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IFH 585: What is the Controversial Indie Film NFT Franchising Method? with Cameron Van Hoy

Cameron Van Hoy is a veteran in the entertainment industry. After a stint acting, he wrote and produced films such as Treasure of the Black Jaguar, Tooken, and Sharkproof. He really came into his own producing the hit horror comedy Tragedy Girls, which hit theaters around the world and has gone on to become a cult classic.

His debut directorial feature, Flinch, was released early this year to great acclaim and theatrical distribution before finding a digital home with the tech giants of Amazon, Apple, and Google. The film continues to accumulate a loyal following and Van Hoy has an affinity for gritty stories documenting love, family and crime in an epic and timeless way.

Cameron created the indie film called Flinch that was are released and franchised via NFTs. It’s a controversial method, but we are aiming to be trailblazers of the industry and help mitigate the controversy surrounding NFTs by releasing it with a solid foundation.

It stars Daniel Zovatto, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Cathy Moriarty, Tom Segura, Buddy Duress, David Proval, Steven Bauer, Michael Drayer and more. It is a crime thriller that tells the story of a young hitman who lives with his mother and a girl who witnesses them commit a murder.

The backbone of any film growing a supporting audience is the community behind it. NFTs survive and thrive off of their communities. We are creating 9,999 original art pieces that are representative of characters in the universe. Community members will have the opportunity to purchase these for a set amount each. The funds from these NFTs will go into making the sequel to Flinch. Upon selling all of the NFTs, the film immediately goes into preproduction.

A dedicated audience of nearly 10,000 have an interest in ensuring the film succeeds. Those who hold these NFTs can be verified and are rewarded for doing so. After parties with the cast and crew, special Q&As with the director, early access to the script, visits to set during shooting, and red carpet premiers.

They gain exclusivity. Additionally, as a reward, 50% of the income generated from the movie will go into a shared community wallet. The NFT holders can vote on how to use these funds. They can use it to market and promote the film, create additional IP (comic books, TV shows, etc.), or whatever else they want to do with it! It gives holders “skin in the game” of the art and movies they love.

Joe Doyle (Daniel Zovatto) is a young hitman following in his father’s footsteps. Quiet and reserved, he is observant and careful, making him very good at what he does. While studying his new target, city council member Ed Terzian (Tom Segura), Doyle develops a distant crush on the councilman’s assistant, Mia (Tilda Cobham-Hervey). After she walks in on her boss’s assassination, Mia is caught by Doyle who must decide whether to let her go or to dispose of her for good.

As Doyle aims the gun at her head, Mia doesn’t flinch, bringing him to a crossroads. Unsure of what to do, Doyle brings Mia to his home where he lives with his overbearing mother Gloria (Academy Award Nominee Cathy Moriarty), and holds her hostage until he can gain some clarity.

Doyle’s boss, Lee (David Proval) and his son, James (Buddy Duress), start questioning Doyle about the missing girl, and slowly he comes to find that Mia might not be entirely who he thinks she is. This brings Doyle to make the ultimate decision: does he kill the girl who didn’t flinch?

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Cameron Van Hoy 0:00
When I came in, I quickly realized I'm not going after anyone that's in web two. I'm really going after people on web three.

Alex Ferrari 0:07
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Cameron Van Hoy 1:00
Good, how are you?

Alex Ferrari 1:01
I'm good brother. I'm good. Man. Thank you so much for coming on the show you guys reached out to me about what you guys are doing in the NFT space in the indie film space. And apparently, I have now become the podcast to go to for this stuff. Because I have been doing a lot of these NFT episodes lately. And it's just interesting, man. There's some really cool stuff that filmmakers are finally cracking the code and the technology and everyone's trying new ways of doing things and figuring things out. I mean, it's very, it's it's internet. It's the internet circa 2001. I think with the space.

Cameron Van Hoy 1:35
Yeah, I certainly is. And it's I think it's I think it's the most exciting thing to happen to independent film in a long time.

Alex Ferrari 1:44
Yeah, absolutely. Well, we need some help. That's for damn sure. Drop out there. It's rough out there for the independent filmmaker. So before we get started, man, how did you and why did you want to get into this insanity? That is the film industry?

Cameron Van Hoy 1:57
Well, movies, you know, I love the movies I I always loved storytelling and filmmaking and films and drama from I was very young. I started off as an actor at a very young age, like, you know, I grew up, I was one of those kids in theater and doing all that stuff. And then I this was in San Diego. And then I got an agent and I was on a show called Hey Arnold. And I did some movies. I was I was in this movie when I was 14, where I rob a bank and Burt Reynolds is the police negotiator and Nisha

Alex Ferrari 2:35
Cop and a half?

Cameron Van Hoy 2:37
No movie called Pups.

Alex Ferrari 2:39
Okay, okay!

Cameron Van Hoy 2:40
Movie called pups. And so like I had an introduction to Hollywood then. And then of course, I always had a video camera. I was one of those kids that grew up with a video camera. And then I moved to New York, went to the High School for Performing Arts, continued studying drama theater, really fell in love with movies. They're like World Cinema. Up until then, you know, I was in love with Rambo or Indiana Jones, or just all the great movies that we grew up with. Sure, sure, and Disney movies and all of that. And then in New York, it was at the Brooklyn Library that I started renting like all the great movies and I was going to the theater school, I'm surrounded by the culture of New York City and really dove into like World Cinema and just fell in love with the movies and was making little films with my video camera. And then I decided I was going to move to LA to make movies and so I moved to LA and I've been out here making films ever since.

Alex Ferrari 3:39
Very cool, man. Now what what made you decide to go into the NFT space with the new film Flinch? What are you doing that's unique in this in this space with NFT's?

Cameron Van Hoy 3:53
Yeah, so I guess Okay, so I made flinch pre pandemic, right, I was making it leading up to the pandemic. And then we were doing post production through the pandemic. And you know, the world really changed during that time. And then I also even before I knew anything about NFT's I knew that I wanted to own my movies. You know, I had done a film previous to this movie called tragedy girls, which did really well was in the festivals that had a great cast Josh Hutcherson Zenit Craig Robinson Zenit Alexandra Shipp, to horror comedy was received incredibly well. It's on Hulu now, you know, have a deal with Hulu. But I you know, before that I did a film that I sold to Netflix or licensed to Netflix and like it just I saw the business get tougher and tougher for independent filmmakers and the streaming deals worse and worse. And then you have these like other companies that come in licensing movies for like 10 to 15 years. It's just not the deal. Suck and so When I knew I wanted to own my films, and I just was like, There's got to be a better way. And I was familiar with filmmakers like Jim Cummings and other people who were owning their films, putting them on iTunes themselves, putting them on Amazon themselves, which seemed really great the idea and spirit of ownership, and like distributing yourself and you know, the technologies here, now we can get our films out there, you know, on our own, we don't have to sell them. But But still, the economics of that is very tough. Those streaming services, those tech platforms don't give you any data whatsoever, right. Their fees are egregious, or just I think, maybe egregious is too strong of a word, but it's not great. And then I learned about and I've been in crypto for many years, just buying Bitcoin and Aetherium and tons of other coins for many, many years. So I've always a believer in blockchain. And from early on and was very excited about I always kept my ear to the ground. And I heard about NFT's and this guy named vol. Ravi Kahn, I like to listen to his podcast sometimes. And he was talking about how the technology of NFT's is really about communities, owning projects, and through that community ownership and involvement, the value that can be created and what that really means for the future and how the future will look more like a world where projects are owned by communities developed by communities, the values are turned back to those communities. And that this is a real paradigm shift. And that was my aha moment. And I said, Wow, you can replace a movie studio with an NFT community. Right? Because when I first heard about NFT's, of course, I'm thinking through the framework as a filmmaker. But you know, my first gut reaction was like, well, the movie can be an NF T. That doesn't work, right? Yeah. Yeah. Yet, yet. Sure. Yeah. But I was more excited about the idea of community. And so I looked at flinch. And I said, Okay, well, I'm releasing this film. And I want to do it as a franchise to crime film, and I wanted to do it as a three part crime franchise. So I said, You know what, I'm gonna release it to an NFT community, I will take the film, I will release it to an NFT community. And then when the mentors complete, we go and make part two, and then hopefully repeat. And that was the initial like thought, it's like, okay, I could build a franchise with a community via NFT's. And then when I started really getting into it, and learning about the space and seeing what was happening in the film, NFT space and just the empty space in general, it started really taking shape. And it's incredibly well.

Alex Ferrari 7:33
So our it's so explicit. So if anybody and by the way, anyone listening who doesn't understand what blockchain or an NFT's are, there's multiple episodes on the show that you can go back to and just do a search. Because I don't want to just every episode explain what it is, in every episode explain blockchain, which is difficult to understand for, for a lot of people. So it's, you got to wrap your head around it. You know, I've, I've done a tremendous amount of research on in blockchain and NFT's I've, I've sold a few of my own ft. NFT's. And it's really an interesting space. But again, it's just very much like circa 2001. Internet, like people are just like, what's a web page? How is the web page working? Like, how can I get how can I get paid to do this? There's so many different technologies that are just starting to try to get ironed out. And there there is literal. I mean, we're in we're in dialogue. Right now, in the scope of technology, like we're in dialogue, we're at a really fast mode, and but we're still not a DSLR a DSL or, or cable or ether, you know, like none of that. So what our internet is our versus the internet analogy versus where we are with NFT's and blockchain, there's still like, really, there is a block in the technology to get it to where we all know it's going to go in 10 years, but it's getting there. It's even in the last three years. It's, I mean, NBC just did a five part series on blockchain and crypto, you know, so it's, it's becoming a more, it's becoming much more in the zeitgeist. So you decided to build a community around a movie? How did you find as the original movie?

