Leaping from YouTube to theaters. The Australian filmmakers behind RackaRacka talk about their debut feature.

' Talk to Me, ' which premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and was picked up by the distributor A24 for a wide release,  reconfigures the brothers' storytelling priorities.

Ronald McDonald on a killing spree in a chicken joint. Harry Potter and Lake Skywalker going head-to-head with wands and light sabers. Cookie Monster eviscerating the Power Rangers.

These pop-culture video battles, where slapstick and gallows humour meet raw carnage have helped the twins Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou amass more than 6.7 million subscribers on their YouTube channel. RackaRacka, which has more than one billion video views.

NOW these Australians have taken the dark imagination and facility for shock and awe to the big screen, with the supernatural horror film '' Talk to Me.''

Our audience wants explosive, energetic stuff,'' Danny said, during a video interview,  about their YouTube efforts. 

The Philippous' kinetic style mashes the genre cinema with beloved intellectual property, douses the combination with accelerant and lights a match; it's the product of their personalities as much as YouTube milieu. '' We've realized in the past that if we have a slow opening on a video, retention is hard to keep,'' Michael said.

''Talk to Me'' involves the embalmed hand   of a dead spirit medium, bored teenagers in Australia suburbs and macabre TikTok challenge variant. Hold the hand and get possessed by random ghost, while onlookers record the experience on their phones for social media approval.

Mia [ Sophie Wilde ], the movie's protagonist, takes the process too far and unleashes hell on her friends and family.

Pivoting from YouTube to feature filmmaking sounds like a huge risk for a brand as big as RackaRacka, but for some creators who have had success on the platform, that is part of the point.

Julia Alexander, the director of strategy for the media consulting firm Parrot Analytics, said of YouTubers, '' When you see them move into creating different types of films and TV shows, it's not that they are saying,  ''We're finally growing up. ' They're saying,  'We want to be able to do something that is not necessarily going to be rewarded or accepted on YouTube.''

That's what ''Talk to Me '' meant for the Philippous : an opportunity to flex new creative muscles without playing to expectations. And self-expression was Danny's imp[etus for writing the film's script with Bill Hinzman.

'' I never felt like I could get vulnerable with my audience,'' Danny said about YouTube. '' So I thought that I'd write something that was more personal, and deeper to who I was.''

His sentiment emerges in several ways in the film. For one, the brothers funneled their history with mental illness into the script;  their mother wrestles with depression; their grandmother died by suicide, and the toll of these behavioral struggles weighs heavy on Danny and Michael.

[ Mia inherits their concerns in kind.] For another, the slower, more measured pace of a feature gave them new creative freedom.

The Publishing continues. The World Students Society thanks author Andy Crump.


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