Help Wanted: Free-spirited young person needed to walk the streets of Sydney, Australia dancing and pulling amicable pranks. Must have an ability to connect with others and produce YouTube videos that make viewers laugh. The ideal candidate should be ready for anything at a moment’s notice.
Chances are seeing that ad would cause most people to pause and wonder if it’s for real, but not Jun Yang. He didn’t have to respond to an ad like this because he’s the one who created the job description three years ago when he launched his social media brand, Jefo, now famous for his entertaining Instagram videos.
With his unique perspective on life and a bit of a wild streak, Jefo embraces dancing and pranking with the goal of bringing more attention to Asian-Americans in the entertainment industry.
One of the most famous videos is Dance for Cookies, which was posted on Instagram in March 2019. The short featured Jefo, who never spoke a word, holding up a sign that simply read, “DANCE FOR COOKIES.” As he stood by holding on to a box of said cookies, passersby broke out in imaginative and hilarious dance routines. Often he danced right along with them, following their lead.
The result was upbeat, fun and fans loved it – the video was viewed more than 4.7 million times on Instagram. Impossible to just watch once, Jefo rolls with the punches and joyfully goes along with the improvised dance moves.
His dancing shorts to K-pop music are what attracted many of Jefo’s 2.7 million Instagram followers and more than 1.65 million YouTube subscribers to him in the first place. They continue to respond to his friendly street interactions with strangers where he often challenges them to join him in a dance.
Interview with director Vedd Rawtaani
Roy T Bennett, the author of the best-selling book, The Light in the Heart, very famously said, “Great things happen to those who don’t stop believing, trying, learning, and being grateful.” Growing stops when you close your mind to learning. Education is not just what you receive in school, it is a lifelong process that enables you to open your mind and learn more about the complexities of this life and this world. This statement holds more meaning in the world of art. Whether you’re a musician or painter or filmmaker, you’re always a student. An up-and-comer director who has been making waves in the world of film making is Vedd Rawtaani.
A Mumbai-based film director, editor, and writer, Vedd dreamed of entering the film industry at a very young age. Right from his school days, he took great interest in films and the art of making them. When he was only 21, he directed his first-ever web series, ‘Pyaar on the Rocks’, which featured veteran actor Raza Murad. The show received critical acclaim, with the first episode achieving over a million views. When asked about the show’s success, Vedd said, “I was completely overwhelmed and received fan mail from all corners of the world. This led me to believe that there is more that I can achieve.” Vedd also believes that directing and film-making are continuous learning processes. The more you allow yourself to be educated in them, the better your product will be.
After Pyaar on the Rocks, Vedd has worked on numerous projects that included television commercials for various brands. He has also worked with Disha Patani for the brand ONLY. Furthermore, he was associated with the 2019 hit movie Gully Boy, editing its promotional videos, most notably the ‘Voice of the Streets’ segment. Going forward, he wishes to further hone his skills as a director and screenplay writer and create the kind of work that people may remember for many years.
As an alumnus of Whistling Woods, Vedd has trained under celebrated actor and writer, Kader Khan. His inspiration comes from directors like Rohit Shetty, Mohit Suri, Rajkumar Hirani and many more. He also received a Foxglove Certificate of Appreciation for an ad film he had worked on, titled ‘Thoda Aur Zyada’. At the mere age of 16, he won an award for his short film ‘Two-Faced’. Vedd is currently working on numerous projects that include web series, ad films and more.
With the rise of OTT platforms, India is churning out content that is loved by the masses. It is the right time and opportunity for every filmmaker in this country to unleash their creative side and make their mark.
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