Cameron Van Hoy 9:14
I find is that the way that I financed any of my other films with private equity? And some yeah, I've done things that tax credits foreign sales, this particular one I did with private equity investors that I'd worked with on my previous films.

Alex Ferrari 9:28
And then And then while you were in post is when you decided, hey, I'm gonna, I think we're going to try to do this NFT thing. So are you are you, how you distributing this film?

Cameron Van Hoy 9:37
So part one exists as like a utility for this project and for the community. So I've put it on iTunes, I've put it on Amazon. I've also built my own decentralized cinema for this project, which works on Polygon even though the NFT's will be on the Etherium network. So anyone who is in the web three ecosystem and has a smart wall All of our crypto wallet, they can connect to our site, send over to Matic tokens and have access to watch the film there. And also by doing that you are on our whitelist in order to mint or NFT's. So I have like a web three way to watch the film. And then I've put it out domestically via web two platforms like Amazon, iTunes and places like this.

Alex Ferrari 10:21
So what so everybody understands what web three is. Web three is basically the NFT crypto blockchain space. Right? Yeah, I say that. I'm just saying, Yeah, because people I get you, I understand where you're at, but like a lot of people listen to like, what are they? Are they talking another language? Because if we, if we just start going straight geek, we can go hard, and then everyone's gonna just turn off because they're not gonna understand what the hell's going on.

Cameron Van Hoy 10:46
There are it's very interesting. So what I'm finding in the spaces, yeah, there is a whole culture and economy and community in web three, right? There are people with smart wallets, crypto wallets, and Aetherium and blockchains and NFT's and they are operating and they're buying NFT's. They're getting involved in projects, the ecosystem really exists around Twitter and discord, your people are finding out about product projects on Twitter. And then they are joining those projects discords getting on whitelist, which is access to buy the NFT's early on oftentimes for a cheaper price. It's like that, you know, going public moment for a project. And they're, they're, you know, changing their profile pictures, they're building together, they're participating in games together. One thing that we've been able to do, since we have Part One complete as we do movie nights for other NFT communities, because this ecosystem, we're talking about this economy, whatever you want to call it, it's very, like you said, it's closed off, it's hard to get into, you have to take the time to understand the wallet, set up the wallet the right way, get some eath in your wallet and start buying and trading. And then you start realizing the community aspect and how these communities rally together build value by hyping up other projects, so their own projects, and then in turn, you know, their price of their NFT's are rising, and people are playing that game by buying multiple energy, right? So there's a lot of people in that world already. I shouldn't say a lot. It's probably a drop in the bucket. But it's a thing. It's a world. And so, you know, people are building games and Metaverse is in film franchises like what we're doing and clothing brands. And there's insane amounts of value being built around these things. Of course, I think the larger goal is that these things that communities build, eventually are utilized, explored, understood or purchased by the general public, right? But but within this community they're building and so when I came in, I quickly realized I'm not going after anyone that's in web two, I'm really going after people in web three, you know, so it's like, I'm going to a bunch of NFT de gens or tech forward thinking people and saying, Hey, let's build a franchise together. You know, and this is part one, you can watch it. And if you like it, you can be a part of building out this larger franchise. So yeah, that's how I've kind of approached it.

Alex Ferrari 13:07
Do they have part ownership if they buy the NFT?

Cameron Van Hoy 13:10
So the way that it works is they get governance access and value, right? So obviously, anyone who has the NFT owns their NFT. Right? That NFT's on by that are NFT's are generative characters that exist in part one, two and three of the franchise, right that generative. They're criminals, crooked cops, Femme Fatale, we are crime franchises. And so if you hold if you own those entities, you own the IP rights to that character. What we're doing is the franchise the larger ecosystem is allowed to use any of these characters at any time within the films that we're making the games and then any other ancillary that we derive from it. But you as the holder of the NFT also have the IP rights over that character. So you can go make a spin off about that character if you want. Oh, really? Yeah, you can make a YouTube podcast channel where you're interviewing people in Avatar of that character, you can make your own Instagram account around that character and speak and post in the voice of that character. You can do anything you want. The only thing we ask for is like Movie Studio is a first right of refusal with a first look deal with anyone models and NFT. So if you've developed your specific character to a point where you feel there's an audience and a story and lore, you want to go develop it, you come to us first and see if the community wants to use its community funds within the wallet to finance whatever project you're doing with your character. So that's kind of the ecosystem around the NFT's and then there's the central franchise that the project makes. So we already have Part One complete we're going to go into part two we do that with the community. They're involved in the creative process they have access to control the creative meetings, these things are token games you have to hold an NFT in order to get in right so witness watch partake in the discord like I'm there all the time communicating with everyone and there was a real team, it's building and people are coming up with lore and ideas and all sorts of stuff happening. We have like location channels where people drop Location images and ideas and car images and soundtrack, concepts inspirations. So it's really like creating communal creativity. And then a percentage of whatever comes back from these films, the value from their exploitation goes back to a community wallet, that the community governance, so it's the return of value back to the community. And the community can decide if they want to save by the floor price of the NFTs, which is subsequently just boosting their profits like returning it right to themselves almost like a buyback in a way. Or they can put it towards more marketing to get the word out there about the project in a larger way. Let's say we've made part two and we watch an early cut of it and decide that we want more action, well, we can decide to go back in and do some pickup days with that community wall. Right. So that's, that's how the ecosystem works. And then the goal is to make a native token, so that within this franchise ecosystem, we're just you know, X movie, we license Part One and Two to Netflix, say, in a year, Netflix wants to get on the web three thing, they license these two films from us put them on the front page, and it's just throwing numbers out, it's a million dollar deal. They're excited about web three. Well, a percentage of that million will just come right back into the ecosystem going wallets and if we have a native token can just be exchanged for that token and air dropped into everyone's wallets. Same with what three exploitation, right? Like if the film continues playing, or we are able to build out like a play to earn game and there's, there's some form of cash flow from that those native tokens can just automatically no one has to do anything, because of smart contracts in the blockchain, just drop into everyone's wallets. So the goal is that you create this ecosystem and like a real, real value, ultimately, so that's

Alex Ferrari 16:50
So then, so then, if I if I can translate, you're building a community of like minded people who are interested in this franchise, they're, they're buying the NFT's by buying the NFT's, they are not part of this community, that's their entry point to the community. There are smart contracts that state everything, you just said that, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, all that stuff. So then if, let's say, you get a million dollars from Netflix, great. A percentage of that, I think, is I think I read somewhere 50 50%. Like goes. So if it's $500,000 goes straight into the community wallet for everybody to kind of govern. And then 500 goes to the you guys that set this whole thing up, which is fine. actually convert more than fair. So then, let's say there's a video game spin off, that video games spin off as bought by by Blizzard for $20 million, 10 million goes to you 10 million goes into the community wallet. And then we start building out what and then everything else other ancillaries other exploitations of the movie, whatever they might be, when that money comes in. It goes in splits 5050 goes into the into the community, and then you start building from there. So you it is in the best interest of the community hold the token holder or the excuse me, the NFT holder to promote the living hell out of this to try to get the word out because the more people buy, they have more control of what's happening with the project. But they don't get a percentage. They're not part owners of it. They're part owners of the community. In other words, is that that's that's the that's how you guys putting it together? Yes. It's a very interesting concept. How many? How many NFT's do you have for this film franchise?

Cameron Van Hoy 18:36
Doing 9999 Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 18:41
Okay. Are they all mented already?

Cameron Van Hoy 18:44
No, we haven't done anything.

Alex Ferrari 18:46
Oh, you haven't ment that anything? Yeah. So you're slowly going to be

Cameron Van Hoy 18:48
You just been building our community. So like, obviously, in this space, it's very important to build your community first, it's very hard to just drop something and have it mapped out because you don't have any awareness at first. And the other incredible thing that I've learned about the space is that you're able to build communities of people that want to get in on these whitelists, as they call them, we call ours a hit list, because it's about a hitman, obviously. And so there's real value in getting in early. And so you start getting all of these people that are doing exactly what you're saying. And they don't even hold the NF T's yet. But they're building and passionate about building and supporting and promoting and marketing because having that early access means you're gonna get a lower mid price, right, you're gonna be one of the early adopters. And so we've been able to build out a really large, powerful community like we are one of the leading films in the NFT film space at this point. And, and I think that's because of you know, I don't know what it's because exactly, I think we're doing things right. I think we're using the technology in the right way.

Alex Ferrari 19:49
Well, I think it's also I think, from seeing what I saw of your of your work I mean, it's solid, it's a it's a well, it's Welsh as well directed well shot has a good cast has it's a great genre. So there's, you know, it's not like a period drama piece. Like, you know, it really hits within the niche of people who would be tech savvy, would be interested in a crime franchise. You know, they wouldn't be interested in the dog says, dog sakes that saves Christmas movie. Like that's not probably the NFT ideal. So it is genre based and everything else you I mean you got time so Gordon and your movie, right? I am like the biggest fan of Tom segura. frickin love Tom.

