If you haven’t heard of Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart and Hannah Hart by now, you certainly will soon enough. The three twenty-somethings are YouTube sensations, with a combination of 3.5 million YouTube followers and countless (and we mean COUNTLESS) views of their hilarious videos.
So the next logical step to total world domination? A full-length feature film! Enter: Camp Takota, a new film starring all three girls. Watch the trailer below:
We caught up with the girls before their big screen debut to talk camp friendships, the joys of wine and cheese and what it’s like to be internet-famous. Read on:
OK!: Congrats on the film! Can you tell me a little about the premise?
Mamrie Hart: Sure! The premise is basically, well it’s about a woman whose life kind of goes to hell in one day, both romantically and career-wise. And so she finds herself at a really low point and decides to get away from it all, clear her head, by going to be a camp counselor at the camp that she kind of grew up at in the summers. So she finds herself, back where she spent her summers and reconnecting with her two childhood best friends that never really left.
OK!: Did any of you go to camp? And do you connect with the relationships that the main character is dealing with in the film?
Grace: Helbig: This movie is loosely based on real-life events surrounding the one and only Mamrie Hart. So Mamrie Hart, take it away!
MH: So, granted I didn’t go work as a camp counselor last summer, but it is loosely based on being a camp counselor—and I wasn’t planning on going back until I got dumped. So where do you go to get over a breakup and not see a man for 3 months? An all girl’s summer camp! So, uh, I did work as a camp counselor through college, but Grace and Hannah experienced camp for the first time while filming, so take it away Grace and Hannah!
Hannah Hart: Yeah, like Mamrie alluded to, I didn’t go to summer camp, but I do relate to one element of the film—well multiple, actually—but one thing in particular about the story of friendship kind of encouraging you to either get back in touch with the person you once were, or for my character, grow into the person you’re meant to be. As opposed to staying stagnate and the same, really it’s a summer of change for all three characters, not just the main character. So I think there’s something for everyone to relate to in the three story lines.
OK!: Well as a former camper myself, I can definitely relate.
MH: Oh great! We’re hoping people who love camp will love our movie.
OK!: It’ll strike a chord for sure. So how did the movie get made? Is it premiering on YouTube? How can people see the movie.
HH: People can go to pre-order the movie at CampTakota.com and they’ll be able to get a download. It’s not like actually renting a movie on iTunes, but when you go, you’re essentially buying a DVD of the movie, except it’ll be downloaded right to your computer. It’s a lot like the Louis CK model where he did direct to consumer/direct to audience distribution.
GH: We’re distributing it digitally through a platform called VHX and like Hannah said, you go to CampTakota.com, you preorder, and then you’ll get a link in your inbox on Valentine’s Day and you can download the film.
MH: And then you open an important bottle of red (or mountain dew) and enjoy the day of love…with us!
OK! Love that. Is the whole movie and the supporting cast as well made up of “YouTube” stars?
GH: No. We did have a few of our YouTube friends play certain roles in the film, but then we also got some traditional actors and actresses to also be in the film.
MH: One of our co-stars is actually now on SNL!
OK!: Right! John Milheiser. Can he help you score tickets?
MH: I know, right? Now we all live in LA but when we’re back in New York we will definitely be hitting him up.
GH: And he’s awesome in the film—he actually found out that he got SNL while we were taping and it was a no-brainer every time he did a scene. It was a scene you didn’t want to break, because he’s just so funny.
OK!: I’m curious about your backgrounds. How did you guys all meet?
GH: Mamrie and I met through a theater called the People’s Improv Theatre [in New York City]. We were put together on a sketch comedy team in.. 2007?
MH: Yup, 2007.
GH: Yeah, it was both of our first ever sketch comedy teams and then I met Hannah through YouTube–through the YouTube community at a convention in New York. It was really love at first bloody mary.. for the three of us.
MH: Yeah, I think the first time the three of us ever hung out was at Playlist Live, which is a YouTube convention in Orlando. So the first time we ever “hung” was poolside with drinks, of course. And we never looked back!
HH: I just want to say that I’m just so grateful for that because Mamrie and Grace do come more from a sketch comedy, live performance kind of background. It really taught me a lot about making the “art” of what we make! And how to work hard and how to create.
OK!: Speaking of YouTube, you all have humongous followings. When was the first time you thought to yourself, “Oh my god.. am I famous?”
GH: I find that Mamrie and Hannah get stopped more than I do, but for me, one particular moment was when I was doing an improv show in New York on a Wednesday night. A girl in the front row was wearing a “You’ve Been Hazed” shirt, which is merchandise I sold on my old channel, and I remember having that moment of like, “Oh my god! My internet life is bleeding into my human life. This is crazy! What is happening? How is this happening? And that was a moment for me that was like, oh, right, the numbers that you see on your YouTube video actually represent real humans that are watching.
OK!: Do you guys have any advice for people who may be looking to make a splash on Youtube?
HH: I guess that my advice that I always like to say when I get asked that question is just make something true to your own voice. I think the rule of thumb is if you’re giggling to yourself while you’re editing it, or shooting it, or when you go back and watch it, then you know it’s something that is actually funny or that you’re actually proud of. And regardless of how well it does, or the views, or the charts, or anything like that, you will find yourself satisfied because it’s something that you enjoyed making and wanted to share. Use yourself as a Litmus Test for whether or not your should post it.
MH: And on Hannah’s point, YouTube (and the internet) is the one medium where you can 100% do what you want and there’s no one giving you notes, and there’s nothing you have to conform to, so take advantage of that, of not limiting yourself to what other people have done, or what the model is. Really make what you would want to watch.
OK!: So be yourself! Not a bad mantra to follow.
OK!: And now for a totally random question because the movie comes out on Valentine’s Day: Which fictional TV or movie couple inspires you the most when it comes to relationships?
GH: Well this is not a couple, but on Friends, when Phoebe says that Rachel and Ross are lobsters for life. I love that.
MH: I was thinking Friends too! But Monica & Chandler—I’m nowhere as neat as Monica, but their relationship! Look at the name of the show. They’re friends. So that’s what I’m aspiring to. Be friends first—well, for at least 5 seasons.
HH: And I’m going to stick with a food pairing for inspiration: wine & cheese. Because that’s the best relationship in my life, and I turn to them every day.
So there you have it! Don’t forget to pre-order Camp Takota NOW on CampTakota.com (or an awesome care package HERE) and like Mamrie said, cuddle up with a big glass of wine (or anything, really) and enjoy!
Can you relate to the camp theme of Camp Takota? Are you interested in starting a YouTube channel? Share in the comments or Tweet us @OKMagazine.