kevin-macdonald

Director Kevin Macdonald will work with footage submitted from around the world to create the Life in a Day feature film. ((Matt Dunham/Associated Press))

Filmmakers Ridley Scott and Kevin Macdonald are to take part in a YouTube-based experiment that will pull together contributions from filmmakers around the world into a single feature film.

The Life in a Day project aims to capture a day in the life of the world, using footage, all shot on July 24, from a global community.

Anyone can participate — by donating video of their lives or what they see around them on a new YouTube channel.

Macdonald, who directed The Last King of Scotland, intends to put together a feature film from the most compelling footage, to debut at next year's Sundance Film Festival. Macdonald plans to take 20 contributors to the Life in a Day project with him to the festival.

It's hard to conceive of the film made from so many disparate eyes and voices, but YouTube's Sara Pollack says it's safe to say it would be "experimental."

"He is a talented and creative filmmaker and one who really embraced the challenge of trying to make a cohesive film out of hopefully thousands of clips of people's lives, featuring different places and different stories," she told CBC News.

As Macdonald is working on editing the film, a gallery of video contributions from around the world will be viewable on the new YouTube channel.

Pollack said Scott will be the film's producer and will play a role in ensuring a diverse range of participants. His Scottfree Productions is working with Rick Smolan's Against All Odds to get cameras and computer equipment into the hands of filmmakers in the developing world.

Smolan is the photojournalist who did the Day in the Life photo books in the 1980s — a series that sent out amateur and professional photographers to capture images on a single day in countries like Japan, Australia and the U.S.

Global outreach

Macdonald is especially keen to ensure the project is representative of every part of the world, Pollack said. "Given the nature of this project it's crucial that we get as many different types of stories as possible," she said.

The director also wants to get a flavour of the filmmakers who submit, and has asked them to answer four questions:

  • What do you fear?
  • What do you love?
  • What makes you laugh?
  • What's in your pocket?

Pollack said YouTube has helped push the boundaries of music with projects such as its YouTube Symphony Orchestra, which linked musicians from around the world via video.

Life in a Day is a similar project that will inspire people to become content creators, she said.

"They're using the YouTube infrastructure. We really feel like YouTube is able to make programs like this happen to connect people in these ways," she said.