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GM's Design Chief Stars Alongside Its Cars In Transformers 4 Movie

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Aside from vehicles turning into robots and obligatory Michael Bay lens flare, the Transformers movie franchise is perhaps best known for each installment being a two-hour long advertisement for General Motors vehicles.

Okay, maybe that's a bit unfair. But Bumblebee, the movie's chief non-human protagonist, is a Chevrolet Camaro. Sparks, Sonics and more have also had their time on the screen, and the upcoming fourth installment of the franchise, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, will feature Corvettes, the Chevy Trax and a Sonic RS rally car. Oh, and the guy in charge of General Motors Company's [NYSE:GM] design team--Ed Welburn.

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According to The Detroit News, Welburn has filmed a speaking part for the movie. He's only in it briefly, in one scene with star Mark Wahlberg, and Welburn himself still isn't sure whether the scene will be cut for the final movie--which hits theaters June 27.

GM design chief Ed Welburn presents the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Concept

GM design chief Ed Welburn presents the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Concept

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The Transformers crew did their bit to transform Welburn's office for the part, turning his car-themed GM Tech Center office into a CIA office for his role in the movie. Welburn himself had to gear up for his brief speaking part by getting angry--apparently delivering the line, "My office in 15 minutes. I think you know where that is."

Other scenes were shot in the Design Center lobby and staircase, as well as the executive garage and the center's virtual reality studio--appropriate, for a movie heavy on special visual effects. Filming also took place in the company's aero lab and wind tunnels, and at the Tech Center entrance gate, GM's Milford proving ground, the Lansing Delta Township plant... essentially, it seems that the visual effects crew will have a lot of GM logos to remove from the background, if the scenes demand it.

Bumblebee makes another appearance in the latest film, albeit altered to feature a new face to "give it a soul". A bright green Corvette will play the part of Autobot Crosshairs, while five Sonics were supplied for filming--a few of which were destroyed in the process.

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