YouTube makes a movie

2010-07-07 08:12

With the help of director Kevin Macdonald, producer Ridley Scott

and a few hundred other filmmakers, YouTube is making a movie.

YouTube, owned by Mountain View, California-based Google Inc., is

organising the creation of Life in a Day, a project that plans to document July

24 with user-submitted videos from around the world.

YouTube is asking people to upload footage of their daily lives.

Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, State of Play) serves as director and will

edit together a feature-length documentary from the submitted material. Scott

(Gladiator, Robin Hood) will produce.

“I hope it will be something that will open people’s eyes to the

possibilities of user-generated film,” Macdonald said. “Of course, it’s a risk.

It could be that I won’t get anything interesting back. But I don’t think that

will be the case. I’m sure there will be some real gems, some real magic, which

is what I’m looking for.”

The film will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January

next year. It will simultaneously be streamed on YouTube for free. Those whose

footage makes it into the film will be credited as co-directors, and 20 of them

will be flown to Sundance for the premiere.

The project mirrors YouTube’s two previous crowd-sourcing efforts

to marry its enormous community with professionals.

“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.”

Such a global enterprise could be difficult on a number of counts,

the least of which might be managing the myriad languages that will be spoken in

the videos. Users must be at least 13 years old, and they can be from anywhere

except those countries restricted by US export controls.

Contributors will have a week to upload their videos to YouTube,

which means some could send videos not shot on July 24. Pollack said they are

working under “the honour code.”

Macdonald said he’s more concerned that he won’t get material

that’s honest and revealing. “For me, the most important thing is that people

are intimate,” he said. “Honesty is what I want.”

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