Mount Pleasant social media entrepreneur John Edmonds Kozma operates a popular podcast, in addition to working with clients to produce social media content. Photo provided.

Mount Pleasant producer and entrepreneur John Edmonds Kozma believes Charleston will soon become a micro-Hollywood for the entertainment industry.  

“When you think about technology and entertainment, social media is the future,” said Kozma, whose Bang Productions Studio uses Meta and TikTok platforms to promote entertainers and build compelling content that tells a story.

His company’s numbers are off the charts.  As a Meta Media Partner (Facebook) and a TikTok Live Creator Network Agency, Bang Productions reaches over 100 million monthly viewers and 1.2 billion annually on social media platforms.  He said, “That makes us one of the nation’s largest publishers on social media.”

And more importantly, it shows that his company doesn’t have to be in the traditional entertainment hubs like Hollywood or New York to have a position of influence in entertainment.

“So why not Charleston?” asks Kozma. 

What is Bang Productions?

Kozma, a graduate of Charleston Southern University, spent five years in Hollywood working for Red Bull and partnered with actor and director Nick Cassavetes to develop a feature film. Then he and his wife, Mimi, moved to the New York City area where his company became well-established in the comedy business.

Kozma and his family returned to Charleston in October 2020 after realizing the current technology allows them to do what they do anywhere.  

“We’re operating at a national level with technology and I’m sitting in my studio in Mount Pleasant.  There is so much upside here,” Kozma said in a recent interview.  

“Here in the Lowcountry, you’ve got the backdrop, the restaurants and the culture for an excellent quality of life.  And yet, with technology, it’s a mini-L.A., a mini-New York.  We operate in South Carolina at the highest levels on the social media landscape.”

Bang Productions is a multi-faceted entertainment company that uses technology to develop short- and long-form content, manage talent and produce live shows.  Think of it as a company that uses social media platforms to create different channels of continuing content for comedians and other talent.  Then his company uses the same platforms to promote them online and in live shows. 

John is also the host of the Unimpressed Podcast. He interviews various personalities, such as entertainment stars, scientists and spiritual guides as a way to create “micro-moments” to teach people something about life.   He also is the author of the book, “Finding A Perfect Audience,” a system for using data to create a perfect customer.  

YouTube video
Learn more about the Unimpressed podcast through this video.

New hub for entertainment

“We’re recreating a 1950s to 1960s Hollywood studio model in a new world of technology,” Kozma said.  “Like Paramount, which has production, sets, distribution, public relations and marketing under one roof – at Bang, we also do everything in-house.

“Our distribution platforms are Meta and TikTok.  We do the production.  We provide live entertainment.  If we brand this area as ‘Silicon of the South,’ which I trademarked, I think Charleston could be the new hub for tech and entertainment.”

And part of what’s beautiful about using social media as his base, he says, is that we utilize it to sell tickets for live shows.

What’s next for the company

Entrepreneur John Edmonds Kozma of Bang Productions. Photo provided.

Kozma is excited about his developing relationship as a TikTok Live Creator Network Agency.

“Live videos are the future of entertainment,” he said.  “We recruit TikTok creators and help develop the programs for the creators. Once they join our agency and receive approval through TikTok, I put the creators in the system and continue educating them on improving their shows.”

Kozma got a big taste for success by developing 30 different content pages for entertainers on Meta, the parent of Facebook.  He started working with Meta in 2016.

“I came from TV and got pissed off at the industry because I developed 1,000 shows and sold three,” he recalled.  “When I realized social media has the same tools as a TV network, I knew you could create a network with social media.”

And he has. 

“In July, we reached 18 million people on one channel – and I have 30.”  He said Bang Productions reached about 100 million people on Meta’s channels for the month.

Kozma says celebrities with whom he’s worked include popular Internet personality, actress and comedian Brittany Furlan; comedian Jeremy Littel, who has 1.9 million followers on Facebook and 14 million on TikTok; “Southern Momma” Darren Knight, who has 3.3 million Facebook followers and is called the “fastest rising comedian in American history;”  and digital creator King Keraun, who has 4.6 million followers on Facebook to name a few.

“Before working with TikTok and Meta, I knew Silicon Valley and Hollywood didn’t communicate. My thought process was to take elements of both and create the future of entertainment.”

Bang Productions’ work is getting attention thanks to its success as a Meta Media Partner.  In June – just two months ago – he had only a handful of clients as a new TikTok Live Creator Network Agency.  Now he has 120 – and it’s growing every day.

“At the studio, we join forces with content creators and performers to shape micro TV stories that resonate within society,” Kozma said. “Think about our eclectic array of creators, each with expertise in pop culture, music, health, beauty, food, DIY and even the dynamic gaming world – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

“The structure of our creator’s live shows is like TV. The creators go live three to five days a week, with each live show being at least one hour.”

What’s next for Charleston?

The Lowcountry, already used for big television productions like “Southern Charm” and “Outer Banks,” is the perfect home for a new micro-Hollywood, Kozma said.

Unlike other areas of the country, which are so big that creatives don’t interact well or are focused more on industrial outreach than entertainment, Kozma said Charleston has a great blend of tech and creative people in one enterprising hume – look at Beeple, Darius Rucker, Danny McBride and Bill Murray.  

He said he hopes to build a collaborative studio with TikTok in Charleston that will be free for creators to utilize.

“We also think live entertainment is an underserved market, ” he said. “So we have shows at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center – comedian Darren Knight, aka Southern Momma, on Oct. 14 and country artist Chris Janson on Nov. 4.

“In addition, we’re developing live comedy shows at The Wonderer in Charleston.  We’ve had some great shows this year and plan to bring many more live shows to the area.”

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