On Friday, July 4, YouTube viewers with a penchant for sight gags and parody were able to celebrate much more than the anniversary of the independence of the United States. That’s the day Shane Dawson released the first trailer for his upcoming major motion picture, Not Cool.
The YouTube star turned burgeoning Hollywood player who is in possession of no less than a collective 12.1 million YouTube subscribers (across his ShaneDawsonTV, ShaneDawsonTV2, and Shane channels) and a development deal for a workplace comedy with NBC made the feature on a $900,000 budget as part of an as-of-yet-unaired Starz original series dubbed The Chair. The competition program pits Dawson against up-and-coming filmmaker Anna Martemucci. As the premise goes, both contestants were given the same screenplay and the same six-figure budget and then told to make their own independent movies.
Dan Schoffer penned the screenplay for both versions of the flick. In Dawson’s iteration, Dawson directs and takes the lead role as a college co-ed who experiences intense pangs of nostalgia for high school during his first Thanksgiving break back home. If the trailer is truly indicative of what the film has in store, longtime fans of Dawson should be excited for a long-form version of the of comedy to which they’ve become accustomed. That includes Dawson playing at least one woman on screen, kinda crass humor, and some significant facetime from longtime online video collaborators and friends like Lisa Schwartz.
But what’s more is the budget and the feature film format give Dawson the tools with which to show his audience something they don’t typically see. Not Cool appears to possess character development and a bit of emotional intrigue that’s nearly impossible to convey in a short-form YouTube setting.
Not Cool is scheduled to hit theaters and the internet this fall, when and where it will compete against Martemucci’s Hollidaysburg for a $250,000 prize. Starz will determine the winner of the contest by digital votes and ticket sales. Dawson is most likely a shoe in given his massive social media followings, but I’m guessing if you ask him, he’d say he’s already won.
“I just want to thank you guys,” Dawson said to his viewers at the tail end of the Not Cool trailer video. “I know it sounds cheesy and lame, but I am so grateful and I love you so much. And because of you guys, I made a movie. And it’s coming.”