The Wesley Chan
We practically saw these talented guys built their film making empire from ground zero and looking at how they created the ultimate Youtube dream come true, we can't help but always look at the @wongfupro as the pioneers of opening doors for content creators of today.
This week, we managed to catch hold of @thewesleychan and asked a few questions that you might want to know about.
Flesh Imp // FI
Wesley Chan // WC
FI : Wassup Wesley?
WC : Hello. My name is Wesley Chan. I’m a Chinese-American filmmaker currently based in Los Angeles, California. I like making stuff because it’s fun. Most of the stuff I’ve made is through Wong Fu Productions, a digital content creation company (and YouTube channel) that I cofounded in 2007.
FI : Outside of work?
WC : Aside from projects for WFP, I like to travel, sleep, eat, imagine, and be with friends. Those are fun things too.
FI : We have always wanted to ask you about moving from YouTube to the big screen, that's literally a dream come true for content creators like yourself?
WC : It feels good. It’s always fulfilling and inspiring whenever I can share my work— whether it’s to three million people online, twenty people in a room, or one person I’m catching up with. The movie, “Everything Before Us” was definitely most challenging because of its scale. Thankfully, we had a very capable team and some good practice. When you spend ten years making 5-10 minute short films, a 90 minute movie isn’t too bad.
FI : You guys basically paved the way for the next generation of the YouTubers, how about another one?
WC : I’d love to make another movie. There’s a lot of floating ideas and deciding which to develop is sometimes the hardest part.
Wesley in Barcode Tee
FI : Looking at you now, it seems like you are a natural at what you do, did you know this is what you will be doing from the start?
WC : No not always, but I’ve always found enjoyment in visual storytelling. When I was younger, I had a very limited perception of what the film industry was. At that time, it seemed extremely unattainable and only a select few would make it past the gate keepers of Hollywood. As I explored the craft deeper, the filmmaking landscape was changing quickly with the advancement of technology. It made me realize there’s so many different ways to approach storytelling.
FI : What do you love most about being able to do that?
WC : I love everything from imagining a mood, capturing an emotion, translating it to reality and finally sharing it with the world.
FI : Oh yes, talking about sharing it to the rest of the world, you have your own label Base Gray, how is that going for you?
WC: Base Gray is my playground. Before I was involved with filmmaking, I was determined to be a designer of some sort. I was able to satisfy some of that remaining desire with merchandise I created for WFP. As my personal taste evolved, I started making my own products that I wanted for myself— that I couldn’t find in stores or online. The name Base Gray comes from the idea of exploring a world between and beyond black and white. It that sense, it’s quite infinite and that excites me.
FI : Sounds like it's going places, hopefully we can see something with @basegray soon ;)
Nicholas in Damon Biker Jeans
FI : In this ever changing landscape where change is the only constant, where do you see the community, or yourself in the next 5 years?
WC : I’m a filmmaker that didn’t go to film school. I’m a designer that didn’t go to design school. I started making online videos before YouTube existed. I feel like my career path has relied on the ability to adapt, evolve and be resourceful. In five, ten, however many years, I want to continue to tell stories but hopefully through new mediums and genres.
FI : That is inspiring indeed, I mean being able to adapt is probably one of the best traits to keep going, is that how you would describe your fashion style too?
WC : I don’t even know. I mean, I know but it’s just amusing to me how it’s changed. Sometimes, I feel like I’m just cosplaying an epic character that only exists in my imagination. I’ve always been a fan of functionality and utility built into my clothes. I think that’s why I’ve been drawn to the tech wear scene lately. It’s nice when fashion make sense and supports your everyday needs. Plus, who wouldn’t want to look as cool as a cyberpunk ninja, right? Haha.
Wesley in Tiger Bomber Jacket
FI : Ah, now we see it, cyberpunk ninja meets tech-function; so if you were a piece of apparel, I guess you would be a ..........
WC : ....clean, lightweight, breathable, outerwear piece that can be worn with versatility. It provides warmth but is also unobtrusive and packable when not in use. It has a range of visible and hidden and pockets for added utility.
FI : I can definitely see it now, I guess it should be in black then haha!
WC : Oh, and it’s definitely black with minimal branding. You can interpret all that as a metaphor if you want. Hahaha.
FI : That's super awesome, and you know the best part? You can actually make that item! Alright, thank you guys once again for making this happen, and on such a super tight schedule. anything else for the guys out here in Asia?
WC : Thanks Nicholas for always hooking me up with Flesh Imp gear and sharing your creative journey/learnings. Endless thanks to everyone in Singapore and SE Asia for the unbelievable support and warm welcome every time I visit (hopefully many more to come). Thanks Eric Wang and Dan Matthews for journeying with me to build new bridges!
The first time I met Wes was probably a good 1.5 - 2 years ago when he was in town for Youtube Fan Fest. Thanks to David Choi, Wes was keen to pay the store a visit and we had a good time hanging out together with the full @wongfupro crew and with Chris Dinh as well.
Though we didn't get much face time as we were hanging out in a really big group, what struck me most was the attention for detail that Wesley has. While self proclaiming that he isn't that much of a fashionable person, he is definitely not showing from the questions he asked, and his taste for making quality clothing when he was at the Flesh Imp Store.
It definitely reflects his acute sense of creating quality story telling not just on screen, but also his everyday life and right down to Base Gray.
With his keen eye for aesthetics and pursuit for excellence, I am sure that he will not only do well in the realm of visual story telling, but also in terms of creating fashionable and functional apparel that will probably be the staple of movie makers like himself, combining the fluidity of videos and the versatility of the woven clothes.
The next thing to do is probably to work with Flesh Imp to bring that to the next level :)
Here's to more great stories and clothes, Wes