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COSI brings YouTube series to the big screen

Courtesy of National Geographic

It is likely that July 24, 2010, was an ordinary day for most. But it was also a day that thousands of YouTubers took to their cameras and documented a day in their lives.

The goal of director Kevin Macdonald and executive producer Ridley Scott was to create a portrait of one day in the lives of people around the world, filmed by the people living those lives.

The film was released July 31, 2011, on 11 screens in the U.S., and has slowly been screened at more locations. On Oct. 31, it was released in its entirety on YouTube.

“Life in a Day” made its way to COSI’s Giant Screen Theatre Jan. 26–27 and will be screened once again Feb. 2–3 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Macdonald asked videographers around the world to submit videos that portray what they fear, what they love and what is inside their pockets. Participants submitted more than 4,500 hours worth of footage from 192 countries around the world.

So much happens around the world in one day — each day is composed of both the ordinary and extraordinary, said Chris Hurtubise, senior director of marketing and communications at COSI.

The Giant Screen Theatre houses the largest digital screen in Ohio with a projection area 75 feet wide and 45 feet high and surround sound.

“You can see (the film) on YouTube, but … the power of the story is really emotional to see with an audience. You can’t duplicate it anywhere,” Hurtubise said.

Joe Neumaier, a New York Daily News movie critic, said, “There are dull spots, as with any other day, yet ‘Life’ aims to be, and occasionally is, like a YouTube-y ‘Our Town,’ giving a sense of what it is to be alive on planet Earth.”

The “Life in a Day” showing at COSI was chosen to coincide with the RACE exhibit that opened Jan. 28. The exhibit explores race genetically and as a social construct and strives to break down social barriers, Hurtubise said.  

“The exhibit is really about looking at the science, history and lived experience of people,” Hurtubise said. “We hope this starts a much larger conversation in the community.”

Some students have yet to see the film, but think the use of YouTube submissions is more relatable than other forms of narrative.

“People can relate to just regular YouTube users,” said David Morgan, a third-year in biology.

Breanna Boecher, a fourth-year in dietetics, agreed.

“Sometimes we think we’re the most important people in the world and we’re not. … It’s not a reality show — they give people’s lives,” Boecher said.

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