Ridley Scott, Kevin Macdonald and YouTube are taking filmmaking by committee to the next level. The two will produce and direct, respectively, Life In A Day, a film composed entirely of videos filmed by YouTube users over the course of a single day. Macdonald will then compile the “most compelling and distinctive footage” (ie. not cute things your cat did, or porn) into what they are calling “the first user-generated feature-length documentary.”
The film will serve as as a “time capsule” according to Macdonald, capturing the events of July 24th 2010. Aspiring filmmakers will submit videos taken on that day to the film’s YouTube channel, and any person whose footage is used will be given a co-director credit on the film. 20 of the co-directors will be flown to Sundance in 2011 for the film’s premiere. Ridley Scott’s production company, Scott Free Productions, is working together with Rick Smolan, CEO of Against All Odds Productions, to distribute cameras to remote areas of the world in order to ensure a diversity of perspectives in Life In A Day. Language will also not be a barrier for the film, translators have been hired to sort through footage filmed in languages besides English.
Life In A Day could prove to be a fascinating social experiment, or a huge mess. Scott and Macdonald are both talented directors, (Robin Hood aside) but editing hundreds of disperate stories into a coherent narrative without falling back on cliches is going to be very difficult. And while I’m sure that some of the submitted footage will be fascinating, I feel bad for whatever interns will have to defy Sturgeon’s Law and search through the 90% of crap videos. All I have to request to potential filmmakers is please, nobody send in video of funerals or childbirths. One, because they’re really personal events, but mostly because you know that they will end up editing the two together to show how life goes on and it’s a circle of life and all that corny stuff, and probably set it to a Snow Patrol song or Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah or something.
Here’s the official trailer for the project, and if you want more information on uploading your own videos, visit the Life In A Day YouTube channel.