IFH 473: NFT, Bitcoin, and Creating Indie Films for a Niche Audience with Torsten Hoffmann


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I’ve discussed the importance of finding a niche audience and serving that audience with your films and content in my book Rise of the Filmtrepreneur. Today on the show a filmmaker has done just that. We have Australian filmmaker and Filmtrepreneur, Torsten Hoffmann. His niche audience is people interested in crypto, blockchain, and NFTs.

Torsten’s interest in cryptocurrencies dates back to a paper on Alternative Currencies he wrote while doing his MBA.

By 2013, Bitcoin piqued his interest and soon after materialized into his 2015 directorial debut documentary, Bitcoin: The End of Money as We Know It. The documentary is a concise and informative crash course about Money and Crypto Currencies.

The success of his first film documentary slanged Torsten into high-profile speaking engagements at MIPTV & MIPCOM, AIDC, and Medientage, to speak on blockchain-related trends.

Last year, he produced and directed a subsequent documentary, Cryptopia: Bitcoin, Blockchains and the Future of the Internet.

Basically, he revisits Bitcoin and sets out to explore the evolution of the blockchain industry and its new promise. It asks the fundamental question; Can this technology, designed to operate independent of trust and within a decentralized network, really provide a robust alternative to the Internet as we know it?
This film has since gone on to be one of the most consumed pieces of content in his niche. From the way, he marketed the film to the title Torsten used the Filmtrepreneur Method in every aspect of making the film.

He has also launched numerous entrepreneurial ventures to support independent content creators with his passion for media and technology. If it’s one person who can break down the sometimes intimidating ideas of blockchain, Hoffmann is the man. We also do a deep dive in NFTs as well. 

So, enjoy this unofficial third-part episode on NFT with Torsten Hoffmann.

Alex Ferrari 0:12
I'd like to welcome to the show Torsten Huffman, how you doing Torsten?

Torsten Hoffmann 0:16
Thank you, Alex. Thanks so much. I've been following your work for a long time. This is an honor. Thank

Alex Ferrari 0:19
you. Oh, thank you so much, man. I appreciate it. Yeah, you reached out. And you said, You watched you've listened to a lot of my podcast and also read my book. And then I saw what you were doing. And I was very fascinated, and wanted to kind of dig into the numbers of what you've been doing with niche, niche marketing, and it's filmmaking. So it's pretty cool, man. So but let's, before we get started, how did you get into the business?

Torsten Hoffmann 0:42
Yeah, I'm coming from the evil side of the business. As you like to say, I used to be a television distributor, like a small shop that I opened in 2012 when 3d was the latest hot thing where I'm like, avatar came out there was producing 3d. And I became like, in the documentary market, one of those distributors specialize in 3d documentaries, and then switch quickly to 4k development in VR, virtual reality and 360 videos as well. So I've been in kind of the the emerging formats, part of the documentary distribution business.

Alex Ferrari 1:13
So very cool. Now, you've made you've decided to be a filmmaker who kind of chose chooses niches and the niches of two films that you did, where Bitcoin and blockchain kind of like a high tech audience that you've kind of cultivated Why did you choose how and why did you choose that niche?

Torsten Hoffmann 1:35
Yeah, I, you know, I've heard some of your other guests say this, that it's kind of like your niche sometimes chooses you or whatever, whatever the saying is, so for me was I have a little bit of a finance background. I heard about alternative currencies many many years ago, then heard about Bitcoin and it kind of clicked immediately for me because I had a little bit of a financial background and wrote a paper on alternative currencies in 2010 so when I heard about Bitcoin 2013 it was immediately clear Wow, this is gonna change the world. This is the project I should make my first film on. It was kind of like like not not much more thinking about this. And then later turned out there was a really good idea a really good time. 2014 15 to Yeah, find this niche audience and and create a fan base.

Alex Ferrari 2:20
So what so tell me the film that you created for this for the for this niche?

Torsten Hoffmann 2:26
Yeah, so the first one was Bitcoin, the end of money as we know it, I made it in 2014 with a partner, Michael, and released it in 2015. And that was Kickstarter funded and self funded, I would say mostly, it went viral on the internet and was doing okay, on on video on demand. And now, five years later, or four or five years later, the new film is called cryptopia, Bitcoin blockchain and the future of the Internet. So all the buzzwords are in it for sociability and that one is much bigger, so much bigger production budget, supported by Screen Australia, supported by German broadcasters, and again fans on on Kickstarter and self

Alex Ferrari 3:01
funded so those films so let's get into the weeds a little bit. So with Bitcoin, obviously, Bitcoin is one of those things that everyone's talking about. And it's, it's, you know, polarizing one way or the other people either love it, you know, it's the future or people think it's a complete scam. I'm on the I'm on the fence. I have no idea. It's like, I see it go up and down on like, you know, I would have liked to have bought it when it was five bucks. Like, you know, like that one poor guy who's got like $70 million or something like that locked away for God his code or something like that. So insane. But the whole concept of Bitcoin how So first of all, how did you raise funds for it? You crowdfunded it?

Torsten Hoffmann 3:43
Yeah, so we're talking about the first one all right, yes, back in history and 2014 Yep, um, that was crowdfunding a half half of it crowdfunded half of it of my own money, let's say relatively low budget, lots of archive footage and interviews that I shot in five or six cities. So I'm I should actually say I'm based in Australia. I'm originally German and of course a lot of the content is produced in America because that's where a lot of the industry happens. So I'm usually we you know, spread three continents or cryptokeys in four continents.

Alex Ferrari 4:13
And did you did you start targeting and building your audience with the crowdfunding campaigns?

Torsten Hoffmann 4:19
Yep, that was exactly the start and the way to do it and I heard you say this before just an idea do not get funded so you need to show people something right so creating the first sizzle we have some of the interviews some of the drama already and making making this story may be grand as it is more dramatic as it is because just as you say, people love it and think this is like you know the best thing since sliced bread or it's a total scam right? And if you use all that drama you and you have some some material, and that's how we funded the first case,

Alex Ferrari 4:50
in the whole concept of Bitcoin, I want to just kind of get into the weeds a little bit about Bitcoin because, you know, the technology itself is very His very utopia, very kind of like, you know, Shangri La, where like a decentralized currency. You know, it sounds fantastic. Obviously some people are taking seriously there is a lot of money in Bitcoin, there's a lot of serious players jumping in. What do you feel that is going to happen? Do you think I mean, there is the only problem I have with Bitcoin is that there is no tangible value, it's a digital value. So there's a there it is like gold, it's digital gold, you know, there's a limited quantity, all that stuff, but it's all digital. So there's like, if the power goes out in the world, you've lost everything. But if you have a bunch of gold, and people could argue gold all day long, but it's still been money since the beginning of time. There is there's something about gold and silver and those kinds of things. But it's an asset, it's something you could physically hold. What do you I'm just curious on your take on it. Yeah.

Torsten Hoffmann 6:01
And I look at everything that you said, is worth a whole show. And I've done these two shows before, by itself. Let me maybe I'm not quite sure how to tackle it. But let me first say, in 2014, Bitcoin was a crazy thing. Nobody really took it seriously except a few libertarian on a case and like, like people who bought drugs on the on the internet, totally true. very risky. But that time Bitcoin was still $200. Right? I mean, those those people took great risks were very well rewarded. It's $60,000. Now, right? And today, if you look at it, it's actually been so it has failed in a lot of use cases, for example, people don't really use it as a as a currency, right? I don't think you've you've paid for your last Amazon book or something on Bitcoin. But it really has succeeded as as digital gold. And now every single investment bank, every single government, right, and some big companies are using it to put it on the Treasury or something like that. So I think it's much less risky now, and much more serious, big money. It's not worth a trillion dollars or a trillion dollars.

Alex Ferrari 7:08
Yeah. And it's only getting bigger and bigger and bigger. So you're able to tap into that phase. Have you seen a boost in people watching that documentary? Because it's been in the news pretty heavily in the last few years. And, and the just jumped up to like, you know, the heights and a drops down, it's just so volatile, it's a very volatile thing. Cannot be manipulated, you know, is it being manipulated? It's hard to manipulate something that has a price point of $60,000, you need to be players to come in and manipulate that stuff. Yeah,

Torsten Hoffmann 7:41
I mean, in 2014 15, sure, you can like one one rich whale, as they call it can probably manipulate the price. But at the moment, it's so liquid, there's so many players all around the world. And Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in in America. And the second biggest in the world is going on the stock exchange, right, and the New York Stock Exchange this month or next month, and that company alone is worth more than the NASDAQ. And why is he as investor companies already? So there's, there's hundreds of millions of people using it and trading I thought sort of, it's hard to manipulate. But to to your earlier point, this is actually interesting, right? Because I chose maybe it was just lucky, I chose a topic that people hate or love or just are confused about so they need to get education about it. And every time it's in the press, right? I see a pickup in my video on demand. revenues. And yeah, it's one of those topics that people just deal first time you hear it must be a scam. Second time, you know, who's trying to scam me, right? And then fourth, fifth, sixth time, maybe they watch a documentary, and then they maybe dig deeper.

Alex Ferrari 8:47
Right? And then so the the value of so you are seeing the jump. Are you seeing it on Amazon? Are you have you been kicked off of Amazon yet? Or did you because I know documentaries have been kicked off and you know where you making most of your revenue from in in the VOD space. Avon or teavana. restaurant?

Torsten Hoffmann 9:06
Yeah. Um, so, again, two films, right. The old film was on Amazon, but then was a victim of that company that we don't like to talk about, but you uncovered the scandal and the whole thing. Well, thank you for your Yes, for your journalistic work there. So I was a victim of that. And then got back in with Phil Hart, both both films actually, via film up onto Amazon and then got kicked off so that because it's old, it's kind of, you know, lower budget kind of film, even though it did very well on Amazon. Most of my revenue, I think came back in the day on Capitol Hill. And now a little bit on Vimeo, it's it's five, six years old. So now change it to Avon. And it has, I think, maybe 2 million views last year on YouTube alone, which is also a nice bunch of money, right? But but with cryptopia award winning film brand new. That one again with film hop is on the major platforms, and we're doing quite well on on Amazon and we're lucky enough to be kicked off.

Alex Ferrari 10:02
Yeah, exactly. So so cryptopia Now you've kind of like amplify that but now you through blockchain and there you through all these kind of keywords which is extremely smart. So anyone look I've seen your your documentaries come through my my feed many times because I've done research on blockchain and research on Bitcoin and, and kind of going just doing research just out of my own morbid curiosity about what blockchain is and the technology and the future of it and all that stuff. And you pop up, and you have a great poster. Great, great poster. Great title. And I was always curious and how you were, how you doing? financially? Like it wasn't making money?

Torsten Hoffmann 10:42
Well, you know, the calculation is always difficult, because if we were to calculate our own time, right, no,

Alex Ferrari 10:49
no, no, you can't do that.

Torsten Hoffmann 10:52
Right now. But But luckily, so for the for growtopia. I had many funding partners, right. So the German broadcaster came in, they get the German rights, but get get get me a bunch of approximately, so that was good. Again, Kickstarter. That's, that's non diluted. Capital, right. So I'm able to, largely funded with other sources, right, and then everything that's now coming in, not everything, but a large share of that is his profit, if you will. But I'm also spending on Facebook ads, I'm also spending on film festivals and all these things that you keep talking about. And it takes a long time to build that audience. And that

Alex Ferrari 11:26
that platform, do you have a central hub where everything's coming in as far as like gathering customer information, emails, things like that? Or is email a big thing for you? Or are you literally just hanging out in the other platforms? Are you driving people to a website, where you can capture their email, so you can have a direct relationship with the customer?

Torsten Hoffmann 11:45
Now that's, you know, Alex, that is the key question. I mean, honestly, I'm probably doing a better job than average, but not not not good enough. And people listening to this thinking about their filmmaking career. This is actually where you should start your whole journey. So yes, I do collect an emails, I might have maybe 4000 email addresses by now. But most of the viewership, I just saw the statistics, we have 6 million minutes viewed on on Amazon last month. So over a year, like I don't know, 15 million minutes views. So it's a huge audience that is totally lost. So other than, you know, five star ratings and some of that, and a good IMDb score, I'm not really getting anything, I can't tap into that. platform. But you know, some people end up at crypto crypto.com some people do sign up for a newsletter, some people then go to my Udemy course on blockchain. You know, that's, that's one of the things that I took from your books as well. It's not that, you know, the Udemy course doesn't make me rich, but it's just you know, it's one of those little pieces of the puzzle. And please, let me remind me to tell you about Television Distribution, because that is now kicking in, which is a very, very promising as well.

Alex Ferrari 12:53
So yeah, tell me tell me about the Television Distribution.

Torsten Hoffmann 12:56
Yeah, so um, it's kind of funny, even though that's kind of my background, this television market and licensing, I didn't really quite understand it. And until and now that I always focused on making cryptopia film The Best Film possible for my audience for those crypto nerds and those blockchain lovers, right. And so it ended up being an 86 minute film, but the television market, they need a TV hour. So so it took me much more time than it really should have taken me down to four reformatted for the television audience, television audience much more mainstream, much less technical, you know, all the bullet points, all the technical details needed to be stripped out but now that I have finally finally have this TV, our the deals are coming in. So we've closed maybe eight or nine television deals a total of 450 million TV homes. The biggest one is LG zero, and the biggest TV channel in Germany, they pre bought the rights but then you know that the top TV channels in Poland and Russia and Israel and places like that so and all these license steals, and they end up with nice, nice license fees.

Alex Ferrari 14:05
That's fantastic. Now how are you reaching your audience? Do you are you doing any marketing and a huge I like I said, Are you driving people back to your website? Or you you just basically hoping that people watch the movie and then just come to cryptopia? Calm?

Torsten Hoffmann 14:20
Yeah, I mean, by now it's a lot of word of mouth, right? Because if, let's say whatever the amount is, maybe 50% of people that watch the film really liked it, because they are interested in the topic and they learn from it. Right? And then they talk until their friends and family so I think most of it by now is word of mouth and doing a little bit of on Twitter, I'm doing a little bit of Facebook. But I wouldn't say that um, I just started actually with fire TV as as well that there's a there's a program we can advertise on on Amazon as well. But I don't think any of these marketing activities are actually ROI positive. So it's good for branding. So when you see you see my films before so clearly, I've done some Right, but it's not that $1 spent on Twitter or Facebook will get me 1.1 dollars in VOD revenue, that that doesn't work.

Alex Ferrari 15:07
But if you had other revenue sources like a Udemy course, like something else, that you can drive people into your into your ecosystem, and because this is a perfect example, I think that growtopia is a amazing case study, if you were able to have your entire marketing campaign driving people into a website, where because it's such a technical thing, and such a thing, it's such a people are very passionate about. So if you had a Bitcoin course, if you had a blockchain course, and if you had multiple different online products that could help with that you become affiliates to coin base, I don't know, I'm just throwing that out there, whatever that is, to, to incorporate them into what they're looking for the revenue that you can generate. The month the moving money is, it's it's relevant. It's a it's a, it's a loss leader at that point.

Torsten Hoffmann 15:57
Yeah, and that's true. And every 50th person seeing it right there, a CEO of organization, or they run an association, or they're university professors, so they start contacting me and say, let's do an event, right, and that event might suddenly bring me $500. Right. So so there's, there's this effect as well. And another point that I really want to stress is, this is not really about one film, it's more about like your whole career, like your body of work, right. And you talk about this Ryan Holiday has a fantastic book called perennial seller, it's all about your building from one to the next. So as I'm lucky so I have Bitcoin, the end of money, that's like a intro thing for our money and Bitcoin. Now, this blockchain or the new development, my next one about the next technology, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger, right, and what book authors do, for example, they have the series, right, and then they can discount when something new comes out, they can discount the the earlier farms and sell it as a package. So you can do much more when you have more than just one film.

Alex Ferrari 16:58
Now do you have you thought of putting together a special edition where you put an edited interviews up in a course or in a special edition where people can buy like people who are really interested in like, hey, if you like the movie, here's eight hours of unedited interviews with all of these experts, and sell it, I've seen that work extremely well. Because, again, your audience is so passionate about that tech audience is first tech savvy. Secondly, generally they're going to be a little bit higher, they're going to make a little bit more money. So they're going to be a little bit more affluent, and willing to spend money on a digital product, because their their interest is digital product. So it is it was a no brainer to create as many, many online products as you can and bring them into this ecosystem where you can consider and considering like you just saying, you're building a career around the technology space, doing like first was Bitcoin cryptopia. And now your next film, you're building a library, you're building a bunch of stuff you really could be cleaning up, sir.

