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Life in a Day 2020: FAQs - en
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Life in a Day 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

What is Life in a Day 2020?

Life in a Day 2020 is a global experiment to create the world’s largest user-generated feature film: a documentary, shot in a single day, by you. On July 25, you have 24 hours to capture a glimpse of your life on camera. You can film as much or as little as you like, and submit it to the Life in a Day website. Footage captured on this day will be viewed by a team of researchers and editors. The most compelling footage will be woven into a documentary film, produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald.

Why contribute to Life in a Day 2020?

Every contributor to Life in a Day will be part of an enormous, global collaboration, helping to create a time capsule to show future generations what it was like to be alive on July 25, 2020. If your footage is selected to be included in the final film, you will receive a co-director credit on the film. The film is intended to premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and will be available for free, without advertising, on YouTube thereafter.

What should I film?

Show us what life looks like to you: either your everyday routine, or something special that’s happening on that day. You can film the people in your life, or capture the day of someone you find interesting. You could watch the original Life in a Day filmed in 2010 for some other ideas.

As well as filming the day, Kevin Macdonald has asked everyone taking part to answer four questions: What do you love? What do you fear? What would you like to change (either about your life or the world)? What’s in your pocket?

How long should my clip(s) be?

You can film as much or as little as you like: either snippets from throughout your day, or a singular moment or event. The Life in a Day website will allow you to upload multiple clips.

Should I upload multiple clips or combine into one single file?

You can do either. The maximum file size for each file is 4GB.

Questions about eligibility

How old do I need to be to submit a film?

To submit a film, you must be at least the age of majority in your country (or U.S. State) of residence.

Can anyone from anywhere participate in Life in a Day 2020?

Residents of any country can submit footage except for residents and nationals of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Crimea and/or any other persons restricted by U.S. export controls and sanctions programs.

Participants can submit footage in any language.

Questions about submissions

Are there any guidelines for what I can or cannot submit?

Your video(s) should be recorded between 12:01AM and 11:59PM in your local time zone on July 25, 2020. We encourage you to film your world however you see it; however, please do not film violent, graphic, unlawful or dangerous content. Please follow the Official Terms.

How do I submit my video(s)?

From July 25, you will be able to upload your footage by following the link on the Life in a Day website. You will be able to upload footage until August 2.

Your video can be any length and in any language. Maximum file size is 4GB. You can upload a single large file or multiple smaller files.  Maximum number of files per user is 100. Maximum files per session is 20.

Submissions will be open from July 25 at 12:01AM in your local time zone until August 2 at 11:59PM in your local time zone.

Should I edit my footage?

No. The production team wants your raw footage. Please do not edit it, compress it, add music, or use filters, add stickers or special effects.

You can either submit individual clips, or combine all your clips into one single file.

Can I film on my smartphone?

Yes, you can film on your phone. Remember to hold the phone horizontally, NOT vertically (landscape NOT portrait). The video image will translate much better to a big screen that way.

Which video formats can I submit?

We can accept the following file formats: 3GP, .AVI, .DV, .M2TS, .M2V, .M4V, .MKV, .MOV, .MP4, .MPEG, .MPG, .MTS, .MXF, .OGV, .WEBM and .WMV

Don’t convert your footage if you don’t have to. If you do, we recommend QuickTime 1080p H264 4Mbps.


Remember to keep your original material!

Is there anything else I need to think about when filming?

Higher resolution footage will translate better to the finished film. So choose 4K over 1080p if your camera will allow it. Also, select 24fps as your frame rate, or 30fps if that is not an option on your camera or phone. Go to Settings in your phone and look up the Camera section. We would also prefer a camera aspect ratio of 16:9 if you can select this, if not, don’t worry. The most important thing is capturing a great story.

Is vlogging okay? Can I talk to my camera?

Vlogging is definitely okay and can sometimes be the best way to share exactly how you’re feeling. That said, “showing” is usually more compelling than “telling,” so we’d encourage you to complement vlogs with active footage: for example, don’t tell us about your train journey that day, take your camera or smartphone on the train with you. 

Can I submit footage that makes political statements or that supports a party or candidate?

We are open to receive any footage that helps communicate your perspective on the world, and what July 25 looks like for you. Often the best way to talk about important issues is through personal, human stories.

Are there any restrictions for filming during the coronavirus crisis?

Please follow any government guidelines for social distancing, travel, and face covering. Do not put yourself or others at risk.

