Transformers: Hollywood Film Crew Extorted On Location in Asia
Photo Caption: Your Money or your Film Shooting Schedule…(© unknown)
The latest Transformers film, currently being shot on location in Hong Kong, has faced a second extortion attempt in the space of a week after a crew member was confronted by Chinese mobsters.
A member of the production team was setting up on the rooftop of a building in the Kowloon City area, where Transformers: Age of Extinction is being filmed, when she was approached. “Four men intimidated her and asked for money”, a government statement said.
Police have arrested a 35-year-old man but are still searching for three others. They are suspected members of the Sun Yee On triad, a Chinese organised crime gang.
Last Thursday, Transformers director Michael Bay was attacked by a man demanding £8,000 compensation for filming. The Armageddon filmmaker sustained minor injuries to the right side of his face and declined any medical treatment.
Four men were arrested. Bay explained how several men intimidated him and his crew and attempted to extort money from them. After Bay told them to “forget it”, he described how the ring leader “walked right up to me and tried to smack my face, but I ducked and pushed him away.”
He added: “Every vendor where we shot got paid a fair price for our inconvenience, but he wanted four times that amount.”
Non-violent attempts at extortion involving location filming have been an occasional problem for Hollywood over the years. They usually involve residents disrupting filming by making noise or other means in an effort to prompt a payoff. In recent years, studios have tried to be more considerate when offering compensation to residents living close to a film set.
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