Robin Basselin and Bruce Gulland look at the film “Life in a Day”. It was created from videos recorded around the world – videos from people like you!

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Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Robin Basselin.

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And I’m Bruce Gulland. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

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“We are all under the same moon.”

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These are the words of film director, Kevin Macdonald. What do you think he meant when he said them?

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Macdonald said these words to the Telegraph news organization. And he was talking about a film he recently directed. A film called “Life in a Day.” Macdonald worked on this film with the famous film producer Ridley Scott. Together, they created this film about life around the world. However, they did not record it themselves. Instead, they used short films or videos recorded by people all over the world.

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Life in a Day is a film recorded by people like you. It shows the many differences between people and cultures. However, it also shows that there are things that connect all people – like the fact that we all live under the same moon. Today’s Spotlight is on the film Life in a Day.

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On July 1st, 2010, Kevin Macdonald released a video on the Internet. He used the popular video sharing website YouTube. Macdonald asked YouTube users to create a video of their life. And he asked everyone to do this on one particular day – July 24th, 2010.

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In his message, Macdonald asked YouTube users to film all parts of life. He wanted to see both normal and not normal life. He asked users to answer questions like “What do you love?” “What do you fear?” “What makes you laugh?” and “What do you carry with you?”

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
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Macdonald asked users to put their finished videos on YouTube. From these shared videos, Macdonald wanted to make one long film about global life. However, this is an unusual way to make a film. It uses a method called “crowd-sourcing.” Crowd-sourcing is when a large group of people help complete a project usually done by a few paid workers. In crowd-sourcing, the group completes the project for less money or even for free. Usually, there is a public announcement for a crowd-sourced project. And often people use the Internet to send in their work.

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Crowd-sourcing can be helpful in completing many kinds of projects. For example, companies have used crowd-sourcing to find just the right picture for a particular project. Other people have used crowd-sourcing to find the answer to difficult science problems. In recent years, crowd-sourcing has become more and more popular. Now, Kevin Macdonald has made the first ever crowd-sourced film produced in Hollywood.

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At first, Macdonald did not believe the project would be very popular. However, people sent over 80,000 videos! And they sent them from over 190 countries. This made Macdonald and producer Ridley Scott believe that their idea could work.

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Macdonald and Scott paid 25 people to sort all the videos. These people spent months watching all 4,500 hours of film. Then Macdonald and Scott chose the best pieces of video. From these, they created the 95 minute film Life in a Day.

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Life in a Day began playing in theatres during the summer of 2011. The film includes great stories of birth and love. It also includes terrible stories of fear and death. One of the main stories from the film is about Okhwan Yoon. Yoon is a Korean man. He travels around the world on a bicycle. He rides this two-wheeled vehicle from country to country. His purpose is to teach peace, patience and discovery. He does this by meeting the local people. He talks with them about kindness. Yoon believes that understanding people is the first step of showing kindness. He has travelled to 191 countries to understand people everywhere.

Image by Quang Nguyen vinh from Pixabay
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Another emotional part of the film shows a Japanese father and his young son, Taiji. They are in their apartment. This living space is dirty and not organized. There are many clothes on the floor. The boy quietly watches television. His father performs the morning work. Then they walk over to a large picture of a woman. The father lights a candle. The father and son honour the woman in picture. It is the man’s wife and the boy’s mother. And they are showing respect to her because she has died.

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The film’s producers wanted the film to show life from all parts of the world. So, they sent 400 cameras to people living in places with little or no Internet connection. And these cameras produced some of the most beautiful parts of the film.

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One example is the story of a boy named Cain Able. Cain lives in Peru. And he is about 10 years old. Cain is friendly. And he works shining shoes. He does this because, like Taiji, his mother is dead. However, Cain is joyful. His smile makes everyone’s day better. It brings joy to the people he meets in the film. It also brings joy to the people watching the film.

Image by Jamie Norman from Pixabay
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Life in a Day is interesting because of its method and its message. When people watch it, they will see their own lives. They will also see what life is like for people who are not like them. But most importantly, they will see what is common to all people. As Macdonald told the Telegraph news organization,

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“This is what people chose to film. Those of us in the news and film industries think we know what films should be about. But most people are interested in a few, simple things – family, children, love, not being alone, not wanting to live through a war, feeling frightened of illness and death. That is it – that is what life is.”

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What do you think about the idea of crowd-sourcing? Do you think it can make a great film? What would you put in a video about your life in a day? Tell us what you think. You can email us at radio@radioenglish.net. Or, you can leave a comment on our website. You can also learn more about the Life in a Day film at www.youtube.com/lifeinaday.

Voice 2

The writer of this program was Graham Bates. The producer was Robin Basselin. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted and voiced by Spotlight. You can find our programs on the Internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, “Life in a Day.” We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye!

Question:

What did you do today? What would you put in a video about your day? Write your answer below.

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Episode 1