Hey folks,

First of all - we're in pre-production for the FINAL SEASON of Video Game High School and there’s less than a week left on our crowd funding campaign for Season 3!

Click here to support Season 3!

Anyway - Freddie Wong here. You may know me as the face of the http://youtube.com/freddiew channel (now http://youtube.com/rocketjump) I've been making short visual effects-y action videos for exactly four years now.

We’ve gotten back to making a new short every week - here are some of them!

Mexican Standoff (ft. Key and Peele)

Jean-Claude Van Damage (with JCVD)

Ping Pong Masters

In 2012, I teamed up with my friends Matt and Dez to create RocketJump with the goal of going beyond making YouTube shorts. We’ve created two seasons of Video Game High School, a TV-length web series about an alternate reality where gaming is so huge, high schools exist to train kids. Both those seasons are available on YouTube, RocketJump.com, and Netflix.

VGHS was named Variety’s #1 Webseries of 2013, and our company RocketJump was recently named one of the 10 Most Innovative Companies in Hollywood by Fast Company.

We’ve done quite a bit in this weird, new, world where traditional entertainment is starting to crack and new independent producers and movie creators are figuring out how to make things. We’ll be as open and honest about our experiences - so fire away!

Some other people who will be dropping by:

/u/matt_rocketjump - Matt Arnold, Co-Creator and Co-Writer of VGHS

/u/jimmywong - Jimmy Wong, actor and musician, "Ted Wong" from VGHS

/u/sandwichpants52 - Benji Dolly, "Games Dean" from VGHS

/u/lauren_rocketjump - Lauren Haroutunian - BTS and cinematographer for shorts!

/u/dezd - Desmond Dolly, co-founder RocketJump

/u/will_rocketjump - Will Campos, Co-Writer of VGHS, the voice of "Shot Bot”

/u/ben_rocketjump -Co-Editor and Post Production Supervisor on VGHS

/u/danny_rocketjump - Webmaster and tech guru of RocketJump

/u/pwnisher - Clinton Jones, VFX wizard and the body of "Shot Bot" from VGHS

/u/whitney_rocketjump - Whitney Moore, head of our social media and ALSO star of Birdemic 1 and 2!

Edit: Thanks again everyone! We'll be answering questions sporadically for a bit because, well, I have a Reddit account that I actually use, so feel free to keep asking things, and if you want to support VGHS Season 3, CLICK HERE!

Comments: 1964 • Responses: 45  • Date: 

manboy777244 karma

Thoughts on Twitch plays pokemon?

freddiew550 karma

I can't wait to see the timelapse compilation of the whole thing.

reviling227 karma

Roller Coaster Day 2014?

freddiew261 karma

Something else... something... radder...

JWL1092206 karma

Hey Freddie, Big fan of your work!

What happened between you guys and Brandon?

freddiew239 karma

Basically, we're pursuing different projects separately. We were making shorts for 3 years straight - that's a long time! We basically wanted to do different things.

Ortega_King52 karma

So that means you will be considered as a special guest at Lan Party even after VGHS 3 is done?

Undeadfire5031 karma


freddiew67 karma

Not to get too deep into this, but as advice to any aspiring video makers - if you are always trying to make the videos that you think other people will want to see, you'll never grow as a filmmaker and you'll always be chasing trends.

Because we literally can't make everyone happy anymore - there's too many people with too many tastes. So in the end, you have to make videos that you believe in and are proud of. And I'm happier with everything we've done, from Mexican Standoff to a black and white boxing short, than I ever have been in the past.

I understand if you prefer the older videos, but we have to grow as filmmakers.

Carbonology5 karma

Really its not the same. Compare this video to the ones in the past where Brandon was a big part. RocketJump going corporate(ish) loses that classic freddiew feel. I guess thats why they call them the glory days. :/

freddiew13 karma

I guess I have difficulty in seeing how a black-and-white video that's about building up to a ridiculous joke is "corporate."

Antrikshy49 karma

Nothing. This video explains it, if you haven't seen it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diVBqGBKtBs

JWL109265 karma

Ah, but what about this kinda stuff?

Antrikshy56 karma

Woah woah woah!

