Did you hear the sounds of choppers Sunday morning?
It was probably the sounds of Transformers 4 filming in Chicago.
The filming, which began Friday, took flight around 7 a.m. Sunday, closing pedestrian and vehicle traffic on Upper Illinois Street, Cityfront Plaza Drive and East North Water Street.
Low flying helicopters charged through the area for 15-20-minute increments of filming between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Sunday.
Don't be surprised to see burning buildings and explosions in the downtown area over the next few weeks also.
The Michael Bay-directed film began shooting Friday at McCormick Place and continued through the weekend.
On Saturday, Mark Wahlberg, who took over for Shia LaBeouf in the film, visited the set, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Residents were warned to not be alarmed if they see the use of pyrotechnics and live stunts, although Chicago Film Office director Rich Moskal says the first weekend won't be the most visual.
"There's expectations of the Transformers shoots being all pyrotechnic and spectacular, but they'll be easing into things at first. If you're looking to get a glimpse of the big stunts, this weekend may not provide all of that," Moskal said.
As of last week, filmmakers were still accepting applications from those interested in being extras. Anyone in the Chicago area with an interest in being an extra should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a current photo and the following information: name, cell phone number, height, age range, clothes sizes, and scheduling restrictions.
Shooting for the movie is expected to wrap by Oct. 2, but additional days may be added. Scenes for the movie are also being shot in Detroit, Austin, Texas, and Hong Kong.
The previous Transformers movie was also shot in Chicago.
The "Transformers 4" shoot is the latest in what's turning out to be a boon for TV and film productions.
"It's the busiest I think we've ever been, aside from major films such as Transformers and Jupiter Ascending this year, we've also had six full-time TV shows in production," Moskal says. "We've never had that much television here shooting an entire season of episodes."
Moskal says the productions generated $128 million to the local economy last year, a number that will be eclipsed this year. And he only sees it getting better.
"Our growing success is because Chicago not always looks great on film, it's a city whose identity resonates around the world. It's a place where things happen, and success breeds success," Moskal says.