No one can accuse first-time filmmakers Kyle Ruddick and Brandon Litman of aiming low. The two Americans -- both in their early 30s and neither with much experience in the film industry -- are the creative minds behind an unusual new global movie project, one that they say has created "a time capsule for the whole world to better understand itself."
That goal might sound far-fetched, but when Ruddick's and Litman's work, "One Day on Earth," premieres on April 22 on screens in more than 160 countries, audiences around the world may find reason to sing the project's praises.
The premise behind "One Day on Earth" is simple but ambitious: assemble a feature-length film using video footage, all shot the same day, from every country on the planet.
What makes their concept perhaps more exciting is the way in which they've collected the footage: by crowd-sourcing it to thousands of amateur volunteers worldwide. In the end, more than 7,000 participants from every corner of the Earth -- 190 countries in all -- turned in more than 3,000 hours of footage documenting how they experienced the chosen day, October 10, 2010.
One Day on Earth - Global Screening Trailer
from One Day on Earth
Production has been a low-budget affair. Ruddick did the video editing in his California basement. "We've paid for this out of our own piggy banks," Litman says with a laugh.
Their shoestring operation distinguishes "One Day on Earth" from a similar project, "Life in a Day," undertaken by YouTube in 2010 after Ruddick and Litman had already begun work on their own movie. YouTube's venture was directed by headline Hollywood director Ridley Scott, who oversaw a large team of researchers, and "Life in a Day" beat "One Day on Earth" to the punch by premiering in July 2011.
But whereas "Life in a Day" was a one-off event, the makers of "One Day on Earth" have set up their project up as an ongoing collaborative effort. The social network of "One Day on Earth" contributors, now 19,000-strong, submitted thousands of additional hours of video footage from November 11, 2011, and plans are in the works to collect footage from December 12, 2012.
With the organizational support of the UN Development Program, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and others, Ruddick and Litman hope to keep their project up through 2015, creating a running chronicle of life all over the planet.
For now, at least, "One Day on Earth" seems poised to make a mark: The April 22 premiere will include over 200 different screening locations worldwide, including an 1,800-person showing at the UN General Assembly hall in New York.
The movie's content moves thematically, and shots of weddings and births are juxtaposed with images of loneliness and death, suffering and hardship. "One Day on Earth" includes footage from RFE/RL's Tajik Service
that documents the lives of children who have been forced out of the classroom to harvest cotton.
Organizers say they're excited to see how their crowd-generated model of filmmaking develops. "We've stuck with this because we're doing something entirely new," Litman says. "Sunday is going to be huge, but it's just the start."
One Day on Earth the music video - by Cut Chemist
from One Day on Earth