Filmmakers have long been extraterritorial eaters of digital currency

What does digital currency, which is frequently in the hot seat, have to do with movies?

Recently, digital currencies such as dogcoin and shib have been on the hot seat frequently, and even the less knowledgeable off-course crowd can’t help but be curious and interested in them.

Obviously, the digital currencies on the search are deeply linked to investment behavior. For example, “dogcoin up 911 times”, “dogcoin up”, “shib down” and other hot search phrases all show that the current speculative nature of these digital currencies is much more than the practical nature. Even the occasional “SpaceX accepts dogcoin payments” topic in the practical trading application scenario has little to do with our daily lives.

Nevertheless, since Satoshi Nakamoto systematically conceived of digital currency and blockchain technology in 2008, and Bitcoin and Genesis blockchain emerged in 2009, both financial capital and the real economy have been rushing to this emerging decentralized monetary technology. In Hollywood, there have been many attempts and cases of applying digital currencies to film production, not the least of which are established production companies like 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios.

So, how far has digital currency developed so far? What are the applications between digital currency and the film industry? For our filmmakers, should we seize the opportunity to enter the market?

A series of questions, let the intelligence from Hollywood on a series of entry into the digital currency field to start.

Start from the movie subject matter
Whether it is the coin banknotes in our hands, or the digital amount in UnionPay, WeChat or Alipay, the currency is actually the general equivalent that can be used for trading, currently issued by the central bank of each country.

But in 2008, a man named “Satoshi Nakamoto” published a paper that spilled the beans on digital currencies and decentralized blockchain technology, thus drawing the interest and attention of the financial community, and Bitcoin was born.

Simply put, “blockchain” is a technology that provides peer-to-peer network routing and a distributed ledger for transactions, which is open, transparent and difficult to tamper with. Based on this technology, people can “create” virtual digital currencies by “mining” (i.e., being the first bookkeeper in the blockchain to calculate the coded results), and then continuously invest in transactions.

Undoubtedly, this is a revolutionary idea and technology. As a result, in the years when Bitcoin came into the public eye, a number of documentary and drama films were made on the subject, such as “Living on Bitcoin” (2014), “Hope in Bitcoin” (2016), “Cryptocurrency” (2019), etc.

Filmmakers have long been extraterritorial eaters of digital currency

Despite the overall low production costs and relatively mediocre reputation of such films, they do document the many questions and limitations surrounding bitcoin. Let’s say that people still can’t currently live on bitcoin, that bitcoin can make people rich or poor overnight between spikes and drops, and that bitcoin has become a tool for emerging financial crime ……

Thus, the first direct relationship between digital currency and blockchain technology and movies is that it provides eye-catching material for various movies with financial themes.

However, such a relationship is relatively superficial, how can Wall Street and Hollywood let go of the various lucrative applications of digital currencies for the film and entertainment industry?

First of all, the digital currency arena provides a new channel for the film industry to raise capital, and is particularly attractive to small and medium-sized studios and individual creators.

According to our own testing, if we search the internet with keywords such as “film”, “digital currency” and “fundraising”, there are currently more than 15 million relevant terms on Google, of which The largest number of news reports were published between 2017 and 2018. This period can be seen as the height of the “digital currency fundraising for film projects” that Hollywood and Wall Street have been promoting in recent years.

For example, a search reveals an entertainment company called Crypto Film Fund, founded in 2017, whose official business description includes blockchain technology, artist funding, independent filmmaker funding and game ideas. Another website called Cinemadrom, for example, calls itself a “blockchain film platform” with a business scope covering film investment, theater brokerage and online film trading.

So, why have such projects sprung up in the past two years? This is also due to the initiative of many film practitioners to enter the game. According to foreign media reports, in 2017, “Birdman” producer Christopher Woodrow created a new movie finance platform MovieCoin based on digital currency and blockchain technology, whose main goal is to revolutionize the traditional way of raising funds for movies.

In this regard, Christopher Woodrow was also blunt when answering a phone interview with Bloomberg back then: We are trying to revolutionize the way movies are funded …… We are putting together a group of projects, including A-list movie stars, top directors, and seasoned veteran producers, which will form the MovieCoin’s initial slate of films.

