One of the things I love in the sports of surfing and climbing is the idea of progression. An athlete does something new, approaches an unclimbed rock in a new way or surfs a wave that seemed impossible, and all of a sudden everyone can see the possibility. The culture as a whole can imagine climbing the new climb or surfing the wave. All of a sudden dozens of people can do what was unthinkable only a few months before. New stars are made in an instant and old icons are put out to pasture.
The film aims to tell the story of a planet, but it’s the vulnerability of these individual moments, contributed as part of a larger project, that lingers. If the knock against the Internet in general, and YouTube in particular, is that it stokes our collective narcissism, this film, in its best moments, proves the opposite: not a global craving for exposure but a surprising universal willingness to allow ourselves to be exposed.
The worlds of collaboration, co-creation and crowdsourcing are progressing fast. They’ve gone from a wild west of too many confusing voices and lot’s of amateur, low-production, solutions to highly curated creations, like Life in a Day, that can rival the best of traditional productions.
The progression is happening at various speeds in different corners of the creative world. Music and photography have been leading the charge in this change for a while now while film and advertising are just starting their radical transformation.
In advertising, it feels like the progression has hit a tipping point. Hold on. The speed of change will only accelerate.