From Holloman to Hollywood, Transformers make movie magic

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Larry A. Simmons
  • Air Force Print News
Lights, camera, action! Airmen at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., home to the Air Force's only operational F-117 wing, got to experience a new kind of rush as Hollywood invaded their base.

The DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures live-action film "Transformers," set to release in July 2007, will feature several different aircraft including the F-117 Nighthawk from Holloman and the CV-22 Osprey from Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. More than 300 Airmen participated as extras in the movie and providing logistical support during the filming.

"It's a thrill to know my face will be seen in a movie. It outweighs the long hours," said Airman 1st Class Mehtar Sullivan, an emergency management technician with the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron at Holloman.

While participating as extras in the movie, Airmen had to be on leave and available all day for shooting scenes. Some Airmen have speaking roles in the film. The days were long and sometimes lasted until early morning the next day.

"This was a great way to highlight what our mission is, what our people do and what our equipment does at no expense to the taxpayer," said Capt. Trisha Raynoha of the 49th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office.

The production crew sent scouts to seven different Air Force bases and several Army installations before deciding on Holloman and the F-117 wing.

F-117s and the CV-22 Osprey are featured prominently in the movie as both static background and taxiing aircraft. Also featured will be the A-10 Thunderbolt II, C-17 Globemaster III, MH-53 Pave Low, HH-53 Super Jolly Green Giant, AC-130 Gunship, C-130 Hercules, MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle and Air Force One.

"The CV-22 Osprey is scheduled to make its feature film debut in this movie, along with the F-22 Raptor," said 1st Lt. Christian Hodge, chief, industry relations, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs entertainment liaison.

With the movie set in full swing, it gave Airmen a peek into Hollywood life and a moment in the spotlight.

"It has been a wonderful experience seeing how they actually make a movie and all the work that goes into it. It has been fun," said Airman 1st Class Toby Schultz from Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.

This is the largest movie project since "Black Hawk Down" to receive Department of Defense approval as selection is based on how accurately forces are portrayed. With Michael Bay as the director, known for his special effects-driven movies like "The Rock" and "Pearl Harbor," the approval was easy.

"We've worked with Michael Bay before; we like the way he operates. He understands how the military operates," said Army Lt. Col. Paul Sinor, lead public affairs representative for DOD.