Press FAQ's


Q: How did the Life in a Day project come about?

Life in a Day is a collaboration between YouTube, Ridley Scott's production company Scott Free and Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald. What began as an innovative idea from a member of YouTube’s marketing team, developed into what it is today - a film directed by Kevin Madonald, produced by the Scott Free team and shot by the global YouTube community. On July 24, 2010, users from around the globe will have 24 hours to capture a glimpse of their life on camera. The most compelling and distinctive footage will be edited into an experimental documentary film, produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald. Individuals whose footage makes it into the finished film will be credited as co-directors and 20 of these contributors will be flown to the 2011 Sundance Film Festival for the film’s world premiere. It will be the first user-generated feature-length documentary film using footage captured by people around the globe on a single day.

Q: Who were the filmmakers selected?

Contributor - Shoot location

Massoud Hossaini - Kabul, Afghanistan

Cristina Bocchialini | Ayman El Sayed Hassan - Cairo, Egypt

Soma Helmi - Bali, Indonesia

Hiroaki Aikawa | Taiji Aikawa - Tokyo, Japan

Marek Mackovic | Okhwan Yoon - Kathmandu, Nepal

Alberto Rauizo Gonzalez | Cain Abel Tapia Chavez | Aveliro Tapia - Arequipa, Peru

Renat Ardilanov | Alexander Bayturin  - Moscow, Russia

Patricia Marinez del Hoyo | Toniu Xou | Virginia Salvado Segu | Araceli Segu Muste - Barcelona, Spain

Boris Grishkevich - Zakarpatska, Ukraine

Harvey Glen - Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Caryn Waechter - New York, NY - United States

Christoper Brian Heerdt - Naperville, IL - United States

David Jacques - Woonsocket, RI - United States

Betsy DelValley - Urbana, IL - United States

Bob Liginski, Jr. | Bobby Liginski III | Catherine Anne Liginsky - Grayslake, IL - United States

Q: What will happen to the footage that Kevin didn’t use?

The submissions that did not make the final cut are still accessible in the LG gallery on the Life in a Day channel, as well as on These can be explored using the extensive tagging system applied by film students that were trained to review all the submissions for the film. For instance, you can find all the videos that evoke ‘thoughtful’ or ‘home’ or ‘creating’.

Q: Will audiences be able to see the film post-Sundance in theaters?

Audiences worldwide will be able to see the film livestreamed during the Sundance premiere, and again on January 28th at 7pm in their local time on The film will be closed captioned and subtitled on YouTube, and will provide an additional option for audio description (AD) in English. After the Sundance premiere, the film will go on a world tour and then be shown in theaters, pending distributor interest.

Q: Why is YouTube doing this?

The YouTube community has been changing the way media is created and consumed for over five years now.  The platform has given users around the world a voice and Life in a Day promises to bring the collaboration and democratization of YouTube to another level.  It is one of several efforts by YouTube to push the boundaries of music, art, and now film.  YouTube Symphony Orchestra and the recently announced YouTube Play partnership with the Guggenheim are examples of the convergence of online video with traditional arts and Life in a Day takes this effort into cinematic realm.

Q. Why should users contribute to Life in a Day?

Every contributor to Life in a Day will be a part of cinematic history, participating in the largest crowd-sourced film ever made and creating a time capsule to show future generations what it was like to be alive on July 24, 2010. Additionally, if a user's footage is selected to be included in the final film, they could be one of twenty participants flown to the 2011 Sundance Film Festival to attend the premiere with Kevin Macdonald and fellow top contributors.

Q. Who is Kevin Macdonald?

Kevin Macdonald is an award-winning filmmaker and the director of Life in a Day. His first feature film, ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER, won an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2000. His second feature, TOUCHING THE VOID, premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in 2003 before becoming the highest-grossing British documentary in UK box office history. Kevin’s first dramatic feature, THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, starring Forest Whitaker, also premiered at Telluride before winning a BAFTA for Best British Film and Best Adapted Screenplay; Whitaker also won an Academy Award and a BAFTA for his role in the film. Kevin is currently working on his next feature, EAGLE OF THE NINTH, starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell and Mark Strong. In addition to being a filmmaker, Kevin is a journalist whose work has appeared in numerous publications including the Guardian, Observer and Telegraph.