Torsten Hoffmann 18:06
Yeah, and I should be doing a better job of that, you know, that there's, I mean, I agree with everything that you just said. But I think there's three or four reasons why I want to be careful. So first of all, you don't want to be the person, you know, just selling you whatever cryptocurrency, right? I mean that that will just hurt the reputation. That's number one. Number two is the process of making a deity wearing the film and then having it marketed. And now that the shelf life of it is many, many years so that those interviews that I did back then, are maybe not that relevant. Third point is there's so much free content, especially in that space, few podcasts and video views. So I'm not sure how much value it can be, especially because it's kind of out of date. And the last point that I would make, you know, documentary filmmakers know this, you know, out of the two hour interview with someone who's super interesting, like a university professor or a billionaire investor, or like a startup entrepreneur, or have two hours, you might really only be interested in four or five minutes. And for a film, you cut that into two times 20 seconds, that this is the energy, the laugh the energy, right, and then the rest might not be that

Alex Ferrari 19:14
useful. But but but the cryptopia interviews, I'm assuming they're all updated, right? Those are all up to date interviews, right? So that's all there's some value there. I'd argue that you could put together, you know, extended 30 or 40 minute interviews with all of the key people package it all together. And the one thing you might underestimate and this is turned into a coaching session, which is fine, I have no problem doing it. This is very educational for people listening. I feel that you under you're under estimating the emotional attachment to your film, because when I watch a movie, you know I've been vegan for a long long time. And I used to watch all those like you know food for food for for fork over knives and food for thought and all those kind of good stuff. Dorothy cowspiracy all those kinds of things, right? When I would go after I watched the movie, I was so emotionally attached to the film, because it gave me so much information about something I was emotionally attached to. That emotional attachment is extremely powerful. So if I watch cryptopia, and it's given me a lot of information about blockchain about Bitcoin about things that I'm passionate about, if I've gone online, and I've gone to your website, the chances of me being open to purchasing something to extend that experience is extremely high, the the close rate, if you will, would be extremely high, much higher than a cold read that you know, some like I would be considered a hot, a hot customer a hot lead, because I'm coming to your site to investigate what you are about what else you have. And chances are that if you have something else for 4999 9999, maybe a private coaching session about Bitcoin, maybe you know a course about blockchain or Bitcoin, all these other products, if I'm going to be really game, to probably go down that rabbit hole, because I'm emotionally attached to so yes, there's 1000 podcasts, and 1000 other videos about stuff. And you know what, there's 1000 other podcasts that teach about filmmaking, there's 1000 other podcasts, 1000 other books about filmmaking out there, but for whatever reason, you started listening to my podcast, then you bought then which was free, then you bought my book? And then when did he break down,

Torsten Hoffmann 21:42
and then I recommended it to five other people. So

Alex Ferrari 21:45
it works. Well, the concepts work, but then you got emotionally attached to the information I'm giving you because I'm helping you on your journey. So now there's an attachment to to this. So all these other things that I might be able to come up with, like let's say, I come up with a film shoprunner course which I should be doing, but I don't have time. But if like after you read that book, and you're like, oh, at the end, like, by the way, if you want to take the entrepreneurial course, which we can dive in deeper into all these techniques, what are the chances that you're going to go out and probably buy that? Do you see what I mean? So that's why I think you I think you might be leaving a little money on the table. That's just my opinion, just my opinion.

Torsten Hoffmann 22:23
Not 100%, right. It's also time management and things like that, actually, you example about the vegan documentary. I actually, like when I speak at film festivals or something I go, I always mentioned that as a perfect nice group, because they are so so passionate, right? And I think in your book, you had this example, I'm not sure. Was it a cooking folk organized? Or did they have like Homer knives?

Alex Ferrari 22:44
Oh, yeah, family, food matters has their own Empire, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead juicing guy, he built an entire business around two documentaries, basically off one documentary. And then he built out two other documentaries, feeding that space. And then he's got coaches now and people who wanted to learn about juicing, and he has product placement deals with the juicing company, and it's just, it's built all this off of one fairly low budget documentary, it wasn't that great. But there's an emotional attachment. And that's when you when you're able to tap into the emotion with a customer. That's why documentaries are so much easier to sell than a narrative film. Because the narrative and it's so much harder.

Torsten Hoffmann 23:30
Yeah, and especially if you know, your audience, and my audience, luckily, is also pretty clearly defined. And these are great examples. Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 23:37
yeah. So it's something that you might want to think about in the future, you know, cuz you already started doing it with the Udemy course. And it's like, little bit by little bit. But I like I even literally, in my, in my book, if you remember, in my book, I use the book, as a callback for you to go to my websites, constantly throughout the book. I'm inserting, like, if you want more information, go to this link here some more. And I have bonuses that I have on my website. And once I have you on my website, then I can further service you, I could provide more service to you whether it's free, obscene amount of free content, obscene amount of right, I give away way too much content. But I give away a lot of free but I'm like, if you want a little bit more here, you can pay for something.

Torsten Hoffmann 24:20
So So is there a good rule of thumb in terms of how often do you send out offers or promotions or an up sale email to your email list? And because isn't isn't the fear that people will get annoyed and then unsubscribe. But I'm on the other side, I have 4000 email addresses and I've never emailed them because, you know, this is all cryptopia until my next book comes out in two years, I don't really want to make them get annoyed at me.

Alex Ferrari 24:47
So what you would do is if you have a list, you need to start building a relationship with them. So I would I would either be building content, whether that be videos about about blockchain Conversations bonus video interviews that you can post somewhere on YouTube and send it to them like hey, or even better posted behind a paywall, but you're giving it to them for free. And like, if you want to see more, come over here and we have a new, you know, we had another eight hours of this stuff. And you'd be surprised what you find boring, added that to our conversation, somebody else might find fascinating. As long as there's value there, you're not you're the game at the end of the game, you've got to provide value to your audience, you got to provide value to your customer. And as far as selling to them, the way I look at it, because you know, I've my entire business is online, and I have multiple brands and I do multiple things. I provide so much free value, that that's never a question. So I am constantly I mean I produce, I'm so far ahead of anybody else in my space, in regards to the amount of content that I put out. And at the quality that I put out that there's just no one that even comes close to me. It's just because I've been doing that for the last six years. So when I, when I sell, I'll go Hey, guys, we got a new course, if you're interested in distribution, I just did a six hour distribution course that will teach you how not to get screwed by distributors. And I took and I did it personally and it's me going through the whole thing and, and that that course has done extremely well for me for me. But um, but at the end of the game is not about the money. That's the thing, where a lot of people forget that that's where a lot of people fail, is because they're like, Oh, I want to make money with no money. I'm gonna try to get money out of my audience. No, it's not that, how can I serve the audience. So your audience is looking for information about Bitcoin about blockchain, about that kind of technology, I want to go deeper down that rabbit hole, I want to go deeper into the weeds about that. So if I don't give it to you, if you don't give it to me, I'm gonna go find it somewhere else, I'll buy someone else's course I'll so it's up to you, if you've got someone's attention, which you have a great calling card, which is your film, then it's your honestly, it's your job to provide better service to me as the customer, and give me what I'm looking for. Because if I'm going to your website, off of a movie, and I actually took the time in today's world to search for you, and I land on your website, and you don't have something to capture my email, you don't have some sort of free giveaway, you don't have a course, or a special edition, or coaching or courses or anything a mouse pad that says crypto piano, I don't know, whatever it is, I think you're not only failing yourself, but you're filling me as a customer because because it's high intent, right? It's the highest intent

Torsten Hoffmann 27:49
you can ever have that people come and search for your film or for for for you. And then you have to have product and

Alex Ferrari 27:56
and yeah, and I honestly think it's just been I've learned this over the course of my time doing what I do is you've got to prioritize this, you have to prioritize creating product and creating value for your audience that they can pay for. Because they want to reciprocate they want to give back to you. And if you can help them along their journey, you know, as long as you're not, you know, stealing from them or like, you know, charging them obscene amounts of money or something like that for something that there's no value for. But if you're being fair with them, and you're putting in your time, and I'm telling you, they'll be happy so that 4000 people on your list, I would right now just start emailing them like, Hey, I just found this article, even if you curate other people's content, other articles have seen that you provide value to to the audience and then in that you go Oh, by the way, if you want to go deeper down the rabbit hole on blockchain, I just released this. If you've been giving away free free content, content content, when it's time for you to ask for something, it's it's what Gary Vee, Gary Vaynerchuk says, you know Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, you give, give, give, give, give, ask give, give, give, give, give, ask. And that's, that's the way it goes.

Torsten Hoffmann 29:08
Yeah. And you know, the other thing that's obviously coming up soon is that your world in my world will kind of converge soon with with the creator economy and blockchain technology enabling all sorts of new models, right for filmmakers, and creatives, including those NF T's that everybody is now talking about at the moment. So, no,

Alex Ferrari 29:27
I was waiting for you to say NFT I was just waiting to have a conversation about an fd. We'll get to it in a second. But

Torsten Hoffmann 29:33
yeah, no, I'm just I mean at the moment, and people talk about you know, those little NBA clips or maybe a digital piece of artwork, but as soon as soon enough, filmmakers will NFT like, make their mint, their film and maybe even have the royalty streams all on the blockchain. So I think things like that will, let's say give it a year time and then this will become a real model for us.

Alex Ferrari 29:59
So Alright, so For everyone listening, can you explain what the NFT is because now it is exploding after that $70 million art by and the NBA and I've just been I've been personally I've been just watching YouTube video after YouTube video explaining to I think someone's mentioned NF T's to me a little like maybe three or four weeks ago, and then all of a sudden it is exploded in popularity and in design of, of society. Now, everybody knows what an NF T is. And now everyone's like, wait a minute, what's what's going on? I'd love to to just explain what an NF T is for the audience.

Torsten Hoffmann 30:35
Yes, um, so NF T stands for non fungible token. And I will get to what it means a little bit later. But I think the best way to explain it is actually the major major innovation that Bitcoin brought along. And Bitcoin is using its own blockchain as a as kind of like the database is to create something that's digital, but also stops right before that you can copy paste any digital file anything that's available copy paste, there's no value in anything digital, because you can you can multiply it with a blockchain, which is just a shared database that that's run on computers all over the world. Everybody agrees on the same database, who owns what Bitcoin in this case, we suddenly have something that's unique and scars, right? Something digital, in bitcoins case, it's money or digital gold, but it could be tied to something else. So now people are starting to do is they basically tied the ownership or the right, or the authenticity of a digital piece of art into the blockchain. And that's what's called as non fungible. So there's only one unique one token. And there's now this craze going on about people buying into all sorts of NF T's, from hard work to NBA moments to songs, and so surely movies as well.

Alex Ferrari 31:56
Yeah, so that was the thing. So how would a movie work? So let's say I have my my last film on the corner of ego and desire that I shot? Let's say I created an NF T for that, how would that work? Do I need to pull it off all the other platforms? Or is it become a piece of art? Maybe I put something special in it that there's only one of and people or people buy if someone buys it is are they buying it on the basis that I might one day explode as a filmmaker and the value of that goes up? So like if I would have bought the following Chris Nolan's first film, his independent film as an F t, that would that and I own the NF T of the following that I would imagine would be extremely valuable as as a piece of art, because it be like, Oh, my God, they own the work. But how would How would that work in a distribution way? Do I need to pull it off everywhere? How does that work? Well,

Torsten Hoffmann 32:55
let me slip into a slight detour on the answer there. So I think that the thing that will be more relevant for us filmmakers relatively soon, is to use this technology as sort of like a royalty system. So let's say instead of doing a Kickstarter where people give you 10 bucks, but the filmmaker keeps all the rights to themselves. And you could imagine that people buy shares in your film, just like they buy shares and testament, right. And then suddenly, there's, let's say, 1000 people, on your investments, right? And then whatever that Phil makes, it's all recorded and then paid out in real time to your 1000 investors. So I think that as a crowdfunding mechanism, we will see this this happening. That's not an NF T, per se. But but that is, that is something I think, maybe the easier to understand right?

Alex Ferrari 33:44
Now, separate there for a second. So okay, so I've made my movie, I've crowdfunded it through through 1000 people. Now, how am I generating the revenue that's not off of Amazon views like that? Is that people buying that movie? How is how is the money being generated?

Torsten Hoffmann 34:01
So I think, I don't know in the past year or maybe two years, I've probably seen a dozen platforms, usually based in Los Angeles, who kind of do this as a service for filmmakers. They say, Okay, put put your film here, we monetize and then pay you out or pay however many investors you have, in whatever share you have. It's sort of similar to what musicians have done for the longest time, right that the songwriter gets X X percent, and that's collecting societies and this and that, and I think for the movie industry will soon see this. But this has nothing to do with an NF t NF t. So request was kind of kind of different. So NF T is basically you sell the ownership, kind of like to one person to your film, and the idea is if your film becomes a global viral hit, and he talks about it, the value of it goes up right so so that's why there's people because he's a celebrity people think well, his notoriety and his virality and his being famous is just going to increase increase. So that's why his body of work and including that one will increase. So it's kind of like a speculative buy on this thing. And what there's like is this saying in this credit economy that says, well, we're starting to monetize memes. So maybe it's a tweet, maybe it's an idea, maybe, maybe it's a, it's a song, and you can now make money with it,

Alex Ferrari 35:26
you can sell it, it's insane. That's insane. So if I made my movie, and I sold it to you, so your your, you buy my movies, NFT for $5,000, let's just say, Now, you own the rights to that movie, and you could do whatever you want with it, or you just own the right to the NFT. And I can still continue to sell it and do other things with it.

Torsten Hoffmann 35:51
And this is where, you know, you shouldn't buy all the BS that the industry because what do you actually own right, especially when it comes to painting, like the painting is something physical, and you only have like this digital receipt that you also so you have to be very careful. And that's why I say I don't think this is quite ready, especially for filmmakers. So these marketplaces are starting to get real traction for art for artworks. Also just a piece of you know, the digital poster, or maybe some some GIF, right. But for film, this doesn't really exist yet. Plus, we also need platforms that we trust, because if you sell me an NFT, on your on your website, and then you go to two different blockchain and he had here, I mean, I wouldn't trust that process yet, but maybe in one or two years, and that's going to be much more mature as an industry.

Alex Ferrari 36:37
Got it. Okay. But so in theory, in theory, let's say that we we create, we create an NFT, for my film on the corner vehicle and desire, there's going to be a physical representation of that NFT, because I've seen physical representations of it for some of the more higher end art, where they actually send you a package and there's like a digital, like, a little like an iPad, I guess, or something like that, that they give you it's you feel like you own something. And it's not just a digital thing. Like when you split that guy who spent $69.7 million for that insane NFT there is value and I saw what the art the art was, and the guy had been doing it for 13 years, and it's a collage of all his art, like I get, I get it, I don't know if it's worth $70 million, but I get it's not it's not a tweet, that was silver. It's not a banana taped on the wall. Kind of artwork. So let's say we figure out a way to basically give an iPhone that plays my movie in a very special bulletproof sealed case that I shipped to you because you've paid $5,000 for it. And you now own The only NFT of that film. Now my move just like Van Gogh's work, or just like other artists, there's multiple copies of it, there's and there and it's everywhere. It's not like you're the only one, you have the original, but you don't have all the copies that are being sold all over the world. So the only two questions I have for you then is one, you have the original. So you have the bragging rights to say, I have the only NFT of this film. And by the way, Alex just won an Oscar for his latest movie, cry, shooting for the mob, and his latest louver shooting film, he just won an Oscar for it. How Much Does somebody want to pay me for on the corner, he goes out and now you go put it back on the marketplace. And you sell that for a million dollars, let's say. And at that million dollars, I get 10% of that billion dollars as the original artist automatically, and you get 900,000. And now the new art the new owner has that piece of art, which is the film can I I guess I guess I can because if I'm selling you my art, I'm not selling you the copyright to the art I'm selling you the print the the limited edition version of it. It's It's its own product that cannot be replicated. And there is no other NFT. So there is scarcity in it. So like if it is a piece of art, like that guy sold the seven, the 69 whatever the $70 million. I assume that there's versions of all of that art that he sold all of it because

Torsten Hoffmann 39:24
Yeah, because that would make it more valuable right the more this piece of artists in virtual reality universes and and your newspapers, the more it gets talked about, just like with the big Picasso paintings or whatever, the more valuable the more famous and it gets, right. I mean, I think there's no doubt about it. But what you just mentioned Actually, I should have mentioned myself, so thanks for that. The key one of the key inventions is not that this digital thing is suddenly worth something because it's a unique, more fungible token. invention has also value as the original creator in that smart contract. Can all be compensated, because in the traditional art world, right, so that artists sells it for $1,000 to the art gallery, and the art gallery makes a million bucks, but the original artists will never see any of that million. But but but with this digitized kind of proof of chain chain chain of title, you can always get a kickback of 10%, which makes you and a lot of other creators join these marketplaces. Right? And then the community of investors comes along because it's suddenly it's a thing so so I guess what I'm saying here is this with these emerging things, is not like one one silver bullet. It doesn't happen overnight. But look at fortnight fortnight is a multi billion dollar economy, right? People buy thoughts or capes or whatever on fortnight's and Bitcoin and other digital good, right that maybe 100 million people all over the world now own, and it's worth a trillion dollars. So it is it's not just one thing, the whole puzzle piece must must fit together.

