Davin Tjen - One to Watch
By Carin Chea
In an age where anything and everything is streaming, producer and content creator, Davin Tjen, has his finger on the pulse of modern entertainment.
Born and raised in Indonesia, he knew by an early age that his calling was in entertainment.
Since arriving in the US at the age of 16 (he is in his early 20s now) Davin has created, directed, and produced a tremendous amount of content.
The show he currently works on (Mythical Entertainment's Good Mythical Morning) has over 13 million subscribers. To call Davin an "up and coming" producer is an understatement.
Our conversation makes it abundantly clear: Davin is one of the faces of emerging entertainment.
When did you know you wanted to be a filmmaker?
Growing up, I watched a lot of the Indonesian version of Family Feud. I actually wanted to be a game show host because the host knows all the mechanics, and all the answers. But as I grew up, I realized that I could accomplish those same things by being a producer.
Do you think you'll return to directing or writing?
I've learned that collaboration is a great thing. You don't want to put your hands into too many pots because you'll get flustered. When you're learning, you touch every aspect of the industry to see what you're good at, what you like, what you don't like. But, at some point, you have to focus on what you really want to do.
We're in this age of self-starters. But, with social media, even when you get big enough, you will need a team. It's hard to grow exponentially just by yourself.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
Chris Hardwick of Nerdist. He created an entire empire out of his own geekiness.
Also, Burnie Burns, the co-founder and CCO of Rooster Teeth Productions. They're considered one of the pioneers of internet video content. He started his company from his bedroom. He was considered pretty much the first to create an animated series by using a video game, which was Halo, and it's been going on for 16 seasons. He has over 30 shows and 2 movies under his company now.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
I am really focused on working full-time with Mystical Entertainment, for the show Good Mythical Morning. It's one of the most-watched daily shows on the internet. We have 13 million subscribers and a daily view count of over a million. We do the craziest and funniest things on that show.
There can be a clash between our innate desire to be artists, and our traditional families wanting something more stable for us. Did you ever face that?
Definitely. When I first told my parents that I wanted to study in the US, they said, "That's too far!" My older brother went to Malaysia to study, and my older sister went to Australia, so they were still pretty close to where we were in Indonesia.
I am the youngest and wanted to go to the other side of the world, which my parents saw as a big problem. I told my parents I wanted to go into film, into production, and they told me to go to China because the Chinese economic market was booming. I even asked my high school teacher to convince my parents since I also produced videos for my high school, for their events.
I wanted my parents to see what I was capable of. It was quite a journey to convince them.
Impressive. When I was in high school, we were all working at Jamba Juice. What are some of the most memorable projects you've worked on?
My most memorable project was my 1st project: It Gets Bettter. I wrote, directed, and produced it. I uploaded it onto YouTube and it got over 1.2 million views. I was really impressed that I even got 1.2 million views on my very first project.
My latest project was NYFA Games on Twitch. It was a branded content show that we did for New York Film Academy. That was right up my alley. That's my passion: internet video games, which is content I want really want to do.
Quick fire question time! There is no right or wrong answer.
Morning person or night owl?
Superman or Batman?
Texting or calling?
Tea or coffee or boba?
Drama or comedy?
Ramen or udon?
Oh my God, I might have answered that one wrong...
For further information on Davin and his projects, visit: DavinTjen.com
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