On Saturday, July 24, 2010 — that’s right, two and a half weeks from today — the folks at YouTube, along with Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald (One Day in September, Touching the Void, The Last King of Scotland, State of Play) and producer Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator) want YOU to be a part of a globe-spanning experiment. They’re hoping that aspiring filmmakers will upload videos of what they did on July 24 in order for Macdonald to comb through the entries and piece together a feature-length movie that will premiere at Sundance in January 2011. The finished flick will be called Life in a Day.
Here’s a short promo for the unusual undertaking:
“It’s not a mainstream film I’m going to make, it’s an experimental film,” Macdonald said. “I don’t think that everybody can write a great novel, and I don’t believe that everybody can paint a great picture. But in this instance, people can contribute to what I hope is going to be a great film by giving something of themselves.”
The first thing that popped in my mind when I heard about this is, “They’re gonna get a bunch of Real World/Survivor/Insert Reality TV Show Here wannabes acting a fool and making over-the-top, clearly staged “audition tapes.” Similarly, there will probably be more than a few people who capture what seem to be truly moving glimpses into their lives… and then we’ll find out months later that whatever Macdonald had thought was worth including from those contributors was a complete set up. Yes, I’m being pretty cynical about this. Do I think it has the potential to be a cool work of cinematic art? Definitely. But I don’t envy the army of people who are going to have to assist Macdonald in reviewing the submissions.
If you think your life is video-worthy, by all means, check out the details (and more importantly, the rules) of the experiment here. Twenty lucky people whose clips are used in the final product will be flown to Sundance for the film’s debut. The rest of us will get to watch the end result on YouTube that same day. And I hope you understand that if you throw your hat in the ring for this, you better let me and Locke know about it so we can send you Good Luck vibes!