Every now and then in the YouTube Community, there is a video or series of videos that capture the attention, not just of viewers at home, but of content creators as well. I’m not just talking about viral videos here, I’m talking about videos that create discussion and discourse among viewers and fellow video creators. Sometimes they’re controversial, sometimes they just spark a much needed discussion. Three years ago Dan Brown’s video on Education sparked a rather messy discussion among several other YouTubers. About two years ago it was Andrew Bravener’s video titled “An Open Letter to YouTube” which focused on how YouTube has changed over the years and whether or not that was a good thing, which is a discussion that still continues and probably will never end. Last year it was Charlie McDonnell’s video about being a content creator and how frightening it is. This year, the community is focused on Ben Cook’s series titled “Becoming YouTube”.
Becoming YouTube is a twelve part documentary series focused on the YouTube community and content creators, specifically those in the UK, but also on separate communities, on gatherings, on tricks used to get viewers, even the controversial videos that spark discussions themselves. The series isn’t complete yet, but it’s very interesting to watch from a YouTube perspective, and I’m very excited to see where Ben takes it from here.
When I first heard about the project I was really excited to see it. I have a lot of friends (and relatives) that don’t really understand the YouTube world. They don’t get why it is such a big part of my life, especially since I’m not a YouTuber myself. I was hoping that this documentary series would be a way to introduce people to what YouTube is, why it’s important to me, and who the people actually are that I’m watching every day. Becoming YouTube is not that.
It wasn’t what I wanted it to be, and I was disappointed by that. It’s too weird, contains too many inside YouTube jokes that make it inaccessible for people who aren’t already familiar with YouTubers and YouTube trends. While it is a great study of the community, it is a study of the community from inside the community. It’s still worth a watch if you’re interested, but it’s not something that I’d show to my dad as an introduction.
Recently Corey Vidal’s company ApprenticeA Productions, which is a production company focused on making YouTube videos, partnered with very successful vlogger Shay Carl and announced their plans to make a feature length documentary titled “I’m Vlogging Here”. The documentary has been fully funded by viewers through indiegogo, though it hasn’t started filming yet.
I am very excited for this coming documentary. I’m hoping that it will be everything that Becoming YouTube isn’t. I hope it will be an introduction to YouTube for people who don’t know YouTube, but also a celebration of those who love YouTube already.
Whatever happens with I’m Vlogging Here, I know it’s going to be well done. Hopefully it will be something I can show to my dad.