BK Fulton: Making waves with Soulidifly and ‘Love Dot Com’
When BK Fulton set out to start his own production company, he had one vision in mind: to shatter the “deprivation lens” through which women and minorities are traditionally portrayed in media.
BK believes that too often the narrative surrounding minority experiences has been struggle-focused rather than achievement-focused which can further perpetuate dangerous stereotypes in the United States- a nation already too divided on these issues.
Using his personal funds after a very successful career in telecommunications, BK decided to put his money where his mouth was. Enter Soulidifly, a multimedia production company he started in 2017 with this vision at its, well, soul.
BK has teamed up with some truly incredible talent, and in a feat never before achieved in the independent film industry, Soulidifly co-produced 4 feature-length independent films in its first year.
We’re incredibly excited for the new Soulidifly project Love Dot Com to drop as it explores the nuances and generational conundrums that come with the search for real love online. Unfinished business and different priorities paired with hilariously terrible advice from friends, all blended up with a healthy dose of self-doubt make up a hilarious recipe for Love Dot Com.
We were delighted when BK sat down with us to talk Soulidifly, filmmaking, business and Love Dot Com.
Tell us about your history as a filmmaker. How did you start your journey?
We started making films in 2017 with a vision to add stories from an achievement narrative. We found that too often when women and minorities got to tell their stories, it was from the sorrow of our experiences. While every story has a right to be told, there is so much more to the narrative that needs to come forward.
Tell us about your motivations to set up Soulidifly, what pushed you down the path of setting up a multi-media agency?
We realized that we live in a celebrity culture and that young people in particular are influenced by others who appear popular. We asked ourselves how do we influence the influencers? Film, books and major media became our strategy for impacting the kids and the culture in a positive way.
How did you fund the first stages of Soulidifly?
Out of my 401K!
You managed to put out four feature films in 2017/18. Tell us about the challenges you faced in creating such a wealth of content so early into the business.
We started out with a film that needed $10M to be done right. It was a period piece based on my first novel, Love’s Insurrection. We had about $2M toward our goal and decided that we could do two films for a fifth of the price of one large one.
We connected with other producers and helped them with their projects. Before we knew it, we were producing or co-producing 4 films. We did this in our first 12 months. We’ve shot a fifth film since then which will release on Dec. 13 with Lionsgate as a distribution partner.
What were your biggest challenges at the beginning of the company’s growth?
Finding great people who would take equity in the business in exchange for regular pay. We landed Monty Ross, who co-founded 40 Acres and a Mule with Spike Lee and Queon Martin who helped to found the original MoviePass and understudied with Joel Shoemaker and Martin Scorsese.
Who are your current influences?
My parents, my Bride, Tyler Perry, Oscar Micheaux, Gordon Parks, and Ava DuVernay
What five TV shows do you think everyone should watch this year?
I don’t watch much TV.
What was the one movie you saw that made you want to go into film?
The Five Heartbeats
How was working on Love Dot Com? What did you learn from the experience?
We had a 90-person team at any given time. I learned that having the right team, from director to craft services, makes a difference.
Tell us about your career before you found film.
I was a telecommunications executive before I got deeply into cinema. I used to run a little telecommunications company called Verizon Virginia and the Verizon Mid-Atlantic Region (DC, VA, MD, and Delaware).
Where did the concept come from for Love Dot Com?
It was based on the fact that more and more young people were turning to online dating and seemed to be doubting their own ability to determine what was authentic.
What music inspires you to create?
Talk us through your creative process.
Take the things that inspire us, wrap love around it with a great team, capture the best parts on film. Wash and repeat!
What tips do you have for new filmmakers?
Don’t stop. Get experienced people to help you.
What part of filmmaking do you geek out about the most?
You’re very hands-on with your projects. How hard is it wearing all the hats?
We do what’s required. It’s not hard.
If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The Five Heartbeats.
What’s your next project?
Working on a project about a famous singer at the dawn of the civil rights movement.
Have you worked with mentors in the past? How would you recommend people go about finding them?
Yes. They can be essential. Find them in film schools and film festivals.
What has been your biggest failure?
Not following my dreams sooner.
What’s your filmmaking mission? Name the most important thing you want viewers to experience when watching your movies.
I want to make at least 70 films. I hope viewers walk out of our films more thoughtful about what it means to be alive.
What has been your biggest success?
Making four features in our first year and having 100% of them get distribution!
Can we expect to see any episodic television from you anytime soon?
We have a project in the works with Rick Ross. That could be out soon.
What’s your five-year plan?
Launch a TV network; launch a movie app; and make 3-7 more films.
What indie filmmakers should be on our radar?
Paul Starkman, Hans Charles, Menelek Lumumba, Wes Miller.
What’s your favorite film of all time, and what did you learn from it?
The Five Heartbeats. I learned about the importance of forgiveness and love.
Who would compose the soundtrack of your life?
Stevie Wonder and Luther Vandross
Tell us about SoulVision, how do we sign up for that?
SoulVision Magazine is free. Go to SoulVisionMagazine.com and enter your email. That’s it.
What tips do you have for new entrepreneurs?
Work your plan. Get people that are experienced to help you. Don’t give up. Enjoy the journey.
Click here to watch Love Dot Com: The Social Experiment, released by Soulidifly Productions in partnership with Gravitas Ventures. Watch the trailer here.