Coming soon: YouTube’s movie of mankind

Life in a Day, the experimental film in which people across the world were invited to record a snapshot of their own lives on a single day and submit it via YouTube, is set to be shown in British cinemas in June.

The film, produced by Sir Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald, incorporates 80,000 clips, 192 countries and 500 cameras, and was sent in by contributors on 24 July last year. The featurelength “snapshot of humanity” will be seen in Vue cinemas nationwide.

“Vue’s vision for Life in a Day offers a fantastic mass audience platform for our UK release,” said Liza Marshall, of Scott Free, Sir Ridley’s production company. “This was a project that was about attracting and engaging the audience in entirely new ways.” Contributors whose footage features in the final film are credited as “co-directors”.

“My first film was a day in my life,” said Sir Ridley. “I thought, ‘I’ll just write a day in the life of me and how I once decided not to go to school – because I hated school – and I took the day off.’” That film was Boy and Bicycle, a 25-minute short the director made with a borrowed camera in the early 1960s in Tyneside. The film is now part of the archive at the British Film Institute.

Film-makers sifted through 4,500 hours of footage to make the final picture. Its makers described it as a “time capsule” for future generations. “We now have a unique opportunity to evolve what has been a revolutionary approach to film production through into the film’s distribution,” added Ms Marshall. The film was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January.