Filmmakers have long been extraterritorial eaters of digital currency

In 2018, U.S. film production company XYZ Films, video game development company Ground Control and SingularDTV, an ethereum blockchain-based media platform, also partnered to launch a film project called “New Frontiers”, which aims to The project aims to fundraise and distribute a platter sci-fi movie through Ether. This was a big deal, and it created a lot of buzz at the time.

Secondly, after the introduction of the concept of “non-fungible token” (NFT), the new trend of trading that the digital currency field can bring to the creation of art has gradually penetrated into the film field, and thus become a new promotional tool for some film companies to try.

What is NFT? Simply put, it means that creators can sell their works in the form of digital encryption, and each transaction of their sales will be recorded in the blockchain, thus achieving the purpose of “uniqueness” for the subject of the creation.

Therefore, the most widely used area of NFT is art investment. Unlike traditional gallery agents or auction house agents, artists can directly sell their works in the digital currency field, thus completing a peer-to-peer transaction between buyers and sellers. What’s even better is that the transaction done through blockchain technology, because of its openness and uniqueness, fundamentally eliminates the circulation of fakes and guarantees the collection value of each piece.

For movie promoters, such uniqueness is a great way to stimulate fan consumption and increase fan stickiness.

A famous example of this is “Deadpool 2”, which was released in 2018. At that time, 20th Century Fox partnered with ticketing company Atom Tickets to launch a limited-edition e-poster for the film, and when a moviegoer purchased a ticket, he/she would receive a code to redeem for the associated e-poster. Eventually, these limited edition e-posters can be traded on the Ether blockchain just like any other collectible.

According to Jonas Hudson, the head of Greenfence Consumer, which was providing technical support for the service, the campaign was undoubtedly fan-friendly because “[fans] don’t have to know anything about Ether, they don’t have to know about digital wallets, all they have to do is redeem the code, check the email, and finally receive the code directly. All they have to do is redeem codes, check their emails, and finally receive a great collection straight away.”

Filmmakers have long been extraterritorial eaters of digital currency

However, aside from the subject matter, project funding and promotional tools, the digital currency space is most appreciated by filmmakers for its “decentralization” of content creation, which most of them believe allows them to “escape” from Hollywood’s power control.

Decentralized “Movies on a Chain”
What is “decentralization” at the level of film creation?

What foreign filmmakers who are practicing it generally believe that the digital currency space can help them achieve is probably the “de-attachment” to large film production companies and huge amounts of film financing, so that they can achieve self-expression without shackles. As a result, a “film on a chain” based on blockchain technology for financing and distribution has been created.

Take Cinemadrom’s business scope as an example, it is described that the operation mechanism of its “on-chain film platform” is that the film makers have to have their works verified by the platform first, and then deliver them to the subsequent verifiers and users through blockchain technology. In such a film delivery process, the creator will get the revenue, the audience will get the film work and the unique transaction code, and the consumption is the Internet traffic.

Obviously, such a model is very attractive to creators, because they are not only “unfettered”, but can also get a certain amount of creative revenue from each sale. Currently, Cinemadrom has launched three film fundraising projects, Neferititi, Breaking and Shuffle, with a view to raising $150 million, $30 million and $70 million respectively from the public. Although we have to put a big question mark on the quality of the production of such projects.

Filmmakers have long been extraterritorial eaters of digital currency

On the other hand, the way the chain film works also expands the weight of fans’ involvement in creation. This means that while such projects “abandon” traditional production companies and producers, they also turn everyone involved in the investment into co-producers, and if there are a certain number of fans among them, then these fans also have the right to intervene in the creation.

For example, if fan A completes an investment transaction in film project B on the chain through the blockchain, he/she will have the unique code for this transaction; when A wants to give feedback to B with his/her ideas and thoughts, he/she can contact B directly without going through an intermediary and suggest changes to B.

