That’s the question YouTube’s Nate Weinstein asked users of the video streaming website in July last year. The idea was to create movie made entirely of user-generated clips submitted by anyone, living anywhere.
On Monday, the 90-minute movie of a single day on Earth (that of July 24, 2010), called Life in a Day, was put up on YouTube for all to enjoy.
Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald and executive producer Ridley Scott helped to create a movie that YouTube marketing manager Tim Partridge called “an entertaining, surprising and moving view of life on Earth.”
Following last year’s invitation, a staggering 4,500 hours of video was uploaded by amateur film makers from 192 countries, leaving Macdonald, famed for movies such as The Last King of Scotland and Touching the Void, with the momentous task of trying to make sense of it all.
In an interview with The Playlist, Macdonald said he was determined for the movie to flow coherently rather than simply being a collection of random clips. “It was very important for the film to feel structured, because there’s nothing worse than watching a movie and feeling, “I don’t know where this is going and I don’t think the director knows where this is going,” he said.
The finished documentary had its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival back in January and also appeared at a number of other festivals before finally making it onto YouTube. The experimental production has subtitles for more than 20 languages and can be viewed below or on its official YouTube channel.
“If you haven’t seen it yet or want to relive the experience that The Times of London considers ‘a thrilling piece of cinema’ and the Washington Post called ‘a profound achievement,’ now’s your chance,” Partridge wrote in his blog post.