YTOTW: Life On YouTube, Kendamas, And THE MING THING's Plans For 2015
From romance, comedy, to even music videos, The Ming Thing has almost done it all. What is The Ming Thing all about?
Ming Han: I think the best way to summarise our channel is that its our creative outlet. Of course, we have the staples - comedy and a story now and then. But ultimately, we always seek to make things that grow us as creators and I guess that “genre” will grow and change as we do.
How did your YouTube channel come about?
Ming Han: It was during my thesis year of my degree and there were really bad monsoon drains. My university’s carpark was flooded and there was a huge commotion about it. That same night, I remember doing assignments and I got really sick of working so much. So I took out a notebook, put some points down and made my first vlog with my laptop’s camera and iMovie. I then asked a friend what a good name for a channel would be, uploaded the vlog and the rest was history.
Shortly after that debut, one of his videos went viral. Entitled "Sh** Boyfriends Say", this video has close to half a million views.
How do you find inspiration for your videos? Is there a ritual or is it mostly through 'eureka' moments?
Ming Han: Living life day by day and paying attention to things. Pretty much that. Staying connected to people and things around you is more than enough to notice so many ideas and “eureka” moments happen. In essence I think what we’re doing is just highlighting bits of life that people might not pay attention to.
Tell us more about you guys! Your hobbies and maybe a secret talent?
Ming Han: I actually love music. I thought I was going to be a musician on YouTube instead of a storyteller. For most of our more serious projects, we write most of the music and such ourselves! (with the help of friends of course)
Ming Yue: Music, and kendama! Plug in for Kendama Culture! I think we all actually have a range of hobbies from photography, music, kendama, sleeping and chilling.
P.S. Did you know that Ming Yue was the co-founder for Kendama Culture? Check out their website here!
What attracts both Chan and Ho, who is co-founder of YouTube sensation “The Ming Thing”, to the Kendama is the fact that it can deliver more than just individualistic values like discipline, perseverance and patience that one attains naturally through practice.themalaysianinsider.com
Which was your favourite video to make and why?
Ming Han: I enjoyed creating the webseries project, “This Is Why”. It was really challenging. I liked the feeling of writing a story in parts and creating characters for it. Writing both the script and the theme song was a really awesome learning process.
Ming Yue: One of my favourites has to be “Cheer Auditions”. I think it was the epitome of insanity for our channel and prior to that we were on a bit of a hiatus. So when we thought about what the first video for a comeback should be, the video somehow made its way to the front and we figured, go big or go home. People might not have gotten it, but for us, personally it was a fun comeback video.
How has the YouTube journey been for you since you uploaded that first video? What was your craziest experience?
Ming Han: Intensely, thoroughly and unforgivably amazing. Every day is pretty crazy for us but if I had to pick one experience it was that learning that companies and creative bodies were interested in absorbing us into their own creative departments with quite high positions. I mean, that’s crazy! We’re just a bunch of friends taking each day at a time.
Have you ever felt tired making videos?
Ming Han: I’ve written comedy scripts which I look back at and think “how did I (even) think this was funny?”. That’s why I always look for new things to try and explore to work toward writing better and making better videos.
So what's the biggest challenge?
Ming Han: The “view counter”. I think it's really easy to be led to make things that are more “viral” or in-trend. The immediate responses and views are what makes YouTube, YouTube. Before you realise it, you’re tempted to start relying on different things other than focusing on making a truly good video. Numbers can get to you. My challenge has always been to stick to creating what is true to myself instead of chasing ways to make sure I always get a good view count.
Some of your videos are sponsored by clients. How do you strike the balance between delivering the message and entertaining viewers?
Ming Han: This is always the tricky part. To be honest, I think we have a bunch of really intelligent viewers. And really, we can’t ask for a more clever audience. With that, we know that our viewers know immediately if there’s a brand involved - with an occasional mistake here and there. But the balance would be definitely staying true to the story we’re trying to tell - be it with or without the brand. We rarely insert a brand just because we can or pop in a random scene because we have to hold a bottle or showcase a label. I think what’s important is that we continually respect the audience with a good video and in turn, they become supportive with the brand work we need to do! This is our livelihood and I’m sure they acknowledge that!
What's the one thing you guys want to achieve for 2015? Are you planning to venture into new areas? Collaborations? Movies? Series?
Ming Han: More purposeful content. Either creatively or with a message.
Ming Han: Like I mentioned previously, it has always been a continual creative growth journey for us. We try something different and something new every other video (whether or not the audience notice it) instead of sticking to something “normal”. We’re always up for collaborations! And yes, we’re definitely a work in progress toward bigger things like movies and TV series in the future. It starts here!
What would you say to someone who aspires to become a YouTuber?
Ming Han: Just do it. The usual thing we hear regarding the topic is that he or she is never quite sure how to start or what to do. And we always just tell them - just start! Find what works and what doesn’t. Its all different for each of us. What might work for you might not work for us and vice versa.
Any future projects or videos that's coming up soon?
Ming Han: Of course! Just not as fast as you’d expect. We’re trying to work on bigger projects this year, while keeping the usual content that we do. So these bigger things definitely are going to take up more time to get ready!
Why should someone subscribe to your channel?
Ming Han: If there was ever a platform to catapult Malaysia into the international scene, YouTube will be it. Its super accessible, super open and most importantly - free. So please, do your part for the country and support a local YouTuber today! (if that YouTuber is us, that would be even better haha!)
Bonus question! Would you guys rather fight a one horse sized duck or hundred duck sized horses and why?
Ming Han: Everyone knows a horse-sized duck means more roasted duck for everyone. So one horse-sized duck please.