Wong Fu Productions has done it again; this time, even bigger.
Their sixteen-minute short, “Strangers, Again" has become an instant hit. In sixteen minutes and twenty seconds, the producers of WFP captured an entire story about one couple, taking viewers into what seems like a trivial argument, then delving into the ups – and then the downs – of a relationship. With its poignancy and viewers’ ability to relate in any degree, WFP’s short reached nearly four-million views, one week after their upload date.
"Every relationship goes through stages,” describes WFP in its video description. “Where and how each stage develops is ultimately up to each person. While we always hope for the best, we often can’t avoid the inevitable."
With characters Josh and Marissa, featuring one of WFP’s co-founders Philip Wang, and popular, lovable Asian American YouTube celebrity singer Cathy Nguyen (YouTube pagehere), the short has become an instant favorite, with nearly 90,000 "Likes,” significantly overpowering the declared 925 “Dislikes."
Written and directed by Philip Wang himself, the short was produced with his fellow co-founders of WFP, Wesley Chan and Ted Fu. Assistant producer, Christine Chen, and Production assistant Regina Fang also contributed to the short, which also features Chris Dinh as the female character’s new boyfriend.
Although the shooting of the film took place in only three "swift” days, noted Wang, the process of building the script took more than just throwing together the script in a short period of time. Wang had begun meditating about the turbulence of relationships starting in 2008 on his Xanga blog, followed by several years of his own relationship experiences as well as others’. “I was amazed to see a huge response to the blog post and thought, this could be interesting as a video,” shared Wang on WFP’s blog post about the process of the short’s production. Although the script’s first draft was written instantly, Wang shared that he slowly lost confidence in the idea. “That, on top of an increasingly busy work schedule of new WF projects, pushed this project back.”
Yet after several years, with the idea lingering in his mind, Wang finally urged himself to make his idea come to life. “I had to just get it out of my system. With some rewrites and edits, I was ready to make it happen,” Wang said.
Fans of another Asian American YouTube celebrity singer, David Choi, will also find him featured in the short as Josh’s friend, in parallel scenes where Josh either picks up Cathy’s phone call in the midst of his falling in love with her… and in the midst of falling out of love with her.
With more than seven pages of comments, viewers have freely expressed their reactions to the short, either describing how much they relate to the characters, or even requesting WFP to create a short from the girl character’s point of view. “Wish I could have seen this a week earlier… lol,” expressed one YouTube user, named onidestroyer. “Don’t you wish you knew about this video before things were too late to change things,” meditated another user, bboyblare. While comments flooded WFP’s YouTube page, the short has rippled across numerous Facebook home-pages of young viewers everywhere as well.
Several blogs also have commended towards the short, appreciating the effective ability WFP has in producing such films that are so universally relatable. Onwww.8asians.com, writer Jeff contributed his reaction to the short, after watching his own daughter react emotionally to it. “I think it is fantastic that Wong Fu is reaching such a wide audience,” he states. “It’s impressive that they are getting a following in parts of Asia too. It’s also great that they aren’t just dealing with things Asian American but with a universal theme that can resonate with not just Asians or Asian Americans, but with everyone.”
Despite the outburst of viewers’ expression of relating to the short, Wang expressed that the film was simply his own opinion on relationships. “I do not believe everything happens in this way, I do not believe YOUR relationship will happen according to this short,” he explained in WFP’s blog. “I made this because I feel most people don’t get it right the first, or 2nd, or even 7th time… and that’s ok. We’ve all been there at some point, and sometimes looking at it from a cold/scientific point of view makes it hurt a little less.” As is the title, people, in Wang’s words, “become strangers again,” a poignant conclusion to the heavy-hearted film.
“Indeed, the first scene felt uncomfortably true to life,” said Jeff on 8asians.com. “Maybe it’s because I have been married so long. Maybe it’s because it seemed so unpleasantly real."