Alex Ferrari 40:54
There is a place for independent film, there is a place for film somewhere in this ecosystem in this economy. It there's still I don't think there is I think you're right, we're still a few years away. I think it's going to take a minute to get there. But I think there is something there that look, I've been saying it from the top of the of the mountain for a while now. Our the system is broken, the distribution system is broken for filmmakers, and for artists in general. And there has to be some sort of change. And I think that blockchain Bitcoin, that technology is the future, there's no doubt about it, just just no doubt about that. It's going to be the future. What that future is, though, is going to be the question, who's going to who's going to crack that nut, because that's going to take a minute to crack and and there's people working on it as we're speaking right now. But once it's cracked, it could really change the game for for us as independent artists, because right now, he's like, you just said you're getting kicked off of Amazon and you were, you were being insulted with one penny per hour of viewing it was an insult. I mean, if they could pay you fractions of a penny they would have. So even at that point, they're like, yeah, you're still not good enough and still not going to be there. So to have this ability to be able to be paid every time the art gets sold again and again and again, in perpetuity, in perpetuity. This is all going to constantly be coming in it sounds very utopia. As for artists I mean it sounds extremely utopia like but

Torsten Hoffmann 42:31
yeah he maybe cryptopia

Alex Ferrari 42:33
maybe maybe even a cryptopia sir if you're if I may take a very popular films named title. But no, I think what you're I think you are doing great great stuff with your films and what you're thinking of. I'm assuming there's an NF t movie coming out soon if not you should be working on it right now.

Torsten Hoffmann 42:53
So you need to provide me with some drama so either you will become the first independent billionaire independent filmmaker billionaire all you lose your whole empire with some sort of hack

Alex Ferrari 43:06
and that's the thing and that's a way for people listening who are not really familiar with blockchain there is no way to hack this to haven't there hasn't been a hack for this yet is there there is no way to there's it is as secure as anything that's ever been invented purely because it's so transparent, right?

Torsten Hoffmann 43:25
Yes, it's so the the big blockchains like Bitcoin and aetherium are virtually unhackable for sure. Otherwise, somebody would take this trillion dollar value immediately out so that's impossible. However, I mean, to be careful your you can lose your your private keys, or you can transfer to a third party, right? You trust it to Bitcoin bank to these cryptocurrency exchanges, who of course can be hacked. So so it's always a little bit tricky. That's part of my story in my film, so so we are kind of getting rid of middleman the banks and the governments but we're creating other like dependencies, like new elites, crypto elites, right, that we have to trust on so and there's always human nature and greed, you know, all these all these kinds of elements that make the film

Alex Ferrari 44:09
right now if you if you purchase a Bitcoin, it needs to stay in a Bitcoin bank, it can't It can't just live in a in an account, like, how does that work?

Torsten Hoffmann 44:18
Yeah, good question. So So you go to a central service like blockchain.com or coinbase.com in America, but the the common practice among people who are really into this technology and movement is to then store it, just by yourself. So literally, you can just basically remember your your past quote unquote, code, which is 12 security words, or you write down your, you know, private, private key, and do not rely on a third party. So that's the whole point of it. But most people don't do that. Most people keep it on exchange and those exchanges can be act

Alex Ferrari 44:56
a god and so that's the problem. So and that's where that guy who's got like, 70 million 100 mil whatever, whatever ridiculous amount that he because he started off early on, he lost his number and he lost the hard drive that had that key and can't get out. So he literally has it's impossible for him to get that back. He can't call anybody, there's no, there's no support number. So there is that there are those risks involved? Like Imagine if you had $100 million worth of gold in a vault that can never be opened? is essentially what he's got?

Torsten Hoffmann 45:32
Sure. But I mean, look, if you try to tell me that gold is better, you know, it seems like the people that try to leave Venezuela with with lost savings in a few gold coins, they get stopped at the border and the police takes take the gold away, right. And with Bitcoin, you can cross the border with 12 words in your head, right? Whether you're in North Korea, or in America, it's permissions right? So it's always pros and cons.

Alex Ferrari 45:57
It's there's, there's there's pros and cons with all of it. And also like, you know, you can walk into it, you could basically go anywhere in the world right now with a gold coin and get into cash, because it's gold, if they can prove it's gold, gold is accepted pretty much everywhere on the planet. Bitcoin isn't just yet. So there's pros and cons for all but you're right, like, how are you going to walk out with, let's say $60 million. With a gold you're not walking out. You're not walking out with it unless gold skyrockets to $100,000 an ounce, you're not walking out with that much gold. But you can walk out with that with goodwill.

Torsten Hoffmann 46:36
And look, the other element here. That's why it's big, becoming bigger and bigger. Right? It's the the idea that all the governments including the Fed in America are printing trillions and trillions of dollars and look, whether you're a fan of wars or social security or COVID really funny, no matter your politics, there's just you know, the the chart of money supply is just going like exponentially up. Right? And in that environment, the value proposition of a very finite amount of Bitcoin that actually gets less and less every year is the appeal. That's why it has become sort of like a digital gold. Potentially. Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 47:11
yeah. And there's mining right now there's people mining as we speak, trying to find the other Bitcoin out there. And in there's, there's, like I saw, I mean, I've saw your documentary, I've seen so many others, that there's farms, there's like mining farms, that is just use an obscene amount of power, just to just constantly hack, hack, hack until they find a hack. But you know, mind mind, mind, too, they get a Bitcoin, and they get so many bitcoins a day. But if you get three bitcoins a day, that's 180 grand in current, a current market, but it costs you maybe 50,000 pounds worth, like, it's obscene, like, you know, the infrastructure, all that stuff. Yeah.

Torsten Hoffmann 47:50
And that's actually a good good note, because common criticism, a valid criticism against Bitcoin, that is a blockchain that runs on this proof of work system. So you need powerful mining computers, which consume a lot of energy. However, you just mentioned, that the trick, the trick is you need to be ultra efficient. The more energy you have, the more computing power, the more of these Bitcoin rewards you're going to find. That means those mining farms are usually located with the price of energy is cheapest, which is wind farms, solar farms, geothermal, so they are basically not not in the city. They're kind of where the power generation is. And the cheapest power generation nowadays is solar in I think, 120 countries in the world. So yes, it is energy intensive, but it is a little bit greener than maybe, you know, the Skype call that we use.

Alex Ferrari 48:39
Oh, it's and it's also probably greener than mining for gold. That's for sure. Yeah. I mean, mining for gold has become so so difficult and so, so expensive, and just hurting me because I have to go dig deeper, deeper, deeper, deeper, deeper to find it. So it's it's a fascinating conversation. I think we've gotten a little bit off topic, but I think we're but but this is this was a really good conversation. There was one thing I wanted to ask you, there was another movie you did. And we talked a little bit about this before we got on called marketing the Messiah that you did as a production. And you were telling me that that didn't that didn't really find its its home yet. Can you talk a little bit about that, if you don't mind?

Torsten Hoffmann 49:18
Yeah, sure. So marketing, the Messiah is a film that I reached out to a podcast, a history podcaster. And he has a good network and a good platform for history nerds, I would say. And so he made this film as a director and writer, his first film, and I was the producer on the background, a background, and I had actually high hopes for the distribution of it. Because I knew it's a it's a topic that might be interesting to people who want to know about the real story of the first couple of years of Jesus's kind of work before you know the whole religion was built around it. But for some reason, I mean, look up, it's always hard to kind of understand it completely. But the film was too long for TV. I mentioned that earlier with with cryptopia. Also, maybe too controversial for for American audience especially. So we have lots of 10 nine stars on IMDB, but also quite a few zero and one star. So maybe maybe that also hurts the distribution. And so what we're doing now is Avon, so we are on IMDB TV, we're doing a little bit of Amazon and now YouTube. That's that's the way to go for this one.

Alex Ferrari 50:27
Right and, and the thing is, when I saw the trailer for it, I was like, I first of all, I'm fascinated, I can't wait to watch it. But because I'm into that kind of stuff, I'm like, I love marketing. And I'm like, arguably, Jesus is one of the best marketed you know, people in history. I mean, you can't argue mean literally, when the Vatican is hiring Matt, Michelangelo to paint? You know, I mean that that was the marketing of its day. So I was fascinated with it. But when I saw it of the Who the hell's the audience for this? Because people who are believers and follow Christianity are not going to probably want to see it maybe if you will, but not a lot. And then who is the audience? I think that's where you kind of fell into that, like, Who? Who are we targeting here? It's a little bit, it's not as easy as cryptopia, which is like, okay, now, here's my audience. Here's the thing that it's done. Where this is about.

Torsten Hoffmann 51:22
Yeah, at the same time, I mean, it's, it's so tempting to, to, like make these assumptions or like, analyze it after the fact. But I mean, I just recently rewatched searching for sugar man, right? This totally unknown 60 singer. Nobody has heard of a fantastic story. Fantastic Film won the Oscar. But who would have thought that before you make us who is the audience for this? Right? It's three people in South Africa. Right? And the biggest hit of the of the year? So it is a little bit tricky. That one, but yeah,

Alex Ferrari 51:55
it but that's, I think the thing that caught it's just a comeback. It's like a comeback story. It's it's rocky Yeah, with with a musician, you know, and the whole search in the hunt. And it's like, oh, my God and all that. It's just such a such a brilliant if you haven't guys haven't seen searching for sugar, man, please do so. But But you're right, though, it could have just fallen flat on its face. And, you know, it could have been huge in South Africa where he was huge. And that's essentially it. So you really don't know. But I think something like we're topia is so specific, and you really understand who that audience is. And if there's, I'm going to bet better than not that it's going to reach an audience because that audience is very hot right now. It's very interested. It's kind of like if you were, if you did an audience as you did a documentary on compuserve and the future of AOL, like that probably wouldn't, wouldn't hit really well today. It might have hit well, years ago, but it wouldn't hit well today. So anyway, um, I appreciate appreciate you coming on the show. Let me ask you a few questions. I asked everybody. What advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today?

Torsten Hoffmann 53:01
Yeah, just start start with something small start on tik tok start on Instagram or YouTube. That's the nice thing about our our age that you don't really need much budget or much skill, so to speak, there's so much available for free.

Alex Ferrari 53:14
What lesson took you the longest to learn in the film business or in life?

Torsten Hoffmann 53:23
I'm going to give a different answer here I am on like a counter intuitive one, my partner Michael told me about cryptopia that don't be afraid to put your personality in the film and on the film. So is kind of the journey of me asking these people controversial questions about you know, my own confusion, my own excitement. And I became, you know, the host of the film, which was never the idea originally, but I think it was a good decision. It helped the film and it helped my profile right and and hopefully will build my platform later. So I think that one took me a long time to learn.

Alex Ferrari 54:04
Yeah, put it that's the only secret sauce you have brother is you like that you are the NFT of of yourself. Like there is no you are non fungible, you are non fungible, there is no other you in the world. So that's what as artists, that's the only currency we have in our art is to put ourselves into it, and express who we are, because

Torsten Hoffmann 54:26
that's what what Americans do so much better than the rest of the world are much better at self promotion. And I wasn't perkara it was for me it was the right decision. And I assume for many independent filmmakers it will be and if you look at those big Netflix deals nowadays, it Konya not just sell like a $30 million documentary to Netflix or something. I mean, this is all about like big egos big personalities, but the big platform and and yeah, you have to be someone to get those kind of big deals, right.

Alex Ferrari 54:53
Yeah, I haven't gotten mine yet. But I'm I'm hoping for my $30 million deal with Netflix. It's coming soon. It's coming soon. And lastly, a one are three of your favorite films of all time?

Torsten Hoffmann 55:03
I'm gonna with matrix I'm going to go with inside job, Bob the financial crisis and you know, just something Star Trek, something like positive sci fi kind of, you know, like everything is good humanity's striving towards a better future.

Alex Ferrari 55:22
I think I think the combination of matrix and inside job is a perfect, perfect utopia origin story. It's really really great. Torsten, thank you so much for being on the show, man. It's been a pleasure having you and I look forward to seeing your next few next films and what's up what's going to happen to our whole business with this technology. So I appreciate you shining some light on it man. Thank you so much.

Torsten Hoffmann 55:46
Thanks, pleasure watching you work and you grow and we'll be in touch maybe next year and talk about NFT's or whatever

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IFH 472: How to Make Money Selling Indie Feature Film NFTs


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If you’ve already listened to my last episode on NFT, then this one will feel like a bonus. But for those of you who haven’t, we explored a new territory this week in indie film and blockchain. My guests today are the filmmakers, Trevor Hawkins, and Nathan Kincaid, pioneers of the first-ever film sold as a non-fungible token, Lotawana. Which will be released soon. 

A monotonous life has pushed the unfulfilled Forrest (Todd Blubaugh) to a voyage of self-discovery by living amongst nature aboard his sailboat, Lorelei, on an alluring Missouri lake. Soon he catches wind of the rebellious and free-spirited Everly (Nicola Collie) and their idealistic dreams align. This thrilling and thought-provoking romantic journey follows the wanderlust couple as they are confronted by the challenges of their unconventional chosen path.

The Kansas City natives have worked extensively in commercials and short film production; often in partnership. 

Their decision to put Lotawana up as an NFT as an experiment was encouraged after a crash course on NTF from Trevor’s brother-in-law. They were trying to figure out the distribution and financing of their next film amid COVID. Nathan and Trevor saw the path as a viable stream to generate revenue and attention for their indie film. In thirty days they have seen a return of a fifth of their production budget. 

There’s no denying that NTFs might just become a brave new world that will change the playing field for all creatives. Especially for digital artists. It’s unclear what the future of NTFs will be, yet is an adventurous avenue for filmmakers to explore, interpret and utilize in ways that add value to their art and its ownership.

The guys and I didn’t talk only NFT in this conversation. You will hear a bit about the soul-crushing challenges of shooting commercials, the filmmaker’s ultimate best investment – lenses, and much more. 

Enjoy my informative conversation with Trevor Hawkins and Nathan Kincaid.

Alex Ferrari 0:00
I'd like to welcome to the show Trevor Hawkins and Nathan Kincaid, man How you guys doing?

Trevor Hawkins 0:09
Great, man. Thanks for having me.

Alex Ferrari 0:10
Oh, thanks. Yeah, I'm so I'm so happy to have you guys man. It's it is uh, you know, you guys came on my radar a little while ago when when I saw something about NF T's fly by and I was like, wait a minute, I've heard of these NF T's some guy just sold an NF T for $70 million, or some craziness. And I'm like, Oh, wait, there's some filmmakers being involved in this stuff. I'm like, let me let me check out what you did. And I saw some articles that were written about you in your film. And I was just like, well, I got I got to talk about that I got I got I got to get in there. So from the moment that you we actually book this, to the moment that we're actually recording it I of course have done obscene amounts of research into NF T's Bitcoin blockchain and the whole ball of wax. I mean, I've seen every little every documentary ever made about this, the subject matter.

Trevor Hawkins 1:02
You might be more of an expert than we are at this point.

Alex Ferrari 1:05
But your interview you but but the thing is, though, but you guys are in it, like you guys are in the weeds on it. So like all I have is just knowledge but you guys are like in the weeds doing stuff and I want to see how it's working out for you and everything. So before we jump into NF T's blockchain and all these kind of buzzwords that everyone's hearing out there, how did either both of you guys get into the business?

Trevor Hawkins 1:29
I just picked up a camera in high school and sort of filming my friends skateboarding and wakeboarding and love the skateboarding wakeboarding videos more than I liked the actual sport. I fell in love with the art bit and then in high school, I went to my buddy, his name's Brian Freeman's house. And in one week, we watched in his parents basement, Requiem for a Dream, Donnie Darko and A Clockwork Orange and Blue blew my mind. That's a heavy week. Is that a week? I just like? Yeah, and one week and that was I wasn't even really that familiar with cinema at that point. And so it obviously knocked my socks off. And I've been in love with it ever since. And I've been chasing it ever since.

Alex Ferrari 2:07
Wow, that's that's a heavy week, brother. Man. That is a heavy, heavy week, man. How about you, Nathan?

Nathan Kincaid 2:15
Yeah. In high school, kind of similar. I was a kid I had a camcorder in the trunk of my Pontiac Grand Damn.

Alex Ferrari 2:23
Well, well played, sir. Well played. Yeah.

Nathan Kincaid 2:28
I had to go to college. I was like a family stipulation. But here in Missouri, there was no film program. So as a communication major, felt like it just weren't getting straight, scratched, cinematic itches. So I was shooting for the athletic department. I was up on a scissor lift, filming football practices. I was under the hoop shooting basketball games. And then I decided to go to film school for a master's degree. And LA is always it's funny that we're here talking about what we're doing with NFT's from Missouri, because I've always kind of had a side I at Los Angeles, just from reading the trades and down and dirty pictures was a book that made it really impact on me. Yeah. Yeah. So I was like, and then I've always been a huge Coppola fan. And so I went to film school in San Francisco. Yeah. And then it was during a time when digital was really starting to take over. But at the school I was at, they were like, digital will never take over film. And says like, okay, so I learned film and came up in that, and which I'm grateful for, you know, in hindsight, because it makes you pre visualize and be more prepared and all that stuff. But then after school, I didn't want to take the well paved road to Los Angeles. So I came back to Kansas City to kind of figure it out. And it really wasn't soon after that, that I met Trevor. And I found a kindred spirit and someone else who really was like, serious about doing this, and then we just started getting in the local game. And then eventually that led to a lot of commercial work. And so we both currently make a living in this market doing commercial production. Yeah, that's what we've been doing for the last decade basically.

