Exposed Lonelygirl15 creators plan to keep making videos
The creators behind the popular internet mystery teen Lonelygirl15 want their fans to keep watching even after their videos were exposed as a filmmaking experiment.
The three friends who launched the videos featuring a 16-year-old girl named Bree say they plan to continue the experiment in storytelling on their own website launched Tuesday.
"Our job from the beginning was not to trick people. It was to create a character that was believable," said 26-year-old Mesh Flinders, who created the video segments with fellow Californians Miles Beckett, 28, and Greg Goodfried, 27.
For the past three months, Lonelygirl15's confessional videos have been a huge hit on the video-sharing site YouTube. Her 30 videos have been viewed almostthree million times and her video feed is among the site's most popular.
But Bree's inventors decided to come forward with the truth after rumours began appearing suggesting the teen's diaries were actually a front for a huge Hollywood studio marketing campaign.
The creators said the films were independent videos and used a $130 US web camera with lighting provided by two desk lamps.
"We're fans of this medium," Goodfried said. "It represents a shift from the content being in control of the big corporations to power being in the hands of the little guy who has a webcam."
"I saw YouTube coming about and podcasting and wanted to be a part of it," adds Beckett.
"We never wanted to lie to people," Beckett said. "We are the little guys."
Online blogger Matt Foremski had earlier revealed the identity of the actress who played Bree as 19-year-old Jessica Lee Rose from New Zealand. A post on YouTube showing candid photos of Rose had 280,000 hits as of Wednesday, a testament to the popularity of the character.
The revelation that Bree was fake initially angered fans on YouTube. But since the fictitious nature of the show became known, the number of people subscribing to the Lonelygirl15 channel on YouTube has skyrocketed.
"Just because I know a movie isn't real isn't going to stop me from watching it," Alexandra Inman, a 17-year-old fan from St. Louis, said Tuesday. "I'm there for the entertainment."
The new website featuring Bree will continue with the help of online syndication network Revver.
The three men are represented by Hollywood talent agency Creative Artists Agency, but say they have no immediate plans to make a Lonelygirl15 movie or TV show.
"We're moving forward and we want to keep doing what we've been doing," Beckett said.
With files from the Associated Press