heres a trailer for LIFE IN A DAY:

and a load of notes etc…


“(Life in a Day) reaffirms the importance of YouTube as a space for citizen journalism.”

Oscar-winning film director Kevin Macdonald’s Life In A Day is an idea borne out of a unique partnership between Ridley Scott’s Scott Free UK and YouTube. The film is a user-generated feature-length documentary, shot on a single day – July 24, 2010 – that enlisted the global community to capture a moment of their lives on camera.

The world responded with more than 80,000 submissions, over 4500 hours of deeply personal, powerful films from contributors from Australia to Zambia, from the heart of bustling major cities to the furthest and most remote reaches of the earth.

Life In A Day brings together the most compelling footage into a 90 minute film, crafted by Macdonald, Executive Producer Ridley Scott, Producer Liza Marshall and their team, to offer a unique experience that shows, in beautiful, humourous and joyful honesty, what it’s like to be alive on earth today.


Review on Love Film by Turino
(from Bracknell)

Synopsis: A day in the life of the planet Earth and the human race; this is the 24th of July, 2010 as recorded by anyone with a video camera.

Democracy. Power to the people. Digital technology. Video cameras, the internet, editing software and music. Life in a Day is a unique, ambitious experiment. And boy does it work! A call went out from director Kevin Macdonald (Touching the Void, The Last King of Scotland) and executive producer Ridley Scott to the YouTube community. Capture your life in a day. Anyone with a video camera and access to the internet could enter and submit a video of what was happening in their life on the 24th July 2010. Cameras were even sent out to far-flung places to allow people who do not have access to these filmmaking tools to contribute to the film. So is this a documentary, an experimental film or a social action media production? Well it’s all three and more. It’s also a narrativised piece of thrilling, enjoyable and inspirational cinema that will leave audiences crying, smiling and feeling blessed for their own lives and loved ones.

The narrative is not forced; the film begins in the early hours of the morning and takes the audience through the day to midnight. Characters occasionally reappear throughout the day and others come and go in the blink of an eye. The ordinary, everyday lives of the people of the planet are given an epic quality by the capturing of the full moon and many time lapse shots of changing landscapes and in one brief sequence the beauty of the northern lights. People rise early; people have stayed up all night drinking and one man howls and barks at the moon. The film then has many montages, people taking a morning leak, eating breakfast, taking their first steps out of bed in the morning. The soundtrack adds to the feel of the ordinary becoming extraordinary and the editing emphasizes the universal ways that people go about their days. It might sound boring but it’s not. The pace is swift with moments of humour, sadness and plentiful details that will strike a chord with many an audience member.

People play themselves and I say ‘play themselves’ because there are moments when the camera set ups draw attention to the constructedness of the scenarios. For example the montage of people waking up in the morning is rather let down by the people who have clearly set up the camera on the tripod and then pretended to wake up in front of it. Much more ‘real’ feeling are the moments of people filming their partners as they sleep and capturing true moments of awakening. There is also a notable emphasis on children which seems to tie in to a major theme of the film. Children are filmed by their parents (from sonograms to babies to a young man’s first shave) and in fact this is one of the first moments of the film when it settles on a character for more than a brief moment. The pride and love these parents feel shines through with the following of their children and cannot fail to put a smile on your face.

The task of editing 4500 hours down to just over 90 minutes must have been a monumental task and it’s a wonder that the film has been released in just under a year from the date that all the filming was done and uploaded. The editor, Joe Walker and the researchers must have sifted through countless hours of crap and should be applauded for their selections and for managing to also keep the film to a concise 90 minutes. I imagine there are also numerous moments that were fought over and eventually ended up unceremoniously dumped on the cutting room floor.

