Everything About the Wes Anderson TikTok Trend That Even Ong Ye Kung Has Joined In


Last Updated on 2023-05-15 , 4:14 pm

By now, you may have already stumbled upon at least one TikTok video on your For You Page that emulates the Wes Anderson style

These videos usually feature the American director’s distinctive trademarks, accompanied by whimsical music, playful title cards, and a vintage filter.

The eccentric filmmaker, aged 54, is famous for his visually and narratively unconventional films such as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr Fox and The French Dispatch.

The hashtag #wesanderson on TikTok has amassed over 845.9 million views, with many users “romanticising” their lives and hometowns to resemble a typical Wes Anderson film setting.

Singapore’s Minister of Health, Mr Ong Ye Kung, has been no stranger to viral videos since joining TikTok. Therefore, it’s no surprise that he also hopped onto the trend, showcasing his day-to-day life as a health minister.

The video he uploaded has garnered over 656,000 views, with many commenters praising him for keeping up with the latest trends and some jokingly suggesting he should “give a raise to his intern,” who probably sparked the idea.

What is the Wes Anderson TikTok Trend?

Hailing from Houston, Texas, Wesley Wales Anderson is a filmmaker and producer who debuted in 1996

He gained significant recognition for his film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which earned almost $175 million in box office revenue worldwide.

His films are easily distinguishable due to their distinct visual style, which features several cinematic hallmarks such as symmetrical shots, vintage-looking colour grading, and his penchant for combining comedy and tragedy in often melodramatic narratives.

The style of Wes Anderson’s films has been preserved in videos uploaded by TikTokers globally, who have adapted it to their social media clips with great success.

@offdayplans Wes Anderson Tan, from Bedok #fyp #wesanderson #tiktoksg #HDB #filmtok #filmmaker ♬ Obituary – Alexandre Desplat

These videos often begin with the user looking directly into the camera while delivering a sarcastic line such as “Please don’t try to make this look like a Wes Anderson movie today”.

They typically adopt the dreamy aesthetic of Wes Anderson’s films, with users mimicking his use of symmetry, quirky shooting style, and vibrant scenery. 

While Wes Anderson’s films are usually set in picturesque locations, those participating in the trend often record their clips in everyday places like their bedrooms, the supermarket, or their workplace.

Mr Ong is Keeping Up With The Trends

@ongyekung Mornings at Ministry of Health ☀️ #wesanderson ♬ original sound – Ye Kung Ong

Mr Ong has also hopped on to this trend by sharing his day-to-day life with viewers in the classic Wes Anderson style.

The video features shots of him working in the office, taking breaks, and going to the gym, all framed with the director’s signature style. 

The director’s, no intern’s, meticulous attention to detail is also evident, with Mr Ong rearranging his belongings neatly to reinforce the idea of symmetry throughout the footage. 

The video is also edited with a sepia-like filter that evokes Wes Anderson’s recognisable colour palette.

The unique style and flair of the director’s style are the “magic” behind the virality of these videos, which often romanticise the users’ lives, even if they are not outside of an art-deco train station or on a bustling Parisian street.

Why Wes Anderson’s Style is So Recognisable 

The Wes Anderson style is defined by several distinct visual elements, including the use of symmetry, tableau-styled compositions, a sparse and deliberate colour palette, and his pension for long takes. 

Along with filmmakers Paul Thomas Anderson, Spike Jonze, and Noah Baumbach, Wes Anderson is now one of the most influential voices in a genre dubbed American Eccentric Cinema


American Eccentric Cinema is often characterised by bold, distinct styles and thematic explorations of individuals’ internal struggles and human existentialism. 

The movement emerged in the 1990s and 2000s and started with the rise of independent cinema, which diverted from the traditional Hollywood model.

@esno.art How to create the perfect Wes Anderson edit #wesanderson #alexandredesplat #wesandersonedit #wesandersonaethetic ♬ Obituary – Alexandre Desplat

TikTok creator @esno.art suggests that users can emulate Wes Anderson’s signature quirks by focusing on specific visual elements.

One hallmark of his style is the prominence of symmetry, which users can incorporate into their shots by finding items with prominent lines and arranging them accordingly. 

The director also frequently employs snap zooms and panning shots to convey spatial relationships between his characters and their settings, creating a sense of continuity and connection. 


As such, the user states that moving the camera slowly and avoiding sudden movements is essential to achieve Wes Anderson’s usage of long, smooth panning shots. 

Furthermore, Wes Anderson’s production design often features precisely detailed and whimsical worlds that prioritise a storybook aesthetic over realism, making his style a natural fit for stop-motion animation projects like Fantastic Mr Fox and Isle of Dogs.

