Screening Room

Mip TV Picks 2008: 1,000 Journals

In 2000, San Francisco artist Someguy began an experiment in order to discover what happens to our creativity as we get older. He released 1,000 blank journals into the world, with a simple instruction written in each: 'This is an experiment and you are part of it. Add anything you like, then pass it on.'
April 1, 2008


In 2000, San Francisco artist Someguy began an experiment in order to discover what happens to our creativity as we get older. He released 1,000 blank journals into the world, with a simple instruction written in each: ‘This is an experiment and you are part of it. Add anything you like, then pass it on.’

These contemporary ‘messages in a bottle’ have given birth to a global on- and off-line community as the journals have circled the globe. Scans of pages are uploaded to the project’s website, where thousands of surfers clamor to be the next to record their part of the story in the pages. Shot in some of the places the journals have visited, the story revolves around the progress of the experiment and the huge cast of characters who have chosen to take an active and passionate role in it. (The filmmakers claim 500 contributors to the experiment have been found and interviewed – a task as daunting as the initial experiment itself.)

Luckily for Someguy, one of the journals even managed to make its way back to him, thanks to a coffee shop owner who wanted to make sure he could see the results of at least one of his efforts. Number 526 returned in September of 2003, after visiting 13 US states, Ireland and Brazil. Partners: Andrea-k Productions (Marina del Rey), Louise Rosen Ltd. (Brunswick)
Aired: November 2007 at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles
Length: 88 minutes
Rights available: All worldwide

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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