and BETTER THAN MICHAEL BAY: HIGHLIGHTS FROM
THE AMATEUR ARCHIVE OF TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION
Kevin B. Lee in Person!
Friday, June 20th at 8:00 pm, $7-10
Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth installment of the Transformers franchise directed by Michael Bay, will be released June 27 2014. But on YouTube one can already access an immense trove of production footage recorded by amateurs in locations where the film was shot, such as Utah, Texas, Detroit, Chicago, Hong Kong and mainland China. Transformers: the Premake turns over 300 YouTube videos into a critical investigation of the global big budget film industry, amateur video making, and the political economy of images. The Premake by Kevin B. Lee utilizes a desktop documentary technique that acknowledges the internet’s role not only as a boundless repository of information but as a primary experience of reality, and depicts the process in which we use it to explore the world. In a blockbuster cinema culture rife with insipid remakes of franchise properties, The Premake presents a critical counter-image in which personalized digital media asks what Hollywood is really doing in the world.
This screening will also include a selection of the most remarkable amateur YouTube videos capturing the filming of Transformers: Age of Extinction. Special emphasis will be placed in comparing location footage from Detroit, Chicago and Hong Kong, all of which are used to portray the film’s climactic battle scene set in Hong Kong. Watch military helicopters strapped with 3-D cameras zoom across the Chicago skyline, subway cars being dropped from two stories in downtown Detroit, Mark Wahlberg have an emotional dialogue with a not-yet-CGI’ed Optimus Prime, and dozens of assorted Bay-splosions and Bay-hem, but without any animated robots obstructing the view.
Kevin B. Lee is a filmmaker, film critic and video essayist. He is Founding Editor and Chief Video Essayist at Fandor Keyframe and founding partner of dGenerate Films (a distribution company for independent Chinese cinema). He was supervising producer at Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies, and has written for The New York Times, Sight & Sound, Slate and Indiewire. He is currently pursuing an MFA in Film Video New Media and Animation and an MA in Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Programmed by Patrick Friel
Filed under: found footage, lecture, new media, surveillance, Uncategorized, video