Q. Who is Ridley Scott?

Ridley Scott is a renowned filmmaker who has received three Academy Award nominations for Best Director over the course of his distinguished career, most recently for his 2002 film BLACK HAWK DOWN. Additional credits include GLADIATOR, which won the Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA for Best Picture and THELMA & LOUISE, which brought Scott his first Academy Award nomination for Best Director in 1991. Other films include AMERICAN GANGSTER, BODY OF LIES, A GOOD YEAR, the groundbreaking film BLADE RUNNER and the classic ALIEN. He most recently directed the hit film ROBIN HOOD. Scott, along with his brother Tony Scott, is the founder of Scott Free Productions, a company that produces a wide range of film and television projects. In 2003, Scott was awarded a knighthood from the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his contributions to the arts.

Q. What is Scott Free Productions?

Scott Free Productions is a Los Angeles and London-based production company founded by Ridley Scott and Tony Scott. The company’s credits include ROBIN HOOD, AMERICAN GANGSTER, BLACK HAWK DOWN, GLADIATOR among many others. Scott Free Productions is a creative partner of Life in a Day and will produce the feature documentary film comprised of your footage.

Q. How does this align with YouTube's overall mission as a company?

YouTube connects and changes the world through video. Life in a Day is a project aimed to give YouTube users an opportunity to have their voices heard all around the world by uploading a video about their life on a single day, July 24, 2010.  

Q. After the film's premiere at Sundance, where else will it be available to view?

Life in a Day will be available simultaneously on YouTube and at the Sundance Film Festival 2011.  Other screenings will be announced on the Life in a Day channel ( so be sure to subscribe to receive such notifications.

Q. Will the film premiere on YouTube for free?

Yes, Life in a Day will premiere on YouTube for free on January 27th at 6:00pm MT from the Sundance Film Festival. It will also be re-broadcast on at 7pm on January 28th in local timezones.

Q. Why are you making the film available for free and not using YouTube's rental platform?

Life in a Day is a film created by the world, for the world to see. YouTube Rentals are currently only available in the US and we want to ensure that everyone can watch the film no matter where they live, so we're offering it for free on YouTube around the globe.

Q. Does this mean YouTube's getting into the movie/content business?

No, this film is being shot by the YouTube community, directed by Kevin Macdonald and produced by Ridley Scott and his Scott Free banner. YouTube is simply the platform that makes these unprecedented connections possible.

Q. Do you mean YouTube will never get into the movie/content business?

YouTube always has and will continue to depend on the YouTube community to create compelling content for viewers and users around the world to consume and to share.  

Q. Do you really think you can make a decent feature length film out of a bunch of UGC videos?

Yes, Kevin Macdonald intends to make Life in a Day an experimental and artistic film that will offer future generations a glimpse of what it was like to be alive on July 24, 2010. It's as much an event as it is a film and it couldn't possibly exist without a bunch of user-generated videos.

Q. How many videos will be chosen to be in the film?

We hope to receive many videos from across the globe so that Kevin Macdonald and Ridley Scott have enough content to work with in order to produce the first user-generated feature-length documentary film.  The decisions of which videos and how many are ultimately up to Kevin and Ridley, who will choose the most compelling footage for the final film.

Q. Is YouTube paying Kevin Macdonald, Ridley Scott and Scott Free Productions?

YouTube has entered into a partnership with Kevin Macdonald, Ridley Scott and Scott Free Productions and we do not disclose the terms of any of our partnerships.  

Q. How is YouTube encouraging users' to spread the word about Life in a Day?

We are encouraging users to spread the word through a variety of ways online and offline. For example, users can:

    • Subscribe to Life in a Day channel at
    • Tell their friends and family about it.
    • Create videos about what they’re thinking of filming on July 24, 2010 and then post them to their YouTube channel.
    • Plan a “film up,” during which friends can meet up and film together.
    • Sign up for event information on YouTube’s Facebook page.
    • Post about the program on Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Q. How are you expecting to get footage from remote parts of the world?

Ridley Scott's production company Scott Free Productions will work with Rick Smolan, CEO of Against All Odds Productions, a California-based organization that specializes in the execution of large-scale global projects that combine story-telling with state-of-the-art technology, to distribute cameras to individuals in remote regions of the world in an effort to ensure that the film is as inclusive and representative as possible.


