Whatever your opinion of Michael Bay's two Transformers movies is, this amazing amateur short inspired by the movie proves that indie sci-fi films are poised to give Hollywood effects-driven movies serious competition.
Shot by Russia's Alexander Semenov on Canon's 550D and Nikon D5000 HD cameras (both usually retailing for under $1,000) and using software such as 3DS Max 8, After Effects CS4 and Vegas 7, the clip took only two hours to shoot and one month to edit. Aside from the great visuals, Semenov actually manages to give us a peek into a Transformers world much cooler than Bay's--one in which dudes meet on deserted roads for violent, impromptu bot-fights.
The phones used in the clip are from Nokia and Sony Ericsson, so if this isn't simply a clever viral video secretly produced by one of the mobile phone makers (the logos are featured a bit too prominently), they would do well to track this guy down and purchase the rights. No word on how much the entire project cost, but (if this is truly an amateur work) this is the clearest indication that, thanks to the newly lowered technology bar, low-budget films are about to get a lot more interesting.