Dance Camp: YouTube and AwesomenessTV team up for first original feature
James R | On 10, Sep 2015
YouTube and AwesomenessTV are teaming up to make their first original feature film, Dance Camp.
The pair first announced their partnership in April with a plan to release several feature length films over the next two years, all featuring YouTube stars and developed and produced by AwesomenessTV’s Brian Robbins.
AwesomenessTV has produced full-length projects before: the MCN’s slate already includes Expelled, starring Cameron Dallas, and Smosh: The Movie, starring the popular Smosh duo. The latter was recently released globally on VOD on the same day it hit US cinemas. Now, YouTube will follow AwesomenessTV’s lead, as it hopes the deal with AwesomenessFilms (the company’s movie arm) will establish its own vein of original content to stand apart from Netflix, Amazon and other new creators.
Much like Netflix, YouTube also appears to be taking a data-driven approach to its productions: dance is one of the most popular categories on YouTube, notes Variety, accounting for more than 24 million videos. And so we have Dance Camp, starring web celeb Meg DeAngelis and Nadji Jeter.
The movie will follow a group of characters who “discover the power of dance”. YouTube is clearly serious about capturing that power on-screen: the project is produced by Jon M. Chu, director of Step Up 3D, and will be directed by Bert & Bertie with Dreamgirls’ Fatima Robinson set to choreograph.
“Music and dance are universally appealing. We are thrilled to be working with prolific dance experts like Jon and Fatima on ‘Dance Camp’ as they continue to set the bar for the dance genre,” Matt Kaplan, president of Awesomeness Films, said in a statement.
Josh Leyva, Jordyn Jones, Jacob Wysoki, Niki Demartino and Gabi Demartino will also feature in the ensemble, but the film is primarily a platform for Meg DeAngelis, a rising star on the video site.
“With Dance Camp, we are combining some of today’s most popular YouTube stars with dance – one of the most watched genres on the platform,” commented Kelly Merryman, Vice President of Content Partnerships at YouTube. “AwesomenessTV has a proven track record of creating content that audiences love and our multi-film collaboration will deliver several movies over the next few years aimed at a global fanbase.”
There is no release date confirmed for Dance Camp, but YouTube and Awesomeness Films’ projects will premiere globally on YouTube before being released on other platforms, something the pair believe “will become a new distribution paradigm for years to come”.