YouTube Originals today announced that executive producers Ridley Scott (“The Martian,” “Gladiator”) and Kai Hsuing (“Lords of Chaos”), along with director Kevin Macdonald (“Whitney,” “One Day in September,” “The Last King of Scotland”), will create the new feature film, “Life In A Day 2020,” ten years after the original “Life In A Day.” On Saturday, July 25, 2020, millions of people around the world are encouraged to film their lives and tell the story of a single day on Earth. Footage sourced from the global contributors will be woven together in this documentary to tell the story of an ordinary day at an extraordinary time. “Life In A Day 2020” will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and on YouTube in 2021.
“Following the success of the 2010 documentary, this is an important moment to revisit this inventive film concept with Ridley and Kevin,” said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content for YouTube. “This project truly demonstrates the uniqueness of YouTube by showcasing the power of the human experience told through the eyes and cameras of individuals around the world.”
“Making the first ‘LIFE IN A DAY’ was one of the most joyful and eye-opening experiences of my life. Contributors were generous enough to share often quite intimate moments from their lives as part of a huge, life-affirming, film-making experiment,” said Director Kevin Macdonald. “I am thrilled, ten years later, that we are making ‘LIFE IN A DAY 2020.’ In that time, how have we changed? How has our relationship to filming ourselves changed? And at this extraordinary turning point in history what are we hoping for in our future?”
Ten years after YouTube’s groundbreaking and critically-acclaimed “Life In A Day,” and at an unprecedented moment in time, the renewed participation-based project asks the world to share what one day looks like through their personal camera lenses. On July 25, 2020, everyone is invited to capture and reflect the reality of our world over a 24-hour period. All footage must be filmed on July 25th only; participants will then have until August 2nd to upload their content to be considered for the final film. Additional information and guidelines on participation can be found at lifeinaday.youtube.
Once submissions close, a 30-person team of multilingual reviewers stationed around the world will begin reviewing and translating submitted videos. The film’s three principal editors – Mdhamiri Á Nkemi (Blue Story, The Last Tree), Sam Rice-Edwards (Whitney), and Nse Asuquo (The Stuart Hall Project, The Jazz Ambassadors) – will then undertake an enormous post-production effort, working alongside director Kevin Macdonald to shape the film’s final narrative out of submitted footage.
The original “Life In A Day” film was filmed in July 2010 to mark YouTube’s 5th birthday and brought the YouTube community together for what was one of the biggest participatory feature film projects ever made. The documentary attracted 80,000 submissions, received critical acclaim, premiered at Sundance in 2011 followed by a theatrical worldwide release, and has been watched on YouTube over 16 million times.
“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with YouTube again, a decade after Life In A Day premiered and captivated audiences at our festival,” said Tabitha Jackson, Director of the Sundance Film Festival. “Given the extraordinary current moment, I think it’s the perfect time to premiere this for a new edition of a work that so powerfully demonstrates the power of cinematic storytelling to reveal and celebrate our shared humanity.”
“Life In A Day 2020” is directed by Kevin Macdonald with Ridley Scott and Kai Hsiung serving as executive producers, and Jack Arbuthnott and Tim Partridge as producers. This documentary is produced by RSA Films in association with Flying Object.
This announcement comes on the heels of several recent YouTube Originals projects including “Bear Witness, Take Action” a conversation aimed to unite and inspire the platform’s global community to take action for racial justice hosted by Common and Keke Palmer featuring 50 YouTube creators, public figures and activists; as well as “Dear Class of 2020,” a tribute to this year’s graduating class and centered around the timely themes of hope, resilience, and camaraderie, featuring an inspirational send off from President and Mrs. Obama, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Lady Gaga, BTS, Liza Koshy and many more. Upcoming YouTube Originals include season three of “Liza on Demand” starring Liza Koshy, “This is Paris,” a documentary uncovering the hidden past of international icon Paris Hilton, and a special live event with death-defying magician David Blaine.