The Hollywood Fix Cornered the Influencer Paparazzi Market

Mr. Greene’s movies have turn out to be so ubiquitous on the teen web that they’re now a meme. Hundreds of younger folks on TikTok have posted Hollywood Fix parody movies, and YouTubers like Emma Chamberlain have referenced the Hollywood Fix of their movies. People typically parrot Mr. Greene’s signature catch phrase — “The fans wanna know!” — in movies and replies on Twitter.

“Whenever I have nothing to do, I’ll watch the Hollywood Fix,” mentioned Alana Lintao, 16, a TikToker in New Jersey who creates parodies of Mr. Greene’s movies. In January, she spent hours consuming content material on his YouTube channel. “I kind of got caught in a loop and I was binge watching all of the videos,” she mentioned.

Becoming a star documentarian — to not point out an authority on Gen Z — wasn’t Mr. Greene’s plan when he moved from Dallas to Los Angeles in 2013. He had come to the metropolis for a change of tempo. At the time he was working as a music producer.

Soon after his arrival, he seen the variety of well-known folks strolling round his West Hollywood neighborhood. “I used to live down the street from Karrueche Tran, and I’d see Chris Brown,” he mentioned.

One day, he started snapping photos of the two together with his cellphone. He known as up TMZ to see if somebody there can be keen on shopping for them, and to his shock an editor supplied him $1,000 in change for a couple of images.

So started his profession as a paparazzo. Mr. Greene began chasing celebrities round city, constructing connections with valets and repair staff who tipped him off to the whereabouts of celebrities.

In 2014, he determined to place a few of his content material on YouTube. He was doing extra video interviews and wished a house for the stuff that the tabloids weren’t shopping for. At the time, he mentioned, People journal and The Daily Mail weren’t keen on footage from, say, outdoors Jake Paul’s dwelling, however the followers of his younger influencer topics ate the movies up and his subscriber base ballooned.

By 2016, Mr. Greene was making respectable cash off his YouTube channel. This spring, it surpassed 1.four million subscribers. Then, the pandemic hit in March, and immediately every part modified. Celebrities started maintaining a decrease profile, stepping out solely to stroll their canines or run small errands. Mr. Greene determined that moderately than park outdoors Jennifer Lopez’s home all day hoping for one photograph, like different paparazzi, he would cowl the stars who had been posting overtly about their house parties and public outings.

“The TikTokers are always in groups,” Mr. Greene said. “All the popular ones pretty much only hang out with popular ones. If you catch one you catch two or three or four. It’s not like if you get Ben Affleck you also get Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez and Madonna. They don’t hang out like that.”

When BOA Steakhouse, an upscale American restaurant on Sunset Boulevard, opened for outdoor dining in June, it became an overnight hot spot for Gen Z influencers. Mr. Greene parked himself out front and began interviewing the young stars about their lives and drama as they came and went.

“The Hollywood Fix is very much covering what’s happening on the internet rather than who’s a big celebrity,” said Kai Watson, 19, a founder of The Sync, a commentary channel and podcast. “You watch a video of a huge celeb walking down the street and it has like 10,000 views, but right next to it is a Hollywood Fix video ‘Catching up with Charli D’Amelio at BOA’ with 10 million views.”

Part of what has made the Hollywood Fix the go-to outlet for influencers is the relationship Mr. Greene has with his subjects. They know that he has done his research and takes their careers seriously.

Many of these young stars consider a Hollywood Fix interview to be a marker of status. “A lot of up-and-coming creators will say, OMG! I was finally on Hollywood Fix,” Mr. Watson said.

The reality star Spencer Pratt compared Mr. Greene to Ryan Seacrest, whose radio show has always featured celebrity guests and news items. “Back in 2008, when we were famous, Ryan Seacrest would text you and you’d call in and he’d ask what’s going on,” Mr. Pratt said. “All the TikTokers use the Hollywood Fix how we used Seacrest.”

Mr. Greene has also built an authority with influencers’ fans. “My stuff is really fan-driven,” he said. “A lot of people make fun of me for saying ‘The fans wanna know!’ but I have hundreds of fans a day saying ‘Can you please find this person and ask them this or that? We need to know the answer!’ So I specialize in what people want to know about.”

The openly cozy relationship between Gen Z influencers and the paparazzi represents a sea change in the industry, said Mr. Pratt, who described being “shamed” for the same behavior just years ago. “These TikTokers have reinvented everything,” he said. “Now it’s cool to film yourself and call the paparazzi and self promote.”

Mr. Greene said that TikTok influencers have breathed life into the young Hollywood landscape. “All these kids are young, rich, good looking and live in these mansions,” he said. “It’s like a current version of ‘90210.’”

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