'Lonelygirl15' creators admit to YouTube fiction

When the 1999 film "The Blair Witch Project" was revealed to be a fictional creation rather than the real footage from a young filmmaking team that met a horrific end, plenty breathed a sigh of relief. But now that "Lonelygirl15," a cute video blogger who claimed to be a homeschooled 16-year-old girl named "Bree" has been outed as an actress in a scripted Internet video project, plenty of her YouTube fans are sad to learn she isn't the real deal.

So, here's the real story. The "Lonelygirl15" videos were created by three twenty-somethings in the Los Angeles area who were intrigued by the nascent phenomena of podcasting and video blogging and admitted to the Web community on Wednesday that they'd created a set of fictional clips. "Bree" herself is really a 19-year-old actress from New Zealand named Jessica Rose. Contrary to rumors, the video blog was not a promotion behind a new major-studio movie or TV show--it appears to have been just the work of a few guys who wanted to see what would happen.

The creators of the videos say they have no plans to stop making them. Ironically, in the wake of the "outing," the video blogging adventures of "Bree" have reached a new height in popularity--but that could just be temporary. Now that the mystery's gone, "Lonelygirl15" will seem, at best, a bit more mundane.

Tech Culture
About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.


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