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Despite waiting for hours to meet One Direction, the dedicated fans gathered alongside the black carpet at Monday night’s New York premiere of the documentary One Direction: This Is Us didn’t lose their enthusiasm.
As they tried to keep from fainting, the group of mostly teenage girls who had been chosen to stand within arm’s reach of their idols screamed, sang the chorus to the band’s hit “What Makes You Beautiful” and squealed with delight when they saw Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Zayn Malik.
The group’s rabid fan base has helped make One Direction one of the biggest bands in the world, a rise that’s depicted in the 3D concert documentary, which hits theaters on Friday.
“As you see in the film, we literally document the global phenomenon, the expansion of this band into a global band, which I thought was just an awesome story to get to tell,” director Morgan Spurlock told The Hollywood Reporter.
Spurlock was also intrigued by the opportunity to make a movie in 3D, a technology he said most documentary filmmakers never get a chance to work with, but one that he felt brought a closeness to the band, which their fans clearly crave.
“I think when you watch the film, it creates such a fantastic level of intimacy where you do feel so much closer to them, not only within the shows but in their home lives,” Spurlock added. “It’s not like gag 3D…for me it was much more about trying to get the audience closer to the band.”
This closeness has also been virtually achieved through social media, something that the band and the film’s producer Ben Winston, who’s worked with One Direction for years, will admit has been largely responsible for the group’s success.
“Social media has helped them almost skip the queue and conquer the world a bit quicker,” Winston said.
He explained that in the past when a band went abroad, it would take several trips and accompanying publicity for them to build a fan base.
“This time, you turn up in Italy for the first time and suddenly there’s thousands of people at the airports because they’ve seen them on Twitter and Facebook and YouTube and they’ve watched their videos and they feel like they know them already,” Winston added.
Malik told THR that he and his bandmates try to stay in touch with their fans as much as possible on Twitter and other forms of social media.
But he said the film even offers an appealing storyline for people who aren’t already fans.
“If you watch the film you get an amazing insight into what nowadays the music industry is all about,” Malik told THR, something parents dragged to the movie by their One Direction-loving kids can keep in mind.
Luckily for Sony, which is releasing the film, the documentary already has a built-in audience — the screaming, cheering supporters like those at Monday night’s premiere.
As for those fans, their patience was rewarded when the bandmembers spent time hugging and posing for photos with many of the individual girls and boys, diligently working their way through the crowd.
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