PewDiePie is so popular on YouTube that it’s almost scary. Now, he’s ready to take some scares for himself in a new project for YouTube’s premium Red channel.
The show will involve “real life horror games” that will put the popular YouTube star through his paces as he attempts to “survive.” His reactions will be recorded by an attached camera for all the world to see. These episodes should compliment some of PewDiePie’s scream-filled Let’s Play videos on the free-to-view YouTube very nicely. However, the producers promise that this show will be “taking things to the next level” in terms of getting a rise out of the superstar.
The trailer for the show is below, and gives you an idea of what PewDiePie (real name Felix Kjellberg) will go through.
The show is expected to be a huge draw for YouTube’s Red service, considering how PewDiePie has over 40 million subscribers.
Speaking with The Verge, Kirkman’s producing partner at Skybound, David Alpert, spoke about the project. “To be reductionist, he’s become famous by playing video games and getting scared. So what if we make those games real ” he explains regarding the concept. He considers it a reality prank show like Punk’d, but with the host getting more effect out of it than innocent targets. “How freaked out, how creeped out, how scared can we make him It was our goal to turn a human being into a pile of quivering jelly for our amusement.”
The trick was to produce content that PewDiePie wouldn’t see coming, which isn’t easy, since he’s a producer on the show. With that, a second “shadow” production team was sent in to produce the scares on the project. “It’s like a play within a play, where he thinks, ‘Okay, that was the production meeting.’ Great. Now we have the (real) production meeting,” Alpert continued. “So the guy that Mr. Pie thought was the director wasn’t actually the director, and we only told him that at the very end of the shoot.”
“YouTube is an amazing platform because it s reached out, has hundreds of millions of views; it s insane what it s been able to achieve. But it hasn t been harnessed or directed the way that we think of Netflix or HBO or Hulu, which is almost a top-down, organized system of programming,” said Alpert. “PewDiePie wouldn t exist off of YouTube. His rise, and the rise of YouTubers in general, is part of the fact that the platform just let you do what you wanted to do. So I feel like trying to do something a little more top-down and organized is on one hand, sort of anathema to the YouTube ethos.”
Kirkman added, “Scare PewDiePie is something that I think is fairly unique. There’s certainly been shows before that are prank shows, but to build a narrative around a single person the way we have with Felix Mr. Pie, sorry. The way that we’re able to stick with him exclusively, it’s almost like the pranks kind of roll into each other from episode to episode in some pretty interesting and complicated ways, that I don’t know that we necessarily would have been able to do on television.”
Recently, Kjellberg spoke out about the launch of YouTube Red stating that YouTube Red emerged as a reaction to ad-blocking activities of YouTube’s viewers. Surveying his own audience, he found that 40 percent of his own viewers regularly use ad-blocking software and showed that this wasn’t just devastating for YouTube’s creators, but for YouTube itself as well.
“Using Adblock doesn’t mean you’re clever and above the system. YouTube Red exist(s) because using Adblock has actual consequences,” he said.