Many of you would know Alex Winter as one half of the iconic cult movie duo Bill & Ted. But he also happens to be a longtime documentary filmmaker whose newest feature, The YouTube Effect, was among the Tribeca Film Festival’s lineup announced yesterday. It will premiere in the Spotlight Documentary section. The documentary takes us behind the scenes of how the popular website began in an attic of a pizzeria, its relationship with parent company Google, and its impact on both the economy and society at large.
Here is the official synopsis:
Alex Winter’s newest documentary explores the ascension and potential fall of YouTube, the world’s most popular video-sharing website. Launched in 2005 with a video of a trip to the zoo, YouTube has built itself into an empire worth up to $300 billion dollars. In order to incentivize its creators and keep users engaged, it has created an algorithm that tries to predict what users will be most interested in. The basic idea is simple: make your content just the right way, and it will be promoted to users all over the world. However, the algorithm has created unforeseen privacy and ethical problems that could be the website’s downfall. YouTubers, reporters, and experts alike join Winters in interrogating the effects that such irregulation can result in. With sharp editing and an anxiety-inducing message about the way social media controls our lives, The YouTube Effect is a startling but necessary look at a website that has become so intertwined with our daily lives.
Check out the new teaser and poster below: