Immersive #1: Life In A Day 2020

In a world that’s constantly responding to unexpected events that seek to sow division and reap unrest, the challenge of creating unity and a shared understanding among nations, communities, and families grows exponentially by the day. Nevertheless, in light of all these differences, there is the fundamental experience of life that is shared amongst all of us, generating empathy and compassion to the struggles that each and every one of us faces in hopes of a brighter tomorrow: the beautiful nature of humanity.

However, it is all too often that these nuanced and lived experiences of our day-to-day lives get ignored for larger and louder occurrences in the media and on the internet. Wanting to draw attention back to the intricacies of our daily lives and create unity within an isolated world, filmmaker Kevin Macdonald partnered with Ridley Scott to create Life in a Day 2020, a crowd-sourced documentary that sought to capture the human experience on a global scale.

A sequel to Life in a Day 2010, Life in a Day 2020 was carefully cultivated from over 324,000 video submissions from 192 countries that were all filmed on a single day: July 25th, 2020. The end result was a moving film that brought together our fears, hopes, concerns, and aspirations for the past, present, and future.

In the film, we are first exposed to the night. The chirping of crickets intermixed with the humming of an ensemble creates an intimate tone that is soon expanded upon after the waxing of the moon. A woman gives birth and then another one after that. Together, we welcome the new lives that have been introduced into the world, and we welcome a new day. The narrative soon picks up in pace, tying together short clips of urban and rural life from all across the globe. We gain a sense of cohesiveness from the rawness of the lives that are shown to us. Nothing here is foreign or strange, only human.

“This is my way of projecting my inner self into the world. Most people get stuck with what they see in the mirror every day, but there’s so much more to the universe. We just have to be willing to go beyond what we know,” the narrator remarks as a drone slowly flies away from its operator to capture an entire mountain. And to this point, I must agree. We must learn to embrace exploration and new knowledge in order to recognize the authenticity of all of our experiences.

Given the abundance of rich insights into daily life that were featured within the film, I can only wonder what other stories were left out to be able to cultivate the compelling narrative that is Life in a Day 2020; who weren’t we able to hear from because of the limited capacity of the production team? Because of the technology barrier? Because of the scope of the project? Even with all of these lingering questions at the end of the film, I still believe that Life in a Day 2020 was successful in its endeavor to create an intimate understanding of what it was like to live all across the globe on that single day in the summer of 2020.

Watch Life in a Day 2020: HERE

Liana Lau

Liana Lau is a student at the University of Michigan, who enjoys learning about interesting marketing campaigns and storytelling techniques. Her section, Immersive, is dedicated to captivating storytelling experiences across many different platforms that engage the viewer with its content through its art form.

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