I completely missed this drama. I doubt you're getting an official answer for this, unless it was some sort of joke.

freddiew165 karma

When someone says they're talking to lawyers, it doesn't mean lawyers are threatening to sue them. We had a discussion with Brandon about some questions with rights, making sure people don't get confused, etc. etc. Both our legal teams were present because, well, those guys know the law better than any of us do.

chocozuna203 karma

Who is responsible for this "oops?"

freddiew166 karma

Hahah probably got smeared by someone's hand. SORRY!

acecyclone193 karma


freddiew228 karma

LAN Party was originally created as an excuse to get more video games back in our lives. I'm too busy with VGHS and other RocketJump projects at the moment though for anything other than Spelunky on my Vita.

alexthes0ck177 karma

How did you meet Brian Firenzi?

freddiew285 karma

He was on my floor freshman year at USC.

AirsoftUrban164 karma

I'm an airsofter, how big a part are airsoft replicas a part of your videos? We'd love to hear on /r/airsoft

freddiew182 karma

Big part. We use boneyard and broken airsofts all the time as props because we don't need working gearboxes. Gas blowbacks are perfect for pistols - just add smoke and flash and a shell and boom - instant pyro license.

AirsoftUrban69 karma

Awesome! Do you get to play often?

freddiew60 karma

I have an AK and GBB M4, but don't nearly get out to the fields as much as I want to.

JpangElite150 karma

Hey Freddie! What were some of your early inspirations to get into VFX and start releasing stuff on YouTube?

freddiew293 karma

The Matrix. Straight up. The Matrix.

And Star Wars - Jimmy and I have some rad lightsaber videos lost to old hard drives.

Unidan148 karma

Freddie, thanks a bunch for the advice you gave me regarding my YouTube channel regarding partnerships and deals, it's been incredibly helpful!

If you're ever looking for an extra person to call in for science-based podcasts or anything like that, let me know!

My question for everyone is:

What's been the reaction to your sudden fame from your families? Have you told your families what you work on in terms of YouTube, gaming and such? Were the reactions positive?

Thanks in advance for the AMA!

freddiew86 karma

Parents are basically constantly amused by the whole thing, especially when I'm home for Xmas and we get recognized in a movie theater or something.

Luc-Pronounced_Luke25 karma

Do your parents like the content you make?

freddiew90 karma

My mom texts me often that I need to work on my crappy unbelievable acting

insane245129 karma

Hi Guys! I'm a high schooler that's interested in film and special effects. Do you have any tips or advice?

freddiew327 karma

Get a camera, get the student edition of Adobe's Creative Suite, download Premiere and After Effects and STOP PLAYING VIDEO GAMES.

Do you want to get good at film and special effects? Take the hours you play video games and make movies.

freddiew6 karma

Video games rule. If I didn't have filmmaking I'd play video games. But if you want to really learn a skill like filmmaking, you gotta devote time to it.

skinnycam125 karma

Where do you see RocketJump and its affiliates 10-15 years in the future?

freddiew297 karma

Two possibilities, in my mind:

  1. We can make this thing work and sustain it. We are making 5-8 full length series or feature films a year with a variety of directors and creators.

  2. Hollywood throws their hands up and buys us and we're working for some arm of a gigantic global transmedia conglomerate.

I would prefer option 1.

redthursdays124 karma


freddiew312 karma


Wrecker121499 karma

Will you ever work with Rooster Teeth again?

freddiew118 karma

We would love to.

internet_sock83 karma

Is video game college next?

freddiew90 karma

No - you're old news in the pro gaming world at the age of 20 we all know this.

mysteryguitarm64 karma

Clearly, the only burning question in everyone's minds:

Why is MysteryGuitarMan your favorite YouTuber of all time?

freddiew47 karma

His hair. Definitely the hair.

Reddit-And-Wept62 karma

Woah first time i'm on time to an AMA. Freddie what did you plan on doing for a living before discovering filmmaking?

freddiew106 karma

I was going to be a software engineer. Maybe game design. I really like programming. My brain goes into a different mode and it's really calming.

