Share & Connect
With Jaws came blockbusters. In 1975, Steven Spielberg had become the forefather of the big summer films, but with the release of Life in a Day, arises the genre of cinematic experiment. Life in a Day is a collaboration between Scott Free, Ridley Scott’s production company, and Youtube. On July 24, 2010, people filmed a portion of their lives on camera and then uploaded it via Youtube to Scott Free Productions. About 80,000 people submitted their pieces, amounting to 4,500 hours of video. These submissions were done all around the globe from 192 different nations.
The film was announced just weeks before the mass filming on July 24. In order to achieve many different perspectives in the movie, Against All Odds Productions distributed over 500 digital cameras around the world. After filming finished, every user uploaded his or her footage onto Youtube where it was then reviewed and edited. The editing was done by director Kevin MacDonald, Joe Walker and 25 helpers, and primarily used a trial and error process of eliminating and finding the footage MacDonald felt would make it in the film. Rummaging through the videos took about 6 months. It was then given to Sundance for its world premiere on January 27, while Youtube streamed it over its website in order for the world to see what it made.
After the premiere at Sundance, there was a Q&A session with MacDonald, Walker, Liza Marshall (co-producer), Tim Partridge (co-producer) and 26 of the filmmakers that shot some of the footage. At the Q&A session everyone talked about his or her experiences on the project. One of the questions toward MacDonald was what the intended message was in the film. He responded, “I suppose it sounds like a cliché…[but] the message is about connection, and that we are all connected.” The main obstacle the creators had was the editing. Liza Marshall had said, “…the original cut we saw was 3 hours, and we wanted to keep everything in the 3 hour cut, so we had a really difficult decision process to basically to half of the movie.” Because there was so much footage, another obstacle MacDonald found hard was making these bits and pieces of film into a logical narrative.
This movie hits home with just about everyone. It makes you feel small. It makes you tear with joy, then shutter with a sea of overwhelming. It shows the audience that there are other people in the world that are just like them. When watching the movie, you realize that no matter how disagreeable the day is getting, no matter how rainy the sky looks, there is always someone parachuting out of a plane, or eating a juicy watermelon. MacDonald was right, and not in a clichéd way, because what he said is, in fact, true. It connects us by making us realize that people we have never met before do the same things that we do. It does not point out to one person as an individual. It points out everyone as a collective. It is releasing on July 27, 2011. A whole year will have passed since all the events were caught on film. Even if you do not like documentaries, even if you do not like MacDonald or Ridley Scott, see this movie. It opens your eyes to what life is– beautiful. And the best part is that it is not in 3-D.