Film "One Day on Earth" eyes new "life" in theaters

LOS ANGELES Mon Aug 8, 2011 7:15pm EDT

''One Day on Earth'' director Brandon Litman is shown in this publicity photo released to Reuters August 8, 2011. REUTERS/Handout

''One Day on Earth'' director Brandon Litman is shown in this publicity photo released to Reuters August 8, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Handout

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fans of the movie "Life in a Day" who think it is a one-shot chance to see a film portraying one day in the life of ordinary people around the world should think twice -- quite literally.

The makers of "One Day on Earth," which won't be in theaters for months (if at all), say they can one-up that other movie, which is backed by video website YouTube and Hollywood directors and producers, brothers Ridley and Tony Scott.

Kyle Ruddick and Brandon Litman not only are putting together their movie that, like "Life in a Day," sets out to depict what living is like for people across geographical and cultural divides, they also are creating an online video archive for future use and assembling a community of like-minded people on their website, www.onedayonearth.org.

"'Life in a Day' has some really interesting parts to it, but the big relief (for us) was that this is not the vision we had," Ruddick told Reuters.

"Life in a Day" caused quite a stir when it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this past January. It earned a standing ovation and much praise for director Kevin Macdonald and editor Joe Walton who pulled together a narrative story from video shot during one, single day (July 24, 2010) by hundreds of amateur and professional filmmakers around the world.

The movie, released by National Geographic Films, hit theaters about two weeks ago and has performed modestly well at box offices. Critics have liked it, giving it an 80 percent positive rating at review aggregator rottentomatoes.com.

ONE DAY, OVER AGAIN

Ruddick and Litman said they began their project over three years ago and learned of "Life in a Day" just last year -- three weeks before that film was launched -- after they met with officials from YouTube and another video sharing site Vimeo to seek support.

While they couldn't win over YouTube -- for one obvious reason -- the pair have come up with supporters at another video website, Vimeo, and at the United Nations, which has provided valuable assistance in helping transport footage across far-flung borders.

The U.N. also promised support for similar projects Ruddick and Litman could undertake through 2015, the pair said.

A spokesman for YouTube said it "supports all innovative programs to enhance and develop the art of filmmaking."

Ruddick, who has a couple of short film projects under his belt, and Litman have not set a date for the release of "One Day on Earth" because they are still trying to raise funds to finish, which will include translating some of the rare languages spoken on camera, Litman said.

"This has been a financially straining process through and throughout," Ruddick said.

But if they do finish their film and mount a marketing campaign, they likely have an interesting tale to tell.

The pair has footage from every country in the world and more than 6,000 contributors including nonprofit groups such as the World Wildlife Fund and the American Red Cross.

Roughly 3,000 hours of footage will eventually become the "One Day on Earth" movie, which was shot on October 10, 2010 to coincide with the calendar date 10-10-10.

Beyond just putting out a movie, Ruddick and Litman said their project is different because they have created an online archive of video that their contributors can access for their own or future projects. They expect that factor to be especially useful for nonprofit groups utilizing video.

Moreover, they are building a community of like-minded people and filmmakers around the world who can share their experiences and, perhaps, form bonds that will last, well, more than just one day.

(Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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