One Day on Earth, the organization behind the effort to amass footage from around the world, will host an online event One Day in Boston on April 26th. As part of this city-wide, crowdsourcing event, filmmakers (and non-filmmakers) shoot video on April 26th that addresses 10 questions about the future of Boston posed by One Day on Earth. The uploaded videos will be available to the public and part of One Day on Earth's social outreach platform.
NewEnglandFilm.com’s Ted Ryan interviews Cecily Tyler, co-founder and producer of One Day in Boston, about the virtual event. Tyler is an award-winning producer from Boston and New York City. She has worked the Discovery networks; NBC News Learn, New York Times Television, BBC NYC, Brown Alpert Medical School, and YouthBuild USA.
Ted Ryan: First of all, could you give us a brief synopsis of the event?
Cecily Tyler: One Day on Earth is a 24-hour filming campaign that invites you to document what’s happening in your city and to capture authentic, compelling narratives. So you would shoot all your footage on April 26th. Then, you have a month to post and upload to our website.
TR: How did One Day on Earth start?
Tyler: One Day On Earth was a worldwide media event, bringing together thousands of participants and simultaneously filming over a 24-hour period, the first being on Oct. 10, 2010. Participants in every country of the world contributed on this same day. The United Nations and over 60 non-profit organizations participated, and we collectively created over 3,000 hours of video, including a groundbreaking feature film.
Right now, we want to create the same type of event but focus on cities here in the United States. We call this program "Your Day. Your City. Your Future." Boston is on the list. We invite filmmakers, organizations, or anyone that is feeling inspired with a camera to shoot for this One Day In Boston event.
TR: There are 10 questions you pose to each participant when creating their video for One Day in Boston. They include what we love about our city, the solutions to its problems, and its future. What is the genesis of these questions?
Tyler: We traveled to all 11 participating cities before the launch. We saw similar issues and themes resonating in each city, an we devised questions that will serve as a springboard for the discussion.
TR: How do you hope to see these questions explored in the videos that participants upload?
Tyler: I hope people share from their hearts what is meaningful to them, what drives them, and what is creating fear for them. I want people to seek and discover what they love and what they want to change. Most importantly, I want to hear their solutions.
TR: So, you don't need to be a professional to participate?
Tyler: Not at all. We all have it in us to tell a story!
TR: For a first-timer making a video, do you have a list of recommended steps to follow?
Tyler: We have free educational toolkits on OneDayInBoston.org. I recommend considering how you are telling the story visually: how do you show the answers to these 10 questions? Think about your shot list. Show the subject, but also set the scene. Show the details. Show the visual representation of the topic.
TR: What is the importance of having all these videos shot on the one day, April 26th?
Tyler: It makes us realize that this is all happening now and makes you reflect on the shared connection between us all. The day is an event – it is a way for us all to come together and make something.
TR: Eleven other cities across the country are holding this same event. As producer for the Boston-based event, what do you find unique about this city?
Tyler: There are so many compelling, unique stories I’ve come across in Boston. From issues like housing and labor, to innovation and life transitions. What I’ve come away with so far is that we are an incredibly engaged and united city, made up of a diverse mosaic of neighborhoods, backgrounds and experiences and there are so many great stories to tell.
Everything from the work being done at Haley House, Madison Park Development Corporation, the Handel and Haydn Society, New England Region Council of Carpenters, the Wyss Institute, to The Mayor’s Youth Council - I’m just really impressed by our town.
TR: After participants upload their videos to the site, what happens?
Tyler: Each of the completed videos will be put into a public shared archive website. Which means anyone on the web will have the opportunity to see your work. We also anticipate that numerous non-profit partners in Boston and throughout the country will be posting and promoting videos that resonate with their organizations. Last but not least - we will be holding community screenings, which showcase videos from that particular area.
TR:As producer, educator, and citizen, what do you hope to accomplish with One Day in Boston?
Tyler:We hope to provide Bostonians with a platform to show the world their Boston, through their lens: what we love about our city, what are our challenges, the solutions we need, the people and places that make it so unique, and to envision how the city will evolve in the next 20 years. It’s a pivotal opportunity to capture a moment in time for our city. We have changes going in many areas of our city right now — this chance to share our voice is so timely.
One Day in Boston is also working with local broadcasters to create a TV series that will include the stories and opinions shared, diving deeper into questions investigating the future of American cities.