In November 2016 the band Coldplay asked fans to film 20 seconds of their day. The best clips picked up from the hashtag #Coldplayamazingday on social media were to be compiled into a film, with the soundtrack of their song Amazing Day.
As much as the word ‘amazing’ may be overused, the film is a fine antidote to our daily world news – the people on the clips are doing fun, smiley things, things that we’d all like to believe could be our own daily events. Behind the stagefront of a Facebook feed, an Instagram or Twitter profile it is easy to be convinced that this is the case for other people – when of course most of us are living completely normal lives where the average day involves nothing amazing (unless you get in the sea, which is nearly always awesome, never mind amazing!).
Watching the film a second time I realised how few indoor scenes there were. Nearly every clip or shot was outside – beaches, clifftop views, cityscapes, mountains, aerial views, waterfalls, forests, playgrounds, rivers, sports fields, geysers and waves -they’re all there and more. Given the chance, people choose these settings as their own ‘amazing’ places.
And yes, they’re the staged (or unstaged!), submitted choices from an audience of thousands, whittled down to the ones that fill 3 minutes. But that such a large proportion of the scenes are outdoors is surely indicative of our underlying need for contact with the real world, real air, real land and sea-scapes?
2017 is a year for increasing the proportion of my life I spend outside. If that can be a resolution then I may have made one…