Wong Fu cheers campus

    Posts of admiration and appreciation always seem to fill the guest book of student-run Web site Wongfuproductions.com, a site featuring creative, entertaining music videos set on the UCSD campus. The site has been growing in popularity becuase of its originality and innovation in making music videos. It now has a fan base spanning the United States, as well as six continents.

    It all began when Revelle College sophomore Philip Wang got together with suitemates Brett Yokota, Matthew Cheung, Clark Chen, Ryan Okada and Frank Chiu to form Wong Fu Productions. Wang directed, choreographed and edited the first music video that the group brainstormed together, which was performed to “Senorita” by Justin Timberlake.

    “We made the music video because Phil was playing the song 50 times a day, and we figured that if we let him make a music video, it would shut him up,” according to the site. “Our main reason is to put a smile on everyone’s faces and hopefully make someone’s day.”

    The aptly-named Ultra Cool Sexy Dudes were on a roll, releasing a second video six months later to the theme song of the Chinese soap opera “Meteor Garden.”

    “”One of my favorite shots would have to be of my suitemate Andy Carroll singing to Chinese music he could not understand in our second video,” Wang said.

    Favorite memories also include the weird looks received from passersby while scenes were being filmed. There were also the nights during finals week after the second video was released when they stayed up until 3 a.m. every night.

    “We were checking stats for the site, just thinking about it,” Wang said. “We knew we should be studying, but they were looking at us from Harvard, from Denmark. We stayed up till 3 a.m., 4 a.m. the whole week.”

    Wang estimates that people from about 30 different countries have visited the site, including people from Israel, South Africa, Britain, France, Brazil and Australia, where they reportedly have a lot of fans.

    “I really have no idea how because we just gave the links to a few friends, and people just passed it along, I guess,” Wang said. “We never advertised or tried to push our site.”

    Fans are requesting posters and T-shirts, but Wang doesnt want it to get too famous. “I think this is just something for fun”, Wang said. “We’re not trying to get famous for it. We’re not trying to get popularity out of it, not trying to get an ego boost or anything. I just want to make people happy, make people smile. We’re just trying to enjoy ourselves, trying to have fun at UC San Diego. People make it seem like we’re celebrities, but we’re really not. We’re just normal college kids.”

    Evidence of the growing popularity of Wong Fu Production’s videos is plentiful in its forum and guest book, where fans from Santa Cruz, Calif., New York University and even Toronto thank the group for brightening up their days.

    “We get e-mails from high school kids saying they want to come here because the campus looks really nice,” Wang said. “UCSD students give us props for making it look like a great place, and people from other schools have actually told us they want to transfer here after seeing some of the videos. We’re just trying to represent. I have a lot of pride in this school. People like to say, ‘Oh, UCSD is boring,’ but I really love it here, and I just want to show people that we’re enjoying ourselves, and trying to make some people’s days.””

    Their latest video, based on Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning,” was made so fans could participate, and more than 30 students were included in the video, which was finished in a month.

    “The hardest part is getting everyone together, because everyone has their own schedules,” Wang said. “Brainstorming is easy, editing is easy. The hard part is actually getting out there to do the work.”

    Due to the release of the new video on the site, Wong Fu Productions used up a month’s allotted bandwidth in one night. They changed subscriptions to another Web server, but not before they were charged over $200 for the additional bandwidth. The site accepts donations, and the money goes toward maintaining site, not toward new equipment or to any members of Wong Fu Productions, according to members.

    Wong Fu Productions had planned to produce another video before the end of spring quarter, but busy schedules and workloads may prevent them from achieving their goal.

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