Thang Ho, originally from Hanoi, Vietnam, left home at the age of 14 to study abroad. A decade later, he landed in Georgia pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television at SCAD Atlanta. Unfortunately for Thang, he graduated in May 2020, straight into a film industry that was shut down due to COVID.
So Thang decided to create his own opportunities in Georgia’s film industry.
He turned his one-man video company, HOCA Studio, into a partnership with fellow SCAD graduates Christian Chambers, Vishvesh Bakshi and Annamaria Schreiber. The four joined together to turn HOCA Studio into a successful production company that focuses on commercials and music videos.
“When we started our production company during the pandemic, we struggled for the first few months,” says Thang. “But there’s so much being shot in Georgia now. That, plus connections we built in the industry while at SCAD, means great opportunities for our business.”
Thang’s love for visual storytelling began when he joined a dance crew in Boston while studying for his undergraduate degree. He quickly realized he could contribute more to the team by creating videos instead of dancing. Creating the dance videos led him to start HOCA Studio as a freelance photographer and videographer.
After graduation from SCAD, it was an easy decision for Thang to stay in Georgia and build on the relationships he built with industry professionals as a student. Thang says it was a luxury to pick up the phone and reach out to people who already knew him and his work instead of starting from scratch in another city.
“In Atlanta, I feel like I can throw a rock and hit someone in the film industry,” says Thang. “It’s both welcoming and competitive. I can grow as a filmmaker here.”
Starting a new business is always an uphill battle and the team at HOCA Studio struggled to learn the ropes of running a business. It reached a turning point in September of 2020 when the team created a music video for R&B musician J.Howell that now has millions of views on YouTube. That project launched other videos, including work for Roc Nation artists.
HOCA Studio’s latest project, producing the short film “Aurinko in Adagio,” written and directed by Elisee Junior St. Preux, will debut at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. The short film itself is called “Aurinko in Adagio”, written/ directed by Elisee Jr. St Preux, will debut at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.