I was recently listening to one of my favorite podcasts, “The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast” where Mr. Ellis was talking with his guest about his new web series coming out and the hiring process for it. He described that the director and producers informed him that he needed to hire at least two “YouTube stars” to be able to attract the younger population to the project. This caught my attention because it made it seem like famous actors would be passed up for a role simply because the people in charge wanted someone that the “young, hip people” could relate to. Now this is an interesting topic for me personally because I don’t watch a lot of television or movies. I do, however, watch a lot of YouTube videos whether they be “Let’s Plays” where the channel owner makes videos of themselves playing certain video games (Pewdiepie, Markiplier, Jacksepticeye), “How To” videos like how to play a certain riff on the guitar or just plain funny videos that people have uploaded.
It seems that as YouTube gains more traction and begins making more money, such as making their own shows that one must pay to watch, the people making content and bringing more people to the site are getting more and more powerful in the entertainment industry. But is this a good thing? YouTube stars have only become what they are simply by doing what they love to do. Yes, some of them have immense talent, but quite a few of them play video games for a living because they want to make people laugh and connect to people that way. Why make that person the star of your web series instead of a young actor that has gone through professional schooling in order to make his or her dreams come true?
It is interesting to see new ways of fame coming into fruition. For example, we have YouTube which has been bringing people into stardom for a few years now and Vine, a video sharing app that allows people to share six second videos with those on the app. Many “Vine stars” have hundreds of people show up to any meet and greets if they announce it on Twitter or Facebook and recently we’ve seen Vine stars in some low budget spoof movies to make their way into Hollywood. The current age of technology allows all of these YouTube or Vine stars’ work to speak for itself. It can be accessed at your fingertips at any time.
YouTube's popularity has shown that Hollywood is on the decline because people are going less and less to movies and staying in their own homes where they can pop some popcorn and watch the latest episode of their favorite YouTuber who could put out quite a few videos a day. There is more content than ever to enjoy and, as mentioned above, it is right at your fingertips. Youtube and Vine may not have the professional acting that Hollywood does, but it has much more content and is more accessible to everyone.