Alex Ferrari 4:26
And I've said it on the show a million times. I think some of the best best ground you can work to get experience is commercials for film because you work the of course you learn the craft, but it's the politics man, the politics, the politics of the set, how to handle clients how to do that. It's just walks right into like how to animate investors that I know producers. If you get into the studios, how do you how do executives and how you balance everything, egos and all of that stuff. So it's a great training ground for for all of that. But now, tell me about your film. If I pronounce it correctly, Lotawana,

Trevor Hawkins 5:03
you nailed it.

Alex Ferrari 5:05
Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. So tell me about your film Lotawana

Trevor Hawkins 5:10
yeah so, Lotawana is a story about a young couple that live on a sailboat. And they're sort of, I guess, over a bit fed up with their superficial materialistic lives they've been leading. And so they sort of recreate this world for themselves. I don't sailboat. And maybe because of a bit of lack of preparedness, that world comes crashing down on them. And so the whole movie is sort of a thought experiment to the viewer of, can we rewrite our own rules of modern existence? Or does society operated a way for a reason as sort of like, ideally, idealism meets realism, kind of, it was born out of the idea that at one point, I was gonna leave for a few years to sail around the world with one of my friends. But that would mean I'd have to give up on my biggest hustle, my own indie film, hustle, my dream of becoming a filmmaker and making films. And I'd have to give up all of that momentum. And so I had this moment where I realized that I had to stay home. And I had to give up on that, like adventure dream to sort of keep my filmmaking dream alive. And so I'm just really interested in that interface. They're like, Can we still live authentic, unique, fulfilling lives while still sort of, you know, like, doing commercial work doing Wendy's commercials?

Alex Ferrari 6:29
to stay alive, bro. Hey, hey, listen, man, I started off in commercials as well, man. So I completely understand it. So it's, yeah, sometimes you're like, if you ever done tabletop? Yo, yeah. Oh, tabletops. That's, that's a whole other level of crazy with the client to like, you know, can you move? Can you move the cup this way? It's not listening properly. And you're like, what am I doing with my life? Like, why am I here? Like, it's not even, like, Really? But then you look at the check. You're like, Okay.

Nathan Kincaid 7:04
I gotta piggyback that man. We had a moment one time and it was slow motion, like fried onion ring bits being and people were analyzing, like, which way they bounced when they hit?

Alex Ferrari 7:15
Yeah, yeah. Oh, no, we lost the production company was that they lost the account, because the catch up, looked too bloody in the shot, and they in no one caught it. And like they did this kind of like this kind of sweep across. And they're like, yeah, this director has no idea how to shoot catch up. And you're like, Wow, man, this is? This is this is a thing? I don't understand. Yeah. This is maybe maybe I should make a left turn here.

Trevor Hawkins 7:45
And I could go down this dark road with you for a long time. No,

Alex Ferrari 7:48
no, no, no, no, this is not this is not this. We're not here to talk about the horrors of working in the garage. And how soul crushing it can be sometimes sometimes it's fun. But it's it's a bit, there's an off balance there. But um, so when you guys finished your movie, I'm assuming you looked at the distribution landscape and said, well, there's only money to be made here during the traditional distribution ways. I'm sure all these distributors are going to just give us lots and lots of money going to be completely transparent with everything. And we should be able to recoup all of our budget and then some so enough to be able to make another movie. Is that what the conversation was like? Yeah. Yeah. So that's

Nathan Kincaid 8:31
Trevor, you know, we got all these amazing offers. We're just I guess we should just close your eyes to pick one.

Alex Ferrari 8:38
All we see is money. all we see is money in like complete transparency everywhere. Like what Netflix absolutely take two of those. Like, it's, I joke about this for everyone who's listening. If it was, this is their first episode. I joke about this because it's the satis situation that we have as filmmakers is to deal with getting our films out there. So when you look at the landscape, and obviously it wasn't probably what you were looking for, because last I checked, Brad Pitt doesn't star in your movie with Leonardo DiCaprio, right? So it's not yet. So it's a tough sell. It's just looking at the movie. From a trailer standpoint. It looks by the way stunning. It's gorgeous. It's beautifully shot. The story sounds fantastic. But in the marketplace, this is going to be it's an interesting sell. It's an interesting sell to get it out there into the marketplace. So what made you guys that said, You know what, let's, let's bet everything on going down a different road.

Trevor Hawkins 9:36
You want to take it, Nathan?

Alex Ferrari 9:38
for everyone for everyone listening and not seeing their videos. Both their faces froze for a second smiles came up on their faces and they just said Where do you want to go? You go you go fight? Well,

Nathan Kincaid 9:48
I mean, what we've been saying is and everyone that's listening to this podcast is gonna is gonna I think align with this and that is we're in this crazy world now. Where It's easier to make a movie than it is to get anyone to see it, you know. And it's just not the same as it was like there are perceived barriers to entry that there would have been to get a film camera and to get film and put it crew together that way. So basically, we've kind of had our own thematic journey as we've gone on making this movie. And we've always done everything. We've always taken every step of the way to think outside of the box. We've considered the traditional options everywhere we could, but we also step back and we're like, Okay, well, because we're not a big machine. We have nimble opportunities to do things that larger budgets and entities wouldn't be able to have. So if you go all the way back to the beginning of the movie, we were entertaining some like presale offers, but those were contingent on us getting well. Not Brad Pitt, but certainly name market. marketable talent. Yeah, we would love to work with Brad, by the way, because we're all from Missouri.

Alex Ferrari 11:09
Hey, Brad. Hey, Brad, if you're listening, we're all willing to work with you, sir. I know, it's tough out there for you right now, Brad. But if you're willing, any three, or any one of us in the West,

Nathan Kincaid 11:19
bucket list, homie. And so basically, once we saw that we could do a pre sale with a certain amount of budget with certain talent, that also then I'm putting together the schedule. And I'm starting to tell Trevor, like, so we can afford, like, 20 day shoot, maybe. And we're thinking, Man, this is our first movie, we want a little breathing room, you know. And so at a certain point, we said, okay, you know, we're going to, we're going to find our own talent. And once we did that, that opened up the playbook for us. And so for example, we decided to shoot on these lakes every season, you know, not just three weeks consecutive in one month that gave you one look, suddenly, our playbook opened up. And it was like, Okay, cool. Let's shoot a week in February when it's snowing, then let's pick up in late spring, let's do you know, and fall and everything. And so, for us, by the time we got to the, to looking at the ways to get this movie out there. Well, first of all, also, there's the whole era of COVID. We were so excited for film festivals. I mean, that's it as an indie filmmaker, that's your reward, kind of Sure. To meet people like yourself and and other filmmakers and to talk about it and stuff. And so that stuff didn't happen. And then basically, when the NFT possibility showed up, like this little dangly sparkly thing. Well, basically, Trevor and Trevor's wife, who's the CO producer with me on the film, their brother in law, had been looking into what NF T's were, and this is like second week of March. And so he was talking to Trevor's wife about her maybe releasing this album, she's been working on musically as an NF T. And then it just the conversation evolved from there. And they spent a weekend looking into it. And then they kind of pitched it to me. And I was just like, Oh, yeah, I see. I see this, what this is, and so, and again, because we weren't, we didn't have investors that we had to get permission from. We just had to decide on on our own if this is what we want to do. And it's it's just like, Well, what do we have to lose? Really?

Alex Ferrari 13:45
So, so Okay, so we've been talking about NF T's NF T's Can you explain to the audience, what is an NF? t?

Nathan Kincaid 13:52
You can do that part, Trevor?

Trevor Hawkins 13:55
Okay. So the way I understand in ft as of the last month and a half is they exist on the blockchain and the blockchain is one irrefutable code that exists in one unit all around the world. And it exists across all types of computers that are always cross referencing and cross checking each other. So if anybody tries to counterfeit the blockchain, it's essentially impossible because they'll get caught. And I don't know the repercussions of what happens. They just can't,

Alex Ferrari 14:24
I can't I can't, I just can't because it it ruins everything else afterwards. Yeah,

Trevor Hawkins 14:29
sure, sure. And so what that's done is, throughout time, if an artist were to paint a painting, and then hold it in their hands, they can take it to a gallery and the gallery can quantify that and say this painting is worth this much because there's only one, but enter the age of digital art where if you create a piece of digital art, whether it be a cat meme, or a movie like us or an album, or a digital painting, you can recreate that digitally an infinite number of times, essentially losing value to everyone. One of the copies there's never been an original. There technically was but it doesn't matter to people because it's non verifiable. And so what happens with the blockchain is, since you can have one blockchain and one blockchain only if you upload your art to the blockchain in a process called minting, then you all of a sudden have verifiable proof that cannot be broken. That that is the original piece of art that has ever existed. So if I were to make a cat meme, and uploaded on to the blockchain as an NF t, then that will forever be the first cat meme that I have that that there's ever been a reason by you bite me. And then the reason why that has value is just like, why does anybody care about hanging original art in their house versus just a replica, everybody feels the value of the authenticity there. And so for the first time ever, digital art has had an authentication process of originality. And so that's why this whole thing is sort of stormed and flared up as all these digital artists are running into this space. And we've been really lucky because we like Nathan said, when this whole thing kind of exploded, we were standing there with the recently completed indie film in our hands. And nobody had done this with an indie film yet. And so we just kind of took the plunge. Like Nathan said, we weren't beholden to anybody, I actually mortgaged my house to make the movie. And so we own the movie outright. Nathan, myself and my wife, Cory. And so we didn't have to ask permission to anybody, and we just threw it up as an NF T. And we have a few different NF T's available. Some of them are copyright NF T's we have a collection of those where if anybody purchases, one of our copyright, NF T's, they will actually become one of the shareholders have the theatrical cut of our movie and join in with decision making, and profit sharing and everything that goes with owning a cut of a indie film. And then we have a world premiere NFT, which we're really excited about as well that if anybody purchases one of these world premiere NF T's, then they're going to be the first people on the planet to watch the world premiere of this movie, like Nathan was saying, we don't have festivals right now with COVID. And the ones that we've been accepted to have all said they're just doing a digital thing. And we haven't been stoked about that. And so this is essentially our festival run, as Nathan's been saying, and what's kind of cool about it is that forever world premieres have been a localized thing and a physical city with physical people going into physical theater. And now anyone from around the world could join our world premiere, we're also offering a couple other smaller NF T's just entry level things like frame grabs in the movie. And we've got a list of mile long of drops that we plan on doing here in the near future. We're excited though, because what we found is that our specific NF T's are turning into what they're calling legacy tokens, because like you said, we were the first through the door, that now people are caring about the first NBA one, the first Ilan must tweet the first, pretty much every type of NF t that comes to the door. And we've secured our place in history in this whole new frontier. And we're honestly, we're not experts on the blockchain. Whenever my brother in law told us about it, we frantically googled what an NFT was just like everybody else. And so we're kind of making it up as we go. But we feel really confident. And we're really stoked about where things have come so far already with it. Because I mean, just in the last month or so, we've made back a fifth of our production budget. And that's just within within the first month. And what's sweet about NF T's is after you sell in enough NFT and then subsequent purchases, like say, if that buyer were to resell that to another buyer, you can set your what's the word

Alex Ferrari 19:03
percent

Trevor Hawkins 19:04
percentage to where you would get, I think the industry standard is

Alex Ferrari 19:08
10%,

Trevor Hawkins 19:09
which is what we went with, we'll get 10% of resale resells down the road. So as legacy tokens raise and value, we will we will see money coming from that down the road. And our end goal is to turn this around and be able to use this whole new marketplace and this whole new frontier to fund our next film that we've already got written and ready to go.

Alex Ferrari 19:32
So Lego so legacy tokens are essentially the rookie card of of the artist essentially. So this is the Mickey Mantle rookie card. Or

Nathan Kincaid 19:42
it's not just the rookie card of a player. It's kind of the rookie card of a sport. Well, you

Alex Ferrari 19:47
have a you have a you have a rookie card of the sport because you're the first out the gate, doing something like this. But then being the one that gets that not only That legacy token, but of Trevor's first film out there, and I, you know, I, the way I've explained it, to some people is like, imagine if, you know, you had Quinn Tarantino's NFT for my best friend's birthday, which is the unreleased first feature he ever did, you know, or the Reservoir Dogs NFT.

Trevor Hawkins 20:25
Right.

Alex Ferrari 20:25
And all of a sudden when quitting blew up that NFT would be extremely valuable. So when you're purchasing an NF t from an artist, which is what's going on here, you're betting not only on the NFT, but you're also offering something else. And there's, there's multiple different kinds of NF T's, which we'll talk about in a second. But you're also betting that Trevor is his next movie is going to be the Avengers, obviously. And then, and then and then he wins the Oscar for the Avengers first time ever, and then you know, things like that, and then all of a sudden that NFT turns into a much more valuable proposition. I know you're he's he's blushing By the way, everyone he's actually blushing right now. But that's it, but that's the thing you'd like, you know, if you're, if you're buying NFT's from Sundance Film Festival, guys and gals, you know, how many of those if we would if there was NF T's in the 90s? How much would add burns Richard Linklater, Spike Lee or you know, Steven Soderbergh all those all this videotape. Yeah, yeah. All those NFT's what would they be worth today? You know, if there was something like that's a woman when I was looking into NFT's, the first that I just couldn't grasp it, I couldn't grasp it. I'm like, Okay, I get it, I get it. But then it just like, Oh, it's a rookie card. Got it. Okay. And then every movie is another season that he's playing in the maybe that that movie, so let's say your next movie blows up. That's the year that you won the MVP, and you won the World Series. You know, but other seasons, maybe other movies don't pop that way. And they're not as valuable because of you know, but it like in any filmmakers career, some movies are much more valuable than other films, depending on

Trevor Hawkins 21:59
I think that's a great analogy. I haven't heard of put that. That's actually quite, I said thing.

Nathan Kincaid 22:04
I've been a baseball card one and then also you think about like, amazing Spider Man number one or

Alex Ferrari 22:09
something comic? Yep. Yep. Well, it's like, it's like a, it's like in comic books, I was a comic book, I've been a comic book collector, most of my life, you know, there's different issues that have more value because of what happens in the issue. So the first the first appearance of venom and the first appearance of the Green Goblin or whatever that you know, the different things are when Spider Man suit turns black, or these kind of things, these events make those issues more More, more popular, and hence more valuable. Same thing would happen with NF T's. So you already have a rookie card scenario, you have your amazing, not amazing Spider Man. Number one, you have amazing fantasies number 15, which is the first appearance of spider man with a lot of wanna, right now. And you're also like, oh, by the way, you're also the first comic book, that's a legacy token. So that's essentially what you guys have in this thing. And then as as your careers continue to grow the value of this not only from the point of view of being the first comic book, and the first appearance of Trevor, as a filmmaker, and, you know, as a creator, or creative creator behind this, and forgive me, if there's other creators, I'm just using you as an example driver behind this, but then the value goes up. But then there's sometimes you might have in 1941, like Spielberg did, you know, he had Jaws, Close Encounters 1941. And then all of a sudden, 1941 might not be as valuable then Raiders of the Lost Ark came up, and then that NFT is gonna explode as well. So that's the kind of, that's the way I see it in my head. And that's the only way I can make any sense of it all. But it's extremely exciting. potential, and I feel that no one's really figured it out yet. No One No One everyone's still trying to figure it out. Literally, by the day, I've been having conversations with distribution guys about figuring it out. They're all trying to figure out how to crack the nut. They all know something's cool here and they all know is the future. But um, like I was just thinking I'm like, this is a no brainer for like Disney. This is no brainer for like, you know, you're gonna buy the Avengers on it. Yeah, I'm sure that like they I'm sure there's going to be an Avengers, you know, you know, or the next Black Panther. Can you imagine an NFT for Black Panther? You know, after Chadwick unfortunately passed, like the value of that, like, Oh my god, how much I mean, what and even before his passing just the explosion of what that movie was, imagine if there was an NFT for that works. I think the NBA guys have been doing that the best the top shot, guys.

Trevor Hawkins 24:28
I mean, there's we've been fortunate enough to talk to some like development companies in ft world right now. And they're talking exactly like you the actual people writing the code and developing this world right now are saying to themselves that we don't know where this is gonna go. We don't know if we're gonna be the ones right now. All these tech companies are rushing in like, the gold rush of 19,000,049 whatever year that was 1490 whatever. Right. But yeah, right now No one knows what's going to happen. It's a brave new world. And we're lucky enough to be the first ones out of the gate and entire film industry.

Alex Ferrari 25:06
That's insane. Man, that's absolutely insane. Now with NF t, so you have there's different kinds of NF T's. So you actually are selling? Basically, points, essentially, you're selling like points on of the film through distribution. And is it only for the theatrical one? Or is it for all of the distribution of your film, because I know Kevin Smith is releasing his next movie, and giving, like literally just selling and auctioning off his entire distribution rights to his films. So what is yours?

