The new digital mini-series from Netflix suggests that online creatives and traditional studios may help one another.
Netflix’s Black Mirror has done it again. This time, instead of innovating how we tell stories as the show did with Bandersnatch (controversial opinion), it’s innovating how we market them and lift social media content creators in the process. In anticipation of season 5 of the show, Netflix releases a Black Mirror mini-series on its Latin America YouTube channel. With episodes dropping on May 26th, June 2nd, and June 6th, the mini-series will feature the inspired takes on Black Mirror from the YouTube community’s own Rudy Mancuso, who will direct, score, and star in the episodes. This arrangement may help bridge the worlds of traditional and social media.
Advancements in the world of YouTube and advancements in traditional media tend to run on parallel tracks. There are traditional media stars that have built strong followings on YouTube, like Will Smith. Some YouTubers transition to traditional media, like Lilly Singh. However, there are dozens of failed attempts to bridge the gap between these two worlds for every success story. The different nature of the two fields makes it difficult to move between them, frustrating YouTubers seeking to break into the industry and studios seeking to popularize their content through social media.
Little Black Mirror is the result of a synthesis between YouTubers and studios that are beneficial to and maximizes the strengths of both parties. Netflix now has a creator who’s amassed millions of followers on YouTube and Instagram because of his creative social media work managing their latest creative social media campaign. Mancuso is now attached to one of the most popular shows on television (both regular television and streaming services): a major mainstream resume builder. An arrangement like that of Little Black Mirror may provide an alternative for YouTubers struggling to balance their goal of mainstream prominence with the commitment to the online community they have spent years interacting with. YouTubers may become mainstream famous because of social media, not despite it, which is what seems to be the case so far.