'The Creators' Documentary Reveals What It's Really Like To Be A YouTube Celebrity

03/17/2015 03:53 pm ET

The most popular YouTubers keep their subscribers happy by giving makeup tutorials, offering advice and even sharing details of their personal lives all in front of a camera. On the other side of the lens is a different view of YouTube fame -- a side that isn't all book deals and award shows.

In a documentary titled “The Creators,” Academy Award-nominated director Nanette Burstein sheds light on what it’s really like being a YouTube star and the obstacles that come with it.

The documentary focuses on four YouTube celebrities and the channels they run, including Zoe Sugg (known as Zoella online), who has more than 7 million subscribers and Thomas Ridgewell, whose TomSka channel has more than 3 million. Niki and Sammy Albon of NikiNSammy fame are working toward the same level of YouTube stardom and have more than 100,000 subscribers to date.

Though the three channels produce different content, the diversity of YouTube allows all of them to attract followers and make videos they actually want to create.

“On YouTube, you can just create what you want, do what you want, be how you want,” Zoe said.

The film documents each YouTuber’s success as they sign autographs and take pictures with fans, but it also shows the side of YouTube fame many people don’t think about, such as Zoe's struggles with panic attacks as she deals with her new fame. Thomas has even opened up to viewers about his depression and coping with the death of a friend.

"That’s when I started pouring my heart out and hoping that it would matter to people," he said.

Now, his videos matter to millions.

As for the future of YouTube, even the experts aren't completely sure. For Thomas, not knowing is part of the fun.

“I love explosions, and YouTube is an explosion. It’s just chaos. It’s just constantly evolving and changing, and I’m excited to see where it goes next.”

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