By Sahil Patel
“Camp Takota,” the upcoming feature-length camp comedy starring YouTubers Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, and Mamrie Hart, now has a premiere date. Currently available for pre-orders on CampTakota.com (which is using the digital video distribution platform VHX after an earlier pact with now-defunct Chill.com fell through), the film will be released on February 14.
Produced by RockStream Studios, the comedy tells the story of a young woman (Helbig) who returns to her former job as a camp counselor when her personal and professional lives fall apart. At camp, she reignites a friendship with two long-lost pal (Hart and Hart). Of course, during all of this, the future of the camp is threatened, which means the trio has to band together to save it. Hilarity ensues.
“Camp Takota” will be available for $9.99. Taking advantage of the three YouTube creators’ strong fanbase online (a combined reach of 3.5 million subscribers on YouTube), there are also different types of perk packages (worth up to $300) available for purchase.
This is part of what producer Michael Goldfine (president of RockStream Studios) refers to as a new model for creating, marketing, and distributing projects outside of the closed-off Hollywood studio system. Via RockStream, Goldfine is looking for “digital-native” talent who can tap into their existing online following to help build anticipation for future film projects. In a nutshell, that’s what he and the team behind “Camp Takota” have done ever since the project was announced last summer.
“‘Camp Takota’ embraces the seismic shifts taking place in Hollywood by building a film property around digital-native stars who integrate their fans into everything they do,” said Goldfine in a statement. “From the start, we wanted to create a model of partnering with this kind of talent to help them tell stories on a bigger stage, and to market and distribute their work directly to their sizable audience using tools that didn’t exist even a few years ago.”
The trailer for “Camp Takota,” which premiered in December, generated “hundreds of thousands of views” within hours after upload. Today, it sits at nearly 600,000 views. The film has also tallied “thousands” of pre-orders, many of which occurred prior to the release of the trailer, according to RockStream. This is in large part due to the YouTube stars’ relationship with their fanbase, which they were able to tap to offer the aforementioned care packages — with perks ranging from Camp Takota t-shirts, underwear with nametags, and friendship bracelets, to private cast and crew Google Hangout sessions, personalized voicemail messages, and additional behind-the-scenes video content.
Goldfine and RocketStream want to replicate this model with future projects, though a lot of that will be determined by the level of success “Camp Takota” achieves. Right now, it appears to be tracking well.