Being a YouTube celebrity is very different from being a celebrity from, say, the realm of movies or television. The Internet, as a whole, already attracts a certain demographic, so having a convention full of niche content producers and niche content consumers.
Enter the likes of Freddie Wong and Brandon Laatsch, YouTube action superstars. While starting out as regular ol’ film school students, they soon moved up to working on real movies. Granted, they aren’t necessarily good movies, but real Hollywood movies nonetheless.
But given this splash into reality before diving into the Internet whole hog (including a rather exotic exchange with some actual tattooed and potentially armed gangsters quelled with a prop rocket launcher, summed up in “guns bring people together”), they have unique view on the intersection of the two industries. Showing a graph of top grossing films from the past four decades, the trend shows less original ideas and more sequels. Basically, the heart of the matter is gone.
But they don’t blame them, the money-hungry execs. The stakes are high, and they need it to pay off. But where on YouTube where the stakes are relatively lower and the turnaround much higher with greater audience interaction and engagement, the middleman is eliminated. Rarely are sequels created online because the zeitgeist moves too fast and requires more regular ingenuity.
What Laatsch and Wong posit, however, is that the ideas will soon be proven in the online realm and later move to the big screen. It’s an interesting thought, as YouTube could soon be simply a breeding ground for original IPs and Hollywood becoming a media mirror, providing big budgets to established ideas.
“Good content compels people to share.” That is basically the fundamental notion behind their creative drive. Wong brings up the KONY video, the “most viral video ever,” which compels people to share not because it’s necessarily a good video but because the part of you that the video tugs on is a part that everyone has and can identify with. “I’ve never seen a good video on YouTube with zero views.”
Also, turns out Red vs. Blue’s Vic is based on a friend on theirs that used to live with the Rooster Teeth guys. It explains a lot.