Posted October 24, 2013
Back in March 2010, my friend Brandon and I started the first steps down the path of pursuing online video as a full-time career. We had been working on freelance visual effects and direct-to-DVD movies and were dissatisfied with lack of control and the quality of the end product.
So thanks to some encouragement from Destorm (a YouTube Partner I met doing a video contest in Vancouver) and a history of watching and analyzing YouTube videos, we took the leap and committed to trying to make a full-time career off of short, online videos. We experimented with content, found success, and built upon that success.
That first year was a whirlwind – we got invited to our first “YouTuber” party – which was a lot like a high school party where everyone had an invisible number floating over their heads for how popular they were. We loaded an RV with equipment and took a 10,000 mile roadtrip around the US to meet with fans and make videos with them (where the first stranger ever recognized us – a Gamestop employee walking to his car in a parking lot in central California). We had a bona-fide viral hit that Christmas with “Future First Person Shooter.
We have been extremely fortunate to be able to make this into our full-time careers – the confluence of technology, accessibility, and distribution online has allowed us to be truly independent filmmakers.
Over the course of this past year, Brandon and I began pursuing different paths. Matt, Dez, and I worked on Season 2 of VGHS as he worked on larger scale VFX shorts and tutorials on the second channel. As filmmakers, we wanted the flexibility to pursue the projects that most interested us – for the past three years, those interests were the same. Moving forward, we both wish to focus on different kinds of content.
As such, we are reorganizing the channel structure to best allow both of us to do the projects we each want to do. The most obvious change (and to be frank, it’s really not much of a change) is we’re renaming http://youtube.com/freddiew to http://youtube.com/rocketjump. (the “freddiew” url will still go to the same page, but I’ll be referring to the channel moving forward as the RocketJump channel).
For a while, as we transition and build out, we will both be uploading to the RocketJump channel and cross promote between the two, but eventually, Brandon will be uploading his content to the BrandonJLa channel.
But why not just keep the “freddiew” branding? One of the things I realized is that the “freddiew” branding and name restricted the things we wanted to do as filmmakers. A big part of RocketJump is finding talented people and working with them closely to create awesome stuff. But if the channel is named “freddiew” it creates a false illusion that, somehow, I’m solely responsible for everything.
Anybody who has made a film can tell you that that is simply not true – there are many people that influence a final product, and film is at its core a collaborative art form. To continue to brand everything as “freddiew” was, at best, misleading, and at worst, incredibly selfish.
So that’s why the channel is being renamed. Under the RocketJump banner, we will continue our usual shorts (but most likely on a South Park-esque schedule which will allow us to pursue other projects). We also want to continue VGHS and continue to make television and feature length series. And for those of you who still derive enjoyment from me being a doofus – we got you covered.
We’re very excited for you to see what we have up our sleeves, and we look forward to distracting you with our videos!
– Freddie Wong