Cameron Van Hoy 20:29
Right! He's amazing. Yeah, he's amazing. We've got Academy Award nominee, Cathy Moriarty, who's got Danny's avato, who's an incredible young actor tilde Kevin Urvi. Putting duress is in the movie. I mean, it's a wonderful cast. It helps us a lot like being able to enter the NFT space and drop the movie and show them say, Hey, this is this is what you're signing up for. This is the team that's surrounding this project that's going to help to spearhead this in the right way. Yeah, it's been really helpful for us, I think we're the first that's done something like that,

Alex Ferrari 21:03
Would you would it eventually, in I'm just gonna like pie in the sky here. Eventually, when the technology gets to where we want it to get to in the in the blockchain and NFT space, would it be simple, it wouldn't be this would be a workflow, let me know I want to just throw it this workflow at you and see if it works. You would create a community based around an IP, whatever that IP is, and you can have images sizzle reel, whatever it is to sell and finance the film through NFT's and smart contracts and get funding that way, make the movie, then release it on the blockchain, where then anybody who buys or rents or accesses it, when they pay all the money automatically gets split among all of the investors and yourselves as a creators, all automatically. And then as new revenue comes in. The smart contracts handle all the distribution, and there is no funny business. There's no Hollywood accounting, there's none of that while and there's no middleman

Cameron Van Hoy 22:08
Is that that's where we're going. And it's all all the systems are in place. The only one that is probably just not profitable yet is the distribution side of it simply because that smart wallet most people don't have smart wallet yet. And they're not operating in this web three world. But what is perfectly in place at this point is communities minting providing the liquidity to the project and then supporting and building together. That's there right now. That's happening. I think over time, as more and more people become native to this yes, then that distribution will we'll probably see a flip at a certain point where more people are connecting wallets to watch things than they are using the username and password to get in to watch stuff. And when that happens. Yeah, it'll be it's going to be awesome.

Alex Ferrari 22:57
But it'll be it's we're still a little while away, because we just need mass adopt adopt, you know, adopting of this technology.

Cameron Van Hoy 23:06
So, and for us, it's important, like, Look, our goal would be to get, you know, like 500 screen release in AMCs for the next year. You know what I mean? Like, and I'd love to see the community like tweeting the hell out of them saying, Hey, we got party ready, let's, let's roll them out name. See, that's a very tech forward thing, you know, with these communities, I imagine a lot of these big corporations and companies are going to want to have a pulse on what's happening with three more and more. So as this continues to grow, and and I want that I want the film to play in theaters. I wanted to play with a major stream where I want it to be accessible to everyone. And I think the community wants that as well. Right? Because that provides more awareness for our project more value back to the community. So we're not trying to say you can only watch it in web three. But yes, but I do believe over time, more and more people will watch within Web three, and then that what you're talking about transparency will become the norm.

Alex Ferrari 24:00
Yeah, it'll become the norm. It's something that's so I think the studio's will be pretty terrified by it. And distributors will be terrified by it, because it kills the basically, you can start I mean, when you imagine if the Rock who could finance a film if he wants to does this and goes down the road all the way and does everything we just said and he pulls in a couple 100 million himself. That's a better deal than he's getting from studios. It's gonna get to that place, I think, I think eventually will

Cameron Van Hoy 24:34
Not only will it get to that place, but there's something new happening here, which I think a lot of people don't recognize, which is NFT's themselves are a new art form. As it's entered here, there are stories being told to these entities, there's games being played for these entities, just the process of purchasing NFT's, making them waken an avatar representation of who you are giving them life giving them names and backstories. And then like purchasing multiple types of NFT's based off of their rarity within collections, and then the groups that are formed around those specific NFT's. And then serums. Many times like with the port apes, as an example, like ours, our version of a serum is gonna be a burner phone, because in the film, the central character uses a burner phone to get their jobs, there will be a burner phone that has a variety of jobs smuggled across the border, take care of this person, be the getaway driver for this job. And you'll be able to mint one of those burner phones, then if you want to advance your character and have tea, you will have to burn the burner phone, which is getting rid of that NFT sucking it off of the market. But then you advance your character. And this sounds crazy to people who are not in web three. But there's a lot of fun in it for people, it's important to new form of entertainment, and game and investing that we haven't seen before. And I think it's a whole other market outside of just the movies, just what's happening with characters and serums and playing them against each other. And where that can go is a new thing. And then there's this secondary royalty that comes into the project from that in and of itself. So you start looking at a franchise, it's something that has multiple verticals, there's the movies, but there's also just the NFT's are a thing. They're more than just a way to provide liquidity to make the films

Alex Ferrari 26:42
Right. You know, no, it's really interesting, because it's it's the equivalent of where we were, you know, again, I'll go back to like, when people were afraid to put their credit cards on the internet, you know, that they were like, that was the technology like now everybody just literally opens up an app and buys whatever they want, and it's at your doorstep. But I'm old enough to remember where there was no internet. That's how old I am. But But during that, yeah, exactly. So but you look fantastic. So so no, but the but I still remember, like people were like I can't, there was like full full news sections. And like, don't put your credit card on the internet. This is what happened. So that was a complication. I think I think that as we move forward, and if these are pretty complicated right now, everything's a little clunky, the technology is a little clunky, you really need to have your tech in order in order to even buy. I mean, Coinbase has helped a little bit if you want to buy Kryptos, it's become a little easier to buy crypto with with your credit card, which that that's only within the last couple, what, two, three years that hasn't been like that way always. So it's becoming a little bit easier. From what you're saying in regards to the investment and you know, getting residual back and all that kind of stuff and gaming within the NFT space. It's kind of like, you know, you're playing fortnight or Roblox or something like that. But the money that you're buying or selling and making is real money, it's crypto. And you can actually use that in real world purchases while you're playing in the web three space. Is that is that a decent analogy?

Cameron Van Hoy 28:23
That's, that's that is the whole premise of web three is ownership. Right? Web two was reading, right? Right, what one they say was just read, you can just kind of dial up and read things when two is username and password to get into a centralized organization that held and owned everything and you can comment like and share posting videos is a two way street, web three is connect your wallet and own.

Alex Ferrari 28:49
So in, in theory, what we're talking about is that a movie project could be for lack of a better word, a stock, a company that you're investing in. And in the, in the grand scheme of things, let's say I'm investing and I want to get a piece of a piece of you know, there's a piece of the residual payments back kind of like dividends. So I let's say I put in $100 is that, you know, let's say this NFT, there's a lot of shares. So it can go around millions of people to purchase it, let's say, then, as you invest, the movie goes out, it's your best interest to promote it because it's your stock, you're part owner of this. So you're gonna put it out so then the marketing costs start to go way down, because now you're putting it all out there. So it's kind of like creating a word of mouth on a project, but you're getting paid for the word of mouth marketing, and then you can invest in that and then as the movie just continues, it's it's it's pace from now until whenever the world ends, and the computer stopped working. There's a residual payment that is set up through the through the smart contracts that automatically win money. He's made, it goes right into your account. And you could start investing into any kind of projects you want. So if you wanted to invest, quote, unquote, into a Marvel movie, let's say the next Avengers comes out and you can invest $100 In the next Avengers, you might be able to pull $100 back out eventually, or vice versa. But it's an a part ownership of the project as opposed to the norm. The normal way of doing things is that there's a studio that owns everything gets all the gets all the benefits of it, and barely even plays the the creators like they pay them upfront, but they generally don't get paid afterwards because of Hollywood accounting, and so on. So is that a setup?

Cameron Van Hoy 30:41
It's democratized venture capital is democratize, investing and ownership is democratizing filmmaking. And like, it's just democratizing these things that used to be so you know, there's no way into them. They were operating these giant centralized organizations, whether it's a music label, or a movie studio or right, you're a clothing brand. I mean, you see a lot of these projects now that are building clothing brands, and people are going to wear those clothing, because the more again, that they're promoting that as they're walking around, that's, it's it's a direct connection to the value that NFT that you hold, which has a marketplace that you can sell it at any time and see what the market is valuing that at. So yes, communities work together and provide value back to themselves immediately. That's the paradigm shift of it all, you know?

Alex Ferrari 31:31
Yeah. It's it's pretty, it's pretty exciting. I mean, it's a pretty exciting idea. Again, some of the things that we're talking about are available now. But not everything we're talking about, because the technology is not there yet. But this is where everything is going. There's no doubt in my mind that this will happen within the next 10 years, if not faster.

Cameron Van Hoy 31:51
No, I think it'd be faster. I mean, we saw all the streaming. I mean, all the Yes, streaming companies, tech companies, social media platforms just destroy all media or bookstores like old retail, it's somewhat what how long did that take? 10 20 years, right? I think this will move quicker. I think web three will rattle those cages, because again, this is about ownership. So if you don't provide that to people, you have a very hard time iterating. And then also your point about communities and the power that they have for marketing? Well, it's it's almost similar what happened again, with the social media phase of web two, where the people who had the followings who got the likes and got the comments. And they were they became very valuable, right? They were the marketing juggernaut now, so much so that most companies want to spend more on that than they are in traditional ads. Right? That's going to be the other shift that happens where people are going to value communities and projects and brands that hold communities. That's going to be the next wave, right? Because once you start realizing like that you can directly receive value from the things that you're supporting and liking. I mean, that's, that's a skin in the game as a drug that's going to be hard to take away from people once they have it.

Alex Ferrari 33:03
Right! And it's kind of like we're crowdfunding was when it started. But crowdfunding doesn't give you any ownership.

Cameron Van Hoy 33:10
Crowdfunding is patronage, you know, crowdfunding is this is completely different than that.

Alex Ferrari 33:15
Completely. Exactly, exactly. It's more like equity crowdfunding, which is like you're getting a piece of the pie by donor, putting money into the piece. And there's a, but this is done, not by contracts, but by smart contracts, which are interesting.

Cameron Van Hoy 33:31
Anyone, you didn't have to trust the company to make sure that the funds go here. It's, there's no, it's trustless it just happens.

Alex Ferrari 33:39
And I think that is how that's going to how the governments of this world are going to allow this to continue is fascinating to me, because they're literally starting to, I mean, once you decentralize money, which is the power of a government essentially used to control their money. Yeah, you know, it's, it's pretty interesting.

