Creators: Lonelygirl15 Videos Not Front
Wednesday, September 13, 2006; 2:00 PM
LOS ANGELES -- The creators behind the Internet video mystery teen Lonelygirl15 want their fans to know they are not a front for a big Hollywood studio marketing some upcoming film.
Instead, the three friends began the adventures of the doe-eyed, 16-year-old home-schooled Bree as an experiment in storytelling that they intend to continue on their own Web site that was launched Tuesday.
Bree's inventors went public after fans of the two- to three-minute videos began questioning her existence and expressing disappointment that the seemingly genuine video diaries were a hoax.
The creators identified themselves to The Associated Press as Miles Beckett, 28, of Woodland Hills, Calif.; Mesh Flinders, 26, of Petaluma, Calif., and Greg Goodfried, 27, of Los Angeles.
Beckett, a self-styled Internet geek, said he came up with the idea of using short videos as a storytelling technique while a surgical resident. Earlier this year, he met Flinders, a fledgling filmmaker, at a party.
"I saw YouTube coming about and podcasting and wanted to be a part of it," Beckett said.
Flinders said he had been developing the character of a teenage girl who was more at home relating to adults than with her peers. The character never quite fit into any of his screenplays, but seemed a perfect fit for Beckett's idea of telling stories using video blogging.
The two joined with Goodfried, a lawyer, recruited the actors to play Bree and her dorky boyfriend, Daniel, and began writing the broad outlines of an open-ended plot filled with the kind of mysteries and clues TV watchers know from the hit ABC show "Lost."
The short videos began appearing on the Web sites YouTube and MySpace in June. The creators said Tuesday that they never intended to stage a hoax or trick people into believing their characters were real.
"We never wanted to lie to people," Beckett said.
"Our job from the beginning was not to trick people. It was to create a character that was believable," Flinders said.
The trio began posting individually scripted and filmed episodes online and began incorporating changes based on reactions and suggestions from fans.