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Ashton Bingham & Art Kulik: “Your mindset controls everything”

We had always been familiar with phone scams, but we had no idea prior to our original viral video how HUGE of an epidemic these robocall scams were. Pursuing this line of work and developing the hundreds of videos we now have on our channel has allowed us to learn how big of a negative […]

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We had always been familiar with phone scams, but we had no idea prior to our original viral video how HUGE of an epidemic these robocall scams were. Pursuing this line of work and developing the hundreds of videos we now have on our channel has allowed us to learn how big of a negative impact these robocalls make on the world — not only how frequent they are, but how many different forms these scams can take.


As a part of our series about stars who are making an important social impact, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Ashton Bingham & Art Kulik, CEOs of Trilogy Media Inc.

Ashton Bingham & Art Kulik are Los Angeles based Entrepreneurs, Producers, and Social Media Creators. Upon discovering their passion for creating online content, Ashton and Art founded Trilogy Media Inc in 2016 and are YouTube’s favorite scam-busting duo with their channel garnering over 18 million views.

Trilogy Media Inc’s main purpose is to alert the public about scams in society, offer awareness with their comedic videos that shed light on detrimental scammers. In 2016, Ashton and Art took on the IRS Robocall Scammers, the relentless scammers that would call pretending to be the IRS to obtain personal information from vulnerable people. Their video went viral garnering millions of views within the first 24hours and totaled over 70 million views. Due to the proliferation of Coronavirus scams, the duo is in very high demand.

Trilogy Media Inc has been featured in numerous top tier media such as ABC’s The Briefing Room, CBS KCAL, Fox 11 News, Good Morning San Diego, CBS News Memphis, and more.

Trilogy Media’s mission is to entertain the masses, spread positivity, and always continue to raise awareness of the sick, vile, and heartbreaking scams that plague our world. Understanding that YouTube is a medium that thrives on the creator and audience communication, Ashton & Art feel that it is essential to get the viewers involved in the process of creation, and does not only pay attention to what their viewers are expecting but credits them when they incorporate their ideas into the content.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/09b40cfbf168b4981e9c79937b3057b4


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Trilogy Media was launched into the YouTube space, weirdly, by an accidental viral video. We’ve always had dreams of being actors and filmmakers, which is what brought both of us to Los Angeles over 10 years ago. We wouldn’t cross paths until over a year later, but instantly bonded as best friends, and eventually business partners. After many years of hustling and growing our resumes, both as actors and filmmakers, we struck gold with a completely unintentional viral video messing with an IRS scammer. The video was posted in late 2016, and within a few months garnered over 200 million views!

This opened up the floodgates which would end up being the basis for our YouTube channel — Trilogy Media, and ironically, ended up being exactly what we didn’t even realize we were looking for: a place where we could be ourselves, create content for an amazing audience, and continue to grow on OUR terms, without waiting for the approval of a higher-up in Hollywood.

It’s almost 4 years later, and we’re still making videos and live streaming for our 150,000 subscribers, and continuing to grow thanks to the best online “Squad” family anyone could dream of having.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

What always continues to blow our minds is how rewarding this line of work is. What one would assume to just be a scam-busting YouTube channel, has turned into a platform where lives have literally been changed. One of the most notable examples is our viral video titled, “Using Movie Quotes to Waste an IRS Scammer’s Time”, that featured an IRS phone scammer that, after wasting his time hilariously (for hours), came clean and told us how remorseful he is for doing this dirty work, and how he was only doing it to take care of his starving family.

We gave him our contact information, and eventually connected with him outside of his work and he agreed to do a Skype interview with us. We promised to help him change his life, if he would provide information about the IRS scam that we could share with the world, in hopes of saving potential victims. We did many Skype interviews thereafter, and fulfilled our promise by starting a GoFundMe campaign to support his dream of owning his own print shop.

Many months later, the GoFundMe goal was met, money was sent, and “Markissimo” (as we call him), now owns and operates his own print shot in his village in India, and continues to be an inspiration for many scammers around the world, showing that even in the worst circumstances, staying positive and changing your life is always possible.

Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?

We had always been familiar with phone scams, but we had no idea prior to our original viral video how HUGE of an epidemic these robocall scams were. Pursuing this line of work and developing the hundreds of videos we now have on our channel has allowed us to learn how big of a negative impact these robocalls make on the world — not only how frequent they are, but how many different forms these scams can take.

