Archive for December 20, 2019

Soren – Content Creator Freddie Wong

I chose to focus on YouTuber Freddie Wong for my “influencer” pick. Although he’s not necessarily an influencer, he had a huge role in the development of the early YouTube community, and was part of the wave of Asian content creators which saw meteoric rise. Freddie Wong was a huge part of my childhood, and I attribute many of his early videos to one of my greatest passions – visual effects! At the turn of the decade, Freddie Wong was a sort of beacon for low-to-no budget short films, which primarily were more akin to visual effects tests than anything else. For a young person however, it was exceedingly entertaining.

Freddie Wong was a graduate of USC’s Cinematic Arts program, where he met Brandon Laatch, who would eventually help him produce short films. A couple years into his YouTube career, Freddie made a video wherein a man gains extra height on a jump by firing a rocket at the ground. This was a reference to a popular glitch in the video game Halo. However, the video was a massive success, sporting a massive 24 million views today.

Freddie Wong’s success on YouTube led to a few things. First, he became the proprietor of three separate YouTube channels, the smallest of which had 2 million subscribers at its peak, the largest at 8 million. Secondly, in 2011 he and his college friend Brandon founded a production company known as RocketJump, named after their successful video. Wong garnered a great deal of attention after this and appeared alongside the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, Andy Whitfield, Kevin Pollak, Shenae Grimes, and Jon Favreau. Thirdly, RocketJump was responsible for one of the most quickly funded Kickstarter projects of all time, with their webseries titled Video Game High School. Originally funding was set at $75,000 for a 30 day period. By the end, over $270,000 had been raised. Video Game High School saw release the following year. The series had 3 seasons, and ended in 2014.

Sadly, Brandon and Freddie ended up having creative differences, and the production duo split in 2013. Wong continued to work on VGHS until the series end in 2014. Wong is now finding work in the podcast realm with two podcasts – in 2017 Story Break, and this year Dungeons and Daddies. His YouTube channel slowly has become less active until last year he stopped uploading entirely. Whether he plans to return to the space under the RocketJump name or otherwise remains to be seen. However, his influence on YouTuber’s such as Nigahiga and Wong Fu productions has been a permanent mark on the digital content creation space for Asian YouTubers.

December 20, 2019 at 12:13 am Leave a comment


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