Trevor Hawkins 25:34
So yeah, we have a few different types of NF T's and just how we kind of took a note from when we were researching, we kind of took a note from Kings of Leon, when they released their album, and Grimes and a few other folks, when they released their music, you also get these bonus things with them. And so we kind of took a note from their style. And in addition to the, to the NFT itself, the NF T is literally only a chunk of code on the blockchain. So if you buy a normal NF T, that's really all you're getting, you don't own the copyright to the piece of art, you don't own copyright to anything else. But with us, if you buy one of our copyright, NF T's, then the bonus you get with that is an actual share of the theatrical cut of the movie. And so it's you would own that cut of the film. So wherever that theatrical cut goes off and lives in the world, you would own a part of that and own be entitled to any profits to that. The counterintuitive part is that the value of what you're purchasing in ft, is really just the NFT itself. Because as everybody knows, becoming an investor and owner and an indie film has never been a get rich, quick scheme. And

Alex Ferrari 26:52
really quickly, how do you how do you make? How do you make a million? How do you make a million dollars in the film industry? You start off, you start with a billion. Oh,

Trevor Hawkins 27:03
exactly. And so the day if and when lotto Juana turns a profit, then absolutely all of our shareholders who have purchased these NF T's will be entitled to that. But really the value, and the cool piece of this whole bit is just owning that NF t itself. And then, and like I said, the other collection that we've got is the world premiere, the bonus you get with that world premiere NF T is that you'll be the first person to ever watch that movie in the public world premiere of a lot of one. So that's kind of like a ticket stub. The NF T is really the ticket stub, and along with that ticket stub, you get to go to the event.

Alex Ferrari 27:40
Now do you actually Alright, so you don't actually put the entire movie up on open sea, which is the platform that you guys chose to use. It's not like the whole movie is up there somewhere for someone to watch, you're actually just selling rights at this point. So you're selling rights or access to the film in one way, shape, or form like and because you're buying it on the blockchain, or you're buying an NFT. It's, it's there, and it's yours. And you can't get rid of it. And it's done. But there's other ways of going about it. So you're selling distribution, basically selling points to at points and event like, you know, points, basically points in world premiere. So you're selling like a couple different things. But you could also sell it as an art piece. So you could say there is 100 Limited Edition. And FTS, have a lot of Juana as an art piece that you can sell. And if you and there's only going to be 100 ever, so they're like limited edition prints of the film. And there's only 100 of them. So if you had again, going back to that analogy, El Mariachi, the only one of your number, you know, you have one of 100 El Mariachi NF T's. What would that be worth today? So that's another possibility and selling it more as an artwork thing. But there's other the other possibility of selling distribution rights. And also there's another possibility of raising funds for you from a crowdsourcing and crowdfunding and crowdfunding through it as well, as you've heard of that as well.

Nathan Kincaid 29:04
Oh, yes. Yeah, we've been we've we've been thinking about that route for a long time. And, yeah, it's a good point, when you're, you're saying about making an art piece, you know, you think of like certain, say, a criteria on collection DVD that has only a certain run. And we we thought about all that. So you have to you have to remember when, when we were getting this thing minted on March 16, you know, and we're trying to move fast, because we don't know who else is out there trying to do this, right. So you're really quickly trying to decide what we want to do. And you know, we quickly decided that we wanted to give it give, put this real world value on it as well. But we then saw an opportunity. And this is where it gets exciting because this is an experiment as well. So when we when we made the copyright NF T, that opens up this kind of thought process this, you know, you've opened a new organic road of thinking here. And so now we're like, Okay, so what happens when we get an offer for distribution? Do we then and what and where we're getting now and working with lawyers on making real is like, you know, then do those copyright NFT holders get go to a password protected site, and they get to see the deal points, and they get the vote, as well. That's,

Alex Ferrari 30:34
that sounds fun. That's good. That sounds fantastic.

Nathan Kincaid 30:38
Right. And so I know there's I mean, I went to film school, I know there's a lot of film school people out there that don't get to be involved in these kind of conversations. And and they'd love to be, you know, and it could be it's exciting. So it

Alex Ferrari 30:50
is exciting. But also, I think you're in this is, again, being the first one through the door, you're the one that gets shot, or first, whatever the hell you get the arrows in your back. The thing is that you're living in the NFT. And the rights are in the NF are in the NF t but you're still dealing in the in the real world, and like the legacy world of distribution and the legacy world of, of how money is made and everything like that. If the entire system was on blockchain, if everything worked on blockchain, then it would be all automatic. It'd be an automatic payment systems, you wouldn't even have to worry about it do we do we'd be doing smart contracts? Essentially, well

Trevor Hawkins 31:29
are we have a digital strategist who actually probably should be on this call with us. But he he's much more knowledgeable about this whole space. And he's telling us about platforms that already exist, that you can just sort of throw a lot of one as a project onto and then divvy up all this stuff, we actually have plans of releasing the film lot of one a properly to the entire world to view later this year, like fall, winter time. And as Nathan said, In the beginning, we had offers that we weren't stoked about for pre sales and initial financing. And then we decided to go our own route, we had our own production struggles that those are stories all in themselves that we had to overcome. And then after the movie is completed, we had distribution offers that we weren't that stoked about as well. And so

Alex Ferrari 32:16
can you can you can you tell me what those were, I love hearing these, I love hearing these fantastic offers. Well, hey, without names, without names with companies, yeah,

Trevor Hawkins 32:25
without dropping companies, it was just sort of everything you'd expect for an indie film, we had a handful of distributors that were like, yeah, we'll throw you up on all these digital platforms. And then we expect you to see this much money, and they give us these breakdowns of all this stuff. And then we looked at the other slate, we looked at their slate of films that they're currently representing, and maybe they'd have one or two gems in there. But for the large part, they're like, we call them like spray and pray distributors, where they just like, throw a million movies in the shotgun. The

Alex Ferrari 32:57
shotgun distributors. Yeah,

Trevor Hawkins 32:58
yeah, exactly. And so we just did not we put too much time and too much work and too much blood, sweat and tears in this film to just settle for something like that. And we're, we're proud of the film that we made. And so it felt a little bit like settling that we kind of knew that we wouldn't get a lot out of it. And so that's what when this whole NF t thing came along. And we didn't have something we were super stoked about on the table. We'd said, What the hell, why not, and it's paid off for us because we're getting to talk to you, then how many indie films out there would have loved to have conversations. I mean, we've talked to indie wire and Screen Rant and the 30 others or maybe not 30, maybe like $15 or something like that, like, so many indie films would just love that opportunity. And like I said, we're already starting to make money back. So we feel like it's been a success so far. And looking forward to the way we released the movie publicly to the world. We've got some ideas that we're really excited about that is even going to sort of try to transform that space a little bit as well, like be and do something that not everybody's doing and actually getting eyeballs from around the world to watch the movie.

Alex Ferrari 34:06
That's, that's, that's awesome. And it's it's such an exciting thing. And one thing that we kind of talked about, but I want everyone to listen and to understand is that with NF T's that 10% that you're talking about that you've set in the NFT that you know, if someone resells that and resells it, that's revolutionary for an artist that's an absolutely revolutionary idea because it Van Gogh paints a van Gogh and gives it to a gallery and the gallery pays 500 bucks for it. Then Van Gogh dies and everyone thinks that he's a millionaire, or if he doesn't mean doesn't die. He's still alive and everyone thinks, oh my god, this guy's amazing. They could go off and sell that for $60 million, and the artist gets nothing, not upset. But with NF T's the artist continues to generate revenue with every resale so if the artist becomes more popular if the artists become you know comes becomes more expensive. The artist is continuously getting a passive revenue stream For the rest of his life, and I'm not even sure if it continues to go on and on for eternity, essentially, you know,

Trevor Hawkins 35:08
absolutely right, just how Macklemore and sturgill Simpson, when they first started releasing their own music, they kept it. They didn't want to go through the label system because of how many people had their hands in the honeypot. And they decided, hey, you know, this new digital world and new emerging technologies? Why don't we just do it ourselves this way. And they're better off for it. And so now that the film industry has kind of taken a note from the music industry, and a lot of different ways, where we're really kind of letting ourselves be the guinea pigs for all these new avenues of the film industry.

Alex Ferrari 35:39
Yeah, I mean, it's pretty brave what you guys are doing? I mean, because I know, I mean, looking at the film, I don't know what your budget was. But looking at the film, it doesn't look like it was done for five bucks, five bucks. I mean, it looks like it costs it cost a minute. I mean, it costs a bit it costs a bit to make so and you've financed that, you know, you refinance your house and got the money which I've yelled from the top of the mountain in this podcast, don't ever refinance your house to budget, an independent film. I've said it a million times. Because it's usually the first it's a risk. But is it a risk that you're willing to take? So you know, hopefully, I don't think that it's going to you have I say that because you also have a career, you have revenue coming in. But I've seen filmmakers who do that. And they are hoping and praying that this is the only revenue that's going to keep their family alive. And I've seen, I've seen divorces, I've seen every I mean, because that's just stupid. But you're taking a calculated risk. So it's okay. I will, I will accept that you need my acceptance. But I just want everyone to know that yes, that that makes that will take it makes all the sense in the world. Now one other thing that you were doing with, with NF T's as you started putting out stills from your film, as I am assuming art pieces, those are being treated as art pieces.

Trevor Hawkins 36:57
Yeah, so each still that we put out, we put out 20. So far, when we first listed it, they're about five bucks a pop, but a theory has gone up a little bit. So they might be around 10. Now, I don't know what those are. Yeah, sure. And those are just meant to be just little art pieces, entry level things that if people are excited about what we're doing, they can jump in and buy some of those as well. Over half of them have already been bought, there's only nine of them left, so and

Alex Ferrari 37:21
then you're only doing one or one at a time. There's only one NFT personal.

Trevor Hawkins 37:27
Exactly. So and we released 20 stills from the movie that we're stoked about, and I think 11 of them have sold so and I'm not even sure if anybody's even relisted them for sale yet. So those are digital art piece collectibles that people are already owning, and they will always in forever be the NFT owners of that, then there will never be any more. Those are sort of like one off things.

Alex Ferrari 37:50
That's so awesome. Like, I can't believe that. That's like, I don't need to say like, I can't believe that's working. Like, like, I can't believe it. But it makes sense. I mean, if you're into this, and you're if you're really excited about doing it, it makes all the sense in the world. And you are it's just such a you could everyone listening, you have to understand the potential here is massive for the right project for people who know what they're doing how they do it. It's not going to be perfect for everybody. But it's another potential revenue stream. Even if you go traditionally, you could still do NF T's. And I'm already hearing the distributors are adding that into the contracts now like it's this includes NF T's you can't we own everything. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Trevor Hawkins 38:32
The music industry is being flipped upside down right now in real time from this. And there's music companies out there that are trying to be the big the next big Spotify for the blockchain world. And everything's changing in real time, because it's sort of a user generated space where you can be the owners of all of your content as where Spotify has been. I'm, I don't really have a dog in this race. But Spotify rips off musicians, you know? Absolutely. Absolutely. They don't pay what they should be paying for all their plays. And artists are getting tired of that. And so entered blockchain and all these new technologies and people are running over there and just like streaming upset the world of like CDs and traditional music purchasing. Now, blockchain is upsetting the existing streaming paradigm. And the film industry forever has had an existing physical DVD, VHS paradigm that got disrupted by streaming. And now, the film industry will probably take a note from the music industry, as it usually does. And the blockchain in all of these new interfaces could be next. And like I said, we just happen to be the first out of the gate. I mean, yeah, like with NBA top shots. I

Alex Ferrari 39:43
mean, those guys jumped on so quickly, and they're doing so well with those NF T's. I mean, in there, the first kind of major organization to really take it seriously. But it was just a no brainer, like it's a it's a it's a sports card, but you're buying highlights. You know, you're you're buying You're buying Imagine if you're buying a Michael Jordan highlight, like you own that highlight, like that's, that's pretty cool. That's a pretty cool idea so if you owned El Mariachi you know as as an art piece pretty cool bragging rights man I gotta, like, you know, like, and like people listening like I got I got a lot of water, a lot of wantagh's, you know, NFT like I'm the I bought the first independent film ever put out on on NFT that's bragging rights. And that's the same reason why you buy an original and put up on the wall, as opposed to buying a poster 100% right. Now, now you also chose I was gonna ask you about gas. Next is a gassing or SP gas fees. Yeah. So explain to the people like if the open sea is the platform you're using, they're arguably one of the biggest platforms for NF T's, right? Yeah. So explain what a gas fee is. And what was your gas for you to put this stuff up, if you don't want me to ask him.

Trevor Hawkins 40:59
Open see is operates a little differently than some of the other platforms you can mint NF T's on and you only pay your gas fees and percentage to the platform which is open see once you're in empty cells. So you can list 100 or 1000 nF T's you don't pay a dime until they say something. And then they just take a percentage of that and what gas fees are. It costs money and human hours to keep to make the blockchain exist and keep going. And gas fees all those are as money going into the honey pot of developers that keep this thing running. So nobody's really making a ton from what I understand. I'm not an expert on the blockchain. But these are literally just like your taxes that you have to pay to keep the roads going.

Alex Ferrari 41:47
And for people it's through my understanding of the blockchain in order for every transaction that goes into the blockchain, and by the way, there are multiple block chains. So everyone thinks that there's just not the one blockchain there's multiple different block chains by you know, aetherium is one. Bitcoin runs on another blockchain, but that's crypto and we'll get to crypto in a minute flow and there's a bunch of different blockchains and then there's now people building block chains internally for companies. blockchain is a concept. But Ethereum is arguably the biggest most well known blockchain to do other tack on other businesses and platforms and things on so it's like the highway that they've put on where you could put you can establish businesses and houses and things like that. So from my understanding with with blockchain hold, I just lost my train of thought because this is tough man this is rough stuff

Trevor Hawkins 42:36
blockchain well, and you're you're getting into the point where you're gonna start schooling us we might be learning some facts from you here.

Alex Ferrari 42:46
Okay, okay. So So blockchain Okay, now just just came back to me. So blockchain every time that there's a, a, a transaction, it needs to be verified. And by the people who verify it are miners, people outside that are all around the world, trying to break down the algorithm, the complicated math calculations to verify that the thing and put it into the blockchain, and there's so many block so many transactions that go into one block before it goes back on the chain. And this is all being done completely decentralized. Without anyone those gas fees, because in the way that why miners do that is because they get paid. And how do they get paid as generally with crypto. So if they're on the Ethereum, they get a little bit of aetherium crypto per transaction that they break, and then everyone is racing, to be the first to break that or to calculate that with their computing power. So they get the they get the money. So there's 1000 people trying to millions of people trying to, to be the first to to do the math. That's why you need bigger and bigger computers faster and faster internet more and more power. And that's how this whole thing goes. So with Bitcoin, Bitcoin, which we'll talk about a second is its crypto, which is a it's an actual currency, every transactions that happens on that is a bit slower because it's getting tougher and tougher to break these codes because there's a limited amount of Bitcoin ever that's going to be mined, where theory there is not a theory that goes on and on and on. It was built like that, because it's not arguably wasn't supposed to be a cryptocurrency. It was supposed to be a platform where people can do that. But now aetherium is exploding. As of this recording, I mean, it's gone up like 25% in the last week or two. But that's the world of crypto now. How much do you guys know about crypto and can you talk about cryptocurrencies a little bit and how that whole works?

Trevor Hawkins 44:38
I'll put it this way. I feel like everything you just said, we've heard from Tucker, our digital strategist who's on our a lot of on a team. And I feel like last time is explained my eyes kind of glazed over a bit and exited the room somehow in my brain. So I feel like that again, a little bit right there. So I think you've reached the end of our

Alex Ferrari 45:01
College. Nathan, you've been very quiet Nathan. Yeah,

Nathan Kincaid 45:05
yeah. Hey Tucker, Tucker, somebody gets Tucker on the phone.

Trevor Hawkins 45:09
filmmakers from the beginning. And that's where our heart and our passion is we got experts on is

Alex Ferrari 45:16
no worries, that's I wanted to get to that point, we've reached that point. And that's fantastic. And I'm glad we've got that. But it's the crazy artists that are the ones who make this stuff possible, man is that, you know, it's, it's pretty remarkable. Now,

Nathan Kincaid 45:31
I'll just throw in there real quick, man, if you're an indie filmmaker, I mean, at some point, you're an entrepreneur as well, like, you're always looking for a way to just get it done. And like your ad says, You're always hustling, you know, you're, you're, you're trying to find a way. And so, you know, this was a way that presented itself to us. And we, you know, we took it. And basically you, because I feel that an independent film that has maybe a bigger star involved or a bigger, you know, no offense more marketable director or something else that can bring an audience, someone who has an existing audience, whether that be a YouTuber, a podcaster,

Alex Ferrari 46:10
or like a, you know, an ED burns or Spike Lee, or someone who has an existing audience out there, I feel that it's gonna be a lot easier for them to generate revenue because they have an existing audience. So that's why I still find it so fascinating with you guys. Because I'm like, well, there's no stars in it. This is his first film. So you're generating this from basically all the press that you've been getting about this, because you guys are the first one through the door, and people are like, this is cool. And now this is new and, and you're generating revenue from this, which is honestly genius.

Trevor Hawkins 46:41
Oh, well. Thanks,

Alex Ferrari 46:43
dude. I did I did I see I've seen everything, bro. I've seen all about indie. I've seen every tactic on how to hustle some money for an independent film. And that's why I reached out to you guys. I was like, Oh, no, no, like, I gotta I gotta get these guys on the phone.

