YouTube may not seem like the most obvious venue for Ridley Scott's next production but, given the reason behind Life in a Day, there's no better place for viewers to experience the film.
Scott is teaming with director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) to bring the world its "first user-generated feature-length documentary."
The filmmakers will compile user footage shot on July 24th (and subsequently uploaded to YouTube) into a feature length documentary - to be unveiled at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in late January (as well as a bit later on YouTube).
Here's the official synopsis from the Life in a Day YouTube channel:
"Life In A Day is a historic global experiment to create the world's largest user-generated feature film: a documentary, shot in a single day, by you. On July 24, you have 24 hours to capture a glimpse of your life on camera. The most compelling and distinctive footage will be edited into an experimental documentary film, executive produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald."
It will be interesting to see what Macdonald and Scott consider distinctive or compelling footage - though, if the current thread of user-responses are any indication, we could be in for a wild ride.
Check out the Life in a Day trailer:
Filmmakers whose footage gets selected for the final film will be listed as one of twenty co-directors - and receive a trip to the Sundance premiere in Park City, Utah (as well as place to stay).
An obvious concern about the project is that the Life in a Day "time capsule" would be limited to certain demographics (leaving out those who might not have the same access to the filmmaking equipment) or that Macdonald might choose to leave out footage that could be considered political or offensive. The balance will certainly be a delicate one but it sounds as though Scott and Macdonald are already mobilizing to make sure the film is a genuine snapshot of our world on July 24th.
"Scott Free (Ridley Scott’s production company) will work with Rick Smolan, creator of “A Day in the Life” and CEO of Against All Odds Prods. — a California-based organization that specializes in the execution of large-scale global projects — to distribute cameras to individuals in remote regions of the world in an effort to ensure that the film is as inclusive and representative as possible."
While I'm sure that Macdonald and Scott will do their best to form the film into something uplifting, I can't imagine that Life in a Day will be entirely void of controversial moments, especially considering Scott and Macdonald at the helm, as well as the call for distinctive and compelling contributor footage.
If you're still questioning how a film with such a strong connection to YouTube could be an insightful and provocative experience, make sure to listen to Macdonald and Scott's take on the project:
Will you be submitting footage to Life in a Day? What do you think about the project? Will it truly be a user-created time capsule?
Life in a Day will be released on YouTube in January 2011.