Collaborative video project to document a day in the life of Detroit

During the past two Thursday evenings,  people representing various aspects of Detroit's film community -- cinematographers, producers, directors, writers, storyboarders, and even a drone camera operator -- convened to discuss and plan a "city-wide, participatory media-creation event."

This Saturday, April 26, those filmmakers (and hopefully a larger group of local, amateur filmmakers) will hit the streets of Detroit to shoot video over a 24-hour period as a part of One Day in Detroit, the local portion of the One Day on Earth movie project. After the 26th, their individual segments will be uploaded to One Day on Earth's Vimeo page and eventually edited together with video segments shot on the same day in 11 cities around the country to form "an interactive geo-tagged archive and a TV series on the future of the American city" called Your Day. Your City. Your Future.

The One Day on Earth project is best known for the 2012 feature film of the same name that is composed of scenes recorded by filmmakers in 120 countries over the course of a single day.

"The one thing I'm amazed about is the heart behind this project," says One Day in Detroit organizer and filmmaker Stephen McGee.

So far, Detroit has more participants signed up than in New York and Los Angeles combined.

Geoff George, another Detroit filmmaker participating in One Day in Detroit, echoes McGee's sentiments.

"I don't compete with other Detroiters, I collaborate with them," says George. "We compete with the rest of the of the world."

How it works

The goal of the project is to create a geotagged map of the stories, a film festival highlighting the content, and a non commercial three part film series for a public television station that utilizes footage captured by the film and video communities of 11 cities around the country. It's a way for local filmmakers to tell the stories of their own cities and form a larger narrative about the American city.

One Day on Earth has provided participating filmmakers with a list of 10 questions that they can tackle with their segments. The questions deal with the present and future of our cities. Examples include, "Why are you in your city?" and "How are people changing the future of your city?" Read the full list of questions here.

Of course, these questions are only guideposts and participants have complete creative freedom as to what they choose to capture while filming this Saturday.

Participants can use any equipment available to them, from cell phones to high end cameras.

Filmmakers can sign up to participate on One Day in Detroit's website. Contact event organizers here with any questions.

Read more articles by Matthew Lewis.

Matthew Lewis is a writer and former managing editor of Model D. He's currently the communications officer for the New Economy Initiative. 
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