'Escape the Night' season 4: Joey Graceffa says the shoot was 'a giant slumber party', asks people to 'expect the unexpected'
When the term YouTubers came to be, one of the names that were associated with the title was Joey Graceffa.
The 28-year-old is what you would refer to as one of the OG YouTubers who made vlogging and just posting daily life updates on the video-sharing site an entertainment mainstay.
As his videos kept getting more unique, his fans became more loyal and, soon, he turned from acclaimed vlogger to storyteller.
In the year 2016, Graceffa dropped the first episode of his YouTube original, 'Escape the Night'.
And three years later, the escape room fantasy horror series has emerged as the platform's longest-running original.
The ongoing season of the show is an all-star affair with Graceffa's YouTuber friends joining in the fun!
Four seasons old and running just as strong, the latest installment of 'Escape the Night' premiered on July 11 with new episodes coming out every Thursday on YouTube Premium.
"I just feel so lucky for the fact that I get to create the stories and share my creativity and have a fun cool way to express it. I just want to keep telling stories, so I don't feel fully accomplished yet because there are so many stories in different formats that I want to tell, but I do feel lucky," Graceffa told MEA Worldwide (MEAWW) in an exclusive interview.
"Ever since I was a kid, I've always been into playing make-believe with a wild imagination, and I just wanted to create a show that emulated that childlike aspect of me," he added, detailing the inception of the show.
Season 4 features an all-star cast including some of the biggest names of the YouTube creator community, like Colleen Ballinger, Bretman Rock, Alex Wassabi, Justine Ezarik, Gabbie Hanna, DeStorm Power, Timothy DeLaGhetto, Tana Mongeau and Rosanna Pansino.
The 10-episode, half-hour series' season premiere was made available for free streaming for fans, and they were greeted with the host and star of the show—Graceffa—as he ventured into purgatory to rescue his friends, who have fallen in past eras, from the clutches of the Collector.
The action kickstarts in this rescue mission when the Collector's Museum of the Dead comes to life, and the new mission is to survive!
But with big names and a star-studded cast comes the colossal responsibility of gathering these friends, all of whom are YouTube creators dedicating days and nights to churning out content for their loyal fans regularly.
Graceffa acknowledges the same effort and time his friends have decided to invest in his show, addressing how grateful he is for their active participation. "Gathering my friends to film was definitely a challenge in itself," remarks Graceffa, quipping how 'that should be a whole different series on its own.'
"Our jobs are 24/7, so we're constantly working," points out the 28-year-old creator who has been in the industry for about 20 years now. He continues about the challenges and thrill of gathering all his friends for the star-studded season, saying: "So to ask someone to potentially be away for five nights of filming and sleeping through the day is really asking a lot from them. So I really appreciate everyone in it, but my favorite part of the whole process is just getting to spend quality time with these people because we don't really get this opportunity to just unplug for 5 days. It's almost like a giant slumber party where we're going out, we're competing against each other, but it's a lot of bonding and a lot of fun."
This fun is soon about to transcend into the real world too as an 'Escape the Night'-inspired escape-room venue is going to be available for fans very soon.
But for those fans who are aching to know what to expect in the coming episodes of the show, Graceffa would like you to 'expect the unexpected.' "There's definitely a lot of unexpected twists that happen," he teases about the rest of season 4, adding: "I did a lot of things that I've never done before. So expect the unexpected, I guess. But we're not done seeing some characters that we've seen in the past!"
'Escape the Night' season 4 comes out with new episodes every Thursday on YouTube Premium.