On July 24, 2010, YouTube users from around the world submitted home videos to a crowd-sourcing project called "Life in a Day." The goal was simple: create a documentary film that showcases the daily lives of people from around the world, using footage shot by those people themselves.
The scheme was cooked up by the legendary Ridley Scott ("Alien," "Gladiator") and Academy Award-winning director Kevin MacDonald ("The Eagle") and now the first trailer for the completed film has appeared on -- where else? -- YouTube.
The trailer is indicative of the final product, an assembly of clips ranging from mundane to otherworldly, candid to composed. The focus here is people -- what they see, what they love, what they fear and what they experience in a 24-hour window. There are a few common throughlines, characters that pop up again and again over the course of the film, but the documentary mostly abandons narrative thread, in favor of exciting with various imagery from around the world.
Calling it visual poetry sounds pretentious, but the phrase has rarely been as apt.
The trailer for "Life in a Day" paints an inspirational picture, one that's almost impossible to avoid -- there's nothing quite like the feeling of watching real people open up on camera. When it premiered at Sundance back in January, we called it one of the nine best films at the festival, and now you'll have a chance to check it out when it hits theaters exactly one year later: July 24, 2011.