Cameron Van Hoy 34:01
I was buying Bitcoin at a very low price. And I was afraid of this every step of the way. I was always I was a big believer in Bitcoin and blockchain but I was every step of the way, just going, they're gonna they're not going to allow this right for that exact reason, right dominance over the dollar. And it's so interesting how all these combos ultimately become like an economic even political conversation certain point because it's such a thing. But you know, they haven't stopped it yet. It's very hard to stop. And I hope they don't because, you know, America has always been strong because we've been able to innovate. And I mean, look what um, tax it right, they gotta get the they gotta get their tax dollars, let them tax it, but hopefully, they let the innovators just, you know, play within the rules, but but, you know, continue to grow and develop,

Alex Ferrari 34:46
I think, I mean, yeah, just El Salvador just made Bitcoin their national currency. So that's pretty insane.

Cameron Van Hoy 34:54
Yeah, yeah, it is. It is for sure. I mean, I think America's stance has been pretty cool with it also. Far scary games there seems to be pro Bitcoin and watching. We'll see how it shakes out. I think it's I think the cats out of the bag.

Alex Ferrari 35:09
Oh, no, you can't you can't put you can't put the genie back in the bottle with this. But now Now we got we got institutional investments into Bitcoin and into crypto coming in I mean, we're talking about like, you know, there's there's funds, there's crypto funds by major, major financial institutions, so they're all gonna get into it. So in we're talking about crypto a little bit guys, because that's kind of like the blockchain is the base, but in order for money to be made, you can't send dollar bills back and forth.

Cameron Van Hoy 35:39
Yeah, through swift systems or through these old systems with middlemen, right, like it's just it sucks value out of it. It's, it's it's friction.

Alex Ferrari 35:50
Exactly. I mean, where you can have a where you can have a crypto wallet that's earning you five to 10%. In Me, I mean, I have I have crypto right now that's earning 5%. That's better than any bank just sitting there. Now mind you, the crypto is a little bit volatile. So that's that's just a little, just a little on the points.

Cameron Van Hoy 36:11
But you know, there's another cool thing to speak about as well that's happening. It's also a paradigm shifts and a revolution outside of blockchain, which I think is two things happening in conjunction with each other as enabled. What's going on here to be so strong, which is Twitter spaces, Discord, right? It's again, it's the communication, it's the ability to communicate. But within Twitter, there's these things called Twitter spaces, which is so much of the in the NFT world called Alpha sounds like such a general I'm a film guy just talking at a theaters now. But you know, people get together in these Twitter spaces, it's like clubhouse, and they're talking. And they're just communicating, sharing ideas. And that ability for us to share ideas so quickly. Just communicate and like work together and pick up on trends and execute on those trends. Is fire right? It's really amazing. And then these these platforms like discord that allow communities to be whole and work together and organized with channels and like execute on things as groups, but from around the world. I mean, Twitch at this point has a team of filmmakers, Blockchain developers, collaborators and marketing people, devs, moderators, mods, I mean, just so many people from all over the world, and we are every single day like it just doesn't end it becomes like hive mind, where there we're using the discord as the centralized operating space. We did a table read for someone else's screenplay and a lot of directors writers people send me their scripts to look at and now my go to is always just jump in the discord get involved. So we've always called filmmakers that are jumping in there. One of them wanted me to read the script. I said, let's just do a table read with the community. We can talk and get it from the community right. And so they they jump in, we cast out of the community with one of the actors from flinch and amazing actor Michael Dreyer has been everything he came out, read the lead role in it. And then like the rest of the community was like, filled out the other roles. And we read this person's screenplay and gave them some feedback. And for them to hear it. We did it just like we're doing right. So it's like, we're working together to build and support each other. And that communication, that connectivity, coupled with like live value, whatever you call it, like the NF T's being able to, in live let the market determine the value of what it is that you guys are doing as a group. It's just wild.

Alex Ferrari 38:37
Yeah, it's pretty insane. Now, I also saw that you guys are doing practical, or real world products, like VHS and a couple other things. First of all, where do you get your VHS? And how are you getting done? And secondly, how is that connected to the NFT space?

Cameron Van Hoy 38:56
It's just merch. Yeah. Collectibles. So yeah, we made a VHS. We made a VHS. We've made VHS. VHS. We made a tape cassette. Yeah. And it because it has like a digital download. So you can also get the soundtrack digitally our soundtracks done by Miami knights 1984 One of my favorite synth wave groups, awesome. Fire. We've got CDs, posters, shirts, like and the community just bombed them and loves them and is wrapping them. So yeah, it's just it's merch like anything else.

Alex Ferrari 39:37
You know, it's connected but it's connected to NFT's as well. You have to buy NFT to get it or how's that work? No, no, just normal normal just normal merch. Merch is just accessible. So where do you get your Where did you get your VHS is paid. I have to ask.

Cameron Van Hoy 39:49
There's like one VHS manufacturer left in America. I think they're in America. Again. You want to remember off the top my head. But we dealt with that. Oh, we did a vinyl Press two we have vinyls of the sound. Yeah. Right. It's also tough to get like a good vinyl press. There's not a lot of companies that

Alex Ferrari 40:07
For independence, but like as I see vinyl everywhere now,

Cameron Van Hoy 40:11
Maybe for independence, I don't know. For us it was there was back halt, you know, and everyone was back halted, when might it be a COVID thing as well.

Alex Ferrari 40:18
But that's really that's so and it goes along with the kind of film you're doing. So VHS makes

Cameron Van Hoy 40:24
The movie, the movie flinch has a very 90s vibe to it. Right? It's like, it's got that vibe, and like a crime film from the 90s, you know, an era and a genre that I personally love. And so all of this plays into the aesthetic of the movie.

Alex Ferrari 40:39
Yeah, that's, that's awesome, man. Now, at the end of the day, what's the goal with the NFT's and the community, you just want to build out two more films. And then let's say let's say you get the other two films done. And you've got a three part you know, trilogy, what next? What do you do with this? One that's all played out? What do you do with this community?

Cameron Van Hoy 40:58
Now the goal is to do a full year, and then let the community just run wild with it.

Alex Ferrari 41:04
It's not just about Flint, you're building a community based around projects that you want to continue to build out and build out as a community.

Cameron Van Hoy 41:12
So I want to see flinch, go on and become this kind of epic crime web three franchise that was birthed of the metaverse, but enjoyed by the world, that the community is constantly adding to I think very soon the future is going to be like imagine a writer who wants to write for film and television now and they're not they're not in the film business, what do they have to do move to LA New York, write spec scripts, try to get an agent try to get them in front of people making these TV shows and movies and then get hired on to be a staff writer get their thing picked up to be turned to have. So I think the future is going to be binding 50 to a film franchise get in right lower for that franchise, get involved in the creative process of the franchise, get hired to write part eight of the franchise, and then maybe direct part nine, you know what I mean? Like you're gonna work your way up within these communities that you're actively involved in that you understand the lore and the characters of we're already seeing it and flinch. All sorts of creative people are coming in, that are actors and writers and directors aspiring or working and going, Hey, like, Let's build this together. And yeah, I'll read a role here. And can I put myself on tape for that? You know, and I'd like to write some lore for this character, I have an idea for part two. So I think it'll, I think it'll continue, I think that's the plan is that it becomes, it takes on a life of its own so much to the point where I can step away and go do whatever it is that I want to do next. Outside of the flinch thing, although my focus now is executing this successfully. But yeah, that's that's the vision for it. And that's why you give people IP ownership, so that they can spin off. Imagine a world where the way that like Blumhouse wants to go to a Halloween movie, they have to negotiate the rights for Halloween. Well imagine a future where they could just buy several NFT's from these characters and make films around those characters within the universe of free lunch. Right? If a studio wants to build a mini major, like, who knows, maybe it'll get there to that point where this IP has such value that people are, you know, you want to make your first film as a first time filmmaker, make it with in a franchise that already exists that you own an NFT and, you know, like it's it's kind of a different way to think about it. But I think you can get there.

Alex Ferrari 43:23
No, I agree. It's like, well, it's kind of like what Stephen King does with his his short films he gives you you can license his short films for $1 and make a short film out of it. I didn't know that. Oh, yeah. See if it's he's been doing it short stories, any of his short stories that are not already licensed, or you know, sold. You can license it for $1. And all he asks is that you send him a copy of it when it's done. So then you can so you can you can direct a Stephen King short film to get your stuff go. So it's a franchise, which is Stephen King's cool. And he's been doing that for, I don't know, 30 years. I mean, Frank Darabont did one when he was starting out that's how old this this Oh, yeah, that's how we got started with with Steven was Frank Darabont did the one short film for and Steven loved it and then he came up in the business and he called up Steven again. It's like, Hey, can I can I look at that Shawshank Redemption thing.

Cameron Van Hoy 44:20
Well, that's, that's awesome. And the man's a genius clearly, and that's what this tech is enabling. I think that's where these call them NFT franchises are gonna go. I think creative people, aspiring filmmakers and working filmmakers. I mean, imagine when a really cool filmmaker with a track record comes in and does Part Four on the franchise for us. The community hires someone dope to come in and take over the you know, it's like, and they take their crack at it. Like I think that's where this can all go. I hope it's work goes That's certainly what I'm gunning for.

Alex Ferrari 44:52
Yeah, it's really it's a fascinating placement. It's a fascinating it's a fascinating thing that's happening for independent film and I agree with you at this point. Probably the most exciting thing to happen independent film. This is worth it since I don't I mean, cat since the 90s. Essentially.

Cameron Van Hoy 45:10
I always say this, like the revolution isn't in digital technology. Everyone's like, oh, anyone can get a camera and make a movie. Now we've had that for 30 years. Yeah, I mean, like anywhere people are cameras are accessible. The revolution is going to be in this distribution and financing. We can make these things outside of the centralized systems, and hopefully, wonderful originality comes out of it, you know.

