Once again, there’s been no lack of media love for the lonelygirl15 story. It was recently revealed that Bree, the webcam star of the YouTube phenomenon, was really Jessica Rose, a 19-year-old actress from New Zealand. Mashable also reported yesterday that Jessica would appear on The Tonight Show.
Right before going to sleep, I caught Jessica on The Tonight Show last night. Following the monologue, she introduced herself to Jay Leno and revealed that she was not Bree (16 years old and homeschooled), but rather Jessica Rose (19 years old and from New Zealand). She didn’t seem overly comfortable, going to commercial doing an odd little dance with someone I couldn’t quite recognize. Anyone see the rest of the Tonight Show?
Despite its ridiculousness, this is a pretty fun story. And I’m not sure it could have worked any other way: the filmmakers made their own world that seemed to appeal to the YouTube voyeur, not to mention that Bree/Jessica is adorable, whether any particular audience member is genuinely interested or creepily interested. When it broke that it was fake, backlash could have occurred, but the story looks to be clean – who can blame LA transplants for wanting to get ahead in the tough Hollywood world?
Although it’s nothing new, it’ll be interesting whether it was the mystery or the sheer entertainment that kept audiences interested. The cat is out of the bag, so this is the first case study of the consumer-generated generation – do I have to fake it to make it big? Is there a mystery factor that is necessary? There’s no doubt that suspension of disbelief is necessary when the actors or actresses have public personas, but consumer generated content might be playing by different rules. One thing that’s cool in this new world is that fun is fun, no matter where it comes from.
No doubt that the filmmakers will be able to ride this media wave a bit longer before moving on to bigger and better things.
Will this type of independent content make it to communities like iLetYou?