MANY must have heard of JinnyboyTV, which became an online sensation when the website first came out with its short comedic videos on YouTube circa 2012.
The duo, Jinnyboy aka Jin Lim and his co-founder Reuben Kang has become a household name with 754,779 subscribers and has garnered more than 70 million views to date. JinnyboyTV has consistently churned out entertaining and humorous videos such as Only in Malaysia and My Generasi since five years ago that reflect the way Malaysians think and behave.
Fans would also remember Jin as a radio DJ on the popular Hitz.FM’s morning show while Reuben is a lecturer at Institute of Advertising and Communication.
Before they started venturing into the filmmaking world, Lim and Kang began with uploading video interviews of YouTubers from overseas such as Jayesslee, twins from Australia who are well-known for their cover songs.
Their debut short film “Ah Wing Wing - Malaysia’s Number 1 Salesman” hit over 100,000 views in the first four days and that paved Jin’s desire to keep making videos through the channel.
Following that JinnyboyTV has also won a Digi WWWow Award in 2012 for their video My Generasi.
Being a pioneer filmmaker in the local YouTube scene, their achievement has made them role models for the younger generation who are interested to pursue a career within the YouTube industry.
At a recent YouTuber Workshop All Access organised by Taylor’s University School of Communication, Lim and Reuben shared their stories to 150 final year degree students from the Public Relations, Advertising and Broadcasting programmes from the university.
“It has always been my interest to tell stories and make people laugh through film. It is the same with Reuben, who has always had a strong interest in film and storytelling.
“We are amazed that people out there actually view our videos and find us funny, what more with getting thousands of subscribers.
“From there we gained popularity and signed numerous business deals,” said Jin, who never thought they would garner instant fame in such way.
Reuben recalled one of his first commercial ad shoots where he had to spend long hours just to produce a 30-second commercial.
“As much as I would have been demotivated (of the long hours), I was actually encouraged and spurred by the fact that working around the clock for two days didn’t bother me.
“And I realise that this is what I wanted to do in my life and I wanted to learn about the industry further.
“The beginning of my journey was rather bumpy as I had to learn the ropes and get into the industry.
“I started building my career with all kinds of film from animation to TV commercial and documentaries,” he said.
But what drove him to shine was sheer passion.
For Reuben, it was not about the success, glitz and glamour or money, but what he wanted to do when he woke up every morning.
“This is what I love to do and that was me growing up. So when Jin approached me many years back, I was already there in the industry.
“What intrigued me into collaborating with Jin was his undying passion as someone who is without any background in filmmaking. He is also into photography and knows its technical aspects.
That’s when we got together, making our first short videos, and the rest as they say is history,” he added.
Jin said in this era where everything is digital, end consumers are the people you should be investing in. They are the ones who will make a video viral.
Reuben said he saw the shift in the big players in the industry.
“We are proud to say that we are working with multinational brands who believe in these two jokers from Subang, who, with no research done, just want to tell their stories.
“Take Sony, for example, as they believed in us, they believed in end consumers because these are the people who want to watch our videos,” said Reuben.
And what makes YouTube videos work? In reply, Reuben asked the audience why does Netflix work?
He said it is the originality of video content that differs them from Hollywood dramas and movies.
“YouTube works for us. We are not only creating content but we also take the risk to create something out of a simple story that everybody can relate to from our daily lives,” he said.
During the workshop, students had to produce a 30-second to 1-minute video based on the insights and sharing session done by Jinnyboy and Reuben.
The theme of the video challenge is “Life of A Student” or “Unity”, where participating students were required to upload their group videos to a single YouTube channel.
Team Rojak dan Lain-Lain Production won the Best Video category, and received a Sony cash vouchers worth RM300, 32GB SD cards and JinnyboyTV T-shirt merchandise each.
“I thought the experience was worth it. The video challenge during the workshop with JinnyboyTV helped me utilise my skills garnered from my course. We worked with what we had and our video turned out better than we expected, despite the short time-frame,” said Team Rojak dan Lain-Lain Production member Sheryll Lynn Chan.
Her teammate, Anissa Mazli, said they wanted to have some fun with the video and as she was the only Muslim on the team, they decided to explore fasting under the theme “Unity”.
“It was great to work with the latest equipment by Sony and even more enjoyable and exciting when we won.”
Sean Maholtra said it took them about two hours to create a one-minute video and agreed with the rest of his team that Ramadan (fasting) was a relevant and relatable topic to explore.
“It was great to make industry renowned YouTubers like Jin and Reuben laugh and be entertained by our video. That was rewarding,” said Maholtra.
Sheryll, Anissa and Maholtra are from the Bachelor of Mass Communication (Hons)(Broadcasting) from Taylor’s University.
The other two winning teams under the Good Video category were S Production and Lighthouse & Co. They took home 32GB SD cards and JinnyboyTV T-shirt merchandise each.