Director Khoa Le on Manifesting Residual Income for Filmmakers with Sutudu Image

Khoa Le has directed such movies as “Walt before Mickey” and the upcoming biopic “Bezos’, which is set to release this fall. And not only is he a director, he also is a very successful businessman, running two multi-million dollar earning companies. One company is a full-service production studio, KVibe Studios. The other is Live Picture Studios, a cinematic and photography business that caters to the wedding industry. His latest venture is Sutudu, which is an NFT platform that has a revolutionary royalty system for creators’ to collect residual income as well as many other features. Some have called him the future Ellon Musk of the movie business. We wanted to sit down and find out what makes him tick. Here is our interview with Khoa Le, a modern-day renaissance man.

Let’s start at the beginning. You have a very interesting story about how you got into directing. Let’s talk about Kvibe Studios. I heard that didn’t start out as a full production facility or even anything to do with media production. Is that true?

I started Kvibe in 2005 as an e-commerce social media platform where people could connect with Artists, Writers, and Producers to create original music. My job was to bring people together. We had record producers list their tracks for whatever price and we would take a very small percentage of the sale. The company exploded with growth right in the beginning. I had thousands of people sign up on my site within 6-8 months. It was so successful that we even built our own music streaming music player. 

That is crazy. You even built your own music player?

We had to build the technology where it was needed. I have always been into tech and it had to be done. Keep in mind, there was no SoundCloud, Spotify, or anything like that around. The only game in town for this was myspace.com for music. The company did really well and was successful, but financially I think the idea was ahead of its time.

That must have been challenging, being ahead of your time. What happened from there? 

We knew we had to pivot, but also the business kept evolving and growing. Technology and the film business keep changing year after year. It’s my belief that the business will grow and lead you to where it is destined to go.  In 2009, I saw new types of cameras used to shoot cinematic videos which were the Canon 5D Mark II. We started making music videos then shooting short films, which I found more fulfilling to tell stories. My first short film was called “Denial”. We won the best short film at the NY International Film Festival and that was it, I got bit by the bug. Then I kept going from there. I made 2 more short films. I got hired to direct another short film. Then I kept getting hired to do shorts, corporate, and commercials.

But the business kept growing? How did the other business fit it?

Kvibe was doing very well, but even as it was doing very well, I really knew it could have even better growth. In 2011, I was exploring the landscape of the wedding industry as one of the chess pieces to my long-term vision, thus freelancing as a cinematic video director for weddings which I saw had huge potential. That’s when I knew I had to take the leap. I started Live Picture Studios (LPS) and launched it in 2012. We opened a modest 480 SQ FT office in Jersey City, NJ. 2 years later it was making 2.5 million a year. I am very proud of how quickly that business took off. 

“Technology is now at a point where, if done properly, you can sustain these projects. Great talent, great ideas, and great projects can be supported from the front and back allowing creators to keep creating…”

So you are running two companies that are doing very well, and then you decide you are going to direct a movie?

Honestly, directing my first feature film happened organically. Someone had seen how well my businesses were doing and loved my leadership qualities. They were having some issues with their upcoming project and I gave them some advice. I have always loved helping people, especially in the creative community. That led to more advice. Then eventually one day, they asked me if I thought about directing. It was the infrastructure from my other businesses that allowed me to help other filmmakers in the community. Then that gave me an opportunity to be asked to direct my first feature film “Walt before Mickey”. Helping and connecting people is one of the most important things for me in business. That’s one of the reasons my growth entrepreneurship endeavors and growth have been stable.

People have been chomping at the bit to learn more about Sutudu and its new royalty payment system so creators can earn residual income. What is the scoop?

Thousands of films, original music, and art are created every year and very few of them get seen or distributed. Technology is now at a point where, if done properly, you can sustain these projects. Great talent, great ideas, and great projects can be supported from the front and back allowing creators to keep creating. Our patent-pending royalty system is going to change how a creator can get paid. This company and project are very close to me. It’s personal! I want everyone to have equal opportunity when they’ve paid their dues. Everyone is out there trying to leech off of filmmakers, musicians, and artists and we need to change that. The platform we are developing is for content creators that want sustainability and truly be valued by the work they do.

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