For the last several years, I’ve committed to completing at least one year-long project that requires only my time and discipline. Such projects include completing a daily creative self-portrait project, keeping a private online jazz music appreciation journal, and reading 50 books in 52 weeks.
My project for this year is based on an app called 1 Second Everyday ($0.99), which consists of capturing a second of my life for an entire year, or maybe until I die. Launched as a Kickstarter project, 1 Second Day was developed by Cesar Kuriyama who has been recording his own life since February 20th, 2011. He saved up enough money to take off from his job for a year and chronicle his daily life and adventures.
A year’s worth of one second captures results in a six-minute video that is actually quite amazing, especially when it’s about you and the people in your life. Kuriyama said in an interview that the project made him realize that he needed “to do one interesting thing to make today count.”
Here’s Kuriyama’s first year compilation:
How It Works
1 Second Everyday (1SE) is like using the videocam on your iPhone. You launch the app and tap on the video camera icon on the top-left of the app, to capture something going on in your life. Your video capture can be as long as you like, but after you’re done, you open the saved video in the app’s timeline and select a one-second snippet from the video clip.
1SE makes it easy for you to play both the entire video capture and/or play one second a time. When you locate the best second, you tap the scissor icon to save the clip for that particular day.
You can shoot and save several captures on the same day, but you can only clip a second from one of the videos to represent the day’s capture. Note, 1SE won’t allow you to use previously shot video for a day you missed. If you want to fill a missed day, you can only import a photo from your Photo Library, or add some text for that day.
In the Settings area of the app you can set 1 to 4 reminders, and 1SE will send you a message at a random time in the range of the times you select to remind you to take your daily video capture.
When you first launch 1SE it will look for existing video captures in your iPhone’s Camera Roll, and those videos will get added to your 1SE calendar, based on the days they were shot. You can select to pull one-second snippets from them if you like.
1SE saves your snippets with the app’s data on your iPhone, which you can go back and edit, or select a different part of a clip as long as the original video capture is saved in your Camera Roll. When you delete original clips from the Roll, 1SE will only retain the selected one-second clip from the original capture. The contents of your 1SE calendar are saved to your iCloud account if you have enabled iCloud Backup. But you might also back them up on your computer or another cloud service, such as Dropbox.
After you build up a collection of videos, you can have 1SE compile them into video. You can compile a month or year’s worth, but you will be so interested in seeing the results that you will probably choose the first week or two’s worth of videos and create a compilation.
All of your compilations are saved in the app, and can be exported to your Facebook or YouTube account, or saved to your Camera Roll. You can’t add background music to your compilations inside the app, but if you save them to your Camera Roll or your computer, you can use a video application like iMovie to add background music and a title.
Other Features and Tips
1SE also allows you to keep more than one timeline, though I think it’s a little difficult to do so. You may want to keep a timeline for yourself, one for your kids or pet, or a vacation trip.
Since video is all about movement and sound, it’s best to try to select snippets that show some sort of action. You don’t want your compilations to be like a photo slideshow. In many ways, 1SE snippets are richer than still photos because they don’t capture movement and sound, which can be forgotten years down the road.
While it’s easy to open 1SE and capture whatever you’re doing a particular time of the day, you might want to think about capturing a part of a day or routine that represents something significant about how you spent it. For many us, our days are made up of routine day-to-day activities and responsibilities, but in the 86,400 seconds of each day there are important moments you will want to look back upon, so don’t view your captures as trivial.
You might also miss a few days now and then, but thankfully when 1SE compiles a video it doesn’t show a blank space for the missed days; it only means your video will be shorter by a few seconds. Remember, if you capture a year’s worth of clips 1SE, it will result in a six minute video.
1SE is easy to use, and it only requires a few minutes of your time each day. Let us know what you think of 1 Second Everyday? Will you give it a try?