TheGompStomp55 karma

Will we get to see a series with Shot Bot as an intrepid investigative journalist?

freddiew79 karma

I really enjoy ShotBot and push every day for more ShotBot. Maybe we'll do a spinoff comic?

beakmaster300047 karma

In the old days, you guys had a pretty intense video schedule, and all of your videos felt like they were made by just two dues with a (slightly-better-than-potato) camera and a VFX program. Do you ever feel like some of that old magic is lost now that you've got RocketJump and all of your other big projects going?

freddiew40 karma

Have a look at our last month of work and let me know - I can say that right now it feels more like the first year than any other time.

hdaviirus45 karma

What is RocketJump's opinion on Pandas?

freddiew147 karma

They can't even procreate. Destined for extinction.

Koolkat2145 karma

Hey Freddie and Jimmy, how did you guys meet Nathan Kress?

freddiew82 karma

Through the magic of TWITTER!

lonely_odst41 karma

Hi Freddie! I'm a huge fan of your work, and have been following your channel for a while. How much free time do you get away from filming youtube/rocketjump stuff and doing VGHS, and what do you do with it?

freddiew60 karma

Literally zero. I hope to fix that (i.e. get more balance in my life) sometime this year.

Any time I have I spend sleeping or getting killed in Spelunky at the moment.

gloomswarm40 karma

How important was attending USC Film School, Freddie?

freddiew59 karma

For meeting everyone I work with now? Incredibly important.

For learning VFX or filmmaking skills? Not as important as just practicing.

DaMudkipper37 karma

How did you meet Brandon?

freddiew66 karma

Also on my floor freshman year at USC!

tree10333 karma

Hey Freddie, Do you ever lament the loss of guitar hero/rock band? Did you ever wish to make a career as a pro guitar hero player, as might guess your YYZ video was what brought me too your channel (here for those who havn't seen it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua3hZXfNZOE).

On a slightly more serious note you have shown yourself to me a talented real guitarist have you ever though about doing something more music focused like start a band or maybe some more music based stuff for youtube (something like your favourite martian). You clearly have the stage presence for it, I laughed hard when watching you do this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua3hZXfNZOE

freddiew85 karma

I'm really really good at a game that nobody plays anymore, but it's cool I had my really weird time in the sun. I played a video game for Sebastian Bach. I intro'd Joe Satriani with a video game version of his song on stage. I got flown around the world to play a video game. I have a work permit from the government of Canada recognizing me as a "professional guitar hero player".

Would love to get back to doing more music though. I really enjoy it.

atipsypanda33 karma

Would you rather go back in time and meet your ancestors, or go into the future and meet your children?

freddiew46 karma

Future. Much much cooler.

Cheesedud632 karma

Any tips for someone wanting to get started in the entertainment industry?

freddiew77 karma

Everyone says that breaking in is difficult.

I can tell you - if you're truly good at something (cinematography, VFX, organizing other people, etc.) it's not hard at all. Competent people who can work with others are shockingly rare.

UnckleRuckusJr29 karma

How did you get Key and Peele to work with you?

freddiew31 karma

We had talked to them and the schedules worked out for me to show up randomly in their Halloween episode and for them to spend a few hours shooting the most ridiculous video we've ever come up with!

NavaroneGavax19 karma

why a video game HIGH SCHOOL?

freddiew23 karma

Because you lose all your gaming reflexes by the age of 20.

MolassesBrown18 karma

Have you found that your YouTube success has translated into any offers in Hollywood?

freddiew42 karma

Yes, but a lot of times, those offers are really really bad, and continuing to do and own your own thing is a much smarter move in the long run (at least, I hope so)

kingkob17 karma

I know you spoke to us long time fans before about the Brandon/Freddie split, but I think we deserve more as loyal viewers.

It was obvious that there was some rift/creative difference/etc growing over the past 2+ years as we saw less and less of you in Brandon's work and vice versa. It just feels as though you have stepped through a door with RocketJump that has made you more of a classic commercial studio producer type then the relatable, talented young filmmaker that you were. Which, of course, is understandable. It is just sad in a way to watch you and the RJ team ascend to a level in the entertainment industry that makes you feel less accessible. Red tape, lawyers, branding, etc.

