Freddie Wong battles Katy Perry for Super Bowl halftime audience

NBC News:

During Sunday’s Super Bowl, millions of eyes will be glued to television screens watching Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz perform during the halftime show. But YouTube is making a play for some of those eyes with its own, live streaming halftime show, featuring some of the biggest names online.

The live stream, the company said on its blog, will include more than 20 YouTube stars. The show will entertain viewers with fake Super Bowl ads, musical numbers and stunts, according to Bloomberg.

Among the stars recruited by YouTube is Freddie Wong, the man behind the hit show “Video Game High School,” (VGHS) which Variety named as the best web series of 2013. Wong co-founded RocketJump, the production company that makes the series. RocketJump has clocked more than 1 billion views and 7 million subscribers through its YouTube channel. VGHS is also available through Netflix.

Forbes recently named Wong as one of Hollywood & Entertainment’s 30 Under 30, joining the ranks of Blake Lively, Zac Efron, Keira Knightley and Emma Watson. Another honoree from the publication’s list, Harley Morenstein, co-founder of web show EpicMealTime, will host the YouTube halftime show.

Just last week, Hulu announced that it will team up with Lionsgate, Wong, and the rest of his team for an original comedy series. The weekly 30-minute shows will give a behind-the-scenes look into the creation of a RocketJump video. While the release date has yet to be announced, curious fans will just have to catch Wong online during the Super Bowl for now.

Video

Filmmakers Freddie Wong and Matt Arnold share a Season 3 preview of “Video Game High School” on ‘Conan’

On a recent episode of Conan, award-winning independent filmmakers Freddie Wong and Matt Arnold sat down with host Conan O’Brien to talk about the upcoming third season of their successful action comedy web series, “Video Game High School,” and share a quick preview with the audience.

The dynamic filmmaking duo then went on to shoot Conan’s “super-serious” cameo for Video Game High School and recall their experience with hiring professional stuntmen to film a scene where a car flips.

Link

Asian American YouTube filmmaker Freddie Wong gets development deal with CBS

Video-Game-High-School

Never heard of the blockbuster film “Video Game High School“? You’re forgiven. The 2012 movie drew more than 40 million views in its first three months, but it didn’t play in theaters.

Instead, the film became a sensation on YouTube, where it was shown in nine chunks, each between 10 and 20 minutes long. And while that chopped-up approach may appall traditional filmmakers, it’s exactly how you launch and promote an online movie in a world where young people, eyes glued to their phones, would rather watch YouTube than almost anything on TV.
Hollywood has taken notice. Lions Gate (LGF) announced Monday that it’s partnering with RocketJump, the company behind “Video Game High School,” to create videos for film, TV and online viewing. Financial terms of the partnership were not released.
The news was a triumph for RocketJump’s founders, most notably Freddie Wong, who creates and stars in many of the company’s online shorts. It’s also one more sign of YouTube’s growing influence within the entertainment industry, which is panicked at the thought of blowing millions on big-budget flops like “After Earth” while an upstart online flick about video gaming becomes a hit with the kids.
RocketJump’s avid fans are exactly the market Lions Gate wants, too. This is the studio behind “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent” franchises, and “stood out as the one studio that really gets our brand,” Wong said in a release announcing the partnership.
While YouTube played a huge part in RocketJump’s success, Wong was able to draw viewers to his own website by releasing videos exclusively there for one week. As a result, he was able to make more money as well as sell shirts and other merchandise.
It’s hard to sell merchandise off YouTube,” Wong told TheWrap. “When you have a home and create a brand people believe in and want to support, it makes it easier for you to control merchandise and sell it.
Wong cultivated that brand carefully by releasing a wide variety of video shorts, from shooter-heavy action sequences to semi-romantic comedies. And Wong carefully built up the business end of RocketJump, with custom advertising, a loyal audience and a website to control distribution.
Is this the new Hollywood? Not exactly. Movie studios are still going to make the big money with tentpole hits like “The Avengers” series. But hooking up with YouTube creators like Wong gives Hollywood some much-needed diversification and one more way to reach younger audiences. If RocketJump can turn out a box-office sensation down the road — combined with a savvy Web presence, merchandising and cross-platform franchise potential — Lions Gate is paying up now for an early seat at the table.
Check out this link:
Creator Freddie Wong (R) and director/writer Matt Arnold attend the “Video Game High School” season two premiere party at YouTube Space LA on July 24, 2013, in Los Angeles.