We have quite an interesting interview to share with you. Bruno Canale Fossa, General Manager of APU Productions, was interviewed by El Comercio Peru website and he told us about the work, anecdotes and challenges they had to face while working with Paramount in the filming of “Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts” in Peru.
APU Productions had previously worked in Peru with Paramount in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” and “Dora and the Lost City Of Gold”, but “Rise Of The Beasts” was a completely different challenge in terms of logistic, time, vehicles and people involved. They even got a special “artistic production visa” for all the international crew. This gives us an idea of all the relevance of the movie filming in Peru where authorities, businesses, and Cuzco citizens were involved in all levels.
You can read an English version of the article here or a plain text version after the break and then share your impressions on the 2005 Boards!
Transformers in Peru: APU Productions producer reveals the setbacks that the Peruvian production company experienced to film the film in Cusco and Tarapoto Farándula nndc
“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts”, directed by Steven Caple Jr., had Peru as one of its stages, specifically Cusco and Tarapoto. For the making of this film, the Paramount Pictures Studios company had the support of APU Productions, a Peruvian production company that went through complex situations to specify many of the scenes of the Hollywood film.
To clarify the doubts of fans and film lovers, Bruno Canale Fossa, producer of APU Productions, spoke with this medium and told all the secrets behind the recordings of “Transformers: Awakening of the Beasts”, a tape that featured the main performances of Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback.
Who was the channel for APU Productions and Paramount Pictures to join forces to make the Transformers movie in Peru?
There was no channel. We had made two films with Paramount Pictures and we already had a professional relationship.
What were those two movies?
‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ in 2008 and ‘Dora and the Lost City’ in 2019.
Despite his past with Paramount Pictures. How did the APU Productions team take it after being chosen to record Transformers in Peru?
We were super happy. Recording Transformers was a super ambitious project, but at the same time it was quite a challenge for us.
It is compared to his previous works with Paramount Pictures
In the case of the other two films (‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ and ‘Dora and the Lost City’) they were specific scenes and no actors came.
And what was the biggest challenge with the Transformers team?
I can’t go into details, but the biggest challenge anyway was bringing in all the actors and bringing in the vehicles. Everything was a challenge because this was not done before in Peru and in that case state entities had to intervene to help us.
Streets surrounding the Central Market of San Pedro, in Cusco, underwent remodeling for the action scenes of the movie “Transformers, the awakening of the beasts.
What entities did you receive support from?
Obviously the first entity that supported us from start to finish was PROMPERÚ (Commission for the Promotion of Peru for Exports and Tourism). Afterwards we have linked with agencies and ministries, each one has different roles and authorization processes for different parts of the film.
You mentioned that his hardest job was bringing in the cars from the movie. What processes went through?
There were several meetings with the call (National Superintendency of Customs and Tax Administration) and with them we saw how to import the cars, because they were not normal vehicles. With them we looked for a route and under specific terms these cars were brought in temporarily, and only to shoot the movie.
With what other entity did they have to process permits?
For example with the DGAC (General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics) for the issue of the regulation of the use of drones because in this film many drones were used. I think the regulations are not well regulated.
Transformers: The Awakening of the Beasts has already concluded its recordings in the Historic Center of Cusco, but Optimus Prime, one of the favorites of many, has not had a good time in the recordings for presenting various problems in the narrow streets of the historic city.
Isn’t there a regulation on the use of drones to film a movie?
The DGAC supported us a lot, but that regulation for filming films in Peru is not well regulated yet. They gave us a special permit that allowed us to be calm on the issue of authorizations. The rules that are in place are very general and the film industry is not taken into account. They go against the normal use of a film.
Regarding the explosives that were used during the recordings. Who did they talk to?
For the use of pyrotechnics we had to talk with SUCAMEC (National Superintendency of Control of Security Services, Arms, Ammunition and Explosives for Civil Use). With them, we had to find ways to adapt the existing regulations for the practical use in films, where pyrotechnics have a different use. During recordings, pyrotechnics have an exact beginning and an end. We are in talks for a new regulation because all this fireworks has to be imported. Here you have to talk about import, use and then dispose of properly.
There was a great team from abroad that came to Peru to film Transformers, from production to actors. How did they do with the permits?
We had to talk with the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the Ministry of the Interior and receive the support of PROMPERÚ because there was no suitable visa for this industry. After many meetings they realized that none of the current visas applied to all those people who came from abroad to make this film. In this sense, a artistic production visa and this first visa was for the Transformers team. It has been something very unique that remains as a precedent. The people from the Jorge Chávez International Airport Migrations did not know what it was like when the first man arrived with this artistic production visa.
How long did the Transformers team stay in Peru?
There are people who have been there since February. This visa had to be obtained so that they can enter and leave the country without problems and shoot with the greatest possible flexibility. In most countries this detail is regulated. I think we have to find a way to adapt the regulations so that a film can continue its course without interruptions.
Do you think that these limitations mean that international productions do not bet on Peru as a location?
In the case of ‘Transformers: The Awakening of the Beasts’, Peru was a location yes or yes and it could not be done in another country, but there are many other films where the scripts are much more flexible, such as a station of train or a mountain. In that sense, it is where Peru loses because the regulations are not ready for this type of recordings. What I mean is that Peru does not have to wait for a scriptwriter to write only about Machu Picchu for international productions to bet on Peru.
How did you handle the issue of the closure of some stores in the imperial city? They even closed the Plaza de Armas in Cusco.
This was handled together with the Municipality of Cuzco and the residents of the area, where we all benefited. An investment was made where the benefit of the film and for the city was sought. I’m talking about the rearrangement of cables that were in poor condition or some streets that were able to be painted and plants placed. They are always things that go hand in hand.
What was the response from residents and tourists?
I think everyone put on the shirt to make this project work. When there was a problem, we all came together to find a solution.
And how did they do with the businesses that had to close for the filming?
They were paid for the time they were unable to operate normally. There were many cases, but every effort was made to be able to help them. Definitely, the benefits will be reflected after the premiere of the film around the world. They will have closed their businesses for 4 days, but next year more than a million people will visit us to see the locations.
To record some scenes of “Transformers, the awakening of the beasts” had to close streets and some businesses in the imperial city.
What happened to the car that Optimus Prime crashed into the narrow streets of the imperial city?
There were several incidents and what is done is to contact the owner and repair the vehicle. In most cases, the “affected” people took it anecdotally because they were shocked by Optimus Prime. There was a staff in charge of solving such incidents. The streets were very narrow and the Transformers cars are very big. Everything was arranged in a pleasant and cordial way.
The transformers returned to the Imperial City, where they shot the last shots in the historic center. Once the scenes were finished, the units were moved towards Meloc Street, when the Optimus Prime driver miscalculated the space and collided with a private vehicle.