Questions about getting permission

Do I need permission to record other people in my video?

YES! You do need permission to include other people in your video. Click here to download an Appearance Release Form to take with you on filming day or go to this page if you do not have access to a printer for an electronic version. A parent or legal guardian will also need to sign this form in the case of anyone whom you film who is a child/under the age of majority in your country.

What about filming lots of people in crowded places?

You generally only need to get permission from those people who have a prominent role, who talk to camera, or who are being interviewed or feature in your video in a significant way (e.g., zooming in for a close-up on someone doing something, even if they are strangers to you). Mostly, you will not need permission from people passing in the background of a scene, as long as the images you take of people aren’t offensive or invade someone’s privacy and they are not significant features of your video. But this is not the case in every country. Do the best you can and we will review the footage to see whether we are able to use it or not. To be on the safe side, get people to sign the Appearance Release Form or go to this page.

Do I need permission to shoot at particular locations?

Yes, as a general rule, you need permission to shoot at any location that’s not your own property or a public place. But be aware that even in public places, filming certain famous landmarks or government buildings often requires special permission. If your video is included in the film, we may have to ask you to show us some evidence in writing that you had permission to film at the relevant location or provide you with further documentation to complete to this effect. You may wish to take a Location Release form with you on Filming Day.


Can I use music?

Please avoid the use of music within your submission, such as music on the radio or in a public place. If you submit footage with music, it is unlikely we will be able to use it.

Questions about the feature film

Will you use footage from everyone who submits a video?

No. The final film will be made up of a selection of the most distinctive and compelling videos submitted; those which best contribute to the overarching narrative of the film. We expect to receive far more material than we could possibly ever condense into a single film.


How will you determine which videos will be included in the feature film?

After you've submitted your video(s) to Life in a Day 2020, director Kevin Macdonald and his team of editors and reviewers will watch the footage. The team will decide which videos should be included in the final film based on uniqueness, creativity, variety, technical execution and consistency, and appropriateness in relation to the director’s creative brief as set out on the website.  

Who are the reviewers?

The production team includes around 30 reviewers, who speak a variety of languages, and will watch the footage submitted. They have been recruited based on their filmmaking experience, and to ensure a wide variety of perspectives.

What happens if my video is selected for the film?

If your video makes it through the first stage of the selection process, you will hear from Life in a Day 2020’s production team by email. You will be asked to send through the Appearance Release Forms you had signed by the people you filmed and/or their parents/legal guardians, giving you permission to film them. In some cases, you may also be asked to provide evidence that you had permission to shoot in certain locations. If you are unable to get these documents signed and returned, your video will not be eligible for inclusion in the film.


You may also be asked to send the production team copies of the raw, uncompressed files of your footage, if you haven’t already done so. If selected, the highest-quality version of your content will be included in the final film.


As a contributor to the final film, you will be credited as a “co-director” of the film.

Will I get paid if my footage is used in the feature film?

There is no financial compensation for participation in Life in a Day. Participation in the project is voluntary and contributors retain ownership of their content and may use it on other platforms however they wish. The final film will be constructed out of numerous clips, ranging from a few seconds of content to longer form stories (the 2010 film included 331 clips) from a variety of contributors. Contributors whose clips are included will be credited as co-directors on the final film, which will be available for free, without ads, globally on YouTube.

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

You will retain ownership of your footage. You can use your footage for any other projects you wish to.

By agreeing to the Official Terms, you grant the production company of the film the right to include your video in the film or on websites relating to the film, and to exploit the film, and any related marketing, advertising or promotional materials, in all media in perpetuity. If your footage is not used in a way connected to the film (including on any website relating to the film), the production company has no further rights to use your footage.

What happens with any personal data you share?

Any information you provide the production company for the purposes of Life in a Day 2020 (e.g., your contact details so we can communicate with you) will be strictly protected and held in accordance with UK Data Protection Legislation (which includes the EU’s General Data Protection Legislation). See our Data Protection Notice for filmmakers.

Can I upload my clip directly to other social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, etc. and promote it?

Absolutely. You own your video and you may use it however you like.

When and how can I see the finished film?

The film is intended to premiere in January 2021 at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and on We’ll keep you updated on the exact date of the film’s premiere on the Life in a Day website.

What is RSA1 - LIAD2020 Ltd?

RSA1 - LIAD2020 Ltd is a UK based production company, responsible for making Life In A Day 2020. RSA1- LIAD2020 is not affiliated with Google LLC or YouTube.