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Editing has begun on over 4 600 hours of footage for Life in a Day, the crowdsourced documentary that is the brainchild of Executive Producer Ridley Scott.
Life in a Day is a historic global film experiment that enlisted the global community to capture a moment of their lives on Saturday, July 24 and to upload that footage to www.youtube.com/lifeinaday. Individuals whose footage makes it into the finished film will be credited as co-directors and 20 of these contributors will be flown to the 2011 Sundance Film Festival for the film’s world premiere.
Submissions for YouTube’s Life in a Day project came to a close on Saturday, July 31, 2010, with the total number of submissions reaching 80,000 and representing 197 countries, in 45 different languages. Of the results, Scott (Robin Hood, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down) said, “I’m thrilled at the success of the Life in a Day project to date. The sheer number of uploads to the channel is astonishing and exceeds our expectations. I’m as fascinated as anyone by what kind of videos people have uploaded and the kind of film which will result from this innovative endeavor.”
As the project moves into its next phase, director Kevin Macdonald (State of Play, Last King of Scotland, Touching the Void) has assembled a team of 20 people to log and vet the submissions. Macdonald says of the process, “We’re excited by both the quality and quantity of submissions. We’re now faced with the daunting task of selecting and shaping the wonderful array of diverse stories that have been captured around the globe. Luckily, I have an amazing team of skilled researchers who speak all manner of languages currently helping me catalogue and distill the clips. We’re hoping to soon have a more manageable 100 hours worth of footage to edit down into feature length form. It’s a mountain, but we’re eager to climb it.”
Users will also be able to view the submissions when the gallery goes live on YouTube’s Life in a Day channel in early September. The final, feature-length film will be completed in time for a January 2011 premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and will simultaneously be made available at YouTube.com.
Footage from remote regions in South Africa, the Middle East and Asia has been uploaded to the site thanks to the efforts of many groups and organizations that participated. Scott Free Productions worked with Against All Odds to distribute 500 cameras to these areas of the world in an effort to ensure that the film is as inclusive and representative as possible. The Sundance Institute also had participants of their first-ever East Africa Theatre lab, taking place in Kenya, upload their own footage.
Life in a Day is one of several efforts by YouTube to push the boundaries of music, art, and now film. YouTube Symphony Orchestra and the recently announced YouTube Play partnership with the Guggenheim are examples of the convergence of online video with traditional arts and Life in a Day takes this effort into the cinematic realm. The channel received 18.7 million page views with visitors from 220 countries since it went live on July 7.