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The ‘Fast Five’ director teams-up with top YouTubers Ryan Higa, KevJumba and others on new online channel
(Los Angeles, CA)—Film director Justin Lin (Fast Five) is overseeing the creation of the YOMYOMF Network, scheduled to debut in early 2012 as a launch partner of YouTube’s groundbreaking original channels initiative, announced on October 28. The new channel springs from YouOffendMeYouOffendMyFamily.com (YOMYOMF), an Asian American pop culture blog founded in 2009 by Lin, whose other directing credits include MTV’s Better Luck Tomorrow, Universal’s Fast & Furious and episodes of the NBC comedy Community.
“YOMYOMF was started so creative and interesting individuals could come together to share their point-of-views in an honest and entertaining way,” says Lin. “Our new channel is the natural evolution of that philosophy and I look forward to working with new and old friends who share that sensibility.”
The YOMYOMF Network is founded by entertainment, technology and web video veterans including Lin, Ryan Higa, Kevin Wu, Abdul Khan, Philip W. Chung, Cash Warren, NBA star Baron Davis and Chester See.
Asian Americans continue to be one of YouTube’s largest demographic. Many of the top YouTube stars are Asian Americans like Kevin Wu (KevJumba) and Ryan Higa (currently the 2nd most subscribed personality on YouTube). Meanwhile, Asian Americans continue to make inroads in Hollywood with films like A Very Harold and Kumar 3-D Christmas and Lin’s own Fast Five, which broke box office records globally and had the biggest opening in Universal Pictures' history. The new channel will bring these two worlds together and tap into the ever-growing audience—both Asian and non-Asian—embracing this new generation of talent.
“The YOMYOMF Network will be about empowering those unique voices that are driven by passion,” explains Lin. “We want to support both established and emerging artists who are not only talented, but have that passion. The young YouTubers like Ryan and Kevin started with nothing, but went out there and created a name and following for their work. It reminds me of what we did on Better Luck Tomorrow and that’s the energy and sensibility that will serve as the foundation to build our online family.”
Lin is overseeing the slate of shows being developed for the channel, which will include both scripted and reality series, and cover a wide range of genres from comedy to animation to music to lifestyle programs.
“I’ve been on YouTube since 2006 and this is one of the most exciting projects I’ve been honored to be a part of,” says Ryan Higa. “To be able to create the type of network that I’ve always wanted to see, to help redefine what an Asian American channel can be in the 21st Century and to showcase the amazing talent out there—this is an unprecedented opportunity.”
The YOMYOMF Network has already attracted a diverse roster of well-known talent including Jessica Alba (Machete), Far East Movement (hip hop quartet, “Like a G6” #1 on the Billboard charts), David Henry Hwang (Tony Award-winning writer, M. Butterfly), Sung Kang (Fast Five), Danny Pudi (Community), Joe & Anthony Russo (Emmy Award-winning directors, Arrested Development), Harry Shum Jr. (Glee) and Iris Yamashita (Academy Award-nominated writer, Letters from Iwo Jima).
Lin will serve as the channel’s Creative Head while the day-to-day operations will be managed by Philip W. Chung (who will oversee the creative content) and Abdul Khan (who will oversee the business affairs). Other members of the management team include producers Cash Warren, Sal Gatdula and the Hawaii International Film Festival’s Anderson Le.
"I've always been a fan of content which springs from a desire to do really interesting and creative work,” says Baron Davis. “So I'm excited that I get to collaborate with artists like Justin Lin, Kevin Wu and Ryan Higa who have that desire and also care about the Asian American community. The YOMYOMF Network will be a place for everyone who shares that collective sensibility whether you're Asian or not--all are welcome."