We don’t discuss religion or politics on our channel. Trilogy Media on YouTube serves as a form of escapism for thousands of people, including ourselves. And while we get to provide endless laughs to our amazing community, more importantly, we’re raising awareness about all the disgusting scams that are developing and evolving every single day. We have received countless pieces of fan mail explaining how our videos have enlightened certain people who would have otherwise lost money to a scam, but because of our videos, they knew what to look for and were able to avoid losing money to these criminals.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

It’s so hard to narrow it down to one. Along with “Markissimo”, our reformed ex-scammer friend, we have another young man we’re currently in the process of helping, whose life has already been changed. In many Skype interviews, he’s explained to us how he was picked up in a desperate part of his life, without the knowledge that his call center was a scam until he was in too deep to get out. We’ve since compiled not only priceless information from him, but actual hidden camera footage from inside his previous call center. We’ve created a fundraiser for him as well, and raised enough to purchase a vehicle and fulfill his dream of being a taxi driver in his village.

That, along with the literal thousands of people that have messaged us, explaining how our positivity and laughter have brought sunlight onto the darkest times for them, is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

The more awareness we can raise, the better. These scams are developing and evolving every single day. Scammers love a crisis, because they will always find a way to scam and profit off of it. The more we can increase awareness about their common tactics, give the public (especially our elderly), triggers and signs to be aware of — the more we can continue to battle these horrible scammers and protect the public.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

As leaders of a growing community, we are learning more and more about what leadership means every single day. We’re not perfect, and never claim to be, but we strive to be leaders by example. By showing people what it means to work hard, what it means to overcome hardships, how to remain positive during tough times, how to stay resilient, how to stay goal-focused, and how to take responsibility when you trip up.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1) “Your mindset controls everything”. Especially in the YouTube space, where you live mentally day by day means everything. In a way, the system is designed to make you fail. Everything on the surface is about numbers — i.e. subscribers, views, comments, etc. But if you get lost in that, it will destroy you. Your fuel has to be your passion. If you don’t have passion, you have no fuel, and it will take you down one way or another.

2) “It will be very different than you expect, and that’s okay.” Never in our wildest dreams we would have imagined things would play out this way — moving to Los Angeles to chase a dream of making content. But things have a way of working themselves out, in their own special way, and there’s nothing wrong with embracing every single moment and opportunity.

3) “There is no such thing as overnight success.” And while we felt like we always knew this, somehow, you find different ways of learning this over and over again. On the outside, it seems evident that certain content creators, producers, YouTubers, etc, reach massive success in a seemingly short period of time, but 99.99999% of the time, that’s not the case. To some, we got lucky with one viral video and were successful right off the bat. But what they don’t see is the many years of hard work leading up to that, and all the blood, sweat and tears that came after to continue growing. Big goals take a LOT of time, and often times it’s easy to let that be a deterrent from continuing, but it’s exactly the reason you need to never give up.

4) “Focus on the journey, not the destination”. Something we tend to forget sometimes — as we get lost in the long hours, the negativity, the hate, the resistance. But looking back since our start, every single moment, every achievement along the way, every instance, both positive and negative, are all a part of the journey and should be enjoyed just as much as the destination.

5) “Getting hate is a good thing”. If your content is getting hate and negativity online, it means that your content is reaching an audience BEYOND your family and friends. It means that the general public is finding you and your content, and even though you can’t please everybody, it means that you’re on the right track, and as long as you follow your heart and keep your integrity, the hate should fuel you, not discourage you.

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

We want to inspire a movement of positivity; a movement of chasing dreams. Nothing we’re doing right now would have been possible if we didn’t take risks, chase our dreams, and believe in ourselves. If we took the “safe” route and stuck with jobs that we hated, we would have missed out on an adventure of a lifetime.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. This is truly a life-changing quote, and something everybody who’s chasing a dream should take seriously. We are living proof that it can change your life, and the right circle of people in your life can change everything, and the wrong circle of people can completely destroy you.

How can our readers continue to follow your work?

For more information on Trilogy Media Inc, please click here.

Follow Trilogy Media Inc on Social Media:

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Thank you so much for these amazing insights. This was so inspiring, and we wish you continued success!

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