Saturday, March 3, 2012

Collaborative Film Project: "Japan in a Day"

Check out (and contribute!) to this interesting collaborative film project. Here's the description quoted from the Japan in a Day YouTube Channel:

Japan in a Day. One Nation. 24 hours. Millions of perspectives.

Japan In A Day is an extraordinary project to create the definitive self-portrait of Japan today, filmed by you on 11 March 2012, inspired by Life in a Day. It is dedicated, with our deepest sympathy, to those who lost their lives and those who are suffering as a result of the earthquake and tsunami that struck east Japan last year.

At 00:00 on Sunday 11 March 2012, Ridley Scott and Fuji TV invite you to capture the reality and intimacy of your day and to upload it here at

The resulting film will be a powerful and moving snapshot of Japan today, which will premiere in cinemas, and be screened around the world.


Be sure to check out the Basic Rules tab for advice on methodology. Of particular interest:

It's generally OK to film in public places without permission. But in privately owned locations, make sure the owner of the location is OK with you filming there. We may later have to ask you to get the owner to sign a Location Release.

Don't shoot posters of a famous person or artwork or shoot brands or trademarks, such as cans of Coke, or famous manga unless you have the rights or permission to do so. If you do, we probably won’t be able to use your video.

Don't do anything stupid like breaking the law or not taking care of yourself or people you’re filming! Pay attention to your surroundings and your safety.

The Filming Tips tab has good advice (for this project in particular and/or filmmaking in general) as well:

Picture this

Filmmaking is storytelling: think about how to hold the viewers’ attention. Whether you’re filming you or someone else, the more personal the better.

Hold your shots long enough to establish them in the viewers’ mind. Avoid lots of panning and zooming – it will look messy and it will leave your viewers dizzy.

Don’t film yourself or your contributors in front of windows or other sources of bright light, unless of course you want them to appear in silhouette.

Make sure you know how to make your subject appear the right size in the frame, by having a trial run and reviewing the results. (Remember if filming on a mobile, to turn your phone around to landscape)

Loud and Clear

It’s really important that we can hear you properly. Pay attention to noises where you’re shooting which will interfere with recording sound. Try not to stand next to an air-conditioning vent or someone mowing the lawn! Outside be aware that a light breeze can sound like a gale when recording.

If you’re planning to move more than 3ft away from the camera during the filming, work out how you’re going to be heard. You could experiment with plugging a basic microphone into your camera.

Check the sound levels by making a short test film and playing back the sound. If it sounds distorted, you’re either too near the microphone or the sound level is turned up too high on the microphone.

It will be very interesting to see the various perspectives captured in this project - something to look forward to. I wonder about what will and will not be included and other aspects of editing/post-production. Still, this idea of collaboration is a step in the right direction towards a user-driven, participatory form of visual anthropology.

See recent related story at Japan Today:

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