Your Day. Your City. Your Video Assignment.

If you’ve got a smartphone then you can take part in a new video project this Saturday that’s connecting the people of 11 cities across the U.S. The project, which is called Your Day. Your City. Your Future will unite hundreds of videographers to document over the course of a single day the major issues facing each city, with the final footage to be aired as a TV series.

Amazingly this actually sounds slightly less impressive than an earlier video project by organizers Kyle Ruddick and Brandon Litman, who previously crowdsourced the feature film One Day On Earth from filmmakers in every country (196, give or take Taiwan) with support from the United Nations and a host of non-profits, in the end amassing more than 3,000 hours of footage. Even though the geographical scope is smaller this time around, Kyle and Brandon assured me (while laughing at my suggestion) that this undertaking is that much easier.

"I would say no because ultimately when we’re trying to film in another country in the world you’re casting very wide," Kyle told me over the phone. "And in this case we’re casting very deep. And so in order to really try to cover cities, there’s a lot of things that you really have to think about. Are we going to get every neighborhood? Are we going to get every major issue that’s facing these cities? If someone looked at this in 100 years would we have enough documentation that feels like there was some sense of accuracy because we’ve had enough of a momentum behind it? I feel like it’s just as challenging to figure out what’s interesting a block away as it is on the other side of the world sometimes."

Filmmakers who decide to participate are asked to visually investigate a series of questions, such as "Why are you in your city?"; "What are your city’s biggest challenges?"; and "What do you hope for your city in the next 20 years?"

There are countless worthy issues (homelessness, poverty, pollution) for people to investigate in the 11 participating cities, which includes Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Denver, Los Angeles, Lower Rio Grande Valley, New Orleans, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and the Twin Cities. But really I hope someone looks into the giant rats I keep running into in NYC’s chinatown. I suspect TMNT mutagen canisters but I’d still like some video evidence.

Ultimately, Kyle and Brandon hope that everyone who participates — and they want everyone from experienced filmmakers with top-end equipment to people toting around a smartphone camera — will raise enough awareness to force a reaction from city governments.

"I would say that is a huge opportunity to be able to turn your creative craft into a weapon for change," Brandon said, "because you can create media, you can create that beautiful piece, but one of the really important things for our project is to now take that media and make sure we propel it forward into the hands and the eyes of people that do make change."

For more information and instructions on how to participate, visit Your Day. Your City. Your Future.

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