It seems like cryptocurrency is all the rage. We know that Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are big into it, and we also know that everyone from professional athletes to even some gig workers are asking to be paid in various forms of digital currency.
Well, crypto is coming to Hollywood in a big way. And it's being led by the Hollywood Royal family, the Coppolas.
Decentralized Pictures, a non-profit co-founded by Roman Coppola, tech and entertainment veteran Leo Matchett, and American Zoetrope executive Michael Musante (with a board that includes Sofia and Gia Coppola) plan to use blockchain to support underrepresented filmmakers this fall.
As reported by IndieWire, this platform will house projects that are voted on by people, and the winner will get a funding award.
The non-profit contest describes itself this way: "Through user consensus we have set up a democratic film fund, online community of creatives, film-fans, and industry professionals who will decide who is most deserving of our support. Submit your idea, and if the world agrees with you, we’ll help you make it. We’ll help finance it, and introduce you to the people who will help you execute it in a professional way. We love to discover great talent and curate content. We hope you do too."
Matchett explained to Indiewire why he thought blockchain presented the best way to interact and pay filmmakers.
“We’re going to be giving away significant amounts of money and support, and we want our community to trust the process," Matchett said. "So having the voting data all on (the blockchain) with signatures validated by each person who’s contributed their opinion is very important—it’s auditable and immutable."
To raise the funds to create this NPO, they sold tokens to friends, family, and other investors. Now they see those tokens as a way to work with filmmakers as well.
“It can be inefficient to pay out thousands of people with micropayments, you can end up with the problem where the stamp on the envelope can be worth more than the check inside. With blockchain, we can very efficiently pay everyone who’s given their opinion,” Matchett said.
They'll do all this funding through blockchain. Creators will pay a submission fee in the nonprofit’s native cryptocurrency token. Then that money goes into an account and some gets awarded to the most popular title or project.
Roman Coppola says, “We have always been rooted in the principle of promoting a vibrant community of filmmakers and creating a setting where artistic collaboration can flourish.”
To participate, click “signup/login.” Once you do that, you will have full access to the platform to review projects, vote on projects, or upload your own projects to apply for financing rewards or general peer review.
Matchett told Indiewire, “Let’s say the status quo talent discovery systems, agencies, managers—are all sharing a highway. We’re trying to get to the same place but we’re building a new highway next to it and we’re telling those guys, ‘Don’t worry, we’re not trying to disrupt your system, but maybe the people who we discover will end up working with you down the road.'"
This is definitely an interesting way to democratize the filmmaking process and to help new voices break in, but we'll have to see it in action to make any other judgment calls.
What's your take on this? Let us know in the comments.