Benny Fine (born March 19, 1981) and Rafi Fine (born June 9, 1983), known together as the Fine Brothers, are online producers, writers, and directors, who are best known for their React video series, their several timed-spoiler series, narrative web series, as well as creating a "transmedia" sitcom on YouTube, MyMusic. The Fine Brothers have been creating content online since 2004. They are behind their company, Fine Brothers Entertainment, a full service production company of digital series, television shows, and feature films.
The Fine Brothers channel has over 3 billion views and has peaked at over 14 million subscribers. However, due to a controversy over an attempt to license and trademark the term "React", as well as the names of their series, the Fine Brothers' channels have lost hundreds of thousands of subscribers. But in May 2016, the Fine Brothers' channel made it back to over 14 million subscribers.
Early life and career
The brothers grew up in the 1990s in an Orthodox Jewish family in Brooklyn. The Fine Brothers stated that they have been making videos almost their entire life; Benny, being the elder brother, would "rope [Rafi] into making all kinds of weird stuff." New York detailed the two "started recording comedy sketches as adolescents, when they got their first video camera." They spent most of their teen years in Sullivan County, New York. Benny started college at age 15, while Rafi attended Dickinson College for two years before transferring to Hunter College, where he got a degree in film studies. The two began entertaining their friends with short sketches and full length comedies shot with action figures.
The brothers stated that they created a live action feature in 2000 that made its way into comedy film festivals, and that they were planning to create a feature each year, hoping that one feature would soon help the brothers break into Hollywood. Despite winning young filmmaker awards, they soon came to the conclusion that this method would not be the best path, and decided their future would be on the internet, which they viewed at the time as the new film festival. The brothers created their first website in 2003, and uploaded their first web video in 2004. They broke their features into 10-to-15-minute chunks to showcase the feature to an audience. The brothers used their website and early online works as a discoverability tool that would launch them into traditional film. In 2004, the brothers created a feature-length live-action comedy, titled G.I. Joe: The Epic Saga, before beginning to upload more sketch and comedy content onto websites such as MySpace. The duo then moved from Orlando, Florida to Los Angeles, where they continued to upload more videos on their YouTube channel, which was created on June 4, 2007. New York wrote that the two entered the YouTube community as "low-paid video producers for other companies, but kept making their own videos on the side." Their earlier videos contain mature social satire humor.
Overview of YouTube career
The Fine Brothers found success on YouTube where their main channel, TheFineBros, has more than 13 million subscribers and 3.8 billion video views as of February 2016. The Fine Brothers also have a secondary channel, under the name TheFineBros2, launched on May 14, 2009. A third channel was launched on July 22, 2014 under the name React, as a way to expand their React content.
The two soon joined the Maker Studios venture, and stated that after speaking with Shane Dawson about a plan for the project, "we were the head of production and head of creative." The duo ran Maker Studios throughout 2009 and were responsible for the early success and planning for what became known as Multi-channel networks (MCNs)—they have since been vocal advocates for fair treatment of creators by the networks.
On their main channel, the brothers upload a multitude of series, creating some of the most popular scripted, narrative, and unscripted series in web history including their award winning and notable reaction series. They release behind the scenes content, as well as clips from their news podcast "All We Know" on the secondary channel. On October 16, 2010, they uploaded the first episode of Kids React, the first series in what would later become a notable React franchise on YouTube.
Aside from the popular series that the brothers have directed, produced, and uploaded, the duo also has uploaded popular interactive YouTube videos. The duo's channels are under the YouTube partner program, allowing them to earn money from ad revenues on their videos. The two have also been sponsored by Ford and Comedy Central.
The Fine Brothers have also collaborated in a variety of ways including writing, directing and producing with other popular YouTubers such as Shane Dawson, ShayCarl, and KassemG, along with collaborating with more in many ways including on their YouTubers React show with top channels such as Smosh and PewDiePie.
In December 2013, the duo left Revision3 to sign with Fullscreen though remained vocal about YouTube multi-channel networks, devoting a segment in their update vlog series, Fine Time, discussing how to navigate them.
On April 30, 2014, it was announced that a spin-off of the Fine Bros' React series called React to That was going to be aired on Nickelodeon. The Fine Bros stated in an episode of Fine Time that they plan on continuing to upload YouTube videos consistently, however. The show aired 12 episodes. They also created and host the TV series Six Degrees of Everything that aired on TruTV in 2015. In early 2016, New York detailed that their company employed around 50 people.
The Fine Brothers launched a series titled Kids React on October 16, 2010, the first video being "Kids React to Viral Videos #1 (Double Rainbow, Obama Fail, Twin Rabbits, Snickers Halloween)". The Kids React series features The Fine Brothers, off-camera, showing kids several viral videos or popular YouTubers and having the kids react to the videos.
The series would later lead to spin-offs uploaded on the brothers' channel, featuring teens, elders, adults (including sub-branches college kids, parents, etc) and YouTubers. Due to the increasing success of the React franchise, the brothers, in collaboration with Nick Cannon, later developed a television series for Nickelodeon, titled React to That. Later on, the brothers launched a separate "React" YouTube channel, with additional reaction-related videos, including remixes of past reaction footage and cast members reacting to video games, among other content.
