Indie filmmakers find financing through NFTs
The Future. With this week’s American Film Market going down, some in Hollywood are looking at NFTs as a viable alternative to financing and distributing movies. If the strategy pays off, NFTs could take over crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo as the way for fans to help put money into projects they believe in.
Could NFTs spark an indie-film renaissance? Some new projects are testing the waters:
- Indie stalwart Kevin Smith (Clerks, Tusk) announced earlier this year that he would auction off his upcoming horror feature, Killroy Was Here, as an NFT.
- Actress Jennifer Esposito is jumping into the director’s chair with Fresh Kills, which is selling NFTs and “securities” on the digital stock exchange Upstream to finance the film.
- Security investors will get a 110% return if the movie turns a profit.
Mark Elenowitz, president of Upstream software-maker Horizon Fintex, says that because NFTs let fans get in on the ground floor of a movie, “this model can be an alternative to traditional Hollywood funding and will enable new voices to be heard and seen across entertainment that haven’t had the same opportunity.”
Blockchain tech is not just transforming financing; it’s also revolutionizing production and distribution. Vuele, a platform that bills itself as the “Netflix version of an NFT,” launched with Zero Contact, starring Anthony Hopkins. The production even sold NFTs that allowed investors to be digitally edited into the film (but only the one that debuted as an NFT itself, not the version that will distribute widely in theaters).
Nonetheless, Vuele co-founder Rick Dugdale sees NFTs as a lifeline to indie cinema, saying, “It’s getting harder and harder to finance indie films and an NFT strategy can provide 5-10 percent of the financing which could be enough to move it over the line.”