Casey Neistat's documentary movie on David Dobrik, Under the Influence, premiered in South by Southwest on March 12, began in 2019 before controversies started to surround the YouTuber.
Neistat said in an interview with Variety that he hasn't spoken to Dobrik since his last interview for the film. He revealed:
“The only time he engaged on camera after that article was released was for one final interview.”
He also shared that his entire attitude towards the YouTuber and the project changed after the allegations started to emerge against Dobrik in 2021.
On being questioned if Dobrik has seen the documentary, Neistat shared that he did see it, but because the two have not met or spoken since the final interview, he "certainly can’t speak for" his feelings about the project.
Under the Influence was supposed to document David Dobrik's life behind the camera
Neistat shared that in 2019, when they had the initial idea of creating the documentary, David Dobrik was one of the most popular YouTubers in the world. Neistat found the creator to be "absolutely extraordinary" and "never seen before," which made him a "compelling and interesting" personality for the movie.
He wanted to record the life of the YouTuber, a side that often goes hidden from fans. He explained:
"For a large part of the public, they’re aware of this world of influencers and, if I can generalize, they see it as absurdist. They see it as people screaming into cameras and getting paid millions of dollars and living these outlandish lives. There’s not a lot of understanding there. This film shines a light on how exactly David’s online world works."
He wanted to show how the YouTuber became such a big personality on the platform, and how he worked around making his videos. He loved the concept of the film, where he had to "follow somebody like David," which also led him to examine "internet fame and the fascination with that fame."
He agreed that the project got darker after all the allegations started surfacing against David Dobrik. He explained that while the "subject matter" of the movie should not "be celebrated," he is "immensely proud" of himself and his team for the final results.
Allegations against David Dobrik and the Vlog Squad Members
Dobrik has come under fire on multiple occasions, but r*pe allegations against squad member Dom Zeglaitis cost him numerous sponsorships.
The woman told Business Insider, that Zeglaitis slept with her while she was intoxicated and unable to consent in 2018, when the group filmed a vlog about group s*x.
Another controversy that cost Dobrik huge amounts of fans happened in April 2021, when Jeff Wittek released a documentary called Don't Try This at Home. The five-part series followed the YouTuber's journey through multiple surgeries and medical procedures after an accident that took place while shooting a video for Vlog Squad. Wittek explained that the incident happened due to negligence on Dobrik's part, who took things "too far" while handling an excavator in the middle of a lake.
Fans interested in watching the documentary might have to wait sometime, as Neistat is still looking for a distributor for the project.