Sir Ridley Scott made headlines last year when he announced plans to produce a web series based on his cult classic Blade Runner.
The director of such hits as Alien, Thelma & Louise, and Gladiator said his replicant redux – titled Purefold – “is a search for what it means to be human and understanding the notion of empathy.” But like most sci-fi stories colored with a punk-gothic vision of our future, Purefold may never see the light of the day. A lack of funding caused production houses RSA Films, Baby Cow, and Ag8 to cease their activities with the project.
With his robotic web show on what appears to be permanent hiatus, Scott is turning his attention towards something more human. Together with director Kevin Macdonald (Last King of Scotland, One Day in September, Touching the Void) and in partnership with YouTube, Scott is set to produce the documentary Life in a Day.
On July 24, participants from all around the world are asked to capture their own lives on camera and submit the footage to the Life in a Day YouTube channel by July 31. Macdonald will then edit the footage together, molding the disparate clips into “the cohesive story of a single day on earth.”
Sponsored by LG Electronics as part of the company’s Life’s Good campaign, everything is fair game, from the ordinary (i.e. “a sunrise, the commut to work, a neighborhood soccer match) to the extraordinary (i.e. “a baby’s first steps, your reaction to the passing of a loved one, or even a marriage”). The shooter just must be able to beat a Voight-Kampff machine and the footage must not contain any copyrighted materials. The finished product will simultaneously debut on YouTube and at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
Individuals from cultures outside of the English-speaking world are also encouraged to contribute. Scott Free, Scott’s production company behind Life in a Day, will distribute “400 to 500 cameras to NGO’s and non-profits in 20 different countries and areas ‘on the wrong side of the digital divide’ so that the film may have a truly global voice.”
As Ryan Lawler notes, this isn’t YouTube’s first foray into crowdsourced films. The video sharing site’s recent collaboration with the Guggenheim aims to obtain creative work to showcase at the museum’s October celebration, and YouTube’s Symphony Orchestera pieced together a live, Carnegie Hall concert from top auditions from musicians around the globe.