For more than a decade, Wong Fu Productions has delivered some of the best filmmaking on YouTube. The channel, co-founded by Philip Wang, is known for creating short films and series that examine themes like love, loss, and the Asian-American experience.
Now, a year after delivering the romantic comedy Single By 30 through YouTube Premium, Wong Fu has returned to the independent distribution model it has often employed. Wang is the creator behind Yappie, which tells the story of young, upwardly-mobile Asian-Americans in Los Angeles.
Yappie‘s title refers to young Asian professionals who live the yuppie lifestyle. Its central character is Andrew, portrayed by Wang, who must juggle his job, his friends, and his personal journey toward self-fulfillment. Supporting Wang is an ensemble cast whose members are known for their work in TV, film, and digital media.
For Single By 30, which earned three Streamy Award nominations, Wong Fu teamed up with YouTube, but according to Wang, some Wong Fu fans were frustrated to learn they could only watch Single By 30 if they picked up a YouTube Premium subscription. For Yappie, therefore, Wang opted for a self-financed model, with some help from supporters on Patreon.
By distributing his own work, Wang is able to paint the picture of Asian-American culture he wishes to share with his audience. “Despite all the great diverse projects out there, there’s still an aversion (or confusion) to content with Asian leads,” Wang told Tubefilter. “A lot of people didn’t understand what made this unique, when by default, the perspective of the Asian American community is so untapped, that IS what makes it unique. It was hard for me to explain that, so I thought the best way is to just make it to show them.”
The first season of Yappie consists of five episodes. In addition to YouTube, the show is also available via Vimeo On Demand, where all of its installments can be purchased for a total price of $8.