Alex Ferrari 45:32
Right, because you don't have

Cameron Van Hoy 45:34
Studios or they're afraid of originality. You know, they're afraid of everything.

Alex Ferrari 45:37
They're afraid of everything. And nowadays, you can't say anything, you can do anything. And you can be as outlandish as you want. You can go as far off off the reservation as you want on on these projects, because it's the only person you're beholden to is the community.

Cameron Van Hoy 45:53
By the way, that's what's working in this space right now. Anyways, okay, we're not seeing the Looney Tunes NFT's popping off, right? It's doodles, it's board apes, it's ZooKeys. It's like, you know, kaiju kings, it's original things, because they're able to provide ownership to people, it's when you provide that ownership, that you rally communities around them. And so we're already seeing the birth of originality. So I think it's going to be really exciting. As more and more films and filmmakers come into the space and use this tech in this way. The originality is going to be off the charts against the like the 90s. Again, we're just we're going to be come out with bangers left and right. That was dope, you know,

Alex Ferrari 46:34
Back back in the day was with me back in the day in the 90s. I mean, it was like every month, there was a new there was there was there was Robert and there was Tarantino and there was burns, it was Spike Lee and, and the list just goes on and on the list goes on the course, like every month. So it's like Aronofsky and like,

Cameron Van Hoy 46:55
Just like everybody weird little franchises like spawn and like the way of the god and like just

Alex Ferrari 47:03
Yeah, it was the wild wild west. Yeah, it was, and they could do and they could do whatever they wanted. Because it was kinda like what happened in the 70s when they when they let Spielberg and Lucas and Coppola and all those guys. They're like, we don't know what the kids want. You guys go all out, we'll give you the money. And that's basically how that all that cool originality. And now we're gonna get to that place as well. I have to ask you. So let's say a filmmaker wants to start this process. I got a project what do I do? How do I start this whole process like what you did?

Cameron Van Hoy 47:35
Well, you got to learn you got to you got to take the time to learn went through. Right. That's the thing is you have to and there's a lot of people that hate it's okay, I see vitriol in people's posts, even celebrities post about it. Like our artists who did our art is a very popular artist online. She's got a big following. For a long time. She's incredible talents, fetish Avena kindred are NFT designs. And she when she posts about it, like there's so many little NFT we're gonna hate you, you know, like just vitriol. And so I would just encourage anyone to like can't try to look past that look past the hype. There's a lot of crazy hype, we hear these stories about apes JPEGs, selling for millions and millions of dollars. And it's just like, what, and explore what the technology is, that's the first step is exploring, getting involved getting jumping to our Discord, just meet the people in their talk, you know, like try to take the time to learn it. It's probably one of the best investments that you can make in the world today

Alex Ferrari 48:34
Understanding the web, the web through space, but also then to just getting a general understanding of blockchain getting a general understanding of crypto if you don't want to read there's a ton of documentaries really great Doc's about this

Cameron Van Hoy 48:47
YouTube videos of the best authors. It's our matrix that's like plug in the back of your head and just like get like, just everything has culminated for us to just like have this leap this quantum leap as a society between blockchain communication those YouTube videos, I've learned so much from YouTube videos, if you can just like Be your own algorithm and like kind of search what you need and put the keywords and fine and then you get all the info that you need. I that's that's how I did a lot of my education in space was YouTube videos.

Alex Ferrari 49:18
Yeah, and there's and there's documentaries on YouTube about these spaces as well that just kind of like feed you're gonna give like a 30 minute doc on blockchain real produced because I watched all of them. I literally watch almost everything. I literally went and like for like three weeks I just went and just got I went down the rabbit hole on crypto and down the rabbit hole on blockchain and really tried to and I read books about it. And I really tried to understand what was going on with it because it just seems so exciting. And then it's like, okay, we're not there yet. But again, it's just like the internet circa 1990s. Man, it's just it's worth it. We'll get there. We see it. It'll get there much faster than the internet. It'll get there much faster than that. Stream ended,

Cameron Van Hoy 50:01
I think when you see what people are building in the space and the amount of value that's being created around projects, right? I think the creation phase is here. And I think it's just the early adopters are going to have a leg up because they're in a building. Right? So I think there are certain brands, many that are being established in the space that are going nowhere. They're going to be here for the for a long time. So yeah, I you know, I think it's happening.

Alex Ferrari 50:29
Now, I'm gonna ask you a few questions. Ask all my guests, sir. What What? What advice? Would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business?

Cameron Van Hoy 50:36
You have to put all of yourself into it. You can't, you can't dip your talent. Really want to do it? You have to go on.

Alex Ferrari 50:51
What what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film industry or in life?

Cameron Van Hoy 50:55
Make sure you have a really solid second act.

Alex Ferrari 51:01
This is as you get older, you you start thinking about the second act. You mean, like in life, or in or the actual project? And three of your favorite films of all time.

Cameron Van Hoy 51:15
Godfather one, Godfather two,

Alex Ferrari 51:18
That counts as one.

Cameron Van Hoy 51:20
I agree. I don't know. Apocalypse Now is coming to mind. So Coppola stuff. And then also third, it's impossible to say I guess, easy, right? It was very informative, for it was like a big part of my life, even though I wouldn't call it a favorite film. But it's one of those.

Alex Ferrari 51:39
It's one of those movies that when you watch it, it hits you. Especially if

Cameron Van Hoy 51:43
Yeah, that's the independent spirit. You know, like that charged me as a young man.

Alex Ferrari 51:48
That was the movie that scared the hell out of the studios with that came out and that was like a three or $4,000 movie or something like that, at the time, and it was going to completely independently it made millions and the studios were like, making Heaven's Gate. You know, like making bottling complete bombs, like wait a minute, we got to let these kids these kids know what they're doing. Let them go off. So and where can people find out more about your NFTs and what you guys are doing with Flinch?

Cameron Van Hoy 52:18
flinchthemovie.com is probably the best source for our Twitter Flinch NFT.

Alex Ferrari 52:24
Cameron has been a pleasure talking to NFT's in crypto and blockchain and all sorts of geekiness with you today, brother. Thank you again, man. I appreciate you coming on the show and helping you know hopefully inspire some other filmmakers to go down this space because it is an exciting space and that's why keep keep doing episodes about different aspects in different ways people are using it because there's not just one way there's multiple ways you can use this technology to to make your movie so I appreciate you my friend.

Cameron Van Hoy 52:53
I appreciate you and all that you do. I love I love the hustle and really glad to be here.

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IFH 561: How to Raise $2 Million Using NFTs with Arel Avellino

NFTs are all the rage today but how can indie filmmakers use them to generate revenue? I did an entire episode dedicated to NFT and Indie Films last year and it is, by far, one of the most downloaded episodes ever.

Today on the show we have a filmmaker and creator that was able to raise $2 million for a brand new IP using NFTs. His name is Arel Avellino. His brother and him launched an NFT collection called Strange Clan and raised $2 million dollars in sales of the NFTs which has basically helped kickstart the launch of the Strange Clan IP.

Arel told me:
As someone who is in the film space, I know you know how challenging launching a new IP is which is why so many of our movies today are recycled IPs, spin offs, sequels, and relaunches of old IPs that were successful. I’m not sure if I’ve heard you talk about this yet on your show, but crypto is an incredibly powerful tool for funding new IPs because it is transparent, gives your audience huge exposure to the success of the project, and allows for a deeper level of community engagement.
He wants to see more filmmakers coming to the space and taking advantage of the innovations of crypto without getting sunk by the hype.
Enjoy my enlightening conversation with Arel Avellino.

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 0:00
I'd like to welcome to the show Arel Avellino, how're you doing Arel?

Arel Avellino 0:14
I'm doing good how you doing Alex?

Alex Ferrari 0:16
I'm doing good brother. I'm doing good, man. Thanks for reaching out because I this is going to be a very interesting conversation I, I've had other conversations about NFT's on the show before and kind of were like one of the first shows to even discuss NFT's as a way to generate revenue, sell collectibles, things like that. But you have a very unique way of approaching NFT's. And we're gonna get into that in a second. But before we started talking, or before we started recording, you told me that you had been in the indie film world, you come from the indie film world. So tell me how you got involved in the indie film world? And why in God's green earth did you, were you in this world?

Arel Avellino 0:54
So good question. So when I got out of high school, like literally from high school, I knew I wanted to be an indie filmmaker. Like, that was the dream. Cuz I had a teacher who was a major film buff, and just, you know, talking with that guy about movies just suddenly gave me this, like, massive appreciation for the art form. Storytelling, all of that really interesting to me, especially visual storytelling. So I went in, I didn't know what the path I said, I wanted to be a filmmaker, I didn't even know that there was like, a different classification of filmmaker called an indie filmmaker, I only learned that trying to just find out what the path was at all. Right. And it's very clear path, right? You know, you have, you know, you go to school for four years, and you do the, you know, work on on on set for free, another free or nothing. Yeah. All right. Yeah. So basically, I found out that there is no path and I went to college for a little bit dropped out of that. Then just started finding sets to be on. I played that game for like four years, met a lot of great people. And then I started a podcast where I was still looking for, hey, how do people even make a living doing this, because it feels like it feels like everybody was just inventing it. Like I would talk to people on sets. And I was like, everyone kind of just invented how they made this sustainable. So talking to enough people, I started interviewing people who are in just different cities and stuff like that, give them excuse to talk to me. And after talking with enough people I just started realize that the the path is essentially just go do enough things continue to offer yourself up to enough people. And you'll you'll start to develop what starts to look like a career, but it's always going to kind of be this like freelance lifestyle. And so that kind of actually started me on a journey in business, which ultimately kind of led me to where I'm at right now. But we can kind of break the story up a little bit, too.

