By Evan DeSimone
Lionsgate continues to play big in the digital sandbox with its latest acquisition. The studio has picked up “Dirty Thirty,” a feature film starring YouTube’s holy trinity of comedy, creators Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart and Hannah Hart.
The new film places the digital comics into an environment that perfectly fits their mad cap brand — a birthday party gone wildly awry. Lionsgate is gambling that the trio’s proven star power will pay off again. Helbig, Hart, and Hart previously starred in “Camp Takota,” one of the first feature length films to be built entirely around YouTube stars. “Dirty Thirty” will reunite the team behind “Camp Takota,” as well as its stars, only this time the film will be a Lionsgate property. “Camp Takota” had a tough time finding a home after initially being picked up by now defunct Chill.com.
The film is set to be produced by Michael Goldfine, who formerly served as Chief Content Officer at Fullscreen. The film will be produced under the banner of newly launched Michael Goldfine Productions with Ken Treusch and Vincent Nastri set to executive produce alongside the stars Helbig, Hart and Hart. Andrew Bush (“Roller Town”) will direct from a script from Mamrie Hart and writer/comedian Molly Prather.
The deal was brokered by WME, which represents Helbig. Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart are represented by UTA and CAA, respectively. The film represents a long string of collaborations between the three popular YouTube stars. Most recently, Helbig and Mamrie Hart starred in “Hey USA,” an interactive, social media-influenced travel reality show currently airing on Conde Nast’s video platform The Scene. Helbig and Hannah Hart are set to star in Legendary Entertainment and Fullscreen’s digital reboot of the 1970’s superhero camp-fest “Electra Woman and Dyna Girl.”
Given a rising tide of recent successes in translating YouTubers to the big screen, it’s no surprise Lionsgate grabbed the opportunity to work some three of YouTube’s most bankable stars. This summer’s “Smosh: The Movie” shot to the top of download charts upon release. Awesomeness Films, the features arm of AwesomenessTV, has also produced several features built around digital stars such as Kian Lawley, Nash Grier and Tyler Oakley.