DoD Helps Hollywood on ‘Transformers’

The Department of Defense has spent more than a year working with the producers of the film, which opens in theaters nationwide June 24.
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The hybrid robots of in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" may be the stuff of fantasy, but thanks to the U.S. military, action as well as uniforms will appear as authentic as possible.

The Department of Defense has spent more than a year working with the producers of the film, which opens in theaters nationwide June 24.

American Forces Press Services reported that DoD support included script and uniform notes to C-17 aerial maneuvers, as well as jumps by the Army's Golden Knights parachute demonstration team.

The first “Transformers” film, released in July 2007, also used Air Force assets. In the sequel, all four braches of the service partnered with Hollywood highlight America's military members and combat power on the big screen, according to AFPS.

"There are really a lot of similarities between a military operation and a movie production,” said Army Lt. Col. Greg Bishop, the department’s project officer for the movie. “The mobility of the operation, the logistics and planning required, and the problem-solving skills required to pull the whole thing off are very much alike."

Transformers Executive Producer and Director Michael Bay has long consulted with military leaders on other films.

"You know the first thing we're going to look at is that if you're going to fight these 32- to 125-foot robots, who else would you fight them with?" Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura said.

Like its predecessors, the latest Transformers movie uses hundreds of military members from all the services and from throughout the country to make the film feel more realistic.

"I enjoyed being able to walk on the set and there are a hundred real soldiers as opposed to walking on and it’s a hundred actors from Orange County or L.A. in fatigues," said Megan Fox, the film’s female lead. "It was just an overall pleasant experience, and I have an immense amount of respect for the soldiers and for our troops."

In the film, jet fighters roar from the deck of an aircraft carrier and M1-A1 Abrams tanks fire 120mm rounds at the enemy (Decepticons, in this case), among other military moves.

"What [the military] bring to it is obviously a sense of reality. But for us what is most interesting about it is our interaction with them," di Bonaventura said. "Because you actually get to see these people who have made a life choice and the honesty of that choice comes through each and every time you meet these guys. So, for us, that's the really exciting thing. We get to hang out at the base and see the joy they get out of being a part of us, and you also see us get affected by their level of commitment."

DreamWorks and Paramount have given permission to provide special screenings of “Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen” at bases that provided support for the film and also aboard the USS John C. Stennis.

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