To achieve this, users can film around colourful buildings and landscapes with warm, earthy, or pastel tones.

Vintage clothing and objects can also help set the tone.

According to TikTok user @esno.art, even amateur filmmakers can capture a Wes Anderson-like aesthetic and infuse their videos with his trademark charm by following these tips.


How Wes Anderson’s Style Got Popular on TikTok

@avawillyums With a good imagination, everything is symmetrical. Let a girl day dream! #wesanderson ♬ Obituary – Alexandre Desplat

This was exactly what Ava Williams, a TikToker credited as one of the creators who “started the trend”, achieved when she posted a video on 8 April 2023 that earned her the moniker “The Girl on The Train”. 

The video features her on a commuter train ride from her parent’s house in Niantic, Connecticut, to her home in New York City, where she lives. 

Ms Williams was inspired to shoot the video after feeling sad about having to return to the city for an early work shift before the Easter holiday. 

The 24-second clip which included nine shots of the train interior, closeups of her shoes, a notebook, and a ticket, has been viewed over 12 million times. 

Many other users followed her lead, using the trend to add romanticism to their otherwise mundane lives.

The trend’s popularity can be attributed to Wes Anderson’s distinctive style, which even non-film enthusiasts can appreciate due to his mastery of perfect colour contrast and symmetry in his directing. 

Furthermore, unlike other TikTok trends often driven by the pursuit of attention and can sometimes be dangerous, this latest trend is relatively “wholesome.” 

Instead of revolving around the need to appear “perfect”, the trend is inspired by the director’s melodramatic style of storytelling, where users can film in settings or contexts that are often imperfect. 


Mr Ong Ye Kung is No Stranger to Viral Videos

@ongyekung To keep fit, I decided to try my hands at Wushu, under the tutelage of a young shifu. #HealthierSG ♬ original sound – Will – Tiktoker

The latest Wes Anderson video is not Mr Ong’s only video to achieve success.

Since he launched his TikTok account in March 2022, Mr Ong has been posting about various topics, ranging from COVID-19 updates to healthcare tips to snippets of his daily life.

However, one of his first few successful videos was one that featured him performing a series of Wushu moves with a group of young and energetic students from Wufang Singapore. 

The video showcased Mr Ong’s balance and flexibility, received over 258,000 views and was accompanied by special effects edits. 

After the martial arts montage, Mr Ong was filmed briefly conversing with the students and providing fitness advice to his viewers. 

Many commenters admired Mr Ong’s skills, comparing him to Wing Chun master Ip Man.

More Politicians Getting on TikTok

Perhaps impressed by the success of Mr Ong’s videos, fellow member of the People’s Action Party (PAP), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Mr Lawrence Wong, has also joined the platform to get in on the action.

Although Mr Wong has fewer followers than Mr Ong, 76,700 compared to Mr Ong’s 83,200, most of his videos still perform relatively well.

@lawrencewongst Ride for Charity! 😎 Paying it forward to raise funds for the Singapore Children’s Cancer Foundation. #motorcycle #royalenfield #charity ♬ Rock and Roll Session – Canal Records JP

Specifically, a video uploaded on 14 August 2022 where Mr Wong joined a convoy event held by Riders Aid Singapore to raise funds for the Children’s Cancer Foundation, went viral.

This video showcased a different side to the politician’s typically “prim and proper” image as it showed him cooly cruising into the event on a Royal Enfield Classic 500 motorcycle with over 700 motorcyclists by his side.

While the idea of politicians using TikTok to engage with younger demographics has been attempted before, it often backfires

Older Italian politicians who tried to appeal to young voters through TikTok were criticised harshly.

Meanwhile, US and Australian politicians have expressed scepticism over using TikTok due to data privacy concerns.

However, in Singapore, more than 20 politicians and parties have embraced TikTok since mid-2020, with the ruling party, PAP, making a concerted effort to engage with citizens across all social media platforms after the opposition party, Workers’ Party, won six seats in parliament in 2020.

In contrast to politicians in other countries, Singaporean politicians such as Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Sustainability, and the Environment, Mr Ong and Mr Wong, have received positive responses from their TikTok content. 

Media experts attribute this success to Singapore’s relatively politically inexperienced youth and the fact that citizens tend to view authority figures as private and guarded.

Combined with Singapore’s media laws, which some activists believe restrict honest criticism, TikTok has created a bubble of enthusiasm for Singaporean politicians who can show their daily lives and participate in trends that break away from their usual formal images on the open platform.