Alex Ferrari 3:04
Yeah, absolutely. So um, and then you you said you were, you've been following Indie Film Hustle for a while, and you're the younger back older days.

Arel Avellino 3:11
I read the book.

Alex Ferrari 3:12
Oh, thank you.

Arel Avellino 3:13
Yeah, man. Cuz I, I, to me the most interesting part about filmmaking, like that has just like, even now, even though I'm not making films right now, I you know, it's not to say that I've stopped, right. Still talk about scripts with friends.

Alex Ferrari 3:32
You can't get rid of it, brother. It's, it's, it's a beautiful illness.

Arel Avellino 3:36
Even with what I'm doing right now has major crossover, which I've had to explain to a couple people like, yeah, why are you? Why are you doing, you know, the game stuff? Like, you know, is that really going to, like, you're going to be in this for like, two, three years, at minimum on this game, you know, are you are you sure you're gonna be able to go that long, perhaps about making a movie, I'm like, Hey, I might still make a movie in there. But at the same time, it's not going to be like, you know, somebody else is going to have to go make that movie. I'm going to just help that person out with that movie, or help with a script, whatever. But anyway. So point being is is, yeah, follow your work, phone, a lot of the guys who have been in the indie space, just trying to speak to people who are up and coming just because the thing that was most interesting to me about indie filmmaking is it was an art form that had to in some way, be a business, because it requires collaboration, perhaps more than most other art forms, you know, save a few others that are kind of like in the immediate space. This is one of the like art forms that requires the most collaboration. So you have to have it be a business otherwise, you can't, you can't do it. You know, you think about how many times a painter punches out a painting. It's so many times, but a director, how many movies does he punch out right so

Alex Ferrari 4:54
Exactly at the best case scenario at the highest end, you get Ridley Scott who put butts out one every three months. Especially nowadays, and then you've got in then you got Kubrick and Malik, who you know, busted out like, nine or 10. And their entire life, you know

Arel Avellino 5:09
Right right!

Alex Ferrari 5:10
So it's, it's, it's, I always say that to people like as an artist, you, as a director, you very rarely get to do your art. It takes years, most of your career is getting revved up to do your art as opposed to a painter or a musician or a writer. It's it's a pretty brutal but we love it, but we love it. There's the craziness.

Arel Avellino 5:34
Definitely takes a different type of person for sure. And I think that that's kind of what cued me up into wanting to do anything else that felt like that, like I couldn't, I don't think I could ever go to even even though business has always interested me especially need to get into it with filmmaking. I don't think I could do a business that was just, you know, trying to sell widgets, you know, or you're trying to do some type of other service other than, you know, creating things for people.

Alex Ferrari 6:05
Yeah, no, I completely understand. Now. We're gonna talk about NFT's can you tell people listening? What are NFT's if they don't know what they are already?

Arel Avellino 6:13
Yeah. So I've always had a struggle with the word NFT. Like just the the term because there's very few things that we refer to by such a technical term, but literally, NFT all it means is non fungible token. And it's very technical, because all those words existed before the term non fungible existed before, but we just, you know, call this thing a non fungible token, because some developer said, you know, this makes the most sense to call it this, because that's great, right, it is a non fungible token, then basically, you've probably explained it before in other episodes. For anyone who's hearing this for the first time fungibility is literally just, if I have $1, that dollar is always the same dollar like it doesn't change in value from $1 to another you can have any dollar and it will always be worth the exact same you know, same thing with if I bought an apple apples are always the same value from apple to apple, so long as all things being equal that apples the same no matter what, but a non fungible asset is essentially an asset of any type, where the specific the specificity of that asset itself is important. So for example, a, a baseball card or any collector's item is considered a non fungible asset. Because you know, when that card was minted matters, you know what the what the cards overall value in the marketplace matters. So the almost the serialization of it is what really matters. So you see this a lot with collectors stuff. Probably collectors are some of the most familiar with non fungible assets because they've literally been dealing with these you know, from the get go shoes to one person might be a fungible asset, but shoes to another person might be a non fungible asset, because you know, the the shoe collector is looking at well which print was the shoe the shoe come from, you know, what is the you know, basically going into the specs from every single shoe not just you know, this particular not just this particular brand, or even that it's a shoe this specifically the manufacturing line this thing came out of

Alex Ferrari 8:34
So basically an apple is an Apple because an apple when it was manufactured still had the value of an apple and when it was grown, it was the value of Apple. Whereas a baseball card for example, or or a Pokemon card for the for the youngins listening today, that nods that back man, they're hot now still, like they're huge now apparently.

Arel Avellino 8:56
Way back for me. Yeah. I dont know the names of the Pokemon anymore.

Alex Ferrari 9:03
I mean, I don't even know I didn't know then dude, um, dude, I was Garbage Pail Kids, man if you want to go real back. First series Garbage Pail Kids. Anyway, the but the cost of the creation of that item. Let's say it's five cents to print the baseball card for just better or worse, it's five cents. That is the actual value and cost of creating that, that asset. Now, the in the collectibles world if it's a printed or if it's a printed baseball of a baseball card of a guy you've never heard of who batted you know 150 It costs the same to make him as it did to make a Mickey Mantle rookie card. It's the exact same cost, but the value is associated with that non fungibility into it which is the collectible aspect of it. And that's the difference between us. So that brings us to NF Ts. So now we've actually brought in baseball cards and comic book ideas into a digital space. So the cost to mint as they say, a non fungible token, argue, let's say to argue we'll say still five cents. But the value of what has been minted is in the eye of the beholder based on the collectible market fair, a fair way of saying it?

Arel Avellino 10:28
The reason why the reason why I say it's bad, like it's a bad name, or a bad because NFT, you have to do all the explaining to simply say, Hey, this is actually just a digital item, like this is a way for us to prove ownership of a digital item. And why that kind of matters, is, we've never had the ability for us to sell digital goods on a secondary market. Great. So it wasn't possible. Think about it. If I buy a DVD, or sorry, if I buy a DVD, yes, I'll go down that rabbit hole, I buy a DVD, which very few people do anymore, we have moved mostly digital, I can sell that DVD to yard sale, I can sell them on Amazon, I could sell it on eBay, like I truly own that DVD. But if I were to buy a digital copy of that, and now it's on my Amazon library, I can't sell it back to Amazon, like I now have that stuck in my library. I couldn't sell it to another person, I couldn't give it to a friend. Like it is stuck in my library and it's trapped there. And FFTs actually give us the way to make that function more like an item. So rather than it being about, you know, essentially just you know, you once you have this digital thing, and you got from that guy, yeah, now it has to stay on that guy's website. And you can only go to it when you go essentially to that guy's house. That's kind of a bad deal. Right? Correct. So now we're treating these like real items that you really own, which is you own it. So now now that you own it, you can go sell it to, you know, one of your buddies, you can sell it to somebody online, or you can give it to them doesn't matter. It's yours, you do with it what you want

Alex Ferrari 12:21
It it's the thing is fascinating to me, because when I discovered, you know, I had the same problem with the NFT name and understand it and I'm a fairly technical and educated man. And I had to go really deep down the rabbit hole, I read probably five or 10 books on blockchain. And crypto. And I really just wanted to get understood. I just want to understand this new world. And then NF T's came out and I just educated myself. I watched every movie I could get my documentary on as I could. So I became a fairly well versed in this world. And yet, it didn't click for me until I said, Oh, this is a digital baseball card. God Yeah, it's a digital comic book guy. Because I've been I was a collector for a long time collected comic books, baseball cards, Garbage Pail Kids, since I was a kid, all that kind of stuff. So I was like, oh, that's what this is. But they're, they're so confusing everybody with this terminology in the way they're trying to explain him like, Dude, it's a digital baseball card. And the NBA is literally made digital clips now with NF T's and they're doing they're doing okay, they do. And Major League, Major League Baseball starting to get into it. It's a whole, it's a whole new world. And for people who don't understand why because if they if they're if you're holding on to a book or a DVD, I hold on to like, Okay, this is something I could hold on to this is a product. But to mentally think about that book as a digital item. It's hard for certain people to grasp that concept, because it's, it's beyond their ability. Whereas the new generation growing up, who's been playing, Roblox has been playing all these role player games, who are literally paying sometimes 1000s of dollars for a digital X that they now own, that makes them more powerful inside of the game. That's a digital item that there's so it makes sense to that generation, but not so much to the baby boomers, if that makes sense.

