All tagged documentary

The Mind of Jake Paul Review (Web Series, 2018)

You can’t fault Shane Dawson for his ambition. In the past year, he reinvented himself as a sort of YouTuber documentarian, creating series exploring the lives behind some of the biggest names on YouTube. After the massive success of his documentary web series centered on the fallout from TanaCon and the inner workings of Jeffree Star’s empire, he set his sights on his most ambitious series yet. He wanted to explore the relationship between internet celebrity and mental wellness, specifically personality disorders. By chance, he wound up with Jake Paul agreeing to be the subject of the new documentary series.

Format Shift: The Reinvention of Shane Dawson

It’s weird how quickly a cliche can develop. I feel like every piece of criticism responding to Shane Dawson’s new multi-part documentary format on YouTube starts with a bunch of disclaimers. The author (meaning writer, vlogger, podcaster, etc.) comments on how they hated or didn’t really know Shane Dawson. They say it’s surprising that he’s doing something so serious with his channel. They’re happy for his success, but they question what’s really motivating him.

In all honesty, I can see how this is true for a lot of authors. Online content, especially videos, is a young person’s game. I’m young by normal standards, but ancient by Internet standards: 32, turning 33 tomorrow. I’m old enough to remember when YouTube was a new platform; I’m also old enough to remember cassette overtaking vinyl and mall tours being a huge deal.

Haunters: The Art of the Scare Review (Film, 2017)

Haunters: The Art of the Scare is about my people. This is a documentary from director Jon Schnitzer about home haunts and the haunted house industry. If you’re not familiar, a home haunt is an elaborate series of yard and/or home decorations designed to recreate the experience of a Halloween haunted house at home. We put up these displays for anyone to walk through, usually free of charge, and do it because we love Halloween, horror, haunted houses, and being scared. I spend a couple hundred dollars a year building a new haunt from the ground up; the people featured in this documentary spend a lot more. For some (like me), it’s a hobby; for others, it’s an attempt to prove their skills and move up to working professionally in the industry.