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  • Writer's pictureAndy Bell


A Day in the Life

In 2010 award winning film director Kevin Macdonald worked on a new idea for a film, one that didn’t depend on scripts or actors but of the input from hundreds of thousands of individuals across the world.

This crowd sourced drama/documentary film was titled Life in a Day and comprised of compiled clips of the ordinary lives of people from all over the world, all from a single day, 24 July 2010. 80,000 submissions were sent in from 192 nations which equated to 4,500 hours of footage. These were edited together to produce a film with a more manageable viewing time of 94 minutes, 53 seconds.

Our task for you –

Even without lock-down restrictions, it’s not always the big moments in a day, a week, a month or a year that mean the most or even make the most interesting content. This will be a challenge but we’re inviting you to send us short clips from your day throughout the coming weeks and we’ll compile them into a short film.

This could be anything. It could be a view of your feet on a walk, the view you see when you reach the end of your route, pulling back the curtains and sharing the view from your window in the morning, a chat with a neighbour/a friend/a family member, a video call, making something; a piece of art, a cake, a meal, your 10th cup of tea of the day! Learning a new skill, dancing to your favourite song, your pet, birds in the garden. Are you up in time to see the sunrise? Maybe you could capture a sunset, changes in weather etc. Like with Life in a Day, you could tell us what you fear, what you love or what you hope for.

Please send clips no more than 30 seconds long, (clips can be pre edited ie. If doing a time-lapse, or longer if you don't have the ability to speed them up). Please feel free to send as many clips as you like, they don’t all have to be from the same day. We’ll edit all the material together and share the results with you. There’s no time limit on this, we’ll just see what the response is like and update you.

If you've not seen the film before, watch it here:

Photography tasks

A photo a day for a week –

This sounds easy but trying to find something you find interesting that you want to photograph each day can be challenging.

There’s an opportunity to be creative with it, you could:

- Set a theme for yourself

- Only photograph things that are a certain colour

- Only photograph things that are a certain shape

- Think about the framing, and use the same viewpoint through a frame but change the subject

- Include favoured possessions

- Tell a narrative through your seven images

- Photograph the same object every day – to make this more interesting and exciting you can be experimental with lighting, try out different angles, and if you have editing software, edit each image in a different way.

If you find seven days easy, see how many consecutive days you can do.

Craft tasks

Yarn Balls

These are decorative pieces that can be added to vases, bowls or can even be combined with fairy lights for a new light feature.

What you’ll need -

- Yarn or Twine (different colours if you have it) The image on the left is an example when twine was used.

- A bag of balloons (5 inch round balloons to make smaller yarn balls, but you can use larger or smaller sizes)

- White craft glue

The process:

Step 1. Make a mixture of glue and water (avoid making it too watery). Step 2. Slightly blow up one 5 inch round balloon. Step 3. Pull out a big bunch of yarn or twine from the ball itself. It’s helpful to wrap it around your hand holding onto the end as to avoid tangling of the yarn. Dunk the yarn into the glue/water mixture making it all wet. Squeeze it out before wrapping. Step 4. Begin wrapping the wet yarn around the small balloon. There is no method here, just wrap it in every which way. Step 5. Once you have covered up a good majority of the balloon, cut off the yarn and tuck the end under. Step 6. Roll the yarn wrapped balloon one more time in the water glue mixture, and then squeeze out any excess. Step 7. Once all your glue yarn ball is completely squeezed out, let them dry with the balloons inflated inside overnight. This is an important step. Step 8. The next day, the glue yarn ball should be stiff and hard. If it is still damp, let it dry out for a full second day. If it’s dry, you can pop the balloon, and gently pull the popped balloon out. You should be left with a decorative yarn ball.

Block printing –

For a simple and effective printing technique, give block printing a go.

Variations of this activity can be explored depending on what materials you have access to. If you don’t have any paint or ink you could use your printing plate to do rubbings, exploring textures and using colouring pencils, pastels, charcoal etc.

This is all about experimenting, have fun with it. See what results you can get from different materials you have to hand ie. Shiny, soft, hard and rough surfaces.

What you'll need -

1. Cardboard - something to stick your design to ie. the rough side of a cereal box

2. Scissors or craft knife

3. Glue

4. Wood block or heavy cardboard, this could be the cardboard from a cereal box experiment by using the shiny side or a piece of corrugated card from a cardboard box

5. Water soluble block printing ink or acrylic paint watered down (Keep it wet for as long as possible when printing with it.)

6. Ink roller (brayer) and rolling surface (glass is good but could just be a thick piece of card or another shiny side of a cereal box)

7. Newspapers or magazines to protect your work surface

8. Paper for printing onto

The process:

Step 1. Cut a silhouette shape or shapes from your cardboard with scissors or craft knife.

Step 2. Glue the cardboard shapes firmly to a piece of wood or heavy cardboard. Press under heavy books or some other weight to make sure that the shapes are flat.

Step 3. Place some ink on the glass rolling surface and roll it out until it is smooth and tacky.

Step 4. When the ink roller (brayer) is evenly coated with ink, roll it over the surface of the prepared block. Make sure that the roller makes complete revolutions to thoroughly coat the raised surfaces of your block.

Step 5. Lay your paper on a pad of newspapers or magazines and print the block. Exert heavy pressure for a good print.

Another suggestion if you are using corrugated card is to draw a design onto it and cut around it with a craft knife just leaving you with the top layer and design, as illustrated in these images.

Creative Writing Task

Chain Story –

Dig deep into your imagination, write your own version of a favoured tale, a piece of history, an event, or write from memory, but stop yourself at 50 words in. Then send it on to someone else to add to it and instruct them to pass it on and so on.

This could be your own contact base, or you could send it to us for us to pass onto someone else. The aim is to end up with a collaborative story that takes a whole new direction, different from the way the first few writers had intended.

Will there be twists and turns? Will the genre be clear throughout? Will there be surprises? Will there be defined characters? Join in to find out and put your own spin on the developing narrative.

If you’d like to take part in our chain story please let us know by contacting us.

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