Transformers: The Premake

Kevin B. Lee

2014 | 00:25:03 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | HD video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Consumer culture, Documentary, Found Footage, Media Analysis, Technology, Television

Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth installment of the Transformers movie franchise directed by Michael Bay, was released June 27 2014. But for months ahead of the release, on YouTube one could 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 355 YouTube videos into a critical investigation of the global big budget film industry, amateur video making, and the political economy of images.

The Premake 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. It creatively depicts the process in which we explore a deep web of images and data to reach moments of discovery and decisive action. 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.


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Prizes + Awards

Creative Newcomer Award, European Media Art Festival (2014)

Best Short Documentary, San Diego Asian Pacific Film Festival (2014)



Exhibitions + Festivals

Berlin Film Festival, Critics Week (2014)

Viennale Film Festival (2014)

Rotterdam Film Festival (2014)

True/False Film Festival (2014)

Glasgow Short Film Festival (2014)

Busan Short Film Festival (2014)