Pop stars Hannah Montana, The Jonas Brothers, Justin Beiber, The Glee Cast, Katy Perry and One Direction all have been the stars of feature films documenting their tours. It’s been years since pop stars began coming out with their own movies and even then it was only big name stars such as Elvis, Madonna and Elton John.
However, they all lacked the support that a group as big as Disney gave Hannah Montana. When Disney decided to take a shot at filming their own movies surrounding their teen idol, the idea paid off well for them. Once Hannah Montana was out with her movie and the success was fairly monumental, Disney followed their own footsteps by pitching a movie with the Jonas’ Brothers. The trend was followed by other pop stars who took an interest in getting their own stories documented. Still, for a long time, Disney has been a big money making machine, coming out with one thing after the other and calling it the next big thing.
University’s student body held pretty similar opinions. Most do not believe that any of these recent pop stars needed a movie. “They’re already big musicians…why do they need a movie?” Freshman Rosie Esquilin stated. There seems to be speculation that these pop stars aren’t doing documentaries so that their fans can have another way to connect to them, but are in fact making them to just create a wider spectrum for them to make money. Freshmen Colleen Fox, when asked if she thought there were other pop stars that deserved a movie more than these pop stars said, “Yes, however they’re [One Direction] gonna make the most money ‘cause they’re teenage heartthrobs.” It seems that there is a consensus in the idea that these movies aren’t just any old documentary, but that they are in fact just another money consuming product that has been laid out for the fans so that the pop stars can make money. Maybe Disney and the marketing teams were onto something.
If that’s the case though, is it the pop stars themselves who are taking the decision to make these movies or is it their marketing teams, which seems to be the case in the Disney Corporation. After all, if we pay attention to the video that One Direction came out with recently, “Best Song Ever” we see them portraying their marketing people as the ones who wanted to make the movie and not them necessarily. Most of these celebrities also have YouTube channels where they keep videos of their lives on a day to day basis as a way to connect with the fans. Amelia Marchiani thinks that the ones who are truly trying to make money here are, “the people that manage the bands because if they [the pop stars] already have video blogs, then what’s the point.” It seems as though these movies are coming out one of two reasons: if the pop stars are young, then it seems they follow what their marketing teams find best and then the older they are then it’s more of their choice. After all, the younger pop stars have a “backstage” type of film while the older stars have a distinct “documentary” feel to them.
Nevertheless, the opinions can vary based on the artist and the person’s taste in music. Some students believe that no bands should be making movies, others think that there are certain groups that are not recent who deserved a movie. Others like Senior Joyreen Quarcoo had varied opinions when asked about the two most recent movies. “I don’t think One Direction should have made a movie” Joyreen Quarcoo responded, yet when asked if Lady Gaga should continue down this path and make her move, she simply said “I’d watch it.” In general, it seems like no matter what the opinion over the pop stars are, they are going to continue in this fashion if not for the fans, then for the money.