Arel Avellino 14:10
Yeah, yeah. Because they're used to dealing in digital economies already. And so for them, it makes for most people who are, you know, kind of locked into that digital economy. I mean, we now have a generation that's literally only dealt with digital economies. And so, those guys, yeah, just comes very intuitively, that this makes sense. But for the rest of us, what matters the most here is that the innovation itself, there's a ton of hype, there's a ton of hype, right? But the innovation itself that this is a digital item is is the massive part of the innovation, not just the you know, if we're trying to get all technical, like the the non fungibility asked like, if we try to talk about what NF T's are, I think if we keep the conversation on that, hey, these are digital atoms, it starts to simplify it for everyone else. And then they can start to understand the implications or the implications of that. Because again, like, I think what made it click for even people who I know who have been in the crypto space a long time, very educated in blockchain more than I am, when I told them that what I'm trying to make is a game, that when somebody buys it online, like let's say that steam is selling it, which by the way, they said, they won't, they won't sell it. But we'll come to that whatever version of steam sells this game, somebody, somebody, the person who buys it should also be able to sell it themselves. And what's even more is, me as the developer, that game or any indie developer, who makes a game should also get a cut of every single sale of that of that item, that digital item, which is something you cannot do with a physical item. Correct. But at the same time, it's now possible with the digital stuff. But every other rule of what's possible with the physical stuff as far as being able to do a secondary marketplace, is also now finally true digital stuff, which has been a huge user experience problem with the digital space, held back a lot of Indies from being able to really take advantage of their community, essentially helping to market this thing, because sometimes you get a movie because somebody recommended to you or gave it to you or sold it to you. Or you get a game because somebody gave it to you sold it to you,

Alex Ferrari 16:34
Yeah, I mean, back in the day, I mean, I'm dating myself when CDs there used to be CD. Yeah. There used to be CD stores where you could just buy new and use CDs. Yep. And it was cotton into a lot of the market share of music, an artist. And I remember Garth Brooks, like sued to get to stop that. And the Supreme Court said not when you buy an item, it's yours and you can resell it. And it's just like if you bought a refrigerator, you can resell a refrigerator. A CD or movie is no different. But in the digital space, we haven't been given that option up into this time. Like when you buy a movie on iTunes. I've got movies on iTunes, I can't resell it. I can't sell that same movie that I bought for 10 bucks for two bucks later if I want to in a garage sale or in a digital version or in a Metaverse garage sale. Something like that, which will happen for you go. Yeah, imagine if there will be eventually Metaverse Metaverse to garage sales because there's Metaverse real estate too. There's people buying so much Metaverse real estate since like, and that's another thing you can't even comprehend. Like how much did you just spend? I just saw this whole thing was it on? I think it was on 60 minutes or CBS or something like that, where they're doing Metaverse sale real estate deals, and Snoop. Snoop Dogg bought a big piece of real estate. And then the value of the space is next to him. Just blew up and then people bought in because why? Because they want to be neighbors with Snoop Dogg in the metaverse. It was just like, it's, it's, it's hard, it's really hard to grasp, because it's so new and so revolutionary, that people can grab it. But we can go down the NFT and blockchain rabbit hole for at least another 15 days. So the reason I wanted to bring you on is what you've been able to do with an IP. So can you tell me how you use NFT's to launch your new IP strange clan?

Arel Avellino 18:31
Yeah, so So one of the things that I realized real fast and probably most filmmakers realize this is that nobody cares about your story, because the intellectual property behind your story is brand freaking new. And that's why we don't see original ideas anymore within the film space. So we, me and my brother, both been creative guys, we we've had a creative career for a long time, you know, essentially being creative for other people, most of our career has been creative for other people. So when we were watching kind of like the development of NF T's, and you know how people were using them, one of things I kept telling him and I couldn't commit, I felt like I couldn't convince other creators of this. But one of things I was telling them is like, Hey, this is like a launchpad for intellectual property, because I'm seeing board apes now all over the place. So why, like that's, that's brand new intellectual property that if somebody were to then take that, and now make a board a TV show now make like, now people will recognize it, right? And the value of that asset is going to go up similar to Snoop Dogg moving next door. Like the more the more things you begin to attach to these brand new piece of intellectual property, the more you start to get really interesting, but I wasn't seeing projects do that. I was just essentially seeing a ton of like, you know, spammy looking. You know, images come out with no vision of like, where we're supposed to go after this? So we started talking about what what would it look like if we did a, an NFT launch? And where are we do it and, and all that stuff. Because a cerium, the two main problems with Aetherium. It thought the, there's a, there's lots of different reasons why there's a problem with Aetherium. But one of them being that you, if you bought something for 100 bucks, you might spend $200 in fees. So that's kind of an issue. Plus, also the that area is very saturated. So we looked at several places to try to do this. And that was a huge factor into it. And I'll get into that. But basically, what we want to do is we want to create something brand new, completely unique. And we want it to be something that was unique. The second you saw it. So we came up with this idea for strange clan, because we had a guy on our team. He's a concept artist for us, and he really loves art for for our team as a whole. And we started to really grow out our art team underneath him. And he just said, Hey, man, like, we're, this is totally exploratory, like we really want to try to do something, here, come up with some images. And we want to do like animals, we want to do animals that look like people. And we want this to be like kind of a fantasy esque thing. But we also want to look really like lots of different styles present in it. And my brother did a, we did a talk together, just essentially, like every single day, we kind of have this where we're bouncing ideas back and forth. And one of the big conversations was, well, what's the name going to be? And because we kept talking about having like, Well, lots of different, lots of different looks and styles and feels kind of at the start of it. We, we had this feeling of like, well, it's really, it's really just a strange group of people. Because originally, the idea was actually that we're going to pull in more artists. So we wanted the style of our characters to look really wild for a second. So that other strange looking styles that came in would also match up. And the more we looked at the idea of actually collaborating with other artists, the more realized we were it was it was mainly for us to do kind of a community thing, where all of our IPs started all come up. And maybe we do something where we're trying to make sense of why they're all connected. But it actually turned out that our IP took off. And we really didn't need to like pull in other IPs to make that work. So going back to it, we came with this idea of strange when we said hey, it's a clan, it's a family. It's a it's a, it's a tight knit group of people. And there's kind of a strange environment about the world. And the more that we let that idea play, the more the so you'll see over the last several months of like, our development on our social channels, that idea has grown into a much more mature IP, at the very beginning at the launch of these NFT's. This looks like really raw, like the beginning development of what even this IP is supposed to supposed to be. And that's what's strange about the the NFT world and the way that people are treating these because it's almost as if they are looking to the future of what it's supposed to be very similar to how people treat Kickstarters. But instead of it being you know, all about getting a t shirt or you know, getting a hat or getting a copy of the movie. Instead, they're they're taking the messy artwork that you're producing or, or the things that you're producing. And eventually they'll have to get more mature over time as as people get used to seeing a lot of the same style, right? But they're looking at that and they're looking ahead and saying, Okay, how important is it going to be that this with a vision of where the craters are going? How important is it gonna be that I own a piece of this intellectual property, they own a piece of the starting launchpoint like the first Pokemon card as it were like if Pokemon cards came first and launched that IP, it certainly launched in the US but if Pokemon came for Pokemon cards came first and really launched that IP. This is like the Pokemon card and owning the first Pokemon card, especially projects do it right, because that's kind of what we're trying to say is we're only ever going to do 10,000 of these only ever going to do 10,000 of these. So Amelie that set the value of our if we're successful with making a great looking game, then the collector's cards that we're making at this side of things will always be very rare and always have value on a secondary marketplace.

Alex Ferrari 24:42
So yes, kind of like if you would have owned the NFT's of the original concept art of Star Wars

Arel Avellino 24:50
Yeah, yep.

Alex Ferrari 24:51
If that if that would have been a thing if George was trying to get things off the ground and there was a studio in the Susan environment and he had those those awesome Some, I don't know, 10 or 20 paintings Yeah, put those out on NFT. What would the value of that be based off the backtest IP that is Star Wars. So similar, you're doing that similar for a game, but easily this can be translated into a film as well, if properly. So, okay, so you also told me that you raised a substantial amount of money? How much did you raise with this NFT in launching this IP?

Arel Avellino 25:30
So we only launched 5000 of the 10,000. NFT's and with that five, those 5000 NFTEs, we raised $2 million.

Alex Ferrari 25:37
So like every other independent film, basically, so every other Yeah, generally easily, easily can raise $2 million.

Arel Avellino 25:44
We also raise that money for an independent game with unknown developers. You know, they those, those usually get about $2 million.

Alex Ferrari 25:52
So if you're not if you don't understand this as sarcasm, this is extremely people because so people might be listening like, oh, it's that easy. Am I doing something wrong? No, you're not, it is extremely difficult to raise $2 million in any space under any circumstances. But for an independent game from unknowns, is is the equivalent of trying to raise $2 million for an independent film, with unknown actors with unknown filmmakers with unknown producers and everybody else involved as well. So that is a feat that caught my eye when you when you reached out to me, how did you first of all, how did you? Because it Look man, I could I could tomorrow, I tomorrow, I can come up with some strange pictures, and some cool characters, which there are billions of out there right now. And especially in the NFL space, how did you target the audience? And convince the audience on your vision? That was you able to do this fairly quickly? This was not like over five years.

Arel Avellino 26:51
Yeah, we're talking about two to three months worth of time for the even the lead up to it. So if I were to chart the timeline, we came up with the idea in the the conversate. Wall, between me and my brother. We're like, Oh, hey, one. That'd be a great idea around July time. All right. And then last year of last year, of this past year, yep. Yeah. 2021. And then, in August, was when we started some of the art. We opened up the Twitter in September, and I believe one of our first posts on the strange plan quitter was September like early September, September 1, September 2, like with literally within the first week, and then September, October, October, October 15. It was when we launched, we lost the first time and we actually broke our website. So we actually had to launch again, we were open for less than an hour, probably 30 minutes, we broke the website. We took a week to fix a lot of the problems

Alex Ferrari 27:54
Alright so stop for a second how did you generate enough interest to break a website from an unknown IP and unknown creators?

Arel Avellino 28:03
Yeah, no ad spend,

Alex Ferrari 28:04
Right! So how so how did how did they find out about it? How did how did you target your audience? Yeah.

