Hey hardboiled! I recently interviewed Dean and Jordan from Made In Asia NYC, two Filipino-American entertainers from New York City. You can check out their videos here!
Tell us a little about yourselves.
Dean: I’m Dean Banting. I graduated from the City College of New York with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts and Film and Video production. I’m a filmmaker and some of my favorite directors are Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, and Martin Scorsese. I love to make all kinds of films, but if you’ve seen our channel, Made In Asia NYC, a lot of it deals with relationships and girlfriends.
Jordan: My name is Jordan De Los Reyes. I actually handle all of the marketing and PR stuff so any of the posts that you see on Facebook or Twitter— that’s me right there.
How did you two meet?
Jordan: I’ve known Dean for a long time. He’s actually a good friend of my brother’s. I’m turning 29 next week and Dean is turning 24; he and my brother are the same age. Dean: Yeah, I think [we’ve known each other since] we were six years old.
How did you come up with Made In Asia NYC?
Jordan: The name itself, well it’s pretty funny, we really didn’t know what we were going to call ourselves and were going through a couple of names. While Dean was working on a script or something he was like, “Why don’t you come up with a list of names?” So I gave him a list and it was a whole bunch of different things like “Dean and Jordy TV”, “Filipino Guys”, “Adobo Boys” and stuff like that. One of the names was Made In Asia NYC and that was the one Dean picked. He felt like that it was the best one and the one that stuck out to him.
Dean: I checked the iPad and scrolled down the list of names and it just rolled off the tip of my tongue. I felt that I could hear other people say “Made in Asia NYC” and [that] it fit perfectly. We started the channel because in December of last year, I quit my full time job though I was doing video editing. At my old job I wasn’t meeting any of my personal goals, like to become a feature film director. Filmmaking was really my passion. With the full time job, even though it was a 9-5, living in NY it was more like 8-7 because the commute was crazy— it was an hour away. I didn’t have the time to do my own filmmaking so I decided to quit my own job and do freelance. Around the same time, Jordan was laid off of his job at Superdry as a Project Manager. I was watching those “Inside the Actors” videos and doing research on what was going on in the current industry. One of the stars up there was Bradley Cooper so I put up a status saying “I want to work with Bradley Cooper in the future.” Jordy commented saying, “Why don’t you work with me first?” I sent him a message, “Hey man let’s meet up and discuss what you want to do.” So this whole YouTube thing, we talked about a long time ago, maybe three or four years ago; we had great ideas but our ideas never pulled through. In January we met up and were meeting up almost everyday that month to work on our stuff. That’s how Made In Asia NYC was born.
Jordan: It was all destiny, fate, and the perfect timing. Everything just kind of fell together
Dean: A friend of mine who is also on YouTube, (his name is Vijay Nazareth, his channel is AVByte) mentioned to me that in his opinion, YouTube was the new platform for independent filmmakers. Instead of going the traditional route, he felt that there was an audience there that was just waiting to be tapped into. Being a filmmaker myself, I decided that maybe this was a good platform for people to see our work. Lo and behold, our first views reached 3,000 people. I was like, “Wow, my first short video I did for school didn’t even reach a thousand people until I got it into festivals.” I see YouTube with so much potential; YouTube is big in the Asian community, so I thought it was good to show people that we are Asian filmmakers.
Are there any other YouTube artists that influence your work?
Jordan: Actually a lot of people. We received tons of comments that say we remind them of Wong Fu. Wong Fu does a lot of lighthearted short films and skits, and we take that as a compliment. There is no one here in the East Coast that does the same work that we’re doing, so people consider us as the Wong Fu of the East Coast, but actually they’re our biggest inspiration
Dean: Ryan Higa, KevJumba. Their humor also definitely inspires us, [because] aside us from doing short films about love and all that, we also want to incorporate the same kind of humor that Ryan Higa and KevJumba have in their channels too.
Who do you want to collaborate with and why?
Dean: Definitely Lana Mc Kissack, [who is] a YouTuber as well. We think she’s fantastic as an actress and [has] personality. She’s definitely one I would like to collaborate with.
Jordan: I would love to get Kina Grannis to be in one of our videos. She was also on Wong Fu, and she’s really good. She’s a good singer and can act.
Dean: And every A-list actor and actress out there.
Jordan: Yeah, we’ll just take them all.