Vlogging, blogging, youtubing, you name it, is an ever-expanding industry and growing into a whole new craze and phenomena. Former Vine star and now Facebook, Youtube and internet sensation, Ben Phillips began making videos through simple pranks on his brother, Elliot. With his live cinematic experience coming to the Brighton Dome, we grabbed the opportunity to interview him and see how his pranks operate.
What begun as some personal humour, quickly became popular online, with over 1000 of his video pranks online, enabling Ben’s following to grow into its millions. His Facebook page is now the fastest growing in the UK, just shy of 9 million subscribers.
It seems like a typical day for Ben Philips, the moment I reach him for an interview he’s already working on his next prank for Elliot. “I’m currently buying 1000 pizza boxes,” Ben says, “I’m trying to find a Dominos worker who I can tip 50 quid to deliver 1000 pizzas to Elliot’s door.” The pranks seem to start early for a day in the life of an internet Prankster. Unsure whether or not he achieved this, I hop over to his Youtube channel to see how the prank turned out… Let’s just say, Elliot was his usual angry self when the issue arose.
Ben’s rise to internet fame started one day with his father showing him a prank online which he decided to recreate on his brother and upload it online. “Elliot’s always been an angry person,” he tells me, so from then on he begun continually pranking his brother and uploading online, where things quickly escalated due to huge popularity online. Starting on Vine, having to tell a story in 6 seconds his following increased at phenomenal speed. It’s often argued whether or not his pranks are staged and Elliot’s reaction are all just for views.
After being born and raised in a small town, Bridgend in Wales, the whole internet fame still feels like a surreal world for him, as he says, “we are just two bro’s from Wales.” Growing up and coming from a close nit family, like all Welsh families, everyone from the town all know the two brothers and their fame and respect that, letting them go on about their daily life. It’s not until “you go over the mighty bridge,” that “everyones running after your car and taking photos.” The pressure can seem to be on them as “that figure on the internet, its not just a figure of pixels, its a figure of people who’ve had to take the time to watch the video and hit the follow button,” becomes a reality and the fame begins to sink in. Ben goes onto saying that on average around 30-40 fans are waiting outside his office daily, fans leave notes on his car and often wait outside his house also.
I asked if any of his pranks have ever gone massively wrong or simply not been aired, and he replied with many of times things go wrong, yet he’s aired every single one possible uploading around 1000 pranks to date. The majority of the pranks go onto poor brother, Elliot, where it appears to sometimes go past brotherly banter, to at times pushing the boundaries to possible bullying, yet he gets away with it through humour. His latest series however, focuses on his ‘haters’. The series is called Prank the Haters where so far he’s pranked three of his haters. The first in the series being on a guy named Roy who left a hate comment Twitter for the world to see… Ben retaliated with a meteor prank named “I **PRANKED!** MY BIGGEST HATER! (REVENGE).” The prank consisting of him creating a meteor crashing onto ‘Roy’s car’ and his brother Elliot coming out in an Alien costume and scaring Roy as revenge. Roy’s reaction was priceless, with his wife also revealing some interesting things about their relationship. The prank has hit nearly 1.5 million views on Youtube to date.
With his live show coming to the Brighton Dome at the end of the month, I asked what his fans could expect from it. “It’s a crazy 4D almost virtual reality, a movie full of pranks that have never been seen before, “the biggest of the biggest,” Ben tells me, with the audience being sprayed by water, explosions and wind. It seems like it will include a great amount of audience participation by just being there. Also, there are tickets available for a Post-show meet and greet, offering a chance to meet the two boys personally. They will sign your merchandise, give you a little gift and you can get high res pictures taken which will go onto their website, allowing fans to download their images.
Blogging, Vlogging and Youtubing is rapidly increasing as a way of getting your name in lights and a step onto the fame ladder. With fans loving the real-life experiences and down to earth internet personalities online. Ben’s advice to budding vloggers and bloggers is straight forward. “I started on vine, I had to tell a story in 6 seconds,” Ben tells me. Whatever the story or subject matter you want to express, explore and upload needs to be something you’re truly passionate about and interested in, as Ben believes “energy is the key to vlogging.”
VIDEO NASTY Live Cinematic Experience
Thurs 28 Sept, 7.30pm (doors 6.45pm)
Brighton Dome www.brightondome.org