Trevor Hawkins 46:56
Yeah, I mean, we're never in a million years when we have thought this is what a majority of our conversations would be about when lotto Juana started getting attention. And we're actually really excited. We believe in the film itself. And we're really excited to have conversations about the actual movie whenever we do release it later this year. Yeah, yeah, we'll take all of it we can get right now. It's just such a, we're so lucky that we even found ourselves in a situation,

Nathan Kincaid 47:22
right. So many examples in the past, though, like, even when Morgan Spurlock did supersize me, they got these like fat Ronald McDonald dolls, and we're handing them out at Sundance. And that got people to see the movie. And then they said, Oh, that's a good movie. So, you know, yeah, we're not just a gimmick. But you know, this market is so oversaturated if you if you can find a way or think of a way to get through the fray, then if you're really an indie filmmaker, you're gonna have to think of something you got to find a way

Alex Ferrari 47:59
Oh, there's no question about it, man. I mean, you that that's the thing, you've got a quality product, man, look, I've seen Look, if I would have seen the movie, honestly, I'll be I'll be straight up with you guys. I read the story. I read the stories and read the articles. But if I checked the trailer out, and when I looked at the trailer, if it was like some sort of garbage thing shot on, like, you know, a VHS camera or some stuff, and like, if it would have been like, that would be like, No, I can't have him on the show. There's, there's a quality product here. You just, yeah, no, I mean, just from did I see so much, man, I talked independent filmmakers on a daily basis. I'm sent everything every day. So I see so much stuff coming through. So when anything like this comes through my in in front of my radar, I can see quality. So I'm like, Okay, these are these are filmmakers, they know the craft, they can put something together looks really good. So I knew there was quality there. But trust me, man, if it was, if this was like a garbage thing, I would have not had you guys on the show. I'd be like, Look, I'll find another way to talk about NF T's but there's a quality movie here. So it's not a gimmick, because that would have been a gimmick. Like, you know if, if a if a trauma film does this, which I'm sure Lloyd will be doing this any moment now. But if like a you know, like a trauma film, make something like this, which are those like Toxic Avenger films, which he should because they're going to sell out. But a trauma esque film that didn't have the cachet that trauma does, I would have been like, no, not so much. But this is quality man from the poster to the from the poster to the trailer to the website. Now you guys have a solid, a solid presentation of a film and I say I don't take that very lightly. Because most independent films have absolutely no idea how to present themselves how to market themselves how to get themselves out there. So that's another reason why I wanted to get you guys on the show.

Trevor Hawkins 49:45
Well, that means a lot man, especially since you live in breed this world. That That means a lot. That's huge. It's Nathan and I've been hitting our heads together for long enough now because I mean, we're We are proud of the film we made and I mean we'll See what the world thinks of it. We're really excited to hear the good with the Bad's. But I mean, it. We're not famous Nathan and I aren't famous, our actor and actress aren't famous. And we did make a drama that is pretty, not by the books. And we, when we were starting out, we thought we wanted to do something different. But really what happens is is double edged sword where you kind of get penalized when you're in our situation, because we're not famous. If we were famous doing some different people eat it up instantly. Or if we had a top like an alias star in our movie, then people go to see it in a heartbeat. But since we don't have any of that stuff along with the ride, we've got to come up with something crazy like NF T's just to get people to even look at it.

Alex Ferrari 50:46
Right? No, absolutely. And that's the problem with the marketplace today. Like you honestly, anything you said, it's so beautifully at the beginning of this conversation is like, there is no barrier to entry to make a movie now anyone can make a feature film you. You've just cobbled together basic understanding of how to craft the film. It's not hard to do. I mean, look at it. It's hard to craft a good film. We all know that. But the technical aspects of making it it's not the cost is not there anymore. Like you couldn't look at my last couple movies I made for under 10 grand each. And they were sold around the world and God and Hulu and all this kind of stuff. So but those were those kind of stories, those kind of movies. But now it's it's getting it's about getting it seen so and what a film school still teaching, they're still teaching you how to make no.

Nathan Kincaid 51:32
Yeah, I mean, now all the information I got for $50,000 in debt, you can find online. So

Alex Ferrari 51:40
listen, I was I was 20. I was $20,000 in debt, I graduated in 90, okay, something 90 something. So, and I the best, the best two things I learned in film school is how to wrap the cable. And because that's an art form, how to wrap cable properly, and how to make a good cup of coffee. And that got me my first few jobs. That other than that, my teacher, my post teacher said, they'll never edit broadcast quality on a computer. Ever. That's what he said, I remember that. So clearly in my in my head. I was like, wow, okay. And I learned on film, too. I learned on film and on online systems like the CMS 3600. I know you how old you guys are younger than you much younger than me. So I'm like probably calling you talking gibberish to you. But like the online tape, tape, the tape and all that kind of stuff is what I learned on. And the first ad that I jumped on was the meet when it was called Media Composer. And it was like 20 to 60 by 260 or so. Like it was like,

Trevor Hawkins 52:42
resolution was horrible. I'm gonna type stuff.

Alex Ferrari 52:45
Know what I mean? Because the block like no, like,

Trevor Hawkins 52:47
we used to have this editing machine in my broadcasting class in high school called a Casablanca and it was like a VHS to VHS editing machine. I don't even know how it works.

Nathan Kincaid 52:59
We had that too. That was one of the original, like nonlinear editing systems. But then I went so I had that in high school. And then I went to Well, I went to undergrad, then I went to grad and they still have flat beds in the basement. Yeah, they were like cutting for real for real. And, and then the digital technology was I remember like things like p two cards and the the media just kept changing every other year. And it was like, I was like, man, I don't want to spend my time trying to keep up with what the fastest memory card is. Like. So I just went all in on the film and studying the classics and studying the industry and stuff like that wouldn't change.

Alex Ferrari 53:39
The lenses changed so fast. The cameras changed so like now you know now like 8k What is it? 10k or 12k that it's like it's obscene. What is going on right now? And I just, I it's like when I'm ready to shoot something I'll look I'm like Alright, what's going on? What do we got? Alright, let's we'll get picked that we'll pick that we'll pick that and the only thing you should invest in ever is lenses because that doesn't change. You still need good glass no matter what the sensor is. But I mean all you need this guy and I love vintage Personally, I love the nice vintage glass. And I'll geek out for you guys if you if you're into into glass. My last film I shot with a Canon optic 5.8 wide is the little brother to the 9.8 which Kubrick shot Clockwork Orange and shining with all those wide shots that they don't fisheye.

Trevor Hawkins 54:28
Wow,

Alex Ferrari 54:29
that's Yeah, I got it. I got it. I put it on the 16 millimeter sensor of the Blackmagic Pocket. The Smart the first Blackmagic Pocket I shot a movie with him spray. It's fantastic.

Trevor Hawkins 54:37
I'm a little jealous of that I shot a lot of wanna on it was cell finance self shot everything and all we could afford was canon L series glass on the EF mountain that we shot on on

Alex Ferrari 54:49
dude all my stuff's on the EF mount EF mount are are 4/3 four thirds, micro four thirds. Oh yeah, I was. Oh yeah, it's fine, dude, it's fine. I shot my last two features. We're on On, on the Sigma 18 to 35 portrait lens, which is a fan, plastic lens, it looks gorgeous. And it's fine, dude, it's fine. People get all caught up with that stuff. And at the end of the day, imagine, imagine this conversation we're having right now, right? And then there's arguments in production like, No, we need this camera, we need this lens, we need this, this this. But when it's done, they're like, now what? Now what I? Where do I get

Trevor Hawkins 55:23
a sculptor friend of mine who says it's so well, he says that the best painters, the best sculptors in the world, can break a twig off of a tree and make a better piece than everybody does got all the finest toolkits available. And that's kind of how I feel with cameras as well, um, I don't keep up. I'm a dp as well, I shot a lot of one and I do commercial stuff. And I don't keep up minute to minute, like you were saying, because I feel like it's more about the artistry of what you put in front of the lens. You gotta know the lenses do. But yeah,

Alex Ferrari 55:54
at a certain point, you're just like, do I need 55k? Like, I don't need a 55k resolution, which we're going to go there eventually, at a certain point you like, how much more you're going to

Nathan Kincaid 56:05
broadcast it against the surface of the moon? Because the kind of surface you're getting?

Alex Ferrari 56:11
I mean, so I want to get your opinion, guys. What do you think the future revenue potentials are with NF T's and independent films? Do you think that is going to become a mainstay? Do you think it's going to be? Do you think it's going to become an oversaturated marketplace again, just like crowdfunding was when because when crowdfunding showed up, the first few films that crowdfunded did extremely well, but then everyone just got burned out on it. So do you feel that NF T's are going to go the same same route?

Trevor Hawkins 56:36
That's a great question, man. And that's the one that everybody's wanting to know right now. Because, sure, I would believe that some of the prices of some of the NF T's have been sold for those astronomical numbers are a bit inflated. But I do believe that this is a new frontier that's here to stay. Like I said, it legitimate legitimizes digital art for the first time in history. And this people aren't going to run away from that this is a new frontier, maybe things will get more valuable. Like if you get in early, maybe you'll be one of those folks that things just raise in value, which is we've already seen happening with us, and just the short amount of time. But yeah, maybe eventually, the digital art space is gonna get so flooded that it's not, we never even thought of it as a get rich quick scheme, we were mainly just looking to get a lot of water out into the world. And this seemed like a great way to do it. And if we could, the end goal would be to fund our next film, like raising money to make a movie number two that's sitting on the table ready to go. That's That's the dream right there. And I don't know, I mean, your guess is as good as mine. I bet I could see a lot of folks running into this space, but it's still so green, it'll be green for a while it will be Yeah, that hell no.

Nathan Kincaid 57:52
Some problems, but it doesn't solve all the problems. And there's still a market saturation problem with film content. There's too much content out there. And I don't know where you're, you know, I'm not advocating for gatekeepers, because because that that can be frustrating at times. And that can be politicized and monopolize. And, and so you know, yeah, it's tough. It's like, if there's a way here, there, there's a revenue model here that exists and that were going to help find, but it still doesn't solve the problem of, well, what happens when you have more films being made, and people can watch? You know what I mean? To me? And, you know, what, I don't know, I think maybe people need to be a little harsher. In some sense. It's like, you know, just because you can make a film doesn't mean that

Alex Ferrari 58:56
you should

Nathan Kincaid 58:56
worthy of people watching it or that you should. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 59:01
Look, it's Look, it's the same thing that happened. And I saw this happen. It's when, when editing systems became affordable, and everyone had a Final Cut, when final cuts showed up, and started disrupting avid because when avid was avid was around, it would cost 50 grand minimum to get into a digital editing system. But then at Final Cut showed up in like, you know, maybe 434 grand you you're up and running as an editor and then all of a sudden, my rate from 50 bucks an hour, 75 bucks an hour as an editor, a freelance editor had to drop down to 25 or 30, because I had a 500. Other Yahoo's who had no idea how to edit anything, but they've they've completely saturated the marketplace. And then I'm like, I'm competing with a guy who just got out of film school, who has barely any understanding, but he says he'll do it for 20 and the producer is such an idiot that he goes, sure I'll let up. I'm gonna pay this guy. Obviously the money makes more sense. But then after he screwed it up, they usually come to me anyway. They're like, Oh, this guy's bended up Can you do, but that was the problem. So it's like, it's great that everyone has access to this stuff. But it's it's the solution and the problem all at the same time, because now it opens up opportunities for people who would have never had opportunities to do it. And then, but it also domitian diminishes opportunities for filmmakers who should get it? And I've had that conversation with some of the guests I've had on the show. Like I talked to Edward burns and not to be a douche ego drops names, but but when I was talking to Ed burns about I go, do you think brothers Macmillan would make it today? And he's like, probably not his color. Do you think Clark's would make it today? Do you think El Mariachi would be seen

Nathan Kincaid 1:00:35
or slacker? Right? Right? But see back then those guys, you know, Kevin Smith and Edward burns, and like even Christopher Nolan with some of his early movies, they had a production barrier to entry, that they really had to want it. They really had to have the dream and the passion and they found a way to get it done. So then they broke through to this space where there, there weren't as many. And so you know, that's what sucks now is that you're actually your barrier, your barrier to entry or your gatekeepers are the distributors. But you have this whole tear of them that are letting everything through that right. You know, I don't know, how do you get? How do you separate the wheat from the chaff? How does the cream rise to the top today?

Alex Ferrari 1:01:20
Yeah, well, yeah, because there's distributors out there like, like you were saying, the throw everything against the wall and see what sticks distributor, they're bringing all the they're they're hustling all these kids and these guys in and gals who are putting these movies in, and they're like, Oh, I can make a quick 5000 off of that. And the filmmaker will never see a dime ever. I'll make a quick 5000. So if I can get 10 of those. Well, that's 50 grand this month. And the way I structure the deals is I never have to pay the filmmaker and after that if it makes any money, whatever, but it probably won't. And that's the and that's and they and they have so much content. And so many films that it's so it's it's it's just it's it's a tough man, this is a tough nut to crack brothers. And this is a tough man.

Nathan Kincaid 1:02:00
Maybe it's tastemakers. Maybe it's going back to the 70s when you had a Pauline Kael or something like that, Roger Ebert

Alex Ferrari 1:02:07
or Roger either

Nathan Kincaid 1:02:08
Yeah, exactly. Roger was doing an amazing job. You know, maybe it's Alex Ferrari, he's got it.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:16
Yeah, I'm not that guy. I'm not that guy. But the but the point is, though, that there has to be something and and there are I mean, look, Criterion Collection does a fantastic job. You know, and a 24 does a fantastic job, but look at look at a 24 slate, they do one movie a month, if that a year, they're the Sundance of distribution at this point. You know, right. If you're lucky enough to get picked up by 24 You know, you're going to get seen and people are now watching an A 24 film because it's a 24 You know, it was like Miramax back in the day, like old Miramax released it must be must be pretty decent, if you know if that's been released. I don't know if that world exists anymore. Man. I just don't i don't think i think it's just too many, too many streaming services, too many options. It's, I think the next the next frontier for filmmakers, is not only to be able to make a good movie, but yeah, you need an audience. You need an audience that follows you from from film to film. And that is the next frontier because filmmakers who are successful are the ones who cultivate audiences, and then also figure out how to generate revenue from multiple revenue streams, which is what I wrote my book and all that stuff by being from shoprunner, about creating multiple revenue streams and NF T's are such a great alternative revenue stream that could be potential. And again, it's you could arguably, crowdfund you're moving on NFT sell distribution rights on NFT. And also art pieces on NF T's. And there's three general, those are three revenue streams that are completely outside the system, completely outside the system.

Trevor Hawkins 1:03:50
To make that yeah, that's, that's what we're trying to do. We're trying to be the case study that can recoup our production costs and turn that around and start funding the next film in real time. That's our end goal with this whole space and NFT world.

Alex Ferrari 1:04:06
That's awesome, man. Well, I'm gonna ask you a few question, guys. I asked all my guests. What advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today?

Trevor Hawkins 1:04:16
I know you want to go first. I know what I would say. Go for it. love what you do. Because to me, there's a big difference between wanting to make good movies and wanting to be the person that's the filmmaker. There's an artist there on one side of it. And then there's kind of like a character type on the other side. And I've in my own personal career. I've never really said this publicly anywhere. So this isn't offensive to anybody. But I've met people that I can tell. They don't really care what the movie is they're making. They just want to be the filmmaker. They want to be the person in the chair. They want to be the they just want to be that person. And I think that the real value that anybody's gonna get out of this career, this industry is gonna be what they create. At the end of the day. My wife is a musician. And she's so self conscious about, oh, what if nobody likes this album when it's getting ready to come out. And I'm like, I don't care if nobody ever hears this album, except you and I, because at the end of the day, when you're 70 years old, All that matters is how you feel about that album, her her entry level to play the game of writing music is a lot lower than making a film. Yeah, that's why we all have to play this lesson, we all got to have our own indie film, hustle. Because if you need an army to make a movie, you actually have to raise a lot of damn money to make a movie. And so we have a little bit different rules there where we have to go inside the industry enough to make it work for ourselves to even be able to make our art, which is kind of infuriating at times, but that's why I say the biggest the biggest piece of advice is love your art love what you do, because at the end of the day, when you're dying, that's all you're gonna have. I just did an arm where am I proud of the pieces that I made? Or did I just make schlocky things to get attention? Oh, no. And before I let Nate before Nathan, I

Alex Ferrari 1:06:14
want to just piggyback on this, what you just said, there's so many filmmakers, and I've met them who want to play the part of the filmmaker wants to play he wants to be or she wants to be the rock star, direct, they want to be turned to let's just call it what it is. They all want to be Tarantino, they all want to be they all want to sit in the chair and tell people what to do and have an walk the red carpet, their red carpet filmmakers. They're not real real filmmakers. They're red carpet filmmakers, they just want to take the pictures, and you know, live the lifestyle. But they don't actually want to do the work. And those guys and gals get they get weeded out. I've just I've been around a few. I've been around a little longer than both of you guys. I've seen it. It happens, the business will weed those guys out because they don't last they can't. It's too hard. This is too hard of a thing to do. You could fake your way, to a certain extent. But after a certain while, if you don't got the goods, I don't care if your last name is Spielberg. Anyone can help.

