Transformers Could Change Peruvian Film History: Film’s Peruvian Producer Talks | Exclusive | Cuzco | Machu Picchu | Tarapoto | Paramount Pictures | Abu Productions | Bruno Connell | Rise of the Beasts | Awakening of the Beasts | Lights

Transformers Could Change Peruvian Film History: Film’s Peruvian Producer Talks |  Exclusive |  Cuzco |  Machu Picchu |  Tarapoto |  Paramount Pictures |  Abu Productions |  Bruno Connell |  Rise of the Beasts |  Awakening of the Beasts |  Lights

Optimus is bravery and courage, values ​​needed by anyone, human or Autobot, Maximal or Deceptive. But courage is not enough when the truth prevails. A neighbor snaps a picture on his cell phone as Optimus turns to face the street and walks up. Then he retreats, defeated but still dignified. There were several such incidents during the weeks when the tape “Wake of the Beast” was filmed in the country.

But just as, or perhaps more interesting than Peru appearing on screens around the world, are the details of how the shoot was managed, as the country is not a typical destination for foreign productions. Examples like “Dora the Explorer” and “Queen of the South 3” count with their hands. Transformers assesses Peru, as seen in a clip released this Thursday, along with unreleased footage of the Autobots passing through the Imperial City.

Peru has the aura of a magical place to shoot movies. The majesty of Machu Picchu, the wonders of the jungle, and the timeless beauty of Cusco combine to create the perfect trinity of experiences for a movie like Transformers.The film’s producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura says in the video.

How difficult was it to coordinate the entry of forty vehicles and hundreds of people? How did this benefit the country? Bruno Canale Fossa of Abu Productions, who has worked on Hollywood films, tells us the details two weeks after the premiere of the new “Transformers” on June 8 in all theaters in Peru.


—How does this scenario work for a Hollywood production company to shoot on location with a production company from another country?

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This is my third Paramount movie because I’ve also done “Dora: The Explorer” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” So I already have a relationship, everything in this business is, as they say in English, “word of mouth”; So you know who, through a location search engine, they recommended me. I work a lot with location scouts in Hollywood and England. They are looking for companies where they are going to work. You always work with a local company, especially with such a big movie. You almost become a law partner. Legally, they don’t sign contracts, they hand over the documents to you.

How complicated is it to coordinate a foreign shoot in Peru?

It depends on the size. Obviously, Transformers is the biggest ever made and not just in terms of money, but also in terms of integration. It’s an action movie, with a whole theme of imported fireworks, which is very complex. You work with Sucamec, you work with a certified local agent, but you have to do all the paperwork to import it, which is very difficult. Also, since Transformers has so many vehicles, we have imported more than 40 and this includes all the logistics. Bring them to Lima, and from there to Cuzco. It’s complicated in this style of film.

In this business, time is of the utmost importance. Did they give you enough and are you fair?

That’s fair. We started in February 2021. Pre-production lasted until September and we started shooting at the end of that month. For transforms, a new visa for artistic production was obtained, which emerged after several meetings and found that this type of worker does not have immigrant status.

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In other words, no one has this type of visa.

No, because the press visa was used in the past. But the press visa, depending on who gives you the visa at that time, that is, from foreign relations, you can say, “Look, you are not a press”, they are television, they are cinema, they are photographs.

This is how Transformers was filmed in Machu Picchu.  On the right, lead actor Anthony Ramos can be seen in profile.

This is how Transformers was filmed in Machu Picchu. On the right, lead actor Anthony Ramos can be seen in profile.

/ Paramount Pictures

In other words, you’ve made it a certain way easier for foreigners who want to film in Peru from now on.

Correct, we have been suffering for 20 years without knowing what visa means. [al artista]Because mostly we don’t hire people, they hire people from outside. This means you cannot use the artist visa, which is exclusively with a national contract. Then they entered as tourists, and then there was a union, and they complained. What happened was that there was a legal vacuum that no longer exists. Getting a visa and processing it is a relief for everyone.

– It is not that there are huge incentives for those who are going to make films. What else can be done in Peru, be it taxes or logistics, so people are encouraged to film here?

