22 Oct Stories of Starting Episode 14: George Popi, Entrepreneur, Storyteller, Producer
Stories of Starting Episode 14: George Popi, Entrepreneur, Storyteller, Producer. George is a serial entrepreneur and natural born hacker specialized in executing multi-platform, digital content campaigns. He is the managing director at Khaos in Montreal. Khaos is a full service marketing agency that works with businesses to refine and produce any aspect of their marketing campaigns. Khaos Labs is a production company that produces both commercial and original content. They have recently finished production on an upcoming feature film.
WATCH THE CONDENSED VIDEO INTERVIEW ON YOUTUBE:
Read here first 5 minutes of the interview:
Heather: Welcome to Stories of Starting and today. We’re here with my friend George. I’m going to get George to introduce himself and tell us a little bit about what he does.
George: I am the managing director of Khaos. The best way to explain what I do, I’m a film maker by trade. I also do a lot of marketing and a lot of creative and brand building. Basically anything that revolves around the story. I’ve definitely touched at this point in my life everything from audio, photography to design. It’s been a crazy journey for sure. Whenever someone asks me “What do you do?” I don’t know how to answer this anymore.
Heather: Yes, It’s a loaded question.
George: It is.
Heather: I’ve been wanting to have George on the podcast for a long time because I was in George’s podcast two summers ago. I’m going to start off by backtracking a little bit as I always do to say how we met each other. I think it goes back to I went to the Buffer Festival a few years ago, which is a YouTuber Festival in Toronto. I met a mutual friend Dave who was running a YouTube channel called Liquid Courage at that time. You were helping Dave produce this videos. When I met Dave in Toronto Dave was like “Heather we’ve got a collab some time”
George: Because that’s what Dave always says.
Heather: I was like “Dave, you’re a bartender. I don’t drink. What are we gonna do?
George: There’s always mocktails, obviously.
Heather: Which we didn’t end up doing, but I ended up making a little gadget to go in his drink.
George: I was really jealous about that. I was beautiful.
Heather: So what happened was Dave was like, “Come to the studio, watch us film”. So Mimi and I went went to the studio. We had the address. We arrived there and it was an apartment. We went upstairs and lo and behold we walk into George’s apartment.
George: Yes, the old apartment. That was what we use to film Dave’s a set.
Heather: Exactly. So you’ve definitely come a long way since that.
George: I’d like to think so. Because I think at that point we were also using my living room as an office. Not a good call. I have learned my lesson.
Heather: It was pretty packed and you had a bunch of friends there. Mimi and I made our way in there. I was fascinated because I’d never really seen a behind-the-scenes set up for for filming video. I used to film on my on my iPod and that was about it. Which was something else that you helped me with. It was something you were doing at the time. You were working with a couple of buddies with the company called Voco Studios. I guess that was almost a starting point of the evolution of your own business.
George: Yes, definitely that was the first foray into doing video and storytelling from a commercial standpoint. Yes, that was nuts. Again, in terms of like what happened with Voco Studios, I had this crazy idea. Because while I was at McGill, I got really super involved with TVM (Student Television at McGill). What I loved about it was the fact that you got access to equipment. You could create. I loved that concept and I was like, oh this should just exist in the world. There shouldn’t be film schools because you just go and network and you don’t really get to do real practicum. If you’re trying to work your way up the industry, you end up getting coffee for about four years. Given the technology where it is and the creativity. You can have people just kind of start. We decided to create a new service where you could actually get hands-on experience right off the gate. But, we definitely failed.
Heather: You succeeded with me. I had a consultation with you guys. You got me set up using the equipment I had, teaching me what I needed to upgrade. You also taught me editing and and all that stuff. I definitely benefited and learned a lot. Like any venture we do, it’s always a stepping stone to the next spot right?
George: Of course, one hundred percent. While how we started definitely failed, it’s still something where I know I want to come back to that idea 5-10 years from now after building a little more infrastructure. What ended up happening a lot of the time was we were so fresh and new. We knew nothing. Nobody’s going to take you seriously when you don’t have anything to back you up. That’s where it’s really been interesting the last couple of years. Even today where people ask me, “hey, have you done this?” I can reach into a bag and say I’ve done something along these lines. What’s interesting is I kind of forget about all the projects that have kind of come up since then.
WATCH THE INTERVIEW OR LISTEN TO THE AUDIO PODCAST FOR MORE ABOUT GEORGE’S PROJECTS INCLUDING HIS UPCOMING FEATURE FILM.