First there were books, then movies, then television, then cable TV. Now, those seeking entertainment can livestream or watch videos on their computers.
The myriad of choices for entertainment is almost too vast for the ordinary person to choose.
That blend of traditional and new media influence is a strategy that’s increasingly showing up in productions aimed at a young audiences, whose attachment to online creators is undeniably intense. (A recent YouTube survey found 80% of fans think of their favorite creators as part of their “community”, while 37% used the word “family” to describe their bond.)
AAPI actors, while struggling against Hollywood casting biases, can continue to work in these alternate forms of production. Glee star Harry Shum Jr. is making the jump to digital in a new series, Single by 30, for YouTube Red. It will debut on Aug. 24.
Single by 30 comes from New Form Digital, the production company backed by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Discovery, and YouTube channel Wong Fu Productions. Singer Kina Grannis also stars alongside YouTube star Eric Ochoa, Hillary Anne Matthews and Alexandra Metz. YouTuber Ryan Higa guest-stars.
For those looking for stories that reflect the Asian American experience, the new medium allows for taking chances of casting a relatively unknown cast with a relatively low budget and tell stories that hopefully finds an audience.
Single By 30 is created and directed by Philip Wang and Wesley Chan of Wong Fu Productions, a YouTube channel (2.65 million subscribers) and independent production studio.
“We wanted to explore how turning 30 is a milestone moment in everyone’s life that often transcends culture and brings a mix of angst and excitement, especially when it comes to modern dating and relationships,” said Wang in a statement.