Mark Wahlberg visits Transformers set

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A look at the sports cars used in 'Transformers 4' and Mark Wahlberg greets fans.

What was mostly a quiet day of "Transformers 4" filming in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower Saturday, at least by director Michael Bay's standards, momentarily picked up when star Mark Wahlberg visited the set.

Wahlberg, who took over for Shia LaBeouf in the Transformers franchise, drew a crowd when he pulled up in front of the building at Randolph Street and Columbus Drive. Not surprisingly, he was greeted by an even bigger one when he exited the building 20 minutes later.

Because filming took place inside on the 50th floor — according to a building employee, who said shooting would return Sunday and again next weekend — fans and passersby were unable to watch any of that shoot. There were no signs of the live stunts and pyrotechnics mentioned in fliers passed out to local businesses and residences last week.

There was, however, an assortment of impressive sports cars parked outside the building, guarded by security and a velvet rope — and understandably so. One of the cars, a blue Bugatti, is worth well over $1 million. The yellow Camaro (or as its known to Transformers fans, Bumblebee), green Corvette and silver Lamborghini parked next to the Bugatti were nothing to sneeze at either.

Meanwhile in the plaza at McCormick Place, which was made to look like Hong Kong with Chinese ads, a crew smaller than the one that filmed explosions and cars flipping there on Friday shot, well, more explosions. But these special effects weren’t as elaborate as the ones that took place the day before and didn't involve extras sprinting away this time around. It also didn't look like Bay was on hand.

Filming of "Transformers 4" began in Chicago Friday and is scheduled to wrap Oct. 2. The Uptown Theatre in the Uptown neighborhood will be the sight of filming on Wednesday and Thursday.

lgomez@tribune.com

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