Brighton diaries inspire Hollywood directors

Posted On 24 Jul 2010 at 9:22 pm

Two Hollywood directors are to make a film inspired by diaries kept at Sussex University.

Ridley Scott, who made Alien, Bladerunner and Gladiator, is working on the project with Kevin Macdonald, who made The Last King of Scotland, State of Play and Touching the Void.

They are asking people around the world to upload personal films about their lives on YouTube today. Click here to submit your footage.

They aim to create the biggest user-generated film ever made, editing it into a single composition – called Life in a Day – and showing it at the Sundance Film Festival.

The idea was inspired by the Mass Observation Archive which is kept at the university in Falmer and houses thousands of diaries and records compiled by ordinary people.

Macdonald came to Brighton recently to film a promotion for Life in a Day at the university library.

He learnt about the archive ten years ago when making an earlier film about one of the archive’s founders, Humphrey Jennings.

He said: “This place was the inspiration for me for Life in a Day.”

The archive has also inspired novelists Margaret Drabble and Andrea Levy and the writer Simon Garfield, whose trilogy Our Hidden Lives was turned into a TV drama starring Richard Briers.

The writer and comedian Victoria Wood wrote and starred in the BAFTA award-winning drama Housewife, 49, based on the wartime diary of Nella Last, which is kept in the archive.

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