NewsHong Kong

Office security stepped up as dramas play out at Tamar

Access to government offices tightened as HKTV protest continues amid Transformers filming

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 October, 2013, 3:26am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 October, 2013, 1:58pm

Security at government headquarters in Admiralty will be stepped up today, as it comes under siege with the HKTV staff protest continuing on one side and alien robots from Transformers hovering on high on the other.

An internal e-mail seen by the South China Morning Post asked staff to keep their window blinds down for the filming of Transformers: Age of Extinction - the fourth instalment of the Hollywood franchise - at Tamar Park and the Promenade.

It also said checks on access to offices would be stepped up.

"As various types of aerial filming are involved [...] officers are strongly advised to keep the blinds closed to prevent the cameras from seeing directly into your offices during the filming period," the memo stated.

It said cable cameras and a remote-controlled helicopter with an attached camera would be used above Tamar Park to capture the site for a "post-production robotic scene".

In Civic Square, on the east wing of the government offices, HKTV staff were continuing their protest against the government's decision not to grant it a free-to-air television licence.

Meanwhile, the filming of Transformers would bring in up to 80 locally hired production assistants and security guards plus the Hollywood crew led by director Michael Bay. The filming is expected to draw fans hoping to catch sight of Autobots' Bumblebee fighting the Decepticons.

It was understood security at entrances to the offices would be tightened to prevent unauthorised access, and walkways could be closed without notice.

A Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau spokeswoman said the government approved Paramount Pictures' application to film at Tamar, but refused to disclose further details.

The filming of Transformers in Hong Kong has been going on for nearly two weeks. They were shooting at West Kowloon Promenade yesterday, and on Thursday, a scene featuring explosions was filmed in To Kwa Wan.

"There were a lot of beautiful cars," said office worker Winnie Tam, an onlooker at the To Kwa Wan scene. "Mark Wahlberg was eating out of a lunch box, holding chopsticks with his left hand."

Meanwhile, a construction worker was yesterday granted bail in Kowloon City Court. Tse Chung-ping, 35, was accused of making an unwarranted demand for money from Transformers crew member Tong Hoi-ka.

The court heard that Tse tried to extort money from the crew when it was checking the filming site on the roof of a residential block at To Kwa Wan Road. His case was adjourned to November 15 for police to seek legal advice and locate three other suspects.

This was the second attempt to blackmail the crew during their filming in Hong Kong. Also freed on bail were brothers Mak Chi-shing, 27, and Mak Chi-hang, 28, who will appear in Eastern Court on November 1 for trying to extort HK$100,000 from the crew at their Quarry Bay set.



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