A Replica Of Stonehenge Erected At Bilbury Rings, Near Wylye ~ One Of The Film Locations For Transformers: The Last Knight

Sunday 2nd October 2016:

 A replica of Stonehenge, 
erected near Bilbury Rings, Wylye 
~ one of the locations of the movie
Transformers: The Last Knight.
Photograph by Danny Howell. 

3D science fiction-action featuring robots came to Bilbury Rings on Wylye Down on Friday 30th September and Saturday 1st October 2016. The Dinton Road, between Fore Street, Wylye, and Marshwood, Dinton, was closed by Wiltshire Council for the two days, as the cameras rolled, filming live action scenes around a full-scale replica of Stonehenge ~ one of the many locations for The Last Knight, the fifth in the series of the hugely successful Transformers blockbuster movies.

Some scenes were shot at the real Stonehenge but the film-makers were not allowed to do everything they wanted to do there. So the replica of the ancient stone circle was erected at Bilbury Farm (BA12 0RB). It looked remarkably like the real Stonehenge not only from a distance but also close up. It was made of polystyrene and fibreglass but you'd have had a job to tell. And it didn't seem too much out of place, being near a prehistoric field system (and the Iron Age hill fort of Wylye Camp).

 Looking remarkably like the real monument. 

A member of the film team told dannyhowell.net: "Filming was going to be three days here, from Friday to Sunday, but it was changed to Friday and Saturday only. Today (Sunday) the cast and crew are in London for filming at Tower Bridge. They've got Tower Bridge to themselves today." It seems the motorists who use Tower Bridge are not impressed. The filming there takes place the day after Tower Bridge was closed for essential maintenance work that will take up to three months to complete. Other filming locations in the UK capital for The Last Knight are Westminster and Trafalgar Square. 

dannyhowell.net was also told: "The film has a massive budget and there are 16 or 17 different major locations." Locations include Havana, Cuba; Phoenix, Arizona; Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Scotland; Wales, Yorkshire, Newcastle Upon Tyne and Alnwick Castle, Northumberland; as well as Ireland, Iceland, Norway and the Czech Republic. dannyhowell.net was also told: "The cost of filming at Wylye is millions of US dollars. It's a staggering amount of money." The film has a total budget of $260 million.

  A few of the many people who stopped
(after the film crew had left), to ask about the film.

On Sunday, after the film crew had left, the mock-up of Stonehenge was creating a lot of interest for passers-by and people who had come specially to see the new temporary addition to the landscape. Several people were asking what the filming had been for. "Top secret," came the reply from the security personnel. Rumours had been circulating that it was a television commercial for mayonnaise that was being filmed, although no-one could figure out what the connection between Stonehenge and mayonnaise could possibly be.

E7 is the working title for the film being shot ~ evident on signs directing film vehicles and Hollywood stars in cars to Wylye ~ but a good many people were aware it was the fifth instalment in the Transformers series that was being filmed. Transformers, The Last Knight, directed by Michael Bay, is scheduled for release in June 2017. Mr Bay has announced it will be the last film he will direct in the Transformers series.

When a member of the film crew was asked what Michael Bay, the director of the film, was like, the reply was: "He's a very nice guy but like all film directors he asserts himself when things need to get done. Filming at Wylye wasn't as scheduled, they kept wanting to try things differently as they filmed. It's a changing process."

Local residents were told in advance, albeit at short notice (according to the parish council) that there would be an influx of vehicles and people to the Wylye area, and to expect special effects emulating explosions and the sound of gunfire, as well as a helicopter flying around filming. The letter with regard this, came from  Stephen Parker, the location manager for the film. The address on his letter was: High Command Productions Ltd., Room 455, 2nd Floor, The Stanley Kubrick Building, Pinewood Studios, Iver, Buckinghamshire. 

 Coming soon ~ June 2017 ~ to a cinema
near you ~ Transformers: The Last Knight.

The Last Knight is based on the Transformers toy line by Hasbro. The starring actors are Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Isabela Moner, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Liam Garrigan, Jerrod Carmichael, Mitch Pileggi, Laura Haddock, Santiago Cabrera and Anthony Hopkins. The total number of cast and crew, worldwide, is approximately 850 people.

 Security personnel kept the public off
the private land where "Stonehenge" stood.

On Sunday (2nd October) the Dinton Road was open again to the public and the last of the props and paraphernalia associated with blockbuster movie making was being removed by a specialist team using tele-handlers and lorries. Security guards kept a watchful eye on the proceedings and prevented the public from getting close to the replica Stonehenge, which was on private land. It is not going to remain a permanent feature ~ it will be dismantled in due course. The fences either side of the Wylye-Dinton road at Bilbury, which had been taken down, so that they wouldn't be in shot during filming,  will be put up again and the cattle and sheep returned to the fields of Wiltshire downland turf.

 The replica Stonehenge at Bilbury Farm.