Independence Day is fast approaching, which means people are procuring meats to grill, refreshments to ice, and ideas about what it means to be American. Jared Leto — who recently confirmed work on a new album with Thirty Seconds to Mars — is focusing on that last part, putting out a call for people across the U.S. to shoot footage for a video portrait called “A Day in the Life of America” with his band.
Throughout the day on July 4, camera crews in all 50 states (as well as in D.C. and Puerto Rico) will capture the entire day, reaching a larger representation of America. But that's only half: The rest will be filled in by fan-shot footage from across the nation showcasing what America accurately looks like in 2017. Leto, who's taken to carrying large American flags at concerts, told MTV News that “no moment is too small” or too mundane to submit to the project.
“I hope to be surprised, but I think that it will be a lot like we think of America,” he said. “I think it will be epic and beautiful and unexpected. I think it'll be challenging and provocative. I think that we will find quite a bit out there that we weren’t particularly searching for, and that’s what great about crowd-sourcing.”
The idea came to Leto while he worked with Thirty Seconds to Mars on a new album. As certain themes emerged, a larger visual project took shape, partly inspired by an 1986 National Geographic issue he remembered seeing as a kid. Leto will be contributing to it, of course, and he said he has plans to wake up early and film the sunrise as well as the sunset. Everything in between, he'll be sharing on social media.
“Anything and everything that you think is important or impactful or challenging or inspiring, we want to hear what you think America is,” he added. “And I’m excited to be shocked or surprised or inspired by what we see.”