HBO’s new documentary will take the lives of three aspiring influencers and set them on the path of stardom. Fake Famous will record the highs and lows of their journey to social media fame.
As suggested by the title, it will also explore the dubious means – from misleading photoshoots to straight up buying fake followers – they can use to help them get there. “By purchasing fake followers and an army of bots to ‘engage’ with their social media, the newly made ‘influencers’ discover both the wonders and costs of this unlikely, immersive lifestyle.”
Tech journalist and first-time director Nick Bilton’s new film “explores the industry of social media influencers through an innovative social experiment,” says HBO. “The film’s journey into this world is driven by the casting of three people in Los Angeles who all have relatively small social followings and the attempt to grow them into famous influencers.”
Because we’re living in a capitalist hellscape, these fake lives lead to some pretty lucrative brand deals, too. As they build their respective followings, the influencers are seen raking in free stuff. “The most successful of them are paid fortunes to advertise on their platform,” HBO adds. “Even if the entire premise is tenuously based on fake scenarios and fake lives, the financial incentives for every piece of the puzzle are real.”
“Peeling back the layers to reveal what’s really happening behind the scenes of influencer fame, Fake Famous illuminates our obsession with the numbers of likes, followers, and favourites we get, and how most of our online world is much more fabricated than we realize.” The film will also include commentary and interviews with experts on the topic, such as New York Times tech reporter Taylor Lorenz.
Fake Famous will air on HBO, and stream on HBO Max, February 2. Watch the trailer below.