Watching as Will Smith dangled off the side of a helicopter, moments before he bungee jumped into an Arizona canyon, YouTuber Matt Dajer felt a crippling sense of responsibility.
One of Hollywood’s biggest stars had risen to a “heli-bungee” challenge presented to him by Dajer and his friends at the Yes Theory channel. Now, as Smith looked danger in the face, the YouTubers who met at Montreal’s McGill University were standing alongside his family at a nearby vantage point, hoping nothing went awry on the live broadcast.
“There’s always that one-per-cent doubt in your head where you’re like, ‘Oh my, if anything goes wrong our careers are over,’ ” said Dajer.
“We’ll be the guys that did this to Will Smith.”
Six months of planning brought Yes Theory on Tuesday to one of the most significant crossovers between internet stars and Hollywood celebrities yet.
Timed for Smith’s 50th birthday, a massive production crew brought their trucks and cameras to a small gorge on the Navajo Nation, not far from Grand Canyon National Park.
The sheer size of the spectacle left the guys in Yes Theory stunned as they arrived at the location.
“We showed up and it was just packed,” Dajer said.
“The only thing I could keep thinking about was where we started from and how far we came — all just from a random challenge we put up on the internet.”
Yes Theory formed several years ago when four friends — Dajer, Thomas Brag, Ammar Kandil, and occasional contributor Derin Emre — met as international students at McGill in Montreal.