Q. What is the age requirement to participate?

Users must be at least 13 years old.

Q. Do users need a YouTube account to participate?

Yes, users will need a YouTube account in order to upload their footage. For information on creating a YouTube account, click here. If users are just interested in watching the footage that’s being uploaded, they don’t need an account.

Q. Who can participate in Life in a Day?

Anyone over 13 years old can submit footage except for residents and nationals of Iran, Syria, Cuba, Sudan, North Korea and Myanmar (Burma), and/or any other persons and entities restricted by U.S. export controls and sanctions programs.


Q: How were the submissions chosen?
The Editor of the film, Joe Walker, describes it best when he uses the metaphor of sifting through a mass of rubble, looking for buttresses to build Salisbury Cathedral. The films they chose were uniquely compelling in their own regard, but also fit the themes the two began to select (morning rituals, youth, age, birth, death, sickness, relationships, etc.)

Q. What are the rules for what can or cannot be submitted?

The video(s) should be recorded between 12:01AM and 11:59PM in the user's local time zone on July 24, 2010. Users must respect YouTube’s Community Guidelines, but other than that, there are no rules and we encourage users to film their world however they see it.

Your video(s) should be recorded between 12:01AM and 11:59PM in the user's local time zone on July 24, 2010. Users must respect YouTube’s Terms of Use and Community Guidelines and the Terms and Conditions and Creative Criteria for the project.  We are asking users to submit their own work, and they cannot contain any third party content that they don’t have the rights to use. Other than that, we encourage users to film their world however they see it.

Q. How do users submit their video(s)?

Between July 24 and July 31, users can click on the “Submit” tab on Life in a Day channel and upload the footage directly from your computer. The “Submit” tab will become visible on July 24, 2010.

Q. Do users need to edit their submissions into a completed film?

No. Kevin Macdonald is looking for raw footage (what the film industry calls ‘rushes’ or ‘dailies’) out of which he can create a single coherent film, so we’d like users to upload an unedited selection of their most compelling footage. Feel free to upload multiple videos if your submission breaks down naturally into different segments.

Q. Do users need to subtitle their video if it’s not in English?

There is no need to subtitle footage. We are encouraging users to include a title card before the video they submit denoting the language and country of origin. If their video is included in the film, it will be subtitled into multiple languages. Users can subtitle their videos on YouTube so that more people can understand it if they like. More information about YouTube’s captions feature is here.

Q. Do videos have to be a documentary?  Can they be fiction?

All we’re asking is for users to document their world over the course of a single day; whether they think their world is best captured through fictional storytelling, realism, or even animation, it is entirely up to them.

Q. Do users need permission to record other people in their video?

Yes, they do need permission to include other people in their video. If a video is selected to be in the final film, YouTube will email the creator a release form that they must send back signed by anyone who appears in the video.

Q. Can users add music if they have permission from the music owner?

We are asking users to avoid the use of music within submissions. The videos cannot contain any third party content that the user doesn’t have the rights to use.

Q. How long should video(s) be?

There are no minimum or maximum limits for the length of the video(s) for Life in a Day. However , YouTube has an upload limit of 10 minutes for most users. If users have more than 10 minutes of footage, they can upload multiple videos.

Q. Can users submit multiple videos?

Yes, users are free to submit as many videos as they like, provided all footage was shot on July 24, 2010.

Q. What are the best specifications for uploading video footage to YouTube?

YouTube accepts most digital video formats, however for optimal playback, we suggest users reference the compressions listed here.

Q. How will YouTube monitor footage that is racy?

All videos submitted to Life in a Day must comply with YouTube’s Terms of Use and Community Guidelines.

Q. Is “vlogging” okay?  Can users talk to their camera?

Vlogging is definitely okay. 'Showing’ is usually more compelling than ‘telling,’  We are encouraging users to complement vlogs with active footage.

Q. What criteria will Kevin be using when selecting videos to use in the film?

Above all, Kevin is looking for honesty in the videos that are submitted. The goal of this project is to develop the first user-generated feature-length documentary film using footage captured by people around the globe on a single day. So, Kevin will look for videos that give insight into users' lives. For example, a user could submit footage of his/her journey to work in the morning. Or users could film a subject that they feel very emotional about. This could be a house, a first-born child, a painting.

