Life Is But a Dream is a 2013 autobiographical television film, directed and executively produced by American singer Beyoncé Knowles. The film was released on February 16, 2013 on the HBO network, in conjunction with Parkwood Entertainment, Knowles' management company. The film uses a combination of professional camera footage, private video from Knowles' laptop and from her May 2012 4-night revue at Revel Atlantic City. The documentary opened to mixed reviews.
The project was the culmination of an entire careers worth of archive footage and photographs that are based in a digital storage room in her offices; particularly since 2005 as Knowles hired a "visual director" to film her life, as well as using a video camera on her personal computer.
The media established the film as a breakaway from Knowles' infamous private stance on her personal life. This included documenting the events of her marriage to Jay-Z, her miscarriage, birth of daughter Blue Ivy, as well as her professional split from her father and manager Matthew Knowles. Knowles addressed this in an interview with GQ magazine, saying "I always battle with: How much do I reveal about myself? How do I keep my humility? How do I keep my spirit and the reality? And how do I continue to be generous to — to my fans and to my craft? And how do I stay current? But how do I stay soulful? And it is the battle of my life. When I walk into a stage I’m able to come out of my shell and be as fabulous and over the top and strong and powerful as I want to be."