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Casey Neistat on David Dobrik and the Perils of Social Media « CB

Casey Neistat on David Dobrik and the Perils of Social

In early 2019, Casey Neistat started filming “Below the Affect,” about 23-year-old YouTube phenomenon David Dobrik, capturing his evolution from prankster to on-line celeb with main model sponsors and tens of tens of millions of followers throughout social media platforms. However in 2021, the docu took a flip when a Enterprise Insider story documented sexual-assault allegations by a girl in opposition to a former member of Dobrik’s Vlog Squad, Dom Zeglaitis. When the article went viral, Dobrik’s world started to break down round him and Neistat was there to seize it. The result’s a can’t-take-your-eyes-off-it characteristic docu that sheds mild on the social media’s ecosystem and the personalities it perpetuates.

Neistat teamed with Killer Movies and documentary writer-producer Mark Monroe to make “Below the Affect,” which is certain to trigger extra controversy for Dobrik after premiering at South by Southwest on March 12. Neistat and Killer Movies co-founder Christine Vachon spoke to Selection about why they needed to make “Below the Affect” and what they hope its affect will probably be.

Why did you wish to make a film about David Dobrik?

Neistat: In 2019, firms had been to lining as much as work with David. His cultural relevancy was one thing that I had by no means seen earlier than. It was completely extraordinary. There was little doubt in my thoughts once I started filming that a number of his content material was questionable, irreverent, and crude however nonetheless extensively accepted. For higher or worse, this younger man was going to be the face of this (YouTube) platform. So, it was all very compelling and attention-grabbing to me and was a narrative that I believed I might inform.

Along with being a narrative about David Dobrik, this movie examines our society, and its relationship with social media and twenty first century on-line fame. Do you think about the doc to be a social subject movie?

Neistat: Completely. For a big a part of the general public, they’re conscious of this world of influencers and, if I can generalize, they see it as absurdist. They see it as folks screaming into cameras and getting paid tens of millions of {dollars} and residing these outlandish lives. There’s not a number of understanding there. This movie shines a light-weight on how precisely David’s on-line world works. We seize and share why he was such a phenonenon and what that appears like up shut. Then we present how the exact same issues that made him so profitable finally led to his undoing. So, the film takes a really sharp perspective trying from the within out to indicate what that on-line world actually appears like.

You had been engaged on this mission for over two years when the Enterprise Insider article was launched in March 2021. Within the wake of the allegations, a number of manufacturers that had offers with Dobrik — together with HBO Max, EA, HelloFresh, Greenback Shave Membership and SeatGeek — lower ties with him. Did you must persuade David to proceed with the doc after the article?

Neistat: The one time he engaged on digicam after that article was launched was for one last interview. It’s an interview that has a really totally different tone from the remainder of the movie. It’s an interview that can also be peppered all through the movie, and it sandwiches the opening of the film and finish of the film.

How did Killer Movies get entangled with the mission?

Neistat: Christine produced my 2006 HBO collection, “The Neistat Brothers” and I acquired to know her intimately by that course of. Once I began making this documentary, I didn’t know what it was going to be, and Christine was the primary particular person I turned to. She satisfied me that it was an actual film and supplied me with the boldness to make it.

Christine, what did you see within the footage that made you realize that it could make a very good documentary?

Vachon: I liked this complete notion that Casey was going to comply with someone like David and actually begin to dig into web fame and the fascination with that fame. What put someone into that place? However, then because the story unfolded and it grew to become darker and simply grew to become very clear to me that not solely was it a movie, nevertheless it was additionally a movie with extraordinary resonance.

What are you hoping audiences stroll away with after watching the doc?

Vachon: There’s so many layers about our on-line lives and we get sucked into residing lives so publicly. So, I believe the movie will result in questions and self-reflection or examination round our obsession with social media and the strain that it places on folks — particularly younger folks –to carry out. Perhaps folks will go away asking, ‘What does it imply to dwell a lot on-line?’

Has David seen this documentary?

Neistat: He has seen the movie.

Will he be attending the SXSW movie pageant?

Neistat: He and I’ve not spoken since shortly after that last interview, so I don’t know his intentions. However I can not think about that he’ll be there.

So, I take it that he’s not a fan of the movie?

Neistat: I definitely can’t communicate for him.

Regardless of the Enterprise Insider article, David nonetheless his YouTube channel and a profitable on-line following and nicely as a present on Discovery Plus. Do you suppose this documentary might need a unfavourable impact on his on-line profession?

Neistat: That’s a query that I take into consideration loads, however I do not know.

Vachon: One of many strengths of the movie is it actually offers the ladies a voice they wouldn’t have had. So, I don’t know.

You are attempting to discover a distributor at SXSW. How do you’re feeling going into the pageant?

Vachon: I actually can’t wait to see the movie with an viewers. I believe seeing it with an viewers will assist a possible distributor perceive its potential.

Neistat: It’s a really unusual. I’ve contradicting emotions. On one facet, I’m so immensely pleased with the work the crew and I completed. However on the opposite facet, I don’t really feel like it is a material that must be celebrated. There’s speak about what we should always do after the screening. Do we’ve a celebration? I’m not comfy celebrating the subject material that we speak about on this film. It’s essential and related, however there are very actual victims whose tales are informed on this film.

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