Have you ever been curious about a day in the life of your favorite YouTube star?
Director Dan Dobi found out how YouTube stars such as NMR friends MysteryGuitarMan and SeaNanners make their videos by following them for a whole day in his film, “Please Subscribe – A YouTube Documentary.”
The nearly 90-minute film, which took four months of work from filming to post-production, documents a day in the life of prominent YouTube stars, from the planning of a video to going about their personal lives.
Many of those featured in the film are friends of Dobi. Besides MysteryGuitarMan and Seannaners, Dobi interviews and follows Hannah Hart, Wheezy Waiter, Kevin Khandijian, Daily Grace, Mitchell Davis and TheWillofDC, Dan Brown and a special appearance by ShayCarl.
Dobi told NMR that he started the film after talking to his friends who are involved in YouTube full-time. While he comes from a traditional media background, he has been creating YouTube content for about three years now.
“When you get started [on YouTube], it’s not like there’s a handbook for it. You have to figure it out yourself. Once I started doing videos and talking to people who were doing it, I was interested and I was like ‘This is really cool. You guys went through the same things I did.’”
Dobi became curious about how they got their creative juices flowing, so he and his film crew followed them to get an understanding of their production processes.
“We get their workflow. We get to see what their lives are like on that side of YouTube between uploading, download and shooting. It’s a little bit of history about how they got involved and how they got started.”
His project wouldn’t have been possible without the more than $12,000 raised on Kickstarter from 243 backers. The money went to hire advanced equipment and his own team to make this film possible. He said that using Kickstarter retains his creative control as opposed to seeking funding through studios and investors.
“It’s a lot more motivating for a filmmaker to have that creative control and say ‘Hey, I can do this on my terms. I can do it with the people I want to work with. This is absolutely my vision.’”
It already made its debut at VidCon last June to rave reviews, and YouTube is hosting a Q&A session featuring a discussion panel of YouTube stars involved in the film September 5 at Google’s Los Angeles offices.
Dobi said, “It’s really cool having people interested in [this film], but to be honest, stuff like this is right up their alley. I’m really excited to have Shira Lazar into this project. She was the one that introduced this to some of the people at Google which I’m super grateful for.”
Although the release date is unclear, Dobi told NMR that he is currently submitting the film to Sundance and is looking at a January release date. Whatever happens, he hopes that it will get wide distribution for very cheap.