LA is under attack by illegal aliens. No, not the ones that do your lawn but giant robot ones who shapeshift into vehicles and really hate humans. At least the evil ones, known as Decepticons, do.

Michael Bay’s live action Transformers movie was shooting this weekend on  Broadway and 9th, an area of LA that still has traces of its long lost glamour. Once proud theaters are now cheap clothing flea markets, and you can get every Mexican country album you ever wanted down there. And on these days you could also get a bunch of Autobots in car form, a troop of Army Airborne types and mysterious Sector 7 soldiers under attack from a jet.

Bay and company were filming one of the film’s climactic battle scenes (we were told that Transformers is structured like a disaster movie, with four or five story strands that come together in the end, and most of the characters seemed to be coming together here), and Bay was in a very good mood, especially considering he had been sidelined the day before by a bout of flu. I’ve been told that Bay’s always in a good mood when the press is present, but the actors all swore up and down that maybe Bay’s reputation as a big meanie has been over-exaggerated.

The full set visit report for this is still under embargo, but I can share some highlights with you:

We got to see Ironhide, Bumblebee (in his second form – apparently he begins the film as a junker and gets fixed up at some point), Jazz and Ratchet (a search and rescue vehicle);

We got to see the weird green smoke the Decepticons use to attack a city street (I’m not sure what the smoke is supposed to do in the movie but it seemed pretty harmless in real life. Check back with my lung X-Rays in ten years to be sure, though);

We got to see the menacing Sector 7 in their black body armor and big old guns, and we got to see real Navy SEALS and Marines playing soldiers pretending to watch a big jet (Starscream? Or… Megatron?) flying overhead;

We got to see Furby truck getting lifted up on its ass with a hydraulic rig. We heard it was set to be blown up – Michael Bay was pretty psyched to have fiery Furbys in his film.

Expect interviews with Bay, the producers (including Don Murphy!), Shia LaBeouf, Tyrese, hottie newcomer Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel and more eyewitness accounts as soon as this embargo is lifted.