Jared Leto is celebrating this Fourth of July with more than just a backyard BBQ: The Suicide Squad star is asking people across the U.S. to film their July 4th and submit to be part of A Day in the Life of America, a video collage set to 30 Second to Mars’ new music.
In a letter to fans, Leto and the rest of his band — whose fifth album and first since 2013’s Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams arrives this year — implore people to “film what’s important, challenging, or inspiring to you.”
“It’s an incredible opportunity to document the U.S.A. during a very important time in our country,” he wrote. “We want to see your America in all its imperfect glory.”
Although Leto was a vocal Hillary Clinton supporter during the presidential race, he maintains this isn’t a response to President Donald Trump’s election. “I don’t think you could ever really get to know America or who we are unless you hear everyone’s story,” he tells EW. “I think that it’s an opportunity for us to hold up a mirror and to learn more about who and what we are, so it has to be inclusive. It has to shine a light in every direction.”
While some stars have been criticized for not using their voice to amplify their political viewpoints — Taylor Swift, in particular, has come under fire for keeping silent about who she voted for in November — Leto isn’t afraid of anyone attacking him for creating what he describes as an “apolitical piece.”
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“You can have your opinion about your politics, about your religion, about anything in life, and still participate in something that’s bipartisan,” he says. “I think that’s actually a great exercise. Looking through the country and seeing the country from another person’s vantage point is an incredibly important and impactful thing to do, to try to gain greater understanding.”
“And I want to disagree with some of the footage that we get,” he continues. “I want to debate some of what’s in this film. I don’t think that we want to cater to one perspective or another. That’s not the exercise and that’s not the experiment here. I think people will see what they want to see in certain components of the film and others will see what they want to see. But I don’t think we can accurately create a true portrait of America if we do it through the lens of politics.”
As part of A Day in the Life of America, film crews will be shooting in each U.S. state plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico on July 4. Read Leto’s letter about the project below for details on how to submit footage.
To our friends and family across the nation.
This Tuesday, the 4th of July, we are filming a massive portrait of America, capturing a single day in the life of this beautiful country in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
It’s an incredible opportunity to document the USA during a very important time in our country.
And we need your help.
We are asking you to film what’s important, impactful, challenging or inspiring to you.
It can be a single shot, a person, an entire event, or a compelling story – we want to see your America in all its imperfect glory.
When shooting, please try to be as brave, bold and creative as possible. The most compelling footage will be what makes it into the final portrait.
In addition, we would like you or your subject to look into the camera and answer the following questions.
- What does America mean to you?
- What does the American dream mean to you?
- What is the state of the country today?
- What are you afraid of?
- What are your hopes and dreams?
If there is anything else that you have the desire to say or share, please feel free.
Our goal is to create this portrait based on footage captured on a single day – July 4th, 2017 – but if there are events that transpire or images we feel we need to tell our story, we will include those.
For those of you outside the USA, you can participate too – send your thoughts on America and the American dream to ThirtySecondsToMars.us
We will not be accepting submissions until Midnight on July 4th. Please visit ThirtySecondsToMars.us for more information.
Thank you for joining us on this incredible and amazing adventure, we can’t wait to see America through your eyes.