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Life in a Day Around the World

Life in a Day Text on Top of a Red Globe

What do you get when you ask the people of the world to chronicle a single day in their lives? You get 80,000 submissions, 4500 hours of footage, from 192 countries. Kevin Macdonald has taken this raw material, all shot on July 24, 2010, and created a 90-minute paean to what it means to be human in the world today. July 24, 2010 was chosen because it was the first Saturday after the World Cup. The film also serves as a fascinating snapshot of cultures all around the world.

The film was the creation of a partnership among YouTube, Ridley Scott Associates and LG electronics.  The project was announced on July 6, 2010 and users submitted videos supposedly recorded on July 24, 2010.  Ridley Scott produced the film with director Kevin Macdonald and film editor Joe Walker. 

Macdonald began his "Around the world in 80,000 clips" article in The Guardian by posing the questions, "What do you love? What do you fear? What's in your pocket?"  The 80,000 individual clips received amounted to 4,500 hours of electronic footage and were edited in an attempt to represent the whole world.  The filmmaking team depended on a team of multilingual film students to sift through submissions and then on a team of roughly two dozen researchers, chosen both for cinematic eye and proficiency with languages, to watch, log, tag, and rate each clip.  Editing took over seven weeks.

The editing team also organized the 80,000 clips according to countries, themes and video quality and had to convert from 60 different frame rates to make the result acceptable.

Director Macdonald said that the film focused on a single day "because a day is the basic temporal building block of human life—wherever you are."

Scenic view of The Great Wall of China Landscape.