/ documentary

Showing a day in 80,000 clips

Director Kevin Macdonald had people send him clips, out of 80,000 of them he created a film that shows one day of, well, the world. The Guardian has a longish piece on the project (including readers questions):

To make the project truly global, we had to find a way to represent the developing world. So we walked into Jessops camera shop with £40,000 one day and asked how many decent HD cameras that would buy. About 400. These were set to widescreen and sent to around 40 countries. Various aid organisations distributed them among people in remote towns and villages. Each camera had two memory cards: one to send back to us, one for them to keep.

My biggest regret is that we didn’t send out fewer cameras – maybe 50. With them, we could have sent along film-makers who could have taught people how to use the equipment and, more crucially, how to make what we wanted. Too many contributions from the developing world showed a stiff interviewee reciting what he thought we (or local figures of authority) wanted. Naively, I hadn’t realised how alien not only the concept of a documentary is to a lot of people, but also the idea that your own opinions are worth sharing (a lesson we sometimes prayed could be learned by narcissistic, bedroom-bound western teenagers).

It’s a fascinating read, not just for film-aficionados.