CATEGORIES Documentary, Sundance, Cinematical Indie, Trailers and Clips, Trailers and Clips, Sundance Film Festival, CinematicalKevin Macdonald really has a big task ahead of him with the user-generated documentary Life in a Day. If you recall, the Last King of Scotland director teamed up with producer Ridley Scott for a film to be compiled from submitted clips shot by amateurs on the date 7/24/2010 (read our interview with Macdonald about the ambitious concept). Around 80,000 videos from around the world have been uploaded to YouTube for the project, and now Macdonald and co-editor Joe Walker (Hunger) have only four months to turn this random material into a feature set to screen at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
For the time being, we can see most of what they've got to choose from thanks to a handy gallery on YouTube, which is organizing the clips based on location, type of location, time of day and mood, and adding them to a neat-looking 3D sphere tool. Also, a global feature shows us where the majority of videos come from (not too much representation from Africa or the Middle East). I have already run into an odd problem where some videos don't work with the tool because of an issue with embedding choices, but otherwise I've had fun killing a significant amount of time watching what hundreds of strangers were up to on the exact same day this summer.
I'd be fine with this being the extent of the project. I love spinning the sphere around and clicking randomly or browsing more intently based on tags and thumbnails. It's certainly more hands-on entertaining than sitting passively watching a film edited out of the footage, though I've seen past examples of user-generated docs that do work under the curatorial hand of a director and I'm interested in seeing how Macdonald steers us with his film. Check out the submissions and tell us of any favorites you have.