Ask anybody and everybody with internet access to record a day in their lives and send you the video, and you may fear two hours of teenage girls singing into hairbrushes thinking everybody else finds their slumber party antics hysterical. You may also fear dragged out footage of a proud pet owner's cat doing sod all but sleeping, or secondary school dropouts from Slough on skateboards trying to prove they're the next Tony Hawk, but they're 'bare tired so can't do it this time innit'.
Last Summer, Ridley Scott, Kevin MacDonald and the mystical faeries behind YouTube did indeed ask this of the world, and spliced their choicest film submissions together into a production called Life in a Day. I wouldn't be surprised if as a result, YouTube's file servers became even more cluttered than they already are with such junk as described above. However, the producers did a good job of selecting footage which keeps you hooked as you see the world for what it was on 24th July, 2010.
This cinematic time capsule was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and was streamed only twice on YouTube before release to movie theatres on a date which as far as I know, has yet to be set. Eager to see this before most others, and hoping in vain to see but a chunk of my own submission, I denied two friends a nice sociable game of LAN Civilization IV and retreated to my PC to catch the stream at 7pm sharp on Friday night.
For the next two hours I saw lots of things. I saw laughter, tears, birth, disease, love, violence, marriage, renewal of vows, hope, despair, old people, young people, white people, black people, the east, the west, poverty, wealth, you name it. Clearly a lot of thought went into the selection of footage to ensure that everything that goes on in this world and everybody that participates in it is accounted for. There are breathtaking views of world scenery and emotional life stories which I will come back to later, but even mundane day-to-day events such as brushing one's teeth and one's father complaining about the state of car tyres play a part in this film. Surprisingly though, even these keep your interest, because it's all part of what goes on this this world. It's accurate. There's just too much stuff going on in this movie to describe in one blog post, but to summarise: Mr. Scott, Mr. MacDonald (and Mr.... uhh... YouTube?) really have given us a snapshot of the entire world. They have given us a snapshot of life in a day.
The film has some fun, but at the same time it can get emotional. Let's start with the fun, so we can start on a high note and then go home crying. In addition to filming day-to-day activites, people are asked to answer a few questions for the camera. One of which is "What's in your pocket?". I would question how many of the items some of these people presented could actually fit in their pockets, but I went with it, and it was all good for a lol. People are also asked what they love, and that gets all cute with people declaring their love for family and yorkshire terriers, but then we're met with 'what do you fear?'. I was moved to see people really open up for both the love and the fear questions, but the emotion of this movie doesn't stop there. A single Japanese father shows footage of himself raising his child on his own. A girl cries for the camera as she ends a Skype conversation with her boyfriend who presumably is a great distance from her. A poverty stricken African family open their doors for cinema-goers everywhere.
Most of all though, my hat goes off to the girl at the end of the movie. Well, I don't often wear a hat, but if I put a hat on, then it would go off again. Anyway, at first, I feared another angsty teenager moaning into her webcam, but what she says is just so real, and it summarised the average day of one's life rather well. I won't spoil it... though I don't know if a film which doesn't really follow a story and therefore has no real ending can actually be spoiled... but anyway, see it for yourself.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It opens your mind to what exciting or upsetting things might be going on across the globe as you go about your every-day life tying shoelaces, driving to work, sending e-mails, eating dinner and watching The One Show. This film is what happens when you give everybody in the world a chance to share something, and I would encourage you all to see it when it gets a cinematic release.
I give Life in a Day 5 Youtube uploads out of 5.
Oh, and they didn't use any of my footage after all. Heartbreakers.