"Life in a Day" - 92 countries, 80,000 contributors, 4500 hours video

When future generations ask what it was like to live on the 24th of July, 2010, they will be able to open a time capsule called "Life in a day".

This new crowd-source user-generated documentary film, shot by thousands of YouTube  members around the world. Premiered at Sundance Film Festival this year. Directed by Kevin MacDonald, best known for his films One Day in September, State of Play, The Last King of Scotland and Touching the Void.


The inspiration for Life in a Day was a Mass Observation Archive founded in 1937 by three young men aiming to  create an 'anthropology of ourselves'. They recruited a team of observers and volunteer writers to study the everyday lives of ordinary people in Britain, continuing until the early 1950s.

For the monumental task of distilling stories from thousands of YouTube documentarians into a single film, Kevin MacDonald asked four standard questions:

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

In response to the question of "what you fear most?"  a few responses stood out for me: "I fear growing up", "I fear god", "I fear wasps", "I fear another war", "I fear politicians", "I fear loosing my hair", "I fear loosing my husband", "I fear lowliness" and "I fear dying". 


In an interview, editor Joe Walker explained "We always wanted to have a number of structures, so it’s not just midnight to midnight, but it’s also from light to dark and from birth to death. ... bashing things together and making them resonate against each other and provoking thought."

The masterful soundtrack provides another creative storytelling layer which links the narratives. Harry Gregson-Williams, credited for scores including Shrek and Prince of Persia, composed the beautiful opening and ending sequences. Matthew Herbert pioneered the use of 'real', 'ordinary' sounds in modern electronic music with YouTube film-makers requested to provide the following:

  • Single clap
  • Single Breath
  • Sing or hum a single note as long as you can
  • A favorite sound

An intimate look into "Life in a Day" on the Blue Planet

Each day, 7 billion people view the world through their own unique lens. Imagine if there was a way to collect each perspective and aggregate them into a cohesive story representing a single day on earth!  enjoy..

Full version 1:34:57