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Meet Ky Schultz of Lure Digital in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ky Schultz.

Ky, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Well, it was a very organic start that originally had very different intentions than what it became.

I went to film school in Ventura, CA at Brooks Institute. My dream at the time was to become a DP. Being in Ventura, there was not much of an industry here. I wanted to work though, but there just were no internships or productions I could just “hop on” other than student work. So, I turned to Craigslist. This was 2010ish. I would scour the listings looking for anything involving a camera or someone needing a video so I could get some real world experience shooting, and actually get paid for it. Things like: video my son’s birthday, shoot my comedy standup special, shoot photos of my dog. And I was like: “I’m in!” No matter what it was, I would try my hardest to make it a cinematic masterpiece (No awards won yet on those…).

Every so often, I would get a job to make a promotional video for someone’s small business. I would consider myself quite diverse when it came to my skillset, so I was able to produce, write, direct, shoot, edit, and animate the jobs. However, all I wanted to do was DP, and I forced myself to learn all the other things so that I could get on set and shoot.

My ambition paid off in a way very different from what I originally set out to achieve. I answered an ad to help someone shoot their short film. This was a month worth of shooting EVERY weekend with no pay. As I successfully completed that job, the director mentioned that he had a friend who wrote a children’s book and wanted a promotional video made. Yeah, definitely down to help out with that.

So I shot this promo for the book and she LOVED the video! She tells me that her son owns a company that may need my services and to gives her a card. I thought, “Yeah OK, your son will never reach out to me. But here you go!”

He did call. I rented equipment from the school to go shoot a full day by myself to create a holiday and brand video for a company called “Edgecast.” Again, they loved it! This was the moment the momentum really started. They hired me for tons of jobs after that, to the point I actually had to start a sole proprietorship: Lure Films, LLC (now Lure Digital). Long story short: after three years, they got bought by Verizon. I couldn’t believe it, Verizon was now my client (and they still are!)

On top of that, the director of that short film I helped on was also an employee at Guthy|Renker (who owned small brands like Proactiv). He started feeding me work from there, too. One thing led to another and suddenly, we are shooting larger social campaigns and content for their TV spots.

Looking back, some of the jobs I am most proud of came to be because of that strange chain of connections. Literally because of Craigslist. The opportunities I had with Verizon and Guthy|Renker really helped to build my portfolio, and gain the trust of other large brands.

Fast forward a few years and Lure really began to grow: branding guidelines, brand, employees, office spaces, etc. This was all a roller coaster of its own. The highs of leasing our first warehouse/office, and the lows of paying so many taxes, fees, licenses, etc., etc. I was finally able to hire employees, and my first real hire was Bria Little. She became the producer at Lure and is now a partner in running and growing the brand. Originally, we were working as just a team of two in our first warehouse which was enormous. Shortly though, we hired other full-time staff, and wow, I sure was excited to not edit anymore. Growth continued after that.

Now, I no longer really have the ambition to be a cinematographer. I love running a business that helps brands connect with their audience, and nothing makes me more proud than to point at a TV when I am with friends and say, “Hey look, we made that!!!”

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Oh man, most definitely not. I am an extremely persistent and self-critical person. I constantly look at what other businesses are creating for clients and judge my brand on how we compare. I know, don’t compare yourself to others. But writing, shooting, and then editing a spot to see someone created something similar and better just guts me. I would watch their videos like 1,000 times to learn how and why it was better, then would try to “up” my game the next time. I do it because I want the client I am working for to be proud of what they paid for. When clients send me messages of good feedback they get from their customers or peers, it is one of the most satisfying feelings. In fact, we share these comments with the team every quarter (because now we have quarterly meetings with our entire staff — something else I find great joy in).

And yes, no matter how unhealthy it is, I still constantly compare our creative to our competitors.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We started as just a production company, but now we have transformed more into a digital content marketing agency.

Basically, I got tired of creating videos for clients that would just post it on Facebook or Instagram and expect to make millions after that. They would post it and get like 30 views. Some brands just didn’t know what to do with the video they paid so much for us to create. So, we started helping brands not only create the video but successfully deploy and utilize the video.

We now offer social media strategy and management that helps brands effectively utilize digital content, as well as blog writing. However, we can still act as just content creators, or just as social content strategists. Ideally, however, we prefer to provide full end to end strategy, content creation, and management services. That’s the first part of my sales pitch.

We believe that digital marketing is the best form of marketing today due to the extensive analytics and optimized targeting of the platforms we utilize. We create content for an extremely specific audience to help clients attain their content, marketing and advertising goals using thoughtful, creative and quality work that helps brands rise above the white noise of the modern digital landscape.

As I mentioned earlier, I am most proud when we get good feedback from the content or campaigns we run. At the core of that is really just making people happy, and helping brands successfully connect with their audiences.

A good and relevant anecdote during COVID is that my & Bria’s high school reached out to us and asked if we could make a graduation video so that students could all share an experience together even though they could not actually get together. We usually don’t create content at this level, but again, I want to help people and make people happy. We took the job, and the school and students are very happy!

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Well, I live in Ventura still. Half our clients are in Santa Barbara, and the other half (as well as our office) is in Los Angeles. I spend quite a bit of time up and down the coast.

Ever since I was in film school, I always loved when I got to visit LA. The city, the people, the art, the hustle, the competition — it all pushed me harder. Overall, LA just downright inspires me. Although this could also be because I spend most of my time in the smaller cities of SB and VTA.

What I like least about LA is the homeless population. It is obviously not that I don’t like the people, but the fact that it is the epicenter of people who are homeless in America. Being in Hollywood, I encounter a lot of folks that I can’t help. However, we partner with The Giving Spirit, whose mission is to create survival kits for people who are homeless. We go out with them twice a year to film the bags being distributed. We always ask if they would like to say anything to the people who assembled the bags for them, and their responses are so touching. Some cry tears of joy because of what we are handing them, and it changes my life to be a part of this.

Overall, it feels good that my least favorite thing isn’t just a rant, but it is something I can actually take action on to help.

Finally, I’d be a bad salesperson and business owner if I didn’t plug our company: Lure Digital. We’re making content for all scales of clientele right now, and (as I hope you can see) we’re really dedicated to making our clients happy. If you have any content creation needs, feel free to reach out to me directly. Connecting with people is what it’s all about — and I hope to talk to you soon.

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