For five years now YouTube has served as an ever-changing, up-to-the-minute document of our culture, representing the exciting and the mundane, the full range of what interests us from a Beyonce video to a kid after a dentist visit. YouTube is marvelous to meander through on a daily basis, but the problem is there's virtually no archival system, no way to tell exactly at what moment Keyboard Cat was most popular, or how the videos may change in style from 2006 to 2009.

I would figure that some kind of YouTube Archive would start up somewhere online to achieve this, but Ridley Scott and Kevin McDonald have come up with a much cooler idea. The two filmmakers are collaborating on Life in a Day, which is being called "the first user-generated feature-length documentary film shot on a single day"-- though I think the Beastie Boys concert film Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot that! would be to differ. Still, the Scott/McDonald concept is impressive. Users are encouraged to film a moment from their day on July 24, 2010 and upload it to YouTube for consideration in the documentary, which will debut at next year's Sundance Film Festival. All contributors whose footage makes it into the finished film will be credited as co-directors alongside director McDonald (Scott is executive producing), and 20 will be flown to Sundance to observe the premiere personally.

This kind of "day in the life" experiment has been done before, most frequently as a book, but the YouTube twist is both a great marketing hook and pretty brilliant from an artistic standpoint. The ease of access to video cameras and YouTube's simple software means a huge variety of people can contribute, and McDonald stands a pretty good chance of truly capturing the range of humans with access to the Internet-- which, at this point, is close to all of us.

Very selfishly, I also think I stand a fair chance of making it in, or at least being part of an event that does. July 24 is smack in the middle of Comic Con, and while McDonald may shy away from including celebrities or other events you might normally see on a screen, it's hard to ignore the power of 500,000 comic fans swarming in one place. I'll have my Flip video camera at the ready.

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