Studios Hope YouTube Tie Sells Movie

09/22/2008 10:06

Most adults have never heard of a 15-year-old YouTube phenom named "Fred," but he is a star to more than 500,000 people -- mostly young children -- who have signed up as subscribers to his channel on the video-sharing site. Now, the two studios behind the Oct. 10 family film "City of Ember" are trying to tap into Fred's Internet stardom.

Fred is a fictional 6-year-old, played by Lucas Cruikshank, a ninth-grader from Nebraska. In the weekly videos -- which are typically two to three minutes long and are filmed at his family's home -- Fred tells about his daily hijinks in a shrill voice that sounds like an excitable chipmunk, an effect the floppy-haired Lucas achieves by speeding up the audio track.

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