NR / 77 min
Documentary / Biography / Comedy
Starring: Craig Benzine, Dan Brown & Mitchell Davis
Director: Dan Dobi
Even to this day I still can’t fully wrap my head around the immense phenomenon that is YouTube. When the website formed around nine years ago, it was hard to tell if it would grow wings and spring off.
Obviously this is not the case today.
YouTube has grown into one of the world most visited website. Tons of people are uploading hundreds and hundreds of hours of content everyday. It’s truly unfathomable. Please Subscribe, a documentary by Dan Dobi is a documentary about YouTube, but it tells a different type of story. It doesn’t talk about what YouTube is, or how it is run. Instead, it takes a peek into some of the personal lives of some of the personalities that make the site run. In my opinion, this provides for a better story.
The documentary follows the story of eight YouTuber’s and the lives that they live. These personalities include Daily Grace, Dan Brown, Hannah Hart, Mitchell Davis, Mystery Guitar Man, Seananners, The Will of DC, and Wheezy Waiter. Each one of them has a different story to tell, and all of them are pretty intriguing.
The documentary focuses a lot on the daily lives that these internet celebrities live and how hectic they can sometimes be. A lot of people might have the misconception that being a “YouTube Star” is cake walk and that these stars are living an easy life. In reality, their lives can be busy and borderline crazy. A lot of these YouTubers’ days are packed to the brim with video work or planning for their video work. Their work pays off in the end, because most of these people make six-figure salaries. Although this a driving force for most, a lot of these personalities do it because they want to, not because of the dough.
We also get to hear the more intimate stories that you otherwise wouldn’t hear publicly. For instance, we get to hear the story of Mitchell Davis, and his battles with OCD. It’s a thing that he has struggled with in the past, but his YouTube channel has helped him overtake this disorder and tame it. It’s these kinds of stories that made the documentary riveting to watch.
The documentary primarily focuses on the success stories of these YouTuber’s channels, but we do get to see a channel that has gone through it’s fair share of failures as well. We see the story of Dan Brown and his property entitled Dan 3.0. This property that he created was basically a crowd-sourced project on YouTube that he started after his channel had gained some popularity. This move didn’t really sit well with the fans and it actually ended up not going so well for Dan in the end. We get to see how he coped and how he got through it all. It ended with a good ending, but it was important that we got to see the failures that come with YouTube. Not everybody that signs up for a YouTube account sees instant success. It takes a lot of hard work, and sometimes the works pays off, while other times it may not.
Please Subscribe offers a unique perspective and it sheds a light on the whole YouTube story. To my knowledge, most people know about YouTube, but they don’t know the story behind it. They don’t know the people behind it. They don’t know the true story behind the personalities that they see and watch every day.
The documentary was well shot and it was fun to watch. Dan Dobi hasn’t done too much up to this point, but I hope that I can see more of his work in the future. Please Subscribe is an extremely recommendable documentary and I actually encourage a lot of people to watch it. It’s a unique look at a website and the pioneers that are taking it into the future.