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YouTube took over Westwood’s Village Theatre on Wednesday night at the L.A. premiere of SMOSH: The Movie.
The film is the latest content push from Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, the creative minds behind Smosh, a YouTube channel that has amassed more than 4.5 billion video views since its creation in 2005. Smosh has since branched into multiple channels, as well as video games and apps.
Hollywood might have viewed the premiere as one of the many new testing grounds for YouTube’s breach into more traditional entertainment, but director Alex Winter told THR that a traditional Hollywood no longer exists: “I’ve watched this paradigm shift happening. If you’re good, it doesn’t matter what your platform is.”
As a result, Internet personalities and Hollywood alike will have to acclimate to new climates, something not everyone sees for their career. “I personally want to stay on the Internet for as long as I can,” says YouTube star Jenna Marbles. “I like my independence.”
The film’s Hecox and Padilla found more freedom with the feature film. Padilla told THR that they’re “not used to being able to evolve [their] characters, so being able to do that was amazing.”
Grace Helbig, one of the growing number of YouTube stars moving into traditional, spoke about her own desire to expand onto new platforms, including an E! talk show. “There’s this weird paradigm where people think that YouTube is trying to move into Hollywood, and I feel like Hollywood is also trying to move into YouTube, so no one knows what the right direction is,” she says. “I love experimentation across platforms. Smosh has a great track record of making really great content for a very hungry, excited audience, and this is just another step for them and another step for the space and for content creators to make waves in other forms of media and try to do things differently.”
Other guests at the premiere included singer Rebecca Black, filmmaker Jimmy Wong, filmmaker Joe Penna and musician Tyler Ward.
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