Life in a Day is thought-provoking and life-affirming. Though no message is forced down the audiences throat, there are many ideas presented here that should be thought about and discussed for hours after watching. The global origins of the footage, the various languages spoken, the colours, sounds and sights of people of varying cultures brought together in one film emphasizes the similarities between the people of the planet. The footage of rituals, customs, and celebrations from around the world show that love and loss are universal, that family is universally important to all cultures. Juxtaposing an Afghan photographer with an American soldier’s partner or a grinning Lamborghini owner with a shoe shining child suggests a political agenda but again, no message is forced. The viewer decides what to make of what they are seeing. There are some horrific moments; the tragic outcome of the German Love Parade, the killing of a cow, but these are contextualized in a positive film that does not dwell on the sadness of life but focuses more on the joy.

At just over 90 minutes the film does not outstay its welcome and I dare to suggest that a sequel would be worthwhile in a few years time. Life in a Day is a time capsule and a treasure trove of the ordinary. Through skilful editing, beautiful and emotive music and the desire for the people of this planet to share themselves honestly and openly with others, Life in a Day becomes more than a film, more than a documentary and more than an experiment. The ordinary becomes extraordinary and the film becomes a gift, a statement and a powerful dedication to love, family and unity. Watch it and embrace it.




Life in a Day: Around the world in 80,000 clips

Life in a Day is a snapshot of the planet on a single day last year – compiled solely from videos shot by volunteers. Director Kevin Macdonald on how he turned a mountain of footage into a remarkable film

Life in a Day
Beautiful, messy melee of humanity … a still from Life in a Day.

What do you love? What do you fear? What’s in your pocket? We’re all fascinated by the way other people live their lives, how they cope with hardship and triumph, what they put in their home movies and family albums. So one day last summer, I asked ordinary people around the world to answer those three questions and spend a day filming their lives.

1. Life in a Day
2. Production year: 2011
3. Countries: Rest of the world, USA
4. Cert (UK): 12A
5. Runtime: 95 mins
6. Directors: Kevin MacDonald
7. Cast: Cindy Baer, Matthew Irving, Moica
8. More on this film

My aim was to create a whole movie from intimate moments – the extraordinary, the mundane, the preposterous – and thereby take the temperature of the planet on a single day, 24 July. Contributors would upload their films to YouTube, and let me and a team of editors turn their footage into something that captured a day of human experience. That was the theory behind Life in a Day, anyway; the execution turned out to be far from simple.

First, we had to let people know about the project. I spent a horrific week doing press around the world: Korea in the morning, Latin America in the afternoon. I did 26 US breakfast TV shows in one day via satellite, coming in with my pitch between ads for pop tarts and stories about puppies. Fortunately, we had two big advantages: free advertising space on YouTube and Ridley Scott as executive producer. Scott made a short film imploring would-be directors to just grab a camera, get out there and start shooting.

We chose 24 July practically at random. We knew we had to wait for the World Cup to be over, and we knew we wanted the film to premiere at Sundance in January. We settled on a Saturday because we thought people would have more time to spend on a project like this on what is a day off in many parts of the world. Through good old-fashioned luck, it also turned out to be a full moon.

Births, deaths, not much sex

To make the project truly global, we had to find a way to represent the developing world. So we walked into Jessops camera shop with £40,000 one day and asked how many decent HD cameras that would buy. About 400. These were set to widescreen and sent to around 40 countries. Various aid organisations distributed them among people in remote towns and villages. Each camera had two memory cards: one to send back to us, one for them to keep.

My biggest regret is that we didn’t send out fewer cameras – maybe 50. With them, we could have sent along film-makers who could have taught people how to use the equipment and, more crucially, how to make what we wanted. Too many contributions from the developing world showed a stiff interviewee reciting what he thought we (or local figures of authority) wanted. Naively, I hadn’t realised how alien not only the concept of a documentary is to a lot of people, but also the idea that your own opinions are worth sharing (a lesson we sometimes prayed could be learned by narcissistic, bedroom-bound western teenagers).

