They’re shooting “Transformers 3” in Chicago and one downtown hotel, Hotel 71 on Wacker Drive, has even sold out its “Transformers” packages, according to the manager, Steve Shern. It sure didn’t look like the patrons of that hotel would get much sleep between Thursday, July 15, when the movie crew shut down Michigan Avenue at Randolph, and Monday morning, July 19, when the main drag opened up to regular traffic again.

On Sunday, July 18th, I took my trusty Canon camera and boarded a bus to get as close as possible to the shooting at Michigan and Wacker, right at the bridge that leads to the Tribune building and the Gleacher Center, where the University of Chicago holds classes.

As I walked the final couple blocks, three huge explosions could be heard. This would be in line with the fireballs, skydivers and wrecked autos that were said to be littering the place. Tribune employees reported that, during the day, they could see star Shia LaBoeuf running to and from one rock to a pile of debris (cars, mostly) several times. This time out, Shia’s co-star is Rosie something Whiteley, a former Victoria’s Secret model. She replaced Megan Fox, who seems to have become embroiled in a war of words with Director Michael Bay, who chalked up her mild criticism of the “scream-and-run” school of acting to her extreme youth. (She’s 23). I saw no similar criticism of Shia LaBoeuf’s nearly identical comments within a “Vanity Fair” article on the Michael Douglas reprise of his Gordon Gekko role on “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” due out soon.

It was boring standing there hoping the car (pictured) would fall into the Chicago River, and I can only imagine that it would be even more boring to have to run from a pile of wrecked cars to a rock several times, convincing people that a child’s toy gone wild is threatening the Earth.

I did read that, this time, Chicago will really represent Chicago, rather than Gotham City as it did in the last “Batman” movie. That will be nice, and I will be able to say I saw the filming, which, really, would be more accurately phrased as, “I heard the filming, on Sunday, July 18th, 2010.”