New Documentary Series Changing YouTube Film Making

New Documentary Series Changing YouTube Film Making

 © Shane Dawson, via YouTube

© Shane Dawson, via YouTube

Darcey Pittman

The YouTube community has been in a whirlwind over the ongoing eight-part documentary series by YouTube star Shane Dawson since the beginning of its release two weeks ago. Dawson’s video series, titled “The Mind of Jake Paul,” is asking the controversial question: is YouTube-sensation Jake Paul a sociopath?

Jake Paul and Shane Dawson have 17 million subscribers and 18 million subscribers respectively, showing the huge influence each has on YouTube. Paul is one of the most controversial figures on YouTube because of his outrageous internet personality and his videos that consists of harmful pranks, dangerous endeavors, and a self-centered social life. In contrast, Dawson’s channel features his compassionate, quirky personality with content focusing on investigating conspiracies and, as of recently, controversial YouTubers.

 © Shane Dawson, via YouTube

© Shane Dawson, via YouTube

The combination of YouTube stars in this film series has sparked much interest and controversy because Dawson is giving Jake Paul a new platform and because it features the sensitive topic of sociopaths. Each episode released thus far in Dawson’s series has gotten at least 13 million views, gripping the YouTube community with new topics raised over the course of the videos.

This docu-series in unprecedented on YouTube because of the format and content Dawson is creating, as NewStatesmanAmerica writes. Traditionally, YouTube videos can stand alone and do not readily build upon themselves, nor are such videos usually devoted to investigative work to uncover deep answers to difficult questions.

Many are realizing the groundbreaking work Dawson is creating through “The Mind of Jake Paul.” Jake Paul’s brother Logan, a fellow YouTuber made infamous for his controversy in a suicide forest, addressed the pioneering of Dawson in a recent video.

“I love what I’m seeing. I love it Shane. You are an amazing content creator,” said Paul. “You are changing the game. You are paving the landscape of what could be the future of YouTube.”

Paul notes how Dawson has the ability to capture viewers for 40-minutes episodes, a challenging feat in the world of YouTube. However, Paul does critique Dawson’s use of black and white thinking in determining whether or not Jake Paul is a sociopath, saying this type of diagnosis should be viewed on a spectrum.

 Jake Paul being interviewed by Dawson, episode five © Shane Dawson, via YouTube

Jake Paul being interviewed by Dawson, episode five © Shane Dawson, via YouTube

Paul is not alone in questioning some of Dawson’s choices, as tweets, response videos, and comments inundate social media over this controversial subject. While some are championing the discussion being raised around mental illness, others are critical of how sociopaths are being described using words such as “gross” and “icky” through an over-dramatized editing style.

Like many who want a say in the conversation, mental health YouTuber Hiyeonni recorded a response video following the second episode’s release, which talked about the official diagnosis of sociopaths, anti-social personality disorder. Hiyeonni’s video comments on the lack of empathy shown to those with anti-social personality and she hopes this can be improved in the later episodes of the series.

This sheds light on another groundbreaking feat of Dawson’s work because, unlike most documentaries, parts of this series are filmed in real time. The third installment starts in present-day with Dawson responding to feedback he has received on the series. He combines pre-filmed interviews and research with his own thoughts as the series is unraveling. This changes not only how YouTube content is made and shared, but how documentaries can be a more collaborative, ongoing endeavor.

Ultimately, Dawson’s video and the controversy that has surrounded much of the Paul brother’s actions, raise fundamental questions about who and what is deemed acceptable on YouTube’s platform. This series is still being released with more to come, but millions are fiercely watching to see the groundbreaking content ongoing before their eyes.

To see for yourself, watch the documentary series unfold here.

 Shane Dawson nervously considering his work on Jake Paul © Shane Dawson, via YouTube

Shane Dawson nervously considering his work on Jake Paul © Shane Dawson, via YouTube

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