The Fine Brothers are the creators of MyMusic, a sitcom show funded by YouTube's $100 million original channel initiative. MyMusic features a main ensemble cast of Adam Busch, Chris Clowers, Jack Douglass, Tania Gunadi, Grace Helbig, Lainey Lipson, Jarrett Sleeper, Mychal Thompson and has featured many guest stars, with members of both Kids React and Teens React also appearing. The series has an interactive transmedia aspect, which the Fine Brothers have spoken on, saying "To us, new media should be 'new' – and just not just a passive experience. The ability to create new storytelling elements and new ways to entertain audiences is what is so motivating about being a creator at this time." The show revolves around MyMusic, a company led by CEO Indie (portrayed by Adam Busch) who is portrayed as a stereotypical modern-day hipster. Another character on the show, Metal (portrayed by Jarrett Sleeper), is based on the brothers' teenage years. "The Metal character comes directly from us when we were teenagers. We were metal heads, full-on," as Fine stated. MyMusic has a separate channel on YouTube from the main Fine Brothers channel (MyMusicShow), which had over 381,000 subscribers and 28.9 million video views as of July 7, 2013. MyMusic was nominated for nine Streamy Awards in the 3rd installment of the event, with three of the nominations going to the Fine Brothers. The second season premiered on August 20, 2013.
Other YouTube series
The Fine Brothers have a popular series where they spoil a variety of topics ranging from books to films to video games. The first episode of their Spoiler series, 100 Movie Spoilers in 5 Minutes – (Movie Endings Ruined), was uploaded on YouTube on November 11, 2008. With over 2.7 million video views as of July 28, 2014, the episode is also the most popular of the series. The brothers also uploaded a video containing spoilers of the first seven Harry Potter films in roughly seven minutes on July 13, 2011. The Fine Brothers spoiled 47 years in roughly 6 minutes of the popular series, Doctor Who, and released subsequent sequels in preparations for the premieres of series 8 & 9 respectively. Other TV shows that have had spoiler videos made about them have included Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and Orange Is the New Black. Additionally, the Fine Bros put up a video each month spoiling 50 viral videos that have circulated on YouTube and other sources during the previous month.
Lost: What Will Happen Next?
The Fine Brothers created a show titled Lost: What Will Happen Next?, which is a parody show based on Lost. The show debuted on January 24, 2008, and was the first long-running series on the Fine Brothers channel. The show lasted 19 episodes and ended on November 1, 2010. The show featured several characters from other fictional universes such as the Avatar and Star Wars universe. The Fine Brothers collaborated with Rhett and Link to create a parody song of Lost as well.
On January 26, 2016, the Fine Brothers announced that they would license and trademark their existing React series and let creators create their own react series. In particular, the Fine Bros applied to trademark, among other terms, the term "react", which is used in the title of numerous other YouTube videos unrelated to the Fine Brothers' YouTube channel. The announcement was met with backlash from their viewers and fellow YouTube content creators, many of whom believed the Fine Brothers were attempting to prohibit the creation of reaction videos by people unaffiliated with their channel. In response, the brothers promised that they will "not be trying to take revenue from other types of reaction videos, and will not be copyright-striking." However, other YouTubers have reported multiple copyright related video takedowns. There have also been claims that another YouTube channel was producing Seniors React videos prior to the Fine Brothers' Elders React series. The backlash led to a dramatic drop in subscribers, with upwards of 675,000 accounts collectively unsubscribing from the React and Fine Bros Entertainment channels in protest as of February 22, 2016.
On February 1, the Fine Brothers stated they had rescinded all React trademarks and trademark applications, discontinued the React World program, and released all previous Content ID claims. In addition, the Fine Brothers removed their original React World announcement video, as well as their update video which addressed the initial backlash.
|2008–2010||Lost: What Will Happen Next?|
|2010–present||Last Moments of Relationships|
|2010–2011||Harry Potter Deleted Scenes|
|2010–2011||Lindsay Lohan Needs Real Friends|
|2013, 2016-present||Emo Dad|
|2013–present||Fine Time (originally Update Vlog)|
|2014–present||People vs. Food|
|2014–present||React: Lyric Breakdown|
|2014–present||Underwater Movie Scenes|
|2014–2015||React to That|
|2015||Six Degrees of Everything|
This is a list of awards, nominations, recognition and achievements received by the Fine Brothers during their career.
|Year||Nominated work||Category||Award-giving body||Result||Ref.|
|2012||Kids React||Best Viral Video Series||39th Daytime Emmy Awards||Won|||
|Best Variety Web Series||Inaugural IAWTV Awards||Won|||
|2013||Kids React||Best Variety Series||2013 IAWTV Awards||Nominated|||
|MyMusic||Best Interactive/Social Media Experience||Nominated|||
|Best Supplemental Content||Nominated|||
|Kids React||Best Non-Fiction or Reality Series||3rd Streamy Awards||Won|||
|Themselves||Audience Choice for Personality of the Year||Nominated|||
|MyMusic||Audience Choice for Series of the Year||Nominated|||
|Best Comedy Series||Nominated|||
|Best Writing: Comedy||Nominated|||
|2014||Kids React||Best Directing (Non-Fiction)||2014 IAWTV Awards||Nominated|||
|Best Variety Web Series||Won|||
|MyMusic||Best Supplemental Content||Nominated|||