipped out cell-phone cameras, another chopper buzzed low overhead -- just a few minutes after Hollywood director Michael Bay had personally invited everyone to a better spot to watch the helicopters take off. "Oh my God, I have goose bumps on my arms!" gushed Leeann Smith of Bethlehem, making plans to spend the rest of the night beside Bay's "Transformers 2" set. Monday evening marked the start of filming in Bethlehem for the DreamWorks movie about giant shapeshifting robots from another planet. For the Bethlehem scene, which will open the movie, Bay has transformed the Steel site into a fictional Chinese city. Shooting will continue tonight and Wednesday night. Even before the cameras started rolling Monday night, hundreds from across Bethlehem and as far away as Harrisburg gathered on bridges and parking lots near the Steel, hoping for good views of the six helicopters on the set and Bay's trademark pyrotechnics. "I'm a big fan of 'Transformers' from when they first came out with the cartoons," said William LaTorre, who lives just a few blocks from the filming site. "I can't wait to see the explosions [and maybe] people jumping off roofs and stuff." It's not clear whether stunts like that will really be part of the shoot, but officials with the production and Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan have indicated the scene will feature at least one computer-generated "Transformers" robot emerging in front of the Steel's iconic blast furnaces and battling with Chinese police and military forces.
Nina's night photo was taken at 5AM from the Fahy Bridge. She reveals that she spied "a semi full of Harleys" that she believes will get "totaled". All of this action sounds really fun and I imagine that the folks in Bethlehem are enjoying it while they can. Filming is scheduled to happen tonight and tomorrow so there is still time for folks out there to see what they can see. It'll be really cool to see what the final product will look like once the movie opens in theaters next year ... we can think back and remember how the opening scenes of the movie got made. [Source, thanks Nina]