Life In A Day

After hearing a clip on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, I started a spot of digging to find out about this award winning, user-generated-content documentary. Social network powerhouse YouTube started the whole thing…

I’m excited.

Life In A Day was a global experiment produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald to create a user-generated feature film shot in a single day. On July 24 2010, volunteers across the globe were given 24 hours to capture a glimpse of their life on camera. The most compelling and distinctive footage was chosen for the feature film.

The reason this film has excited me so much? It’s taken a medium which has been usurped by every corporate marketing firm out there, and reclaimed it for its intended purpose. To connect people.

Unfortunately, it’s not showing in Nottingham, so this is based on finding some interesting clips which in sparked some interesting ideas.

The final scene shows a woman sat in her car with one minute to go before the 25 July turns up. In the darkness she talks about what a tedious day she’s had, how’s she’s tried and failed to find something unique which she could appreciate. In the background is a HUGE thunderstorm. It’s not deliberately ironic.

It made me think; are there things we see everyday which, although humdrum to us, could ignite the greatest passion in others? I’m guessing the lady in the scene sees storms that size every week in the mid-west states of America, but for me, in humble old Blighty, it was pretty awesome.

Kevin MacDonald said (on a interview with BBC 4 Film Programme) that this film is intended to be uplifting; a message about enjoying life while it lasts. There’s a good Christian discipline to thank God for everything he has given you by grace - but when you’ve had a hard day at work, your car’s broken down and you’ve just been dumped it can be hard to find things to be thankful for. Yet, somehow, there always is, even if it’s just in the nature around us.

When the world and his dog has access to a HD camera, editing software and the internet how can you claim ‘authorship’ with a film like this?

This is a battle I’ve had in my professional life for years now. My answer: just because you’re literate doesn’t mean you can write. And it’s the same for this documentary. Only the very best clips were selected through an enormous editing process (a great skill in itself) and even then, they need the master eye of a director to craft them into a beautiful story, to give it a unique voice, set an emotional tone.

Having been so involved with the process, fingers crossed YouTube will hold a screening…

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