Q. When and where will user submissions to Life in a Day be available to view?

Beginning in August 2010, submissions will be available to browse on Life in a Day channel at


Q. Will YouTube use footage from everyone who submits a video?

Kevin Macdonald, the director of Life in a Day, will try to incorporate as much footage as possible, but the final film is ultimately his creative vision and he will have final say on what content is and is not included.

Q. How will YouTube determine which videos will be included in the feature film?

After users submit their video(s) to the Life in a Day channel, Kevin Macdonald and his team of editors will review the footage and, based on the Creative Criteria, decide which videos are the most compelling to include.

Q. Do users have to answer the questions in Step Two in the “Filming Day” section of the channel in order to be included in the film?

No. In order to be eligible for inclusion in the film, users simply need to film the moment(s) in their day. That said, the more content they create and submit, the greater the chance that some of your content will be right for the film, so if you can, go ahead and answer as many of Kevin’s questions as possible.

Q. What happens when a user's video is selected for the film?

If a user's video makes it through the first stage of the selection process, he/she will hear from Life in a Day Films by email. The user will be sent release forms that he/she will need to have signed by everyone who appears in his/her video, confirming that they gave you permission to film them. If a user is a minor, a release form will be sent to the parents or legal guardians to sign. The user will also be required to sign releases concerning the use by Life in a Day Films of  the video in the film and related activities.  If the necessary releases are not signed and returned to Life in a Day Films, the video will not be eligible for inclusion in the film. When the user returns the signed releases, he/she will also be asked to send Life in a Day Films the raw, uncompressed files of the footage so that, if selected, the highest quality version of the content will be included in the final film.

As a contributor to the final film, the user will be credited as a “co-director” in the credits that appear at the end of the film. The user will also be eligible for consideration to attend the film’s premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Q. Will the user get paid if his/her footage is used in the feature film?

No, there is no monetary payment for contributing or being selected, however users will be credited as a "co-director" in the film.

Q.Who owns my video if it’s selected to be in the film?

You will retain ownership, but agree in the Terms and Conditions to grant Life in a Day Films the right to include your video in the film and to exploit the film in all media forever.  You’ll also be asked to agree to this again in a release if your video is selected to be included in the film.  In uploading your video, you are also agreeing to grant certain rights in your video to YouTube as set out in the Terms of Use.

Q. What happens to videos not selected for the film?

Videos that are submitted and adhere to the Terms and Conditions and YouTube Terms of Use, will be featured in Life in a Day gallery, which will be added to Life in a Day channel later this year.

Q.When and how can I see the finished film?

The film will be available on YouTube in early 2011. We’ll keep users updated on the exact date of the film’s YouTube premiere on Life in a Day channel. Users should subscribe to the channel to make sure they receive our notifications.


Q. What is the Sundance Film Festival?

The Sundance Film Festival is the premier showcase for U.S. and international independent film, held each January in and around Park City, Utah. Presenting dramatic and documentary films from emerging and established artists, innovative short films, filmmaker forums and panels, live music performances and film composer events, cutting-edge media installations, engaging community and student programs, the Festival brings together today’s most original storytellers in a vibrant community.

Q. What is YouTube's relationship with the Sundance Film Festival?

The Sundance Film Festival is a long-term partner of YouTube's and we are excited to premiere the film at the 2011 festival in Park City, Utah.

Q. When is the Sundance Film Festival?

The 2011 Sundance Film Festival will take place from January 20th to January 30th, 2011. The premiere date of Life in a Day will be announced closer to the start of the festival.

Q. Will the user or users selected for the film be able to attend the premiere?

Of all of the YouTube users whose work is selected to appear in the feature film, 20 will be invited to attend the 2011 Sundance Film Festival with all costs covered. Those 20 people will be selected by Kevin Macdonald based on the quality of the videos submitted and the amount of screen time each receives in the final film (for example, a user whose footage makes up 10 minutes of the final film will have a better chance of being invited to  the Sundance Film Festival than a user whose footage makes up only 30 seconds of the final film).

Q. Can a user attend the premiere at his/her own cost?

Yes, a user can attend the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The website will be live in late August 2010 at http:///