Web3 and its decentralized protocols are creating more opportunities for budding moviemakers to transform their ideas from simple scripts to big-screen blockbusters.
For decades, the moviemaking industry has been dominated by the biggest film studios, and anyone who wanted to produce a big picture film had little option but to try and convince the likes of Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures to get behind them.
That has changed in recent years with the advent of crowdfunding, which has enabled a new breed of indie movies created by fans of the idea and vision. Crowdfunding provides an opportunity for people outside of the big film studios and streaming giants like Netflix to get involved in the filmmaking industry, and with the rise of decentralized protocols it’s likely to become an even more open field.
Until now, most crowdfunded movies have sought to raise capital on platforms such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter, offering fans various incentives to back them, ranging from signed posters to those who make small contributions, and a mention in the film’s credits for those who’re prepared to invest a lot more.
One of the best examples of a crowdfunded movie is Veronica Mars, which successfully raised $52,000 on Kickstarter to cover the bulk of its production costs.
The beauty of decentralized fundraising protocols is that they’re able to take full advantage of Web3 technologies such as non-fungible tokens, which can be used to create a much deeper relationship between filmmakers and their investors. NFTs, as they’re known, are unique digital tokens recorded on the blockchain. They’re often used to record ownership of digital art assets, but they’re much more flexible than this, and provide a way for investors to obtain real value. For instance, NFTs can represent intellectual property, enabling investors to become part-owners of a movie production.
This is the idea behind MetaMovie, an upcoming protocol built on the Metatime blockchain that claims to represent the next stage in the evolution of filmmaking. Powered by blockchain technology, MetaMovie is democratizing the way movies are made.
Traditionally, it has always been the big movie studios that decide which scripts they want to transform into movies and come up with the financing. They also handle essential tasks such as distribution and marketing. However, MetaMovie will enable anyone to do these things in collaboration with like-minded people.
Budding filmmakers can submit their ideas for scripts, or even a completed script, to the MetaMovie community for vetting. Movie fans will then be able to go through these ideas, invests in the ideas they like, and in return for their investment they will also be entitled to provide input in important decisions such as adapting the script, casting the lead actors, marketing the movie and more. Users who invest money in a movie seeking funding on MetaMovie will be granted a proportionate number of tokens equivalent to the amount they have put into the project. These tokens, similar to NFTs or crypto, grant the holder voting rights on various matters in the production process, as well as a share of the revenue the movie generates.
It’s a novel approach that promises to democratize the filmmaking landscape, giving everyone who supports the project the opportunity to share their ideas and input.
Decentralized Pictures is another movie fundraising protocol that’s backed by a legendary name from the Hollywood industry. It’s a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, that provides a fundraising platform for filmmakers. The difference is that, whereas with MetaMovie, directors simply set a funding target, Decentralized Pictures simply pools every investor’s funds into one big budget. Contributors to this pool vote regularly on which ideas should be funded next. The movies will then be produced by none other than Roman Coppola, the son of legendary screenwriter and movie producer Francis Ford Coppola. If the movie turns out to be successful, the bulk of the profits it generates will be returned to the pool to finance more movies, with a small portion used to reward the original investors.
Offering yet another slightly different take on this concept is Looking Glass Labs, the creator of the live-action NFT-integrated movie and comic series GenZeroes. The series alternates between movie and comic book episodes, telling the story of various factions of mankind fighting for control of the planet after it was decimated by an alien invasion. It’s a sci-fi project funded entirely through the sale of NFTs. Owners of GenZeroes NFTs gain multiple benefits, including early access to each new episode and the opportunity to propose and vote on storyline plots for the second season.
Decentralized protocols are rapidly making inroads into the world of filmmaking, democratizing access and enabling a new generation of movie producers to get their ideas made into movies. For the first time, anyone who wants to can become an investor in movies, with benefits ranging from a share of the revenue to influencing the actual storyline itself.
Blockchain, Web3 and NFTs are transformational technologies that could change the very nature of filmmaking, and it’ll be exciting to watch the development of these new protocols.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.