With a packed and thrilled audience, co-founders Phillip Wang and Wesley Chan represented, the independent digital production company, Wong Fu Productions at the Bronco Student Center last Tuesday night.

Wong Fu Productions co-founders Wang and Chan giving fans insight on how they produce content. (John Michael Uba | The Poly Post)

Wong Fu Productions debuted in 2003, and is notable for creating skits, films and music videos for independent media artists, as well as famous YouTubers in which the company distributes them in their own YouTube channel, website, and other media outlets.

Everything Before Wong Fu was the event where Wang and Chan (excluding other co-founder Ted Fu) explain the origins of Wong Fu Productions, their success and their support to the Asian American community.

The duo, sponsored by Associated Students, Inc. BEAT and Asian & Pacific Islander Student Center, led the event to the crowd of fans, newcomers and students outside of CPP that was filled with jokes, laughs and cheers.

“It was insane,” said fifth-year management and human resources student April Castro who co-hosted the event. “Everyone had really great energy and I thank the Wong Fu Productions team a lot for really hyping up the crowd, but a lot of them were really genuinely interested in what they had to say; these guys are someone that they can relate to because they started off in college just like them.”

The event started off with a montage of Wong Fu Productions clips in which the crowd pointed out and the eventual excitement due to the introduction of Wang and Chan to the stage.

The UC San Diego 2006 alumni co-founders led the conference-like show.

Wang and Chan led the two-hour show answering the interview questions with the trademark witty responses that made Wong Fu Productions popular.

Both Wang and Chan talked about their current state as a production company and delivered a series of motivational messages to the audience.

“Everything they talked about was pretty inspiring,” said first-year civil engineering student Antonio Cavaretta. “Getting to know them more personally even if it’s in like a group event, it’s still pretty cool to know them and to actually see them up front in person.”

Everything Before Wong Fu was essentially a discussion event where, both, Wang and Chan answered a series of questions developed by the event organizers, in which the atmosphere ranged from thoughtful conversations, casual talks to quirky humor.

They gave the crowd insight regarding entrepreneurship among other tips to be successful in the industry.

Wong Fu Productions is also notable as a representative figure in the Asian American community, which is evident in their content where they have videos that satirize Asian American stereotypes and culture.

“In terms of representation, I feel like we can’t approach our representation for Asian Americans the same way that we have for other communities, because our history is different, our cultures are different,” said Chan to the audience. “Just to say Asian American is great, but we have to be more specific in that, we identify different aspects of that.”

Wang and Chan also engaged in a Q and A session with the crowd.

“What people don’t understand is actually how important representation is in media and how much it can actually completely change society and culture,” said Wang to the audience. “What you see in movies or TV or print or online it can really affect how people that aren’t in your community see you and your potential and how you also can see your own potential too.”

The questions the audience asked the co-founders ranged from helpful tips to be a part of the entertainment industry, to asking if there are any open jobs for Wong Fu Productions and casual humor between the co-founders and the audience.

“It was really inspiring to see how they create their content, it drives me to do what they do,” said  long-time fan and second-year landscape architecture student Minerva Del Campo.

Everything Before Wong Fu ended with a raffle where audience members got the chance to win prizes ranging from Wong Fu Productions goods, CPP t-shirts, and BEAT swag.

Both Wang and Chan stayed after the event for group photos with all of the audience as well as signing autographs.

“We are just glad to meet students that watch our stuff and that having been watching us for a long time,” said Wang. “We always enjoy meeting them in person and trying to give them some advice and also let them to get to know us a little better.”

“We want to be a positive influence to the community,” said Chan.

Many of the student attendees were vocal about their interpretation of Wong Fu Productions’s message.

“Basically, this event is to bring the issue of the invisibility of Asian Pacific Islanders in more contemporary and mainstream media; there is actually an issue of white facing,” said third-year microbiology student Andrew Trinidad and one of the event organizers.

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