I guess I really want to know what was brandon going to say when you cut at 1:40 in your "Phase Two" video? Or does this violate some NDA in place?

freddiew19 karma

I'm really not sure where you're getting "classic commercial studio producer" from - I'm still basically doing the same thing I've been doing for four years now.

Red tape? Not sure what that means. Lawyers? We've had lawyers since year one - it's a sad necessity in the entertainment industry. Branding is a bigger thing - you're right in that I stepped away from the "FreddieW" branding and putting RocketJump ahead of that.

That was because I want to make movies and help other people make movies and use the platform we built to put awesome stuff out there. I can't do that if everybody still thinks I solely make everything by myself.

jaywallace115 karma

Hi Mr. Wong. Long time fan.

1) Do you think you'll ever attempt to produce another feature film like "Bear?"

2) Do you think the Google Plus-YouTube merger and YouTube's stricter copyright protection measures have harmed YouTube's reputation? (More specifically, if something better came along, would you leave YouTube?)

freddiew14 karma

  1. We'll do another feature, but probably not as DEATH DEFYING as Bear haha.

  2. I think everyone agrees the Google+/YouTube comment thing wasn't rolled out smoothly at all, but I don't see things as "leaving" - just "also being on". Nowadays there's no reason not to be multiple places.

Miket8714 karma

Banana or apple?

freddiew23 karma

Bananas. My dad goes to Costco just to buy bushels of bananas. It's a little weird.

Kowbell14 karma

Will Logan ever return to the facerocker podcast?

freddiew27 karma

Yes. He's now recurring. Here's his latest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYyQOj1oi3s

beeto10112 karma

What do you uphold as the most important virtue of storytelling?

freddiew17 karma

I'll let the writers chime in, but "make people care" for me.

ehrwanz10 karma

Hey guys. Big fan of you and Corridor Digital.

Can somebody make a living out of a Youtube channel?

As a guy looking for work in the VFX industry, any pro tips on how to get noticed?

Thanks a lot, and keep this awesometrain rollin'!

freddiew19 karma

You can make a living off YouTube. I will say... it's a bit harder now. More content and more creators out there. The ways of making money from ad sales are all outdated.

VFX Industry - get good, and get good at a variety of VFX skills. Fill your reel with real projects and not tutorials.

Wei_to_Conquer8 karma

After VGHS, are you going to continue on the way of long-form projects? I remember from the podcasts it seems you are very into how the entertainment industry is evolving. Do you think it's still a journey to doing TV shows and a big budget movie? Do you see any other path/future goal and would you pursue it?

Also it seems that crowdfunding has worked very well for VGHS but do you think it's sustainable? Many people are already expressing a bit of exhaustion from an increase in crowdfunding campaigns and are not willing to spend so much at a time now. Do you see an alternative to crowdfunding besides going back to traditional studio funding?

freddiew19 karma

We want to own our own content. That means TV show length projects and feature length projects. Will those projects show up in theaters? That remains to be seen. Functionally, doing VGHS as a 6 episode TV show and putting it online and having people watch it on smart TVs is really not that different than how "traditional" TV is currently consumed.

I don't think crowdfunding as it is currently misunderstood is sustainable. We look at crowdfunding as (and the most successful campaigns tend to be) a visible preorder system, similar to how Louis CK did his comedy show. We're basically doing a "pre-order" for an upcoming project.

Or maybe the more apt comparison - it's similar to pre-alphas for games like DayZ or Rust - money comes in early for a non-finished project that they use to complete it.

Xx0tic4 karma

Is it safe to consider you to be the new Stan Lee? ex. doing cameos and such?

freddiew12 karma

I'm nowhere near the legend that man is.

Se7en62 karma

How do you come up with the script to video game high school? P.S I LOVE YOU

freddiew3 karma

Matt and the writers, Will and Brian and for Season 3, Jake Andrews of Rubydog Films, literally sit in a room for 8 hours a day for six months straight trying to break the story. It's excruciating. It's mind numbing. It's really difficult.

Luckily they got me to pop in and distract them every so often with inane internet videos!