Why the Dirty 30 Movie Should Matter to Entrepreneurs and Makers
We here at Accidental Information are dying to know: Have you seen the Dirty 30 movie yet?
If not, what are you waiting for…permission? Consider it granted.
Dirty 30 is a laugh-out-loud, blow a White Russian out of your nose funny film featuring YouTubers Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, and Mamrie Hart, who plays Kate—a single orthodontist’s assistant who, on the verge of 30, receives a letter she wrote in high school to her future self in the mail. In her high-school handwriting—complete with heart-dotted I’s—the letter lists all of the amazing things she predicted she would have accomplished by age 30.
Think husband, child, and thriving orthodontic practice.
To pull her out of her doldrums of dreams unachieved, Kate’s best friends Evie and Charlie throw her a 30th birthday party that she’ll never forget. Nor will the police, Evie’s in-laws, or Kate’s high school nemesis. But we digress.
But it’s not the plot of this feature film that’s got our attention. We’re more interested in the storyline of what the release of Dirty 30 means for content creators, entrepreneurs, and makers.
The Tube to Fame
The Dirty 30 stars’ professional trajectories are pretty amazing, especially considering that just a few years ago they were virtually unknown. In fact, a recent New York Times article reported that it was almost by accident that frequent digital collaborators Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart realized that YouTube could even be a viable alternative to traditional show business.
Grace Helbig first began posting silly videos on YouTube with her roommate 8 years ago on their channel “Grace n’ Michelle.” She was then hired to create her own videos for the company My Damn Channel, and went on to launch her own channel “itsGrace” in 2014. Today, she boasts nearly 3 million subscribers, and two New York Times bestsellers—Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-Up and Grace and Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It.
Mamrie Hart is a frequent collaborator of Grace’s. The pair originally met doing sketch comedy for the People’s Improv Theatre (the PIT) in New York City. At the time, Mamrie was also moonlighting as a bartender and decided to give her own YouTube Channel a whirl when she saw how many followers Grace was capturing. In 2011, Mamrie launched her YouTube show “You Deserve a Drink,” which blends pop-culture with bartending recipes. Today, more than 1 million subscribers belly up to to her channel. Mamrie not only stars in Dirty 30, but she also co-wrote the screenplay.
Hannah Hart also launched her own YouTube channel in 2011. She is best known for her weekly YouTube series “My Drunk Kitchen” in which she cooks something while intoxicated. She also has a second channel, where she talks about life in general and shares her opinion on a variety of topics. Her parody cookbook was a New York Times bestseller for five weeks in 2014, and her new memoir Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded was just released Oct. 18th.
Content creators are becoming successful in ways not previously imagined—they’re having fun, they’re designing their own careers, and they’re clearly changing an industry.
Studios Taking Notice
According to Variety, it was the YouTube trio’s 2014 release of their indie film Camp Takota that prompted other producers and studios to take notice of the digital leading ladies. Their success also set the stage for other digital stars to cross over into film.
Lionsgate acquired the Camp Takota stars’ second film, Dirty 30, which was released Sept. 23rd in select theaters and on iTunes. It’s also on DVD at Target. In a press release announcing the partnership, the three YouTubers said, “Lionsgate is a perfect partner because they are a big player, but they’re a young studio who will support our creative vision and take chances.”
It looks like Lionsgate will be taking many more chances in supplying the next generation of global content. The studio just announced that it will invest $25 million per year on projects led by online video stars.
And as TubeFilter.com reports, Lionsgate isn’t just creating films based around the popular creators—they’re also giving YouTubers roles in larger-budget projects. For example, the recent holiday film Boo! A Madea Halloween features 6 YouTube stars—including Yousef Erakat, Liza Koshy, and Jimmy Tatro.
One of the reasons studios are paying so much attention to digital stars is that online celebs bring large social followings to the table. And that translates to low-cost marketing and built-in fan bases for movies.
It also translates to good news for aspiring content creators and digital stars.
Why it Matters
The success of Dirty 30 and other movies featuring online celebrities is a huge milestone for content creators. Yes, anyone can create content. But now content creators are becoming successful in ways not previously imagined—they’re having fun, they’re designing their own careers, and they’re clearly changing an industry.
They’re also getting by with a little help from their friends.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Mamrie said of the actresses’ relationship with each other, “We try to raise each other up. We feel [our relationship] is like the YouTube community. People are doing a lot of similar things, but nobody’s in competition.”
Nothing shows how much YouTube stars really do rally around and support each other as much as the slew of other YouTube stars who were invited to play a role in Dirty 30—including Mikey Murphy, Anna Akana, Epic Lloyd, Flula Borg, and Timothy DeLaGhetto.
And when co-writer Mamie found out that YouTubers Rhett & Link both wanted to appear in the film, she rewrote the original role of “Dude” into two parts—Rhett plays Dude #1, and Link plays Dude #2.
How’s that for a community that connects and collaborates together?
So if you’ve been waiting until the time is right to start creating your own content, or launching your own YouTube channel, here’s our advice: Strike now. There’s plenty of room and time. The iron is lit—just like the house party in Dirty 30.