I have prepared a brief of what role each ministry played for this film and presented it myself, it is a job. It’s not a complaint, it’s simply a “look, here we are, how far we have to go”. We have two major obstacles at the level of tax incentives. First, what seems to me bigger than the incentive is the withholding of income earned on Peruvian soil in Peru. Even if you are paid from abroad, if you are working in Peru, Peru withholds 30% of your salary or you have to withhold it. 30% of their salary is taken from all incoming employees, zero if we go to Colombia, zero in Mexico. We are so far behind because people “Why am I going to Peru if I am going to collect my salary?”.

—With all the problems here, it’s no surprise that a production wants to shoot in Colombia and says it’s Cusco.

But it happens. “Paddington in Peru” is currently being shot in Colombia.

– So you’re not going to film in Peru?

Very little will be filmed outside the UK, 95% in Colombia and 5% in Peru. And the film is titled “Paddington in Peru”. I mean, it’s a reality. [Nota: Canale también trabaja con “Paddington”].

– Machu Picchu is very short. How did you manage to film there?

Luckily, we’ve already shot a lot of stuff [allí]. We created a telenovela for TV Globo, an Indian film with 60 dancers. So, the truth is, we understand very well the restrictions and limitations of Machu Picchu and what needs to be respected at the heritage level. What to do to film in Machu Picchu: No tripod, no generator. Everything is made very portable. We adapt and coordinate with the Ministry of Culture to leave no trace of our entry and exit. Transformers had 400 people [del equipo de producción]But it didn’t have to go up yet, managed to not go up.

– How many days did you shoot Machu Picchu?

Five days.

Were there tourists in those days?

We never close [el complejo]. There are people who spend their whole lives going, and the worst is when they go, it’s said to be closed. So, we never closed Machu Picchu. There are always outliers [del circuito turístico]. There are about four circuits within Machu Picchu and a route for tourists to follow. There are unused areas. So we are working with the Ministry of Culture to allow entry into those places.

“The more I talk to you, the more complicated I see.

About 400 to 600 people come to work from abroad, and a similar number are permanently employed at the largest displays in Cusco. I can measure how many people are involved in lunch. Sometimes there is police support, there are many closures [de calles] And we need more local support and have come to feed 1,500 people a day. In Cusco we had over 100 vans and over 40 trucks. We captured a part of the city.

“We’ve all seen videos of Optimus fighting on the slopes. Maintaining confidentiality is almost impossible.

Yes, but transformers also live from fans. What can be kept secret, but there is a fact and theme of fans, they want to see and post, and that creates an expectation. There are perverse problems like not rising [Optimus]. No one goes up, it’s Bajada de Santa Ana: everyone goes down. But for the scene they wanted to go up to, they were old vehicles, they were 80s vehicles. Also, all those trails are washed by rain and very slippery. But ultimately it becomes a story.

“We understand very well the restrictions and limitations of Machu Picchu and what needs to be respected on a traditional level. To film in Machu Picchu, what to do: no tripod, no generator. Everything was done very small.”

Bruno Connell, Abu Productions.

– Not enough about the fact that it was shot in the Peruvian jungle, I imagine that brought other difficulties.

Peru forest plays a very important role in the film. When we need it [filmar] Jungle or high jungle, we always go to Tarapoto because it has a bigger hotel infrastructure than Quilabamba in Cusco. We found very beautiful places like the Cascada de la Unión (which is seen in the trailer) or the Schilcayo river intakes 15 or 20 minutes away from the city.

– The inhabitants of Cuzco are said to be very happy with the filming. How did you perceive them?

The truth is that shooting like this has its drawbacks, but after the pandemic, I think Cusco was almost closed, and we saw month after month how it opened up and how we contributed. The carriers were so happy that they could have been out of work for a year and a half and we gave them a six month contract. Transformers have reached many families. For example, for street closures, on big days, we hire 200 sets of production assistants. They help close the streets. We have 200 families from Cuzco.

– Peru is not a particularly safe country for anyone. Was there an attempted robbery?

No. There was a fake robbery in Tarapoto because it was like a psychological one. But actually we got a lot of support from the authorities everywhere and the truth is we felt very safe. Maybe it would have been different if it had been filmed in Lima.

Bruno Canale of Apu Producciones, Peruvian producer "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts".

Bruno Canale from Abu Productions, the Peruvian producer of “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.”

/ Bruno Canel

About “Transformers”.


“Transformers: The Awakening of the Beasts” hits all theaters in Peru on Wednesday, June 7.


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