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Tornado Movie Filming in Rochester This Week

An OU parking lot is transforming into a used car dearlership for the Richard Armitage film.

An action-adventure movie about a series of unprecedented tornadoes will be filming on the campus this week.

A set for the Warner Bros. movie, which does not have a name, is being built in a parking lot on the west side of campus, off Squirrel Road near the university entrance. 

The filming is set to begin Monday, and intermittent road closings are expected, university officials say.

Made in southeast Michigan

The tornado movie has been filming in Michigan for the past two weeks. Last week, the . In those scenes, a tornado hit a high school graduation, leaving behind a path of destruction (including a crashed school bus, situated on the hill in front of the school).   

The OU scene is a used car dealership, which crew members built last week.

Locations scout Tom Moisides said he was looking for a used car lot but couldn't find a real lot that worked; most of the lots are too close to other businesses or busy roads, he said. 

So they built one instead.

"We needed a car lot in a controllable setting, and the OU location really lends itself to a set like this being built," Moisides said.

The university has worked with the film crew on the logistics, including road closures and parking lot closures. Classes don't being until next month, so most of the campus is empty.

According to Ted Montgomery, media relations director at OU, the university has been the set of several movies, mostly at Meadow Brook Hall. 

"It's great recognition that we have a beautiful campus with a lot of green space left in it," said Montgomery. "We're a key location in Oakland County where a lot of movies have been shot."

'Onslaught of tornadoes'

Here's the movie synopsis, according to publicist Tammy Sandler:

"In the span of a single day, the town of Silverton is ravaged by an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes. The entire town is at the mercy of the erratic and deadly cyclones, even as storm trackers predict the worst is yet to come. Most people seek shelter, while others run towards the vortex, testing how far a storm chaser will go for that once-in-a-lifetime shot."

Stars of the tornado project include:

  • Richard Armitage (“Captain America: The First Avenger,” upcoming “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”)
  • Sarah Wayne Callies (TV’s “The Walking Dead”)
  • Matt Walsh (“Ted”)
  • Nathan Kress (TV’s “iCarly”)
  • Arlen Escarpeta (“Final Destination 5”)
  • Jon Reep (“Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay”)
  • Jeremy Sumpter (“Soul Surfer,” TV’s “Friday Night Lights”)

The film is produced by New Line Cinema and will be distributed by Warner Bros. Steven Quale is directing the film from a screenplay by John Swetnam. 

Rumors have circulated that the movie is a part of the popular "Twister" movie series; Sandler said those rumors are not true.

The movie will also film at a house in Pontiac, at a hotel in Auburn Hills and in an area near Lapeer and Dutton roads in Orion Township.  

Road closures

Filming is scheduled to start on Monday and end on Friday. The shooting is restricted to two parking lots — lots P37 and P35. Here's what you need to know if you head to campus:

  • Intermittent, day and evening road closures will take place on Pioneer Drive, Meadow Brook Road and Library Drive starting around Monday.
  • The Oakland University Police Department is advising that lot closures and intermittent, day and evening road closures will take place on Pioneer Drive, Meadow Brook Road and Library Drive.
  • Details of the road and lot closures can be found here.

You can find a map of the campus here.

Extra? Extra?

Want to be an extra in the film? Send your name, phone number and photo to UTP@realstyleonline.com. Then, let Patch know about your experience! Email us at kristin.bull@patch.com.

Laura Belkowski August 18, 2012 at 07:05 PM
We had seen the movie set at Oakland University while on our way to the OU Cares Film camp for kids with Autism. VERY COOL to see up close, hoping to take a walk and see more this coming week.

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