Decentralized Pictures plots community-driven, blockchain-backed productions
The Future. Decentralized Pictures (a nonprofit backed by the famous Coppola family) is using blockchain technology to help underrepresented filmmakers fund their projects. With both filmmakers and the voting community incentivized for participating, Decentralized may be constructing an entirely new ecosystem to jumpstart careers in Hollywood — one where the audience is the only gatekeeper.
One of cinema’s most renowned families is getting into what could be the future of the industry: blockchain-backed distribution.
- Filmmaker Roman Coppola (Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III; co-writer of Moonrise Kingdom and The Darjeeling Limited), Leo Matchett, and Michael Musante have founded a nonprofit production company, Decentralized Pictures.
- Filmmakers Sofia Coppola and Gia Coppola also sit on the board.
- Decentralized Pictures is described as “a democratically selected film fund.”
- Using a blockchain platform, token holders of Decentralized will be able to vote on which scripts, treatments, or pitch videos should be developed and financed.
- The company is specifically focused on helping filmmakers from underrepresented communities.
The blockchain platform is currently in beta with members from Ghetto Film School and USC School of Cinematic Arts. It’s expected to launch wide this fall.
To kick things off, Decentralized sold a first round of tokens to “friends, family, and investors” giving the tokens value. The same amount of tokens will be sold to the general public at the same price.
To make sure everyone has a financial stake in what gets produced, filmmakers pay an entry fee (through tokens) to submit projects for consideration, which goes into a pool to pay people for their votes. Voters can then use that money to pay for their own entrance fees, creating a circular ecosystem where the community props up engagement.
Matchett, who is also a producer at Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope, says that “the token needs to have value in order for our incentive mechanism to work…if people aren’t incentivized to give an opinion because there’s no rareness, no value, then it defeats the purpose.”