This new documentary delves into the nitty gritty of YouTube fame
YouTube stars seem to have it all: They’re oftentimes young people who happened to break into the video blogging game early and now have massive fan followings. Many have expanded their influence beyond YouTube’s boundaries, going into music, acting, and writing to great success. But as is the case with any story about fame, the transition between recording confessional videos on your webcam and, say, outselling J.K. Rowling can get rocky.
So, what’s it like going from having a handful of followers to millions of them? The Creators, a documentary short directed by Oscar-nominee Nanette Burstein, profiles four of the UK’s biggest YouTube stars—beauty and fashion blogger and best-selling author Zoella, short-maker TomSka, and hilarious twins Niki & Sammy—about both the perks and downfalls of their YouTube fame. While their content has clearly connected with millions of people over the Internet, these Internet superstars keep it real off the screen, and The Creators explores the implications of leading private lives under a very public spotlight.
The entire documentary is available to watch on (naturally) YouTube, and even if you don’t know who any of these people are, there’s still plenty to watch for: A critique of overwhelming fame; a defense of amateur-generated content; a look into the future of the Internet’s now highly competitive digital video world. YouTube might’ve started off as a hub for cute animal and grainy webcam videos, but we’ve come a long way from Lonelygirl15 and… actually, we’re still obsessed with cute animals.
With Vidcon in its sixth year and Internet stars like Grace Helbig landing network TV gigs, YouTube has become the most prolific creative talent pool in the world. So while The Creators celebrates just some of the medium’s breakout stars, it serves as a bigger celebration of what digital communities have and can still become.