Further, this is different from the general act of crowdfunding. According to Intelligence, people can participate in the crowdfunding of a film creation project by contributing to the funding, but with their contributors either in general currency or in digital currency. If it is a normal currency, it is no different from a normal transaction, but if it is a digital currency, it is subject to the risk of fluctuations in its market value. Because a film project requires “dollars”, the “dollar market value” of a digital currency at any given moment is in flux.

But is decentralization really all good and no harm? At least from the point of view of the results and earnings of the various parties involved in the film project on the chain, there are no classics that can be left in film history. It’s more like a sideways challenge to Hollywood’s authority by individual creators.

What’s more, Bitcoin, dogcoin, shib, and various other folk digital currencies still lack a reliable value backing. To use an inappropriate metaphor, it’s like the plot of Top Gun – you fight hard to the end, only to find that the gold you win only says “extra life”, which applies to the resurrection of players in a virtual game, but does not correspond to any physical value in the real world. The gold coins won are only written with the phrase “extra life”, which is applicable to the resurrection of players in the virtual game, but cannot correspond to any physical value in the real world.

Coupled with the small atmosphere of a homogeneous community taking care of itself, the digital currency scene will come to a grinding halt if no one is willing to continue “mining” one day. Obviously, this is no guarantee for the creation of movies that require real money and human and material investment.

Filmmakers have long been extraterritorial eaters of digital currency

Ultimately, it’s a content war
Nevertheless, the digitization of money is an imperative trend, and in order to provide a reliable value backing for digital currencies, Facebook has launched a plan to issue Libra, a digital currency, in the U.S. China is also accelerating the construction of digital RMB.

So why, after the flowering of private digital currencies such as bitcoin, ethereum and dogcoin, is the state power finally entering to participate in this field? What will the official entry of the national central bank into the digital currency mean for the film industry?

On the one hand, this is a move by various countries to take back the central issuing and pricing power, in order to provide a value backing for digital currencies to combat speculation and stabilize the economy.

In fact, many of the current private digital currencies are “air coins” with no value backing, such as dogcoin, which can be directly influenced by a single sentence from Musk. This is a scary thing, meaning that if these celebrities suddenly pull out, the currency in question will lose its “value” instantly. Therefore, central banks, which have the power to issue and set prices, must retire air money and allow digital currencies with value backing to move in.

For the film industry, this is undoubtedly positive. Under such conditions, if we rashly introduce private digital currencies without value backing, are we not “lifting a stone to smash our own feet” and increasing the financial risk for film projects?

On the other hand, the central bank’s return to digital currency is also a reflection of its right to enhance the supervision of the flow of funds, which should be paid more attention to by the film people.

As mentioned above, many on-chain film projects are currently playing the slogan of decentralization, but the other side of decentralization is also trying to avoid regulation.

It is true that regulation and censorship are two factors that profoundly affect the creation of cultural works, but Intelligence believes that the content of good and popular movies is not only affected by regulation and censorship, and a lot of bad movies are not the inevitable product of regulation and censorship.

In this regard, what is more important than the regulation and censorship of content is the regulation of the flow of project funds and the regulation of the process of project dissemination. Taking movie production as an example, the former can effectively curb illegal funding activities such as money laundering and tax evasion in all aspects of movie creation, while the latter is expected to establish encrypted transmission of intellectual property based on blockchain technology in the future.

Just like the familiar BT seeds and magnetic links, they have “peer-to-peer network” in common with blockchain technology, and with such technical support, people on the Internet can skip the intermediate link to complete direct interaction. Therefore, in the past, when the domestic genuine movie resources were relatively limited, many movie fans used to download BT seeds or magnetic links to obtain the relevant resources, but when the major Internet streaming companies bought the copyright, the dissemination of various BT and magnetic chains in the private sector has been restrained.

Therefore, whether it is the source of movie investment, movie content creation or movie distribution, the central bank’s downfall in the field of digital currency points to the goal of “expelling bad money from good money”.

In this way, no matter how fancy the name of the digital currency is, or how eye-catching the capital action of the digital currency field is, what filmmakers have to do is still to produce content, and the important condition for filmmakers to get reliable funds is still excellent project quality. As for the current ups and downs of various air coins, it is just a manipulation with speculative nature.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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