Life in a Day, is Billy Yang’s latest full length feature film, following four female runners throughout the Western States 100 course. This isn’t the first time we have seen Billy capture the action of this icon of ultra running, if you haven’t watched it already, Western Time follows Nike Trail Athlete Sally McRae on her 2014 race. However, given both follow the same course, it’s may be wise to space them apart…… but I do strongly recommend you view both.
In many respects this is not a sequel to Western Time, but an evolution. The story telling, cinematography and all round production have advanced with a further two years of filmmaking under Billy’s belt. Whereas before the film focused on one subject and followed the story of Sally and her crew, Life in a Day shows a glimpse into the lives of 4 very different athletes, uncovering their motivation, drive, strategy, life styles and ultimately reason for competing. With Billy’s passion for the sport and knowledge having too completed this iconic race, he can engage with his subjects on a personal level. He is not merely another guy, with another camera.
Colour grading, steady cams, transitions and voice overs are all noticeably improved and the use of interviews whilst on an athletes segment, delivers a feeling that Magda, Devon, Kaci and Anna Mae have the opportunity to tell their own story, rather than being dictated by the film producer.
For anyone intrigued by Western States, has/dreams/is running the race, wants to learn more about the athletes, or simply enjoys watching sport in its rawest form, portrayed in an elegant manner, Life in a Day is truly worth your time.
Billy has come along way in the past 3 years. I feel Western Time was his break out film, whereas Life in a Day establishes him as one of the best filmmakers out there in this category.