The Price of Fame on YouTube Is Candidly Captured in ‘The Creators’

/ Mar 17, 2015


This article originally appeared in The Daily Dot

By Carly Lanning

2015 has marked the ultimate explosion of YouTubers into mainstream media. In just the last three months, major creators have been called upon to conduct interviews with President Obama, Grace Helbig announced a premiere date for her talk show on E!, and Zoella, a U.K. beauty vlogger with 7 million subscribers, outsold JK Rowling in book sales in a controversial coup.

There is no denying YouTube’s influence, but even as the platform grows, there is still a lack of clarity around what YouTube is and why Gen C prefers it to any other form of entertainment. I commonly find myself explaining to a group of shocked faces that YouTube isn’t just cat videos and fail compilations anymore.

And that’s where “The Creators” comes in. The documentary, directed by Oscar nominee Nanette Burstein, follows three of the UK’s biggest channels — TomSka, Zoella, and Niki & Sammy — to document what those creators’ lives have become since rising to YouTube stardom. Each star appeals to a different audience: Zoella is a beauty and fashion vlogger with 7 million subscribers; TomSka (Thomas Ridgewell) creates comedy, action, and cartoon shorts for his 3.3 million fans; and Sammy and Niki are identical twins who make videos about everything and anything. The overall result bridges the gap between die-hard-don’t-own-a-TV YouTube fans and first-time viewers.

This documentary is incredibly intimate, capturing both major perks and hardships these four creators have faced by choosing to put their life on the Internet. On the one hand, Zoella and TomSka both talk about how making people happy and being able to make a living doing something they’re passionate about is the greatest gift to come out of YouTube. But TomSka also talks openly about his decision to talk with his fans about his battles with depression and weight loss, while Zoella explains her tumultuous relationship with severe anxiety and panic attacks. It’s these honest moments that have only increased fans’ love for their favorite creators.

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