On March 17th, 2015, U.S. filmmaker and critic Kevin B. Lee gave a Masterclass on his work at the School of Media, Film and Music, University of Sussex, UK.
Lee is a renowned pioneer of the online video essay form (creative, critical digital remixes of footage from the audiovisual works they treat), with well over 200 such works to his name.
Recently, he and others at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago have developed a form of filmmaking they call Desktop Documentary, which uses screen capture technology to treat the computer screen as both a camera lens and a canvas. Desktop documentary seeks both to depict and question the ways we explore the world through the computer screen.
This part of the Masterclass followed a screening of TRANSFORMERS: THE PREMAKE (2014), Lee’s innovative essay film in this idiom. The ‘Premake’ produced and studied viral fan footage of the making of Michael Bay’s blockbuster TRANSFORMERS 4: THE AGE OF EXTINCTION and examined the ways in which this operated as a public publicity vehicle for the film.
There is a complete (1:10:42) audio recording of this talk here: http://filmstudiesforfree.podbean.com; and there is a separate video version of an earlier part of the talk here: http://vimeo.com/123973220. TRANSFORMERS: THE PREMAKE is online here: https://www.alsolikelife.com/transformers-the-premake. And there is some further related information here.
Warm thanks to Kevin B. Lee, Emile Devereaux, Adrian Goycoolea and all involved in the MA Masterclass series at the School of Media, Film and Music, University of Sussex, as well as to Matt Lloyd and his colleagues at the Glasgow Short Film Festival for funding Kevin’s visit to the UK.
Video by Catherine Grant for REFRAME Conversations