YouTube was a strange phenomenon at its start, as many didn’t know what to do with it. Aspiring filmmakers Miles Beckett and Mesh Flinders, however, slowly realized that it was an opportunity for a rather new kind of storytelling — one that lives again today.
In a recent interview with Vocativ, Beckett said, “I thought about how I didn’t know if any of the videos on YouTube were real or not — you kind of blur the lines of reality and fiction.” With that inspiration, the pair created a YouTube channel called “Lonelygirl15” on June 16, 2006, which utilized video blogging (“vlogging”) to tell the story of Bree Avery and her family’s strange cult society, known as the Order.
Thought to be one of if not the first of its kind, the series quickly shot off the ground, getting half a million views on a video for the first time only months after it started. When it all wrapped up, the videos had garnered over 60 million views. And 10 years to the date after the first episode, Bree is back.
Popular on IndieWire
Miles Beckett, Jenni Powell — a producer behind the Emmy-winning “The Lizzie Bennett Diaries” — and more have teamed up to bring viewers back to the world of “Lonelygirl15.” Powell said in an email announcing the show’s return that “the hope is to not only tie up storylines for fans of the original series but to bring the show to a whole new audience while utilizing technologies that weren’t available 10 years ago to create new storytelling experiences.”
The re-entry video brings up a lot of the lore of the show, diving deep into the strange, cult elements with both dialogue and video editing. And so it might be time to catch up with what was a cultural phenomenon 10 years ago — to prepare for what may be a new phenomenon today.
Check out lonelygirl15’s return in the video below.