Trevor Hawkins 1:07:09
Right, right, Nathan?

Nathan Kincaid 1:07:11
Yeah, well, and I'll say something different, because I actually was gonna say something quite similar to that was basically make sure this is really what you want to do. Because it is so hard. But then so something else beyond that. It's probably something people have heard before. But it's like, if you really are committed to this, and you really want to do it, then study the history. Study the craft, look at who came before you. And yes, change the game. But you know, no, no, the groundwork that got you here. And I understand people they watch Citizen Kane, and they're like, okay, you know, I don't get it. I've seen that before. Yeah, but nobody saw before then. You know what I mean? And so it's like, knowing the knowing the evolution of this medium, and not going into things like 3d or, you know, surround screen or something like that, and all that's fine or whatever. But really the medium of cinema and the evolution of juxtaposition and just the craft, like if you're gonna get into this, do something cool. So the rest of us that are also trying to do this can be inspired to like, my favorite stories are like, are like how, after Nolan made memento, he still couldn't get a good deal. And Soderbergh stuck his neck out for Christopher Nolan and was like, yo, you should really use these, you know, I love that kind of stuff. So that would be my just just No, no, the craft no the other artists that came before you and that are in the game and do something different. Do some awesome.

Alex Ferrari 1:08:48
Now what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life,

Trevor Hawkins 1:08:55
trust your team, that was a big one for me, whenever I was always a one man show and then a lot of water came on and having or when we'd made a lot of one I had a crew of 10 and I was just so in the mindset of I had to do everything and Nathan was constantly reminding me no delegated man hat. Let me do this. Let Cory do that. Let like that was a big lesson for me to learn. And then, most recently, the lesson I just learned was lean into yourself, which is a weird thing to say. Because when I wrote a lot of wanna, it was kind of a love letter to Terrence Malick movies, and I live in a rural Lake town. I'm at the real life like a lot of water right now. And I didn't think that that would be something viable to be appealing to like the rural laketown the rural America vibe would be that appealing to a lot of people in the film industry. But lately, the script I've just written, leans into it. 100% and I'm feel like I'm learning right now in real time to try Just my own unique experience and lean into that more instead of what I think other people want to see.

Nathan Kincaid 1:10:08
Yeah, well, and that just, this is why we work together is because what I was gonna say was, you know, the lesson I learned was you can't do it alone. Now, I learned that, you know, a long time ago, but when you're when you are, you know, a teenager or you're your young 20s and you're full of ego, and you're trying to muster up all the power to be a filmmaker. Like, it's gonna take a team, you know, so looking for those other people that you vibe with that you can that you can create with, like, that's so important. Always keeping an eye out for those people,

Trevor Hawkins 1:10:44
and life partners you can trust.

Alex Ferrari 1:10:48
Amen, guys, I mean, if you can find people that's why like Ron Howard and Clint Eastwood, they worked with the same crew for the last 30 years like they This is like, Ron Howard won't shoot a movie until his first ad is available. Like he just like, I'm not, it's this is the guy like I don't have to worry about anything. I know. It's gonna get taken care of. I do the same thing. I have a group of friends of mine and people I collaborate with all the time. I'm like, I just know I don't have to worry about that. When you have them on the on it. It's It's so valuable. so valuable. And three of your favorite films of all time.

Trevor Hawkins 1:11:20
Oh, and you want to go first, Nathan? Oh, man,

Nathan Kincaid 1:11:23
I'll try to go quick without thinking too much. Trainspotting

Alex Ferrari 1:11:27
urraca and the Godfather. Nice.

Nathan Kincaid 1:11:33
so cliche the last one, but I really do.

Alex Ferrari 1:11:36
And I'm gonna and I'm gonna argue that it's godfather one and two, we just put them together. It's fine. It's fine.

Trevor Hawkins 1:11:43
He's for real. He just had a daughter and we got him a godfather onesy for his daughter.

Alex Ferrari 1:11:49
solid, solid.

Trevor Hawkins 1:11:51
For me, it's easy, because I keep a revolving top 50 movies of all time. Wow. My favorite movies of all time lists. And so when I fall in love with the new movie, it's heartbreaking to throw one of my top 50 off just to keep my different level. That's

Alex Ferrari 1:12:07
a different level of Geek man. I appreciate that. That's completely devil. Like, I mean, the for the geek. I mean, and this is a guy who has a life size Jota sitting behind him. That's a full level gig, man. That's good. I'm impressed.

Trevor Hawkins 1:12:17
Yeah, I gotta stop 50 that I'm pretty religious about and my top three are tree of life, Assassination of Jesse James and No Country for Old Men.

Alex Ferrari 1:12:27
There is a theme there. There is definitely a theme in the filmmaking styles of those films. So I can see what a lot of was gonna be like. But will there be but will there be somebody killing people with Eric Eric? or something? Like, from no country from all that? What does that call? Like a bolt gun or something like that? Yeah, the

Trevor Hawkins 1:12:47
air compressor stun gun thing.

Alex Ferrari 1:12:49
So amazing. What an amazing film God such a great film. Guys, it's been a pleasure talking to you, man. It is. I'm so impressed. And just awesome that you guys are doing what you're doing man. And and anytime I anytime I got someone on the show who was the first one through the door on anything. And it's so rare nowadays to be the first one through the door and anything in our business. It's like, it's a tough, it's a tough thing to get. So I'm, I'm humbled that you came on the show to talk about it and share your adventures with us. Please let us know when you make your first million off of it. And then and then and then you're always welcome back. So thank you guys so much, man. I appreciate it.

Trevor Hawkins 1:13:29
Alex, thanks so much. This has been awesome if anybody wants to check out the trailer.

Alex Ferrari 1:13:33
Sorry, Jesus, of course.

Trevor Hawkins 1:13:35
Yeah, no worries. Yeah, everybody wants to stay up to date with what we're doing. You can purchase NF T's from our website, you can watch the trailer, you can see our posters, you can stay up to date with our releases. Like I said, we're going to be releasing the movie later this fall. It's just a lot of one a movie calm. And if you just Google a lot of one a movie probably any way you can think to spell it. You'll probably find it.

Alex Ferrari 1:13:56
And I'll put that I'll make sure to put that yeah, it's right there for anyone watching. It's not hard to spell Lotawana. So I'll put that in the show notes as well. Thanks again, guys. I appreciate it.

Nathan Kincaid 1:14:08
Thank you, Alex.

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IFH 471: The Complete Guide to NFT in Independent Film (and How to Make Money)


Right-click here to download the MP3

So today we are going to go down the rabbit hole of NFTs. What the heck is an NFT? It is a Non-Fungible Token. Basically, an NFT is a completely original digital file or a digital collectible which is registered on a blockchain ledger just like any cryptocurrency.

But unlike cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, an NFT is totally unique and because it lives on the blockchain it verifies who is the rightful owner of this one-of-a-kind digital collectible file.

In February 2021, digital artist Peebles sold a digital artwork for $69.3 million at auction. You heard correctly almost $70 million for a digital file. The founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, sold his very first tweet as an NFT for $2.9 million.

It took me a minute to understand what these things were and then it clicked. In short, they are digital collectibles. NFTs essentially are digital baseball cards, comic books, Garbage Pail Kids, Funkos, or Pokemon cards. They are just a digital version and in many ways better because you know exactly how many copies exist.

I’ve already had conversations with Hollywood executives that told me that the studios are coming very soon and they are coming hard. Hollywood is beginning to see the value of NFTs and when they come in it will be a feeding frenzy. Imagine Marvel Studios, Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Pixar NFTs. It’s going to be insane.

Could Oscar® winning screenwriters create NFTs for their screenplays? Could a popular filmmaker create NFT short films? Would you buy an NFT from Chris Nolan, David Fincher, Aaron Sorkin, or Quentin Tarantino?

The NBA is selling “moments” as NFTs through NBA Top Shots. Basically, they are selling highlight clips as NFT and are killing it. Fans of the NBA are gobbling these NFTs as fast as they are released. I really think there is now one doing NFTs better than the NBA right now.

Musicians are having amazing success selling NFTs directly to their fans. This is turning the established music industry on its head. NFTs are essentially killing off the middle man. No more label, just a direct relationship with the artist’s fans.

The other amazing thing about NFTs is that the artist continues to make money on every sale of the NFT forever. Let me explain. When an artist creates an NFT by “minting” it. Minting is the process of create the digital file (NFT) and placing it on the blockchain. The artist then sets the residual percentage every time the NFT sells.

So if I mint a short film and sell it for $500. I get $500. Now, if the new owner sells it 2 years from now for $10,000 I get 10% of that sale. Every time that NFT is resold I get my cut. All transactions are transparent. All on the blockchain.

So how can filmmakers make money? There are so many options because NFTs are in their infancy. Everyone is trying to figure out how to use them in indie films.

Indie Film legend Kevin Smith is selling the distribution rights to his new horror anthology Killjoy. He has even created his own NFT Studio called JAY & SILENT BOB’S CRYPTO STUDIO PRESENT SMOKIN’ TOKEN NFTS. Here’s some info on Kevin’s new endeavor.

Since their first appearance in CLERKS over twenty-five years ago, Jay and Silent Bob have been selling out to the world of collectibles! From t-shirts to toys, the stoner duo’s likenesses have been stuck on both tacky and tremendous trinkets treasured around the globe!

Now Jay and Silent Bob blaze into blockchain with crypto-collectibles called Smokin’ Tokens!

From Jay & Silent, Bob’s Crypto Studio comes the first in a series of NFT’s that celebrate the many movies of New Jersey’s least likely heroes. The inaugural Smokin’ Tokens commemorate the pair’s latest cinematic adventure,

JAY AND SILENT BOB REBOOT – featuring amazing art by fan-favorite  John “Captain RibMan” Sprengelmeyer!

You gotta love Kevin Smith. He’s always looking for new ways to connect with his fans. His first collection of NFTs almost completely sold out. There might be something here boys and girls.

Some other ideas are:

  • Selling the distribution rights to your film in shares like the indie film Lotawana
  • Create  an NFT for a short film to finance it
  • Sell NFT collectibles from the film
  • Fundraise your budget with NFTs
  • Anyone with a fanbase or that can tap into a fanbase can and should create NFTs
  • Social Media Influencers, YouTubers, any company with IP that has fans should be all over NFTs.

These are just some ideas. I decide to throw my hat in the ring and created an experiment. I minted a few NFTs for my first short film BROKEN and some “legacy NFTs” of the first-ever filmmaking tutorials ever uploaded to YouTube. Here is the description of one of the NFTs.

SHORTCODE - SOUND FX

Need Sound Effects for your short or feature film project?

Download 2000+ sound effects designed for indie filmmakers & their projects for free.

I decide to throw my hat in the ring and created an experiment. The Indie Film Hustle NFT Collection. I minted a few NFTs for my first short film BROKEN and some “legacy NFTs” of the first-ever filmmaking tutorials ever uploaded to YouTube. Here is the description of one of the NFTs.

This NFT is called Muzzle Flash Breakdown and is one of the first filmmaking tutorials to ever be uploaded to YouTube. It was uploaded on August 28, 2006, by filmmaker, author, and Indie Film Hustle Podcast host Alex Ferrari from his 2005 award-winning short film BROKEN. 

It was taken from the best-selling DVD of the film. That DVD was one of the first indie short films to ever create a massive collection of tutorials and making of videos that explained how to make a low-budget independent film with off-the-shelf software and digital consumer cameras.  

This is part of a limited series of filmmaking tutorials that were uploaded to YouTube from the short film BROKEN. All the videos were uploaded and released on the same day in 2006. The external link attached to this NFT will show the original upload to YouTube.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFPoBZY5BrA

When you purchase this NFT you will also gain access to the short film BROKEN, the entire collection of tutorials and commentary tracks via private link and passcode. You will also receive the original QuickTime file that was uploaded to YouTube.

To access my NFTs go to: www.ifhnft.com

I released three of 6 of the total filmmaking tutorials I uploaded on YouTune back in Aug 2006. If these sell out I’ll upload the rest and maybe some of my other popular short films I directed over the years. I wanted to give you an example of what an independent film NFT looked like and this is totally an experiment to see what happens.

Maybe I’ll never sell an NFT, maybe I sell them three years from now or maybe they will sell out in 15 min. Who knows. What I am excited about is the potential of what this could mean for the indie filmmaking community.

UPDATE: In less than 72 hours I sold out of my first ever NFTs. I just added the second part to the film tutorial series as well as the FIRST Indie Film Hustle Podcast Episode NFT. Click here to check it out.

In this episode, I break down everything you need to know about NFTs, how to make money with them, and more. Enjoy!

Alex Ferrari 0:02
Now, there's been a lot of talk lately about this thing called NFT's. And it's going to revolutionize the world of the artist and being able to put the money back into artists pockets. And of course, when I heard about this, I was like, Well, what does this mean for us as independent filmmakers. So I wanted to put together an episode that would be a guide to all independent filmmakers out there on what NFT's are, and the many different ways you can use them to possibly generate revenue for your film or fundraise for your film or distribute your film and so many other things and we'll talk about that in this episode. But let's first off talk about what an NFT is. An NFT is a non fungible token, which means that is a unique digital file that is registered on the blockchain. Now before I continue with NFT, I need to explain to you what blockchain is. Now, many of you might have heard the term blockchain associated with cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, or aetherium, or Dogecoin, or some many other cryptocurrencies out there.

The technology of blockchain is revolutionary, and I personally believe it will transform the world, if not as big or bigger than the internet did. I know that's a very big statement. But you'll understand in a minute, what blockchain is basically, is a ledger. It is a public ledger, that cannot be messed with hacked, adjusted, and it's completely transparent for everybody to see. So every time there's a transaction, it gets put on a blockchain, and then that blockchain is registered there. And then the next page in that ledger, let's say, which we call a block will be the next one. And then other transactions happen there, and then another one and another one, and it goes on for infinity.

But you can't go back to page two or three and adjust something or erase a number or change something, because it will screw up the entire blockchain. And it's on it's impossible to do. So Bitcoin has been around for 13 years since 2008, when it was first released. And I was the first time the concept of blockchain was presented to the world. In that time, no one has been able to hack, modify or adjust the Bitcoin blockchain. It is not possible to do it is as perfect of an idea as anything that's come out of humanity in such a long time. And I don't want to go into so deep into blockchain but that is the basis of what NFT's are because NFT's live on a blockchain. Now when I first heard about NFT's, I was just like what I don't I don't understand what it is, is a digital file. Why are people spending millions of dollars for these digital files?

Well, in February 2021, there was a digital artist named Peebles who sold a digital artwork for $69.3 million in an auction. And the founder jack Dorsey of Twitter, sold his first tweet for $2.9 million dollars. And it is essentially a digital collectible. Now, I know a lot of you out there who are probably either my vintage or older or might not get this and I'm going to break it down for that part of the audience right now, because the younger crowd might understand what this is. It is essentially a baseball card. It is a comic book. It is a garbage pail kid. It is a a Pokemon card. They're just collectibles. But unlike those examples I gave you where there is hundreds if not 1000s of rookie cards out there for a baseball player.

There's only one that you could make multiple versions of it, you could do a limited run of you know, 1000 or 100 or 50 if you like, but they are digital collectibles. So in a lot of people are asking Well, why would you pay money for something that you could just download a JPEG off online for? Or buy a printer by buy a copy of it and put it up on your wall? Was there same reason why people buy cop posters and prints in limited edition prints of artist or they buy replicas of Van Gogh paintings, and put it on their walls? Because limited edition prints are the same thing as NFT's you can or if it's not limited edition prints, you want the actual print? So what would you rather own? Would you rather own the Mona Lisa?

Or would you rather own a poster of the Mona Lisa? And that's what this all is. These are that's what an NFT is it is a digital collectible. Now how is this going to work for us as independent filmmakers and screenwriters? How is that going to work? Well, let me give you an example. Let's say that Van Gogh painted a painting. And he went and sold it to a art gallery for $500. Because no one knew who Vincent van Gogh was, at the moment, he sold that painting to a gallery, someone at the gallery said this guy has some talent, let me buy this thing for 500 bucks, then fast forward five years, and Van Gogh is the biggest artist in the world, let's say. And that $500 print of that $500 painting that they bought, they go off and sell it for $30 million at auction.

Well, that's great for the the owner of the original painting. But that does nothing for the artist, the artist does not get to reap any of those rewards. And that has been the problem with art for the longest time in the art world because the artist never gets to, you know, you know, wet his beak, as they say or wet her beak, as they say, when it comes to upsells, or future revenue generated from their art. Well, the thing with NFT's is is as the artists you control what you do with your art. So if I'm an artist, I'll put my let's say digital painting up as an NFT.

And there's only one of them, and I'll auction it off, or I'll sell it at a fixed price and someone buys it for that. So let's say I put a poster up of one of my movies, and somebody out there decides to spend $1,000 for it. And I'm like great, you now own that NFT I don't own it anymore. You own it. Now let's say in a couple years, my art starts selling crazy people will really pop really want my poster art and all that kind of stuff. Well then say the original owner of that first NFT that they that was bought for $1,000 they put it back on the market and they sell it for $100,000.

