Since 2002, Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox have been making people laugh around the world. Best known for their Youtube channel, “Smosh”, the two friends have amassed a dedicated following of over 20 million subscribers. This summer, the duo premiered their debut film, Smosh: The Movie, at the Westwood Village Theater in Los Angeles. Prior to the film’s release, Blast Magazine had the opportunity to speak with a collection of Youtube and media stars eager to see the film’s premiere showing.
After achieving massive success online, Padilla and Hecox decided to star in their own feature film, directed by Alex Winter. Winter, a personal fan of the “Smosh” Youtube channel, was attracted to the project because it was “an opportunity to work with people that were creative, collaborative, and fun.” The creative process was collaborative as Winter primarily chose the actors but said that they “all worked together to choose YouTube stars for the movie as that is Anthony and Ian’s world.”
The transition from YouTube to Hollywood has become an increasingly popular one, evidenced by films such as Smosh: The Movie and Bad Night, a film starring Internet sensations Jenn McAllister and Lauren Elizabeth. For McAllister and Elizabeth, the most notable difference between the two mediums is collaboration. “We’re used to doing everything by ourselves and in our bedrooms,” said McAllister, “and our movie involved a lot of other people, which gave us less control than normal.”
Padilla and Hecox also experienced changes when switching between YouTube and film. “We don’t have the instant gratification once we finish a project. We shot this movie over a year ago and it is now coming out to the public,” replied Hecox. Padilla exclaimed, “The NPAA’s rating was shocking. We always thought that we created PG-13 videos, but apparently what we think is PG-13 is not what they think, so we learned the fun way.”
As the influence of the Internet continues to increase, a growing number of teens and adults look to YouTube to spread their image around the globe. Current stars on the site, Ricky Dillon and Mahogany Lox, have advice for these newcomers. As the screams of her devoted fans rise, Lox clearly states that the most important thing is “to never be scared and always be who you are.” She shares a strong connection with each of her supporters and “feels like they are all best friends.” Since starting his career in 2010, Ricky Dillon has faced his fair share of criticism. For those who have less experience with it, he says that “if it’s not constructive criticism, just ignore it. Do what you love and take the genuine help, while ignoring the hate comments.”