By Evan DeSimone
Awesomeness Films, the features arm of multi-platform media company AwesomnessTV, and video giant YouTube have announced the start of production on “Dance Camp,” the first length product of their recently announced original content partnership.
The film will draw on AwesomnessTV’s deep bench of digital influencers with starring roles for YouTube DIY star Megan DeAngelis (3.6 million subscribers) and Vine entertainer Jake Paul (4.3 million followers), who will appear alongside actor Nadji Jeter (“Grown Ups”). The film also reserves smaller parts for digital stars like Niki and Gabi Demartino (2.1 million subscirbers) Josh Levya (1.3 million subscribers) and Jordyn Jones (500k subscribers).The film will be produced by Jon M. Chu (“Step-Up 3D,” “Never Say Never”) and will leverage YouTube’s popular dance vertical which has seen nearly 24 million distinct uploads to-date.
The announcement comes as AwesomnessTV is in the midst of a string of influencer-packed feature films. Awesomeness films most recently released “The Smosh Movie” which hit number one on iTunes downloads charts on its release day. Last December, Awesomeness released the Cameron Dallas vehicle “Expelled,” which also claimed the number one comedy spot on the iTunes charts on its opening day. It’s currently in post-production on “Shovel Buddies,” starring actress Bella Thorne and popular vlogger Kian Lawley.
Awesomeness was among the first top tier content producers to be selected for YouTube’s Originals intitiative, committed to funding, advising and helping market its leading content creators as part of a bid to generate more exclusive premium content for the platform. The program is also a calculated move to counter emerging competitors like Vessel and old rivals such as Vimeo, both of which have been actively wooing YouTube’s crop of home grown stars with long-form content funding and lucrative subscription backed CPMs.