Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments of YouTube Millionaires here.
The foods made famous by fictional franchises are the backbone of Jimmy Wong and Ashley Adams‘ long-running collaboration. Wong and Adams are the co-hosts of Feast Of Fiction, a YouTube channel that recently surpassed one million subscribers. By combining Wong’s “nerd cred” with Adams’ “culinary wisdom,” the two co-hosts are able to cook up sensational dishes inspired by films, TV shows, video games, and more. We caught up with Wong to get his thoughts on what his and Adams’ channel has achieved so far.
Tubefilter: How does it feel to have more than one million YouTube subscribers? What do you have to say to your fans?
Jimmy Wong: It’s a crazy feeling. We made this show over six years ago and just passed a million. I remember when my brother first surpassed a million before our show even started! It’s been a wild journey and I think the most important thing is just how grateful I am to every single person who has subscribed and been around with us on our journey, no matter how long. It’s always so heartening to see the comments flood in when a new video gets posted, and especially when I get to learn a little more about how long a subscriber has been around for, or how they found the show. You all make it possible – so thank you from the bottom of mine and Ashley’s hearts.
TF: Who do you see as the typical Feast or Fiction viewer, and how do you cater to that person?
JW: Demographics tells us that the majority of our viewers are aged 18-34, which is squarely where Ashley and I land, and I feel very much like we all bear a lot of similarities: we’re nerds, we geek out at stuff we love, we have a healthy appreciation of the things we watch, and we’re not afraid to be mega fans of something. When I make the show and write the voiceovers, I’m catering a lot to myself ultimately, because I think what works for me carries over to everyone else who watches.
TF: Food in general is a thriving category on YouTube. Why do you think that is?
JW: Food is eternal. Same reasons that I think we’ll always have food channels on TV and an endless supply of shows about chefs, restaurants, the artistry of cooking, the secrets to BBQ, etc. Humans literally cannot survive without sustenance, and we will always find our way back to food one way or another. Even in a full on apocalypse, food will always be a priority to humans in some shape or form. Why do you think those Nuka Colas were so valuable in Fallout?
TF: Why do you think you and Ashley make such a good on-screen partnership?
JW: Ashley calls me her work-husband, and I call her my work-wife. Then again, maybe I’m her work-wife and she’s my work-husband. We’ve been working together for six straight years now, and we are truly family to each other. We’ve been there for each other through all levels of life events, relationships, new life, and death as well. Through it all, I have endlessly admired Ashley for her tenacity, work ethic, and attention to detail. She’s helped sharpen me in so many ways and I hope I’ve been able to do the same for her. We both share similar world views and always crack each other up. Working with Ashley is second-nature to me! We’ve grown so close over the years because of our openness and honesty with each other. I wish for the same in all my relationships!
TF: Which dish so far has been the hardest to put together?
JW: They all have their unique challenges, but the ones that always give us the biggest headaches are any that have to do with food art. We made a little replica BB-8 for a Star Wars giveaway once and that was a painstaking process, trying to make an incredibly precise looking cupcake that also needed to be edible. Food is meant to be eaten, not as a sculpture piece! Admittedly though, it’s always great to see the end result on camera!
TF: Have you ever had legal dust-ups with the franchises whose foodstuffs you’ve cooked?
JW: Never once! Knock on wood. At the end of the day, even though we are borrowing from existing intellectual properties, we’re doing so as real fans of the work. We’re paying homage to a show that may now be off the air, or hits a deep nostalgic string within all of us. I personally believe Feast of Fiction acts more as a free advertising arm for a lot of these franchises — we just want to create a positive and fun loving atmosphere to express our love and joy for our favorite things. Hopefully any brand that’s ever thought of pressing the bit red “Lawsuit” button can see that as well.
TF: On the flipside, whats the best interaction you’ve had with the creator of a fictional work you’ve featured?
JW: I’m a huge, huge, huge fan of Adventure Time, Steven Universe, and everything that Rebecca Sugar touches or creates. I took her song ‘Bacon Pancakes’ and turned it into a full song for YouTube, and when I saw that Rebecca Sugar liked it, it floored me. Just to know she even saw it would have been enough, but she thought it was good (hopefully)!? That’s a dream come true.
TF: What strategy informs the vlog content you post on the Feast of Fiction channel?
JW: Our community has always been rock solid and awesome, but we rarely got the chance to engage it in many ways. I was feeling really disconnected from them, and decided to try and ramp up the production of videos we made and give back in a more significant way. (For one, we’ve given away a TON of free stuff since the vlogs started.) We also want to give people get a better look behind the scenes of what we do, as well as take them on some fun food-related adventures with us around the world. I think it’s a great opportunity to add education and exploration to the content we make, and now that my co-host Ashley just had her first child, it means our family is expanding! I hope we can share a lot of adventures together in the future.
TF: What’s next for your channel? Any fun plans?
JW: We’re going to keep trying out different ways to expand the brand so we can make some more entertaining content. We’ve been doing the same thing for a long time now, and I’m really excited to add new things to the table as our lives change as well. It’s going to be an exciting 2018 with tons of collaborations and special guests, and we’ll be engaging our community in as many ways as possible this year, so keep an eye out!