Ever wanted to be a part of an international film? Well The Upload Project are giving you the opportunity to do just that, with the chance to contribute a short video of yourself to their global filmmaking project.
Based in Bristol, The Upload Project is an online film collaboration organised by three final year Drama students at The University of Bristol.
Launched in February earlier this year, their project looks to bring together people from all around the world by using the internet.
“So much of our lives depend on the internet,” comment the team. “It has become an integral part of our society and soon the way in which films are produced will be affected by this too.”
Run by Pascale Morrison-Derbyshire, Rose Knight-Hoggart, and Stephanie Linning, the project was set up from a shared interest in both film and the way in which it can be used to connect people from all across the world.
“We’ve always been interested in documentaries and world film as a platform to explore the different cultures, practices and lifestyles of so many people,” they say. “We hope to create a film that is truly collaborative via the internet, and that demonstrates that you do not need a big budget to do so.”
Asked why people should contribute to their project, the team comment that this is an opportunity for people to choose what they put on the internet for others to read about.
“It’s an idea that is so fitting to the way we live our lives now. This is a chance for people to say ‘this is me, this is who I am’,” they continue. “We honestly believe that it is just such an exciting project to be a part of.”
Serving as the team’s final practical assessment for their Drama degree, their inspiration originally came from a unit on their course titled ‘Global Cinemas, Local Stories’. “The unit introduced us to questions surrounding the different cultural contexts influencing the creation of film,” they comment. “But we wanted to see if we could reach out to people across the globe to create something that was much bigger than just a university assignment.”
Another major influence was the video ‘Life in a Day’ created by Kevin Macdonald. “We were drawn to the idea of people being able to film their own stories,” they say. “We were really interested in the way the video tells the stories about the everyday lives of people from across the globe, regardless of having the latest, flashiest technology.”
But not only is the project a way to express yourself, it also gives the chance for you to be a part of the filmmaking process yourself. “If you choose to contribute footage then you will in essence get to be involved in making a film, but without all the commitments and stress that comes with being involved in the day-to-day process,” they comment. “Instead, you are able to film as much footage as you like, at a time that is convenient, and then you can stay in touch as much as you like from that point on.”
This collaborative aspect of the project is the most important one for the team. “Once everyone has sent in the footage, we will take it offline and start to edit it into a film. What’s crucial is that the filmmakers will still play a huge part in the process even after they have filmed and submitted their footage.”
They continue: “We want our filmmakers to respond and comment on the work in progress throughout. We want to understand their vision for the film, as well as to realise our own.”
As an internet project, the team are using social media platforms for their sole means of contribution as well as a tool for promotion. This includes developing an online following through their Facebook page and Twitter, both of which are updated daily with photos, questions, and general thoughts to engage collaborators with each part of the upload process.
“We want to make something that reaches beyond ourselves, beyond Bristol, and beyond our degree, to create something that actually has value,” say the team. “The project has allowed us to contact and communicate with people from all over the world, and for us to be a part of something global feels really special.
With the project so far, the team are currently trying to create a lot of hype around the project, trying to get people interested and involved in what they are doing, which already includes two promotional videos which can be seen on their YouTube channel.
“We’ve already been sent some really exciting footage so it’s all very exciting,” say the team. “Everyone has a valid story to tell, and really we are just giving people a platform to do that. We can’t wait to see the different ways in which people will respond.”
The exact form that the final production will take has yet to be decided, but the team continue to comment that: “When the footage is finalised, it will then be screened as part of an installation in the University of Bristol Drama department at the end of May.”
If you are interested in being a part of this exciting filmmaking process, then the team are asking you to contribute anything from 5 seconds worth of footage about your favourite food to 10 minutes of footage of a picturesque landscape that you enjoy visiting.
“We want as many contributions as possible,” say the team. “We’re not looking for a masterpiece in cinematography; we just want to see a snapshot of your life.”
This is your chance to be part of something really exciting, so pick up a camera, get filming, and head to the project’s YouTube channel to upload a video.