Popular Viners move beyond 6 seconds


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By Zoë Eitel

Known for their six-second videos of varying hilarity, Viners Brandon Calvillo and Jason Nash have teamed up to make a straight-to-iTunes movie about, you guessed it, Vine.

The movie, titled “FML,” will be released on iTunes Oct. 11. 

The film was written by, directed by and stars Nash and focuses on a 40-year-old man named Sam who enlists the help of his teenaged friend Henry—played by Calvillo—to gain more followers on a Vine-like app. The two decide to take a roadtrip to collaborate on videos with people with more followers than them, such as character Mike $wagg, played by Bart Baker.

Nash and Calvillo are joined by other popular Viners, including Manon Matthews, Ry Doon, Jessica Serfaty and Cody Johns, as well as former “Cougar Town” cast member Busy Philipps.

Though the movie is basically an exaggerated adaptation of the cast members’ lives, they should be commended for pushing themselves outside of their six-second comfort zones. These Viners-turned-actors are using the internet fame they have amassed to break into a new field. 

With a high follower counts—Calvillo has 6.4 million followers and Nash has 2.7 million—they definitely have the opportunity to make it big.

Nash is not the first Viner to expand on his popularity by breaking into film. Cameron Dallas, a Viner with 9.6 million followers, starred in the 2014 movie “Expelled” that was marginally well received with a 5 out of 10 rating on IMDb. Viner Christian DelGrosso, 7.8 million followers, had a secondary role in the movie “Mono” that was released July 8.

Revealed at this year’s VidCon, a convention for online-video stars and their fans, in June along with Vine’s new extended-video option was a movie titled “Camp Unplug,” which was posted in segments on a Vine account of the same name. “Camp Unplug” was written, directed and starred in primarily by popular Viners, including Aaron Chewning, Chris Melberger, Cody Ko, Mielmonster, Dope Island and meechonmars. Melberger and Chewning, two of the writers, have 1.6 and 1.3 million followers, respectively.

Though none of these movies are especially deep or sophisticated, Viners cannot be faulted for trying to break into film. These social media stars are taking advantage of the brands they built for themselves and proved to be successful to try and gain a different type of fame.

Nash is attempting to cash in on his reputation of an old guy on Vine who mainly hangs out and makes videos with young people, like Calvillo, and he shouldn’t be faulted for it.

“FML” could be a complete disaster, but it should be given a chance before being written off. These Viners have worked, some for years, to gain the followings they have. If they can successfully move into an industry like film, they should be applauded.

Having to be funny in a full-length film versus a six-second video are two very different things, each with their own challenges. It will be revealed in October if Nash and Calvillo have a future in movies, or if they should stick with doing what they are used to in order to make people laugh.