Well, because I created that NFT I could put whatever percentage it is I want but because it's on the blockchain every single time that NFT is sold 10% comes back to me. That's the standard rate for this. So you could do 20% you could do 5% but standard percentages are 10%. So from here until eternity, every single time that NFT is sold somewhere else. Anywhere, anytime. instantly. I get 10% of whatever sells. So if this, this art continues to grow in value, so someone bought it for 100,000. A year later, they sell it for a million, I get 10%. In two years later, they sell it for 10 million, I get 10%, and so on, and so on and so on. So that way the artists still is able to generate revenue from their art for their lifetime.

This is revolutionary for artists in this world. Now, how does this translate to independent filmmakers? Well, when I got when I finally understood that this was basically a baseball card, a digital collectible version of a baseball card or a comic book, I'll use this analogy. Imagine that Steven Spielberg created an NFT for his shirt first short film called amblin. And that was his first short film, and he put it out as an NFT and he sold it for $100. That would be the equivalent of a Mickey Mantle rookie card. How much would ambulance shortfilm be worth as an NF? T. Today?

How much would it have been worth when jaws hit on Raiders of the Lost Ark hit or when he hit? Or when jurassic park or Schindler's List hit and all these other milestones in Steven Spielberg's career, what would that short film be worth? Would it be worth $5? Or would you be worth hundreds of 1000s of dollars? Possibly millions? That is what we're talking about here, guys. So imagine a world where filmmakers are treated like baseball players, or like your favorite comic book character, the first appearance of spider man is worth millions of dollars. But as the career goes on, let's say we keep that example going. Or I'll switch over to a contemporary director as well. Let's talk about Chris Nolan.

So Chris Nolan make he made his first feature film called the following. If we if we would have had an NFT for the following, how much would that NF t be worth today? So after that, he creates an NFT for momento. How much would that NFT be worth today. And he continues to create NFT's per movie per project that he makes throughout his career for people to buy, trade and sell, because they are now buying into him as an artist. Just like you would buy a rookie card for Mickey Mantle, but then you would also buy every year that he's playing baseball, you would buy that year's card, the equivalent would be with filmmakers. Imagine if you owned Reservoir Dogs NFT. Quinn, Tarantino's first feature film or Pulp Fiction or Django Unchained are in glorious bastard. Imagine if you had the rights, or excuse me if you owned that NFT and that could be one NFT.

Or it could be a limited edition of maybe 100 nF T's or 1000 NFT's but that's all the NFT's that will ever be made of that piece of art. Now, that's that's the way I've been able to wrap my head around this seeing like, Where can we go with this? Where can independent filmmakers go now, that is one way you can use NFT's Kevin Smith is now currently using an NFT to sell all distribution rights to his next film. Now, that means that the person who buys that NFT owns the movie owns it and can exploit it and do whatever they want with it from here until eternity.

Now, if they ever sell these rights, Kevin gets 10%. And the producers of the film gets 10%. That's one way of going about it. And also with buying the rights Kevin included in that NFT full marketing, promotions, interviews, they're gonna help the film whoever buys those rights to get it out into the world. And he has a stipulation as well that you have to release it, you can't just sit on it and just go Haha, no one will ever see this movie.

So that is another way. We have a up and coming interview with the first feature film ever independent film to ever sell NFT's for an independent film. And that film is called Lata Juana with Trevor, the director is going to be on as well as his producing partner, we're going to talk all about how he did it. And what they did, essentially was sell shares in their movie.

So you're selling shares as NFT so now every time there's money to be made from anytime there's money that comes in these, these people who own the NFT's will get a piece of the movie. So there's that's another way to make money is with NFT's and independent films. Even Another way is to essentially crowdfund your film with NFT's meaning that you can put 1000 shares for me or for your film as NFT's, and people could start buying them.

And you can set whatever price you want. You can auction it if you like. And you can raise capital to make your movie, if you have an audience if you have people who will believe in the project you're doing and so on. But this is unlike crowdfunding. It's they're just buying shares in your movie, and they can do that. Now, how is this all done? This is all done using cryptocurrency. So the reason why NFT's work it's not because they're sending you a check every single time a sale comes in, it all happens automatically on the blockchain, to your to your cryptocurrency wallet, usually it's using etherium, which is a whole other conversation.

But that is the that is the cryptocurrency that they're using for NFT's right now. But the thing is, guys, the NF T's right now are in their infancy, everyone's just trying to figure out what to do with it, what what's going on with it, how to do it, some people are selling NFT's with physical things with it, they're selling experiences with their NF t. So if you buy my NFT, you also get a hardcopy version of it. And you'll also get, you know, a conference call with me and you can maybe get an autographed picture from the store and they just constantly are packaging things together. So nobody really knows what to do with the film and how to with the with the NFT's and how to actually market it because it's all brand new.

This is essentially the internet in 1996. Okay, that's what NFT's and blockchains are right now the concept of a blockchain, people are starting to figure out imagine in 1995, if I told you to go go to this URL, nobody would have understood a lot of people would have not understood what you're talking about. There was a group of people that did, but many people wouldn't. It's the same thing. Now people are like, what is cryptocurrency? I don't know, what is a blockchain? What does that what is an NFT?

These are things that will be part of our societal vernacular, in the coming years. These things everybody will understand what an NFT is just like everybody now knows what www dot blah, blah, blah, calm means, or what at? the at symbol is for email or what email even was trying to explain what email was to somebody who didn't understand it? It's the same thing that's going on right now with NFT's blockchain and cryptocurrency and I promise you one thing the moment the studio's understand what's going on with NFT's they are going to jump in because what would you think the NFT for the latest Star Wars movie is?

Or the limited edition stuff that they're going to put out for the next Star Wars movie? Or for the next Marvel movie? What would the Avengers end game be worth as an NFT? What would Iron Man's NFT be worth and all sorts of different products and NFT's that they can create limited editions for all of these digital assets that they can create an auction off? to not only sell, make money with the actual NFT. But the marketing? Can you imagine that Disney puts up the Avengers end game NFT. And there's only one and you get to auction it, I promise you that will go from millions of dollars. And the press that they will get from that in addition to just the the money that they're going to get is going to be invaluable.

So the moment that the studio's figure this out there it's going to be they're going to just get everyone's going to go into it. Because then they're going to go into the Casa Blanca NFT, The Three Stooges, NFT's, the the jaws, NFT's and they're going to go into their archives, I'm going to pull up all of the greatest movies that they have in their catalogue and start creating NFT's from those films, because movie fans are going to want to own a digital collectible from their favorite movies. I'm telling you, this is going to happen. Can you imagine the Criterion Collection NFT of Seven Samurai? Can you imagine the Criterion Collection version of Rashomon or of any of their Chasing Amy or whatever movies that they have the NFT rights to? You mean to tell me that no Criterion Collection, collector out there will not buy the NF T of their favorite films. I'm telling you, this is going to be something it might be nothing, but I truly truly doubt it. Now I know a lot of you are asking where do I set these up? Where can I actually sell these things? Where can I create an NFT? How do you how do you create an fd?

Well, there's popular marketplaces like open sea, rare herbal and mental mental is the one that has in vestment from Mark Cuban Ashton Kutcher and a couple of other big shots. And at NBA top shots, sells pro basketball moments, like highlights, like you own the highlight from LeBron doing this, or Michael Jordan doing that. Major League Baseball is starting to finally get into it as well. And they're creating NFT's for different moments and things like that. And they're selling out like their people are going crazy for this stuff. And I know a few of you asking, Is this a fad?

Is this a bubble is it's just a waste? I personally don't believe so. I think that it is here to stay. It's going to change. But I think not only do I think blockchain is here to stay, blockchain will be here, and will be part of every fabric of our existence, in my opinion, on the digital world. In the next coming years, there's things that are being worked out things, they're trying to figure out technology wise, and in bandwidth things, the exact same stuff that people were talking about when the internet showed up.

And if you old enough to know what it was like to dial up internet through the free AOL disk, that you would get an A magazine and a computer magazine to get access to the internet, how slow it was. And nobody really understood what a website was how to build it properly. jpg wasn't even a thing then. So pictures took forever to download, all those things needed to be figured out. And that is what's happening right now with blockchain. And if t is just another thing that you could put on the blockchain, there's so many things that can be put on the blockchain.

But NFT is that so I personally don't believe that NF T's are fad, I think it's here to stay. I think it will change and maneuver and, and and morph into something else in the coming months and years moving forward. But I think it's here to stay. And it's a very exciting time, because it's something new, and it gives power back to the creator to the artists. And I mean, right now, the music industry, musicians and artists are putting out albums and NFT. And they have complete control of the money flow. And labels now are putting in their contracts that they own NFT rights as well. I promise you distribution contracts are going to start coming up that we want NFT rights. This is a thing, it's here to stay in my opinion.

So if you want to see an example of it, I decided to put a test study together. And I launched my own NFT's. Now I have the distinction unless somebody else tells me different. And I've done research and I can't find any others. I was the first person to ever upload a filmmaking tutorial on YouTube. I cannot find one any where else. I was the first one it was released August 28 2006. Now, there are six total videos I uploaded to YouTube. And I actually put in the NFT. A link to the YouTube video for proof and a provenance, if you will, of one this file was actually uploaded.

So when you buy this NFT, you will have access and you will own one of the original six uploaded filmmaking tutorials on YouTube. I only uploaded three of them currently I wanted to see what happened. And there's three other ones if you check out the YouTube page, you'll see that there's three other ones as well. I also think I have the first movie trailer ever uploaded to YouTube due because I can't find it. I beat Sony Pictures by like, a couple months of when they before they opened up their YouTube channel so I don't think I'm the only I'm the first movie trailer ever but I think I'm one of the first for sure. But right now I can't find any other any other movie trailers because now I actually uploaded those much earlier.

I forgot what date I did, but that's not an NF t But anyway, that's regardless. So that's what we call a legacy. Nf t. a legacy NF T is essentially the first ever of its kind. So the first filmmaking tutorial NFT that would be mine. A lot of wanna would be the first independent feature film ever sold as an NF t in the history of of NFTs. So those are what they call legacy NFT's so like the first tweet ever sold as an NFT is a legacy NFT. The first comic book The first baseball card, the first Garbage Pail kid, these are first Pokemon card, these aren't legacy, NFT. So those are things that you should look out for as well. So I put these three up, made it really affordable right now currently because aetherium has gone down in price is 65 bucks. If Ethereum, the cryptocurrency goes back up, when I put first posted them, it was like 125 bucks. So it went down a bunch. So now they're 65 bucks, 64 bucks.

So it will range depending on when you buy it. Now, obviously 65 bucks is not going to make or break me, I'm using this as an experiment, I want to see what happens. I want to see if there's anybody out there in the indie film hustle tribe that finds value in that. And you're not only buying that NFT because of its legacy, but you're also buying it because I put it up. And hopefully one day, I will do other things in my career where these will become much, much more valuable. I have no idea. We'll see. But it's just a really interesting experiment. And another NFT I put up was to my first short film broken, which many of you know and listen to my podcast? No, it was in over 200 film festivals, it was reviewed by Roger Ebert.

It was basically the start of me even thinking about doing something like indie film hustle back then where I created a DVD that sold 5000 copies made over 100,000 bucks as a whole. All sorts of stuff, I'll put links to all the story if you haven't heard that story in the in the show notes, but I put it up as an NFT. To see what you know, if you believe that one day, I will do something artistically that will become more valuable. or for whatever reason, I become more popular. And this becomes more valuable. It might be a good investment. I don't know, this is a weird conversation, because I'm the artist saying hey, maybe one day I'll be big guys. And this will be worth a lot of money. I have no idea. This is an experiment.

Okay, I have no idea. But I wanted to kind of show you have put an example up there. So you can see what what it is and how to do it. And what you know, we'll see what happens, you know, I don't know, I have no idea what's gonna happen in the future with my career, this will be worthless, or this will be worth something or whatever I don't know. But I wanted to show you guys I wanted to give you an example of what this was. So if you do buy the NFT, to my first short film broken, not only do you get the NFT, the actual digital NFT file for the original collectible, if you will have broken, but you also get, I also threw in a bunch of physical stuff. So I'll send this stuff out to you.

So you'll also get access to it digitally. So all of the special features all the other things, including those first tutorials that I upload won't be sent to you digitally. And you'll have access through indie film, hustle TV, you will also get a copy of the DVD signed by me. And you'll also get a lipstick and bullets which is the blu ray really rare because it was only released very little a lipsticks and bullets, blu ray, which has broken and three of my other feature films that they put into a compilation, blu ray that was released a god like eight years ago, as well. So you'll get that. In addition to that plus, you'll also get a digital collection of never before released poster designs that I created October 22 2004. And those are the original files as well.

So you'll get a bunch of stuff when you buy this NFT. Currently, as of this recording, the NF T is running $264.60 that will change depending on the rate of, of aetherium. So if these sell out, I'll put up the other three filmmaking first filmmaking tutorials on YouTube. So there's you'll have the entire collection of six up there. And then I also have three other short films that I made that are red princess blues, references blues animated which have Lance Hendrickson in it, the late great, Robert Forster, and I'll put those up as well as NF T's and those are and if those ever became a feature film, which I want to make one day, they might become valuable.

I don't know, again, 250 bucks, 50 bucks, it's not making a break. And you guys, I'm just putting it out there to see what happens. It's gonna be a really interesting experiment. Nobody might buy it right now. It might sell out in 15 minutes. I have no idea. So I'm really curious about it. So how did I put them up? Where did I put them up? I put them up on mental. So mental dot app. The reason why I use mental is because there was no cost to put them up. If you use any of the other platforms. Those other platforms are going to charge you what is called a gas fee.

A gas fee is the cost to actually have someone verify the transaction on the Ethereum blockchain. And gas fees go up and down and they're really expensive sometimes, and sometimes they're more affordable. It all depends on where aetherium is at the time. This is one of the problems that you're trying Figure out, we're trying to figure out right now, we're not we but the whole community is trying to figure out how to streamline this. So it becomes more mainstream. You could also buy with cryptocurrency, you could also buy with a credit card. So that's why also like mental as well, I know a lot of wanna use open sea to put up theirs, which is probably one of the biggest, but minimal is up there as well. And there's no cost to get things up there. So if you want to put some tests up to see what's going on, you can join me there are no other independent films up there.

Right now, guys, we are at the beginning stages of this stuff, guys, I don't think it's going to go away, I might be wrong, but I don't think it's going to go away. So that's why I jumped on and threw my hat in the ring to see what would happen the same way I've done so many times before in my career, like the YouTube videos and see what would happen. And I had a website back in 9798, making money online. And I always try to be ahead of the game, I'm always trying to see what's around the corner. And I think NFT's are around the corner, it's going to take a minute for everyone to figure out what to do, how to do it, how to set up standards, all that kind of stuff.

And also putting things up as an NFT, you do need a little bit of technical knowledge, I'm not gonna lie to you, it's not the easiest process in the world. But I learned it, you know, in a couple hours watching a bunch of YouTube videos, and tutorials on how to do it on mental mental is pretty easy, not that complex to do, you just have to educate yourself a little bit about it.

And there's tons and tons of tutorials on youtube for free on how to update things and understand what gas fees are, and all this kind of stuff. So you can learn all that stuff fairly easily. But it is doable. So I hope this episode has, you know, lit a fire under your butts to see if there's something else that you can do maybe another revenue stream maybe another way to raise money another way to, to distribute your film and get it out there into the world. There's so many just the opportunities are endless. And the options are endless with NF T's you can really do a whole lot with it. So let's all see what happens. You know, I'm really interested. Now if you want to purchase, or at least look at my NF T's, all you have to do is go to IFH and f t that's like indie film, hustle, IFH and FT.com. And it'll take you straight to my, my collection of NFT's and let's see what happens.

Again, big huge experiment, I'm expecting that no one's gonna buy anything, and nothing is gonna happen. Because I just don't know, I just don't know. So I'm really excited to see what happens. And then the next week, week and a half, we're gonna have some great guests on talking about NFT's talking a little bit about blockchain, and all that kind of stuff. So I really wanted to kind of give you guys a nice, a nice collection of information about this stuff. So just keep an eye out for all of those. So if you want to get links to all the stuff I've been talking about in here, and I'll throw some tutorials and how to get some stuff done and everything. I'll put those in the in the show notes as well at indie film hustle.com Ford slash 471.

Thank you so much for listening, guys. I really hope this, a lot of you come back to this episode. And really, it helps you guys. I hope this helps everybody out there. I hope I want to hear if you as a filmmaker, put out some NFT's and you sell them, call me I want to know about it. I want to see how you're doing. I want to hear stories about how you're using NFTs and what's going on with NFT's in in your process in your workflow with your project either at the beginning of a project in the middle of a project at the end of the project, whatever I want to see what you guys in the tribe are doing. Reach out to me You guys know how to get a hold of me online. through the website. All you got to do is email me and message me and me or somebody from my team. We'll get you back but I am very interested to see what happened. So thank you again for listening guys.

As always, keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive. Stay safe out there. And I'll talk to you soon.

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