How Has Youtube Commentary Changed My Life?

With the films I had watched prior to their reaction videos, each Youtube channel would pick up on certain elements of the film that I didn’t take note of the first time watching it. These include character flaws, camera angles, lighting choices, missed opportunities with the plot, and continuity issues. The comments related to these aspects really made me look at the film differently, and even question whether or not I actually liked it. I was surprised by this; because I’ve always thought of myself as someone who isn’t easily persuaded or convinced of something. 

My Experiment:

In order to test this out and experience this change first hand, I sat down and watched The Sun Is Also a Star on Stan, while compiling a list of my initial thoughts of the film. This was done with no prior knowledge of the film, and no external influence. I made sure to include key aspects of the film — from the lighting, to the camera work, and dialogue — to ensure my scope was large enough to work with. I then waited a couple of days to refresh my mind, before watching Dylan Is In Trouble react to the film. I, again, took notes of my thoughts and feelings, but this time, had Dylan’s thoughts to influence my own. I then compared the two sets of notes.


Figure 2
Figure 3

What I found most interesting was the difference in the amount of things I noticed. As you can see from the screenshots above, I took down 6 dot points by myself, and 12 with the help of Youtuber Dylan. I’m not sure whether this is because I was less interested in the note-taking experience watching it by myself, or if it is simply because I didn’t pick up on as many things alone. While many themes overlapped with the two sets of notes, a major change for me, was the movie genre. At first, I solely saw this film as a romance-drama, however with Dylan’s commentary, this changed to more of a comedy style film. 

When watching the film alone, I found the story to be a clique. A typical teen rom-com. Stereotypical family dynamics and values. Nothing exceptionally special about it. It was a very average movie. One that I wouldn’t watch again or recommend to anyone.

However when watching with Dylan, I was actively thinking beyond the surface level. I was able to notice more details and motifs scattered throughout the film. I went from thinking “that’s a colourful jacket”, to “that jacket has a deep meaning, and actually plays a big part in her storyline”. I also found myself more connected to their families and background when listening to Dylan’s commentary. I picked up on the subtleties, missed opportunities with direction, and the interesting camera work at times.

Overall, the added commentary allowed me to see the film at a more professional level, almost as if I was a film critic. It transcended beyond the typical teenage chick-flick, and is rather a learning tool that I could use to judge other films in the future. Therefore, movie commentary videos have changed my perspective on films and tv shows for the better. 

So, I guess I am more impressionable that I originally thought…

I have been watching movie commentary videos on Youtube for a couple of years now, and over time have definitely developed an interest in the more deeper aspects of film making. But these interests stem from these content creators’ thoughts. I have found myself agreeing with most of the opinions shared in the videos in regards to colouring, camera work, character performance, dialogue, along with others. This only made me realise how much I’ve personally been influenced by these creators. However, I don’t find this to be a bad thing, as it has only made my viewing experience more interesting and educational.

Tune in to next week’s blog, where I’ll look at the secondary research done on this topic, and introduce my public digital artefact on Twitter.


Bennett, L. Chin, B. & Jones, B. (2016). ‘Between Ethics, Privacy, Fandom, and Social Media: New Trajectories that Challenge Media Producer/Fan Relations’, Controversies in Digital Ethics, New York: Bloomsbury Academic.

Pink, S. Horst, H. Postill, J. Hjorth, L. Lewis, T. & Tacchi, J. (2016). ‘Researching Experience’, Digital Ethnography: Principles and Practice. Sage: Los Angeles.

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