Skip to Main Content

Creator and Artist Stories

Freddiew’s "Roadtrip" teaches amateur filmmakers tricks of the trade

By Mia Quagliarello

Product Marketing Manager

Freddie Wong and his production partner, Brandon Laatsch, describe themselves as “just some cool dudes making sweet vids with rad FX!” And if you’ve ever seen their action-packed, colorfully explosive videos, you know this to be true. Wong is starting a new series called "YouTube Roadtrip 2010," where he’s driving across the U.S. in an RV, meeting with fans and teaching them filmmaking skills. The series just premiered on his primary channel, where he'll be uploading new episodes for the next couple of months, and he'll be putting supplementary videos on his secondary channel.

1) How did you come up with this idea?

Brandon and I were walking around our street one day (we had just bought ice cream), talking about locations, and how we felt like our industrial looking area was getting a little boring as a location. Over the last six months, we've gotten boatloads of emails from our viewers asking us to visit their hometowns, or showing off cool locations near them, and we thought, "Well, why can't we go and make videos where our viewers are?" So that's basically how it started: we wanted to get out of L.A., we wanted to meet our viewers in person, and we wanted to collaborate and make videos with them.

2) What’s your favorite place visited so far?

The House on the Rock in Wisconsin, which is apparently one of four possible things to do in Wisconsin (the other three being, in no particular order, cow tipping, football, and cheese curds). Basically, this guy named Alex Jordan totally idolized Frank Lloyd Wright, and one day got the opportunity to show Wright some of his architectural drawings. Wright basically told Alex that all his drawings were horrible and he wasn't fit to design a chicken coop, so, jilted, he decided to build a Japanese-style house on a rock in the middle of Wisconsin.

Thing is, Alex was clearly NUTS because he kept building and made the whole thing into this giant sprawling complex featuring giant music machines, the world's largest indoor carousel, suits of armor, dolls, dollhouses, ridiculous guns, dioramas of circuses, and more. I struggle to define in words the sheer amount of spectacle within those walls, and by the end, you leave the museum dazed from everything you've just seen.

It's a place that has to be experienced. I highly recommend it to anybody.

3) If someone wants you guys to stop in their town, how do they make that happen?

The best way is to have a location that they either own or have permission to use. We have a submission form at our website

Otherwise, they can send me a message on Twitter. Best bet is to send along a photo or something, as well, so we know what we're getting into.

4) What is the most common mistake or misconception among the budding filmmakers you meet?

The idea that equipment and software are the two most important things you need to become a filmmaker. We started out with cameras that shot on VHS tapes, and we used to edit with VCRs, but that never stopped us. It blows my mind to see how awesome cameras are nowadays – even on cell phones. The fact is, the cheapest camera today is a trillion times better than anything we had access to when we were younger.

We hear a lot of people talking about how they'll start making movies once they get that camera they've been saving up for, or that piece of software they know the pros use. That's not the way to do it – use ANY camera you can get, use iMovie or Windows Movie Maker to edit, if you have to – the key is to get out there and start doing it. You become a filmmaker by making films, not staring at equipment catalogs dreaming of how awesome that camera will make your films look.

You don't become a great guitarist without practicing scales, you don't become a great painter without sketching a lot of fruit, and you certainly don't become a good filmmaker without shooting a lot of movies, and you don't need thousands of dollars worth of equipment to start practicing.

5) If your RV could talk, what would it say?

RV: "Freddie, change my oil!"
Freddie: "No, you're a rental."

To follow along with the roadtrip, subscribe to freddiew and freddiew2.