As the shoot day approached, the producer Liza Marshall and I put together an editing team, led by the heroic Joe Walker; he hired 25 assistants, who spoke multiple languages and would watch and translate the footage as it came in. Anxiety filled our little Soho HQ. How many clips would we get? What would they be like? How was I going to order them, make sense of them, make a coherent film from them? Surely I had a plan? “No,” I’d quietly tell them, “I don’t have a plan.” I wanted the clips to speak to me, to tell us what the film should be. How much footage did we expect? Estimates varied, from practically nothing to so much that we wouldn’t get the film finished till Sundance 2022. YouTube told us the record was 10,000 responses, for its YouTube Orchestra project.

The day dawned. And the videos rolled in. We had allowed people one week to upload their stuff, but even by the end of day one, it was obvious we were going to far surpass our estimates. By the week’s end, we had soundly beaten the record – with more than 81,000 contributions. Some arrived in unexpected ways. A Slovak film-maker called Marek emailed to say he had, coincidentally, been filming in Nepal that day. Did I want to see the footage? I said yes and told him where to send it. Two days later, Marek showed up in person bearing a hard drive. His footage of a Korean cyclist who has been cycling around the world for seven years, visiting over 190 countries, became one of the building blocks of the film.

The 81,000 videos came from 192 countries and amounted to about 4,500 hours – enough for one person to watch 10 hours a day, seven days a week, for almost a year and a half. Contrary to expectations, and rather disappointingly, there wasn’t much sex. But there was a closeup of a man’s hairy arsehole widening to pass a giant turd. That really put me off my lunch.

A one-to-five star system was developed, although a special six-star rating was reserved for “so bad it’s good”: this usually meant boys showing off embarrassing dance routines in front of their mirrors, or the clip we christened “the naked Korean milk-spilling organist”.

There were gems of all varieties: heart-rending singing from Angola; ghostly footage of elephants bathing by moonlight; emotional records of family life in the shadow of cancer; humorous travelogues around Kabul; beautiful footage of a family living on a boat on the Nile. All human life (and quite a lot of death) was there. That, I suppose, is what struck me most as I let the videos pour over me: what we had was a record of most, if not all, the major human experiences: birth, childhood, love, pain, joy, art, exhilaration, illness and death. Here were the fundamentals of every life, present in all their colours.

After seven weeks spent watching this fascinating, beautiful, imaginative footage, the great bits were obvious. The hard thing now was shaping them into a narrative – not the narrative of a normal film but a kind of emotional, progressive, thematic one. Music, fashioned by Matthew Herbert out of sounds from the clips, proved enormously helpful. Herbert’s idea was that the music should itself express the beautiful, messy melee of humanity. The result was a soundtrack of a piece with the visuals. Together with Harry Gregson-Williams, who composed other elements of the score, we found a structure that takes the viewer through the day.

Pickpocketed in New York

Our aim had been to premiere our movie at Sundance; thanks to the deep pockets of YouTube, we were able to take 20 of our best contributors along. It was an incredibly emotional experience: finding oneself in a room with people from all over the globe – Japan, Indonesia, the US, Peru, Ukraine, Russia – who had nothing in common but the fact they had contributed to this film. They were so lovely, I began to wonder if this was what everyone outside my own cynical, metropolitan bubble was like. Then I got pickpocketed in New York shortly afterwards and realised this probably wasn’t the case. Instead, I think the contributors came from a special, self-selecting little group: to take part in the film, they had to be, almost by definition, generous, unmaterialistic people who cared about sharing what was special to them.

The most extraordinary discovery was that the film turned out to be rather good. In the strangest turnaround of my film-making career, what started as an experiment – a film for festivals and a few academics interested in the fusion of film and web – had become an accessible, laughter-filled, tear-tinged hit. Somehow, Life in a Day was able to give you everything you might expect from a great cinema experience, without any of the usual elements: no readily identifiable narrative, no stars or special effects. There isn’t a single explosion.