If the runaway success of ‘Rewind YouTube Style’ proved anything, it’s that YouTube is one big view-creating community, and the best way to get a share of those views is to join up with your fellow creators. One director attempting enter this sphere is Jabari Johnson, a documentary filmmaker whose current series, Jabari Presents, features his encounters with some of the entertainment industry’s biggest stars.
Each episode of the documentary series explores the genesis of a popular and helps uncover their methods. The first season of Jabari Presents cast a wide net, featuring big names such as Wiz Khalifa, but after raising over $40,000 on Kickstarter for a second season back in March, Johnson has focused entirely on YouTubers. After profiling rapper and music video creator Macklemore as well as YouTube comedian Deshawn Raw, he now shines his spotlight on Issa Rae, whose Misadventures Of An Awkward Black Girl is one of the more prominent web series starring an African-American.
Jabari Presents plays out similarly to other ‘where did they come from?’ YouTube documentary series such as Infonaut or In Focus, albeit with more of a hip-hop vibe. Johnson’s various celebrity associations (such as an older one with Justin Bieber) have allowed him to rein in more than three million views despite a dearth of subscribers. Johnson is clearly trying to assess the latter, given his appeal for subscribers at the beginning of the Issa Rae videos. Still, in the absence of a true fanbase, making important YouTube connections (as Johnson has done) is a good way to go.