Arel Avellino 28:10
Yeah, so I've This is really hard for me to like, this is really hard for me to also then make sense of with a lot of the things that I have told people and I have also thought myself, but the people who came on were solely people interested in the technology more than they're interested in the IP. And because we were supporting the technology of what they were doing, the IP became important to them so we grabbed on to a neighboring thing that they cared a lot about, and then the IP became important. Okay, so let me just get specific so the, the place that we chose to build on is Cosmos so what for people who don't know you know, you have Bitcoin you have Aetherium, you have polka dot, you have Cardano Well, Cosmos is within like the top 25 blockchains. And the reason nobody was doing a piece on Cosmos the reason why we said that we needed to go to Cosmos was one it was actually it was blue ocean, and I think you've talked about Blue Ocean. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yep. It's a blue ocean. There's not there's not a lot of people who are over there. But also very different from other blockchains was Cosmos reminded me of where the ball is going versus where everybody is paying attention to the ball right now. Because cosmos is not all these all these blockchain, Bitcoin Aetherium. They're what are called layer ones where basically, this is the blockchain like if you want to build on it, you're basically saying, Okay, I'm gonna try to take a piece of this. I do a little copy code and try to make a weird little copy of it that borrows security borrows a lot of different features from this thing, but it's also kind of like a Frankenstein off of the the original blockchain because block chains were not meant to build these Frankenstein blocks. chains off of them. So what cosmos is, is it's basically the internet of blockchains. It's not really a layer one blockchain, it is a thing that you build block chains on. Because it was meant for that, if you think about Bluetooth, and how your phone can connect so seamlessly to your bluetooth headphones, even though they're made by completely different people. The reason is because there's a standard that says, oh, every time Bluetooth every time we're trying to enable Bluetooth, this is the standard for Bluetooth. And this is how we're going to make this connection. So where I saw the ball going, and where my brother like, honestly, here, I'm gonna actually give all the credits like says, Lex easily prove the idea to me, he said, Errol, I think cosmos is the place to pay attention to, because of interoperability. There's a lot of smart people over there who doing some really cool stuff. And he was basically telling me like this concept of Bluetooth, I got it really quick, because I was like, the way that this is going reminds me a lot of the.com Boom. And the way that we saw the internet develop was you had all these disconnected websites. But even before that, just creating the standard of you know, the internet as a whole was important to even get to that place. And then things have become more and more connected. As we have progressed. So much so that I can log into a website using my Facebook login, right. So as we develop these standards, the standard is going to be what's really important. So I saw cosmos is hey, they are setting the standard. And so if we build here, we actually should be able to connect to anybody else in the in the blockchain world. So we build here we might not have ever have to build anywhere else, again, the people who are in the cosmos space, there they are, oh, and also it's green, like I this is important, too. I think a lot of people, it's green, we're not dealing with a lot of high energy usage. You You also have the community as a whole is actually very positive. I like that about them right away. But anyways, to the community that's there. They believe in this idea that this is going to be the internet of blockchains. Everybody, all the blockchains that are out there are going to try to conform to the standard because they're talking about it now. And ultimately, that standard has to happen. And this is the only blockchain that's really said, Hey, we're setting the standard. This is what the standard is, you know, go out and make your blockchains.

Alex Ferrari 32:20
Does it does does Cosmos have a token? Or is it it doesn't have crypto versa? How do you how do you work with that?

Arel Avellino 32:28
Yeah, so cosmos itself is is the standard there is what's called Cosmos hub, which is essentially the first blockchain built on this cosmos standard. So if you want to think about it, like, Hey, this is the web. Well, what if the, you know, internet said, Hey, we're gonna make the very first website internet hub.

Alex Ferrari 32:47
It's like HTTP. It's HTTP basically. Yeah, it's like that's Yeah.

Arel Avellino 32:52
So Cosmos, hub has a coin. It's called atom. It's available on coin base. It's a way to get your dollars into the whole,

Alex Ferrari 33:00
How much is it right now? How much is it right now?

Arel Avellino 33:03
I think it's like 20 27, it hangs around about $30. So so at the time, we, when we launched our entities, we actually had to do a lot of blockchain development, we had to, we had to find guys who could do the blockchain development, which is actually becoming easier and easier. So that part's actually not terribly hard. And the people who are coming into the cosmos space now including us, are helping, you know, essentially set up marketplaces so that it's easy for people to make, make NF T's and mid 80s at without having to go and build, you know, essentially your own blockchains stuff like Juno stuff like stargaze. And then us.

Alex Ferrari 33:46
So So alright, so just so I can I'll kind of translate that for everybody. And because there's, there's a lot though you discussed there. So basically, one of the big pluses you did is you decided to leverage a community that existed already, which is the cosmos. And by leveraging that, that community, it wasn't particularly ready for you, but it was ready for you. Because there was nobody else doing what you were doing in that community. So that you built a product in that community, which is your IP use, like let's put it over here. And they're just like, Oh, my God, you're over, you're over and our party. We're gonna support you purely because you decided not to go to the cool kids party, you came over to us because we're, we're cool, but nobody really knows that. We're cool. And that's and you kind of leverage that. And that's what built the speed up so fast, as opposed to you going to a general marketplace. Right. So the equivalent

Arel Avellino 34:44
Projects,

Alex Ferrari 34:44
Just before I lose my train of thought. It's the equivalent of you trying to sell a movie about aging athletes. Let's say there's a I'm using this as an exact example there. was a documentary about aging athletes, that are athletes who are you know, Centurions and they like go to the Olympics and said, Now you put that into the iTunes marketplace, you might sell some. But if you head over to a convention that is aimed at retirement homes, and they're looking for entertainment, you're going to clean up. And that's exactly what that filmmaker did. They made over a million dollars in a weekend by selling rights to his movie. That's what you basically did with this is a fair a fair analogy.

Arel Avellino 35:33
That's it. That's a That's exactly right. Because the community, so so the way that we also build our audience up, because we have about 20,000 people in our audience, which, you know, pretty decent for only being around for, you know, five, five months, absolutely. And the way that we kind of made that happen is, you know, we went and engage with the people who are already talking to people in the cosmos space, we talked with the influencers, which is a big, it's that that's a that's a word that's probably a little flexible here, because literally, they only had like 2000 followers or 3000 followers. But that starts to add up over time. And then you start to talk to more people or get to know more people who have actually a lot of influence in the space, that seems actually pretty subtle, because they don't necessarily have the follower count that makes you think that but they know all the guys because they've been around for, you know, years. And everybody respects them in the space in the second. And they can give you an introduction to the guy who actually has, you know, 20,000 30,000 or 50,000 followers. Right, right. And so most of you

Alex Ferrari 36:41
You were leveraging you were leveraging the influencers inside of the community to get the word out on your new IP and your new basically everything you were doing. See, I mean, so so that so you know, ad spend, so everyone listening, no ad spend, it's just understanding the community and then going after influencers in that community. And now when you're going after them, did the influencers just were very happy? They're like, dude, I'm just, I want to support you because it's a school? Or did you have to like, hey, you know, I want a piece of the action. How does it How does that work? Generally,

Arel Avellino 37:10
Ohh dude 100%, there they came in, they're like, Hey, this is cool. Because the the thing about thing about a lot of these very connected ecosystems is they have many ways to win without needing to say, Yeah, I need a piece of the action. Because if let's say you launch an NFT collection, and they know about it, like one they can, they have more time to be able to convince you, maybe they can get on the whitelist it so whitelist, by the way, within the NFT world is just essentially like, Hey, you, you, not everybody's gonna get the chance to even buy this thing. And we're making sure that you're on the list to be able to even get into by it. So there's a lot of exclusivity there. So we can make sure we get them on the whitelist and certain things like that. But at the same time, there isn't a there isn't a agreement, essentially that like, hey, you know, you do this for me, I do this for you, it's really trying to develop that relationship with them. Because when we talked to a lot of these guys, it was, you know, Hey, we love what cosmos is doing, we want to make sure that we are supporting that ecosystem, and adding a lot of value to it. So they're all about that. Because, you know, when you're an influencer in a very tight arena, it feels like pulling teeth to get people to even notice this space that you're talking a ton about. Whereas, you know, somebody comes just comes to you and says, Hey, I already love what you guys are doing. I want to come in and support that. I want to bring my project into that. That gets people really excited. And just so you guys know, this isn't a ship that's like sale. Like if you're listening to this. Oh, so we're so we're extremely early, even you don't have to go find your own cosmos. If you were to bring a project in the cosmos. Right now, the community within cosmos is extremely hungry. You can't be a prick. So don't go in and be like, Alright guys, I thought there was a lot of money in here. So fork it up. But at the same time, there's way more opportunity than you're probably used to, in most other avenues because I've tried to launch projects on Kickstarter. I like Indiegogo. I've had to ask for investment money. I've raised 100 grand on Kickstarter, and I felt really good about that one time. And I raised or I was a part of the raised for 200 grand on a but it was all investment money that was coming into this film. And it was just like pulling teeth it was an absolute nightmare. Launching strange plan was one of the easiest things I've ever done. And that was the most amount of money that we have ever seen. especially for a brand new IP.

Alex Ferrari 40:03
Now, um, yeah, it's it's the equivalent of being on MySpace in the early days or being on Facebook in the early days or being on YouTube in the early days. I interviewed a bunch of guys who were on YouTube early on. And it was so early that they were able to figure in seven. Yeah, I mean, I was on I was, I was there in 2005. And I just stopped and I wish it would have kept going. And that's a whole other I actually have minted, and FTEs of the very for I have the have the privilege and the honor of being the first filmmaking tutorials ever on YouTube. I have Yeah, i and i minted those NF T's. And they sold out like that, because I did only one offs on them. But the thing is that early on, if you're in a platform early on, there's things that you'll be able to do there, that in a few years, you won't be able to do so like I interviewed some I interviewed the RocketJump guys, who are very big in the filmmaking, like showing you how to tutorials and stuff like that. But they Freddy, and those guys, they started in like 2011 2010. And even then, they they were like, oh, yeah, man, we figured out how to hack the front page. So we would do stuff to get our stuff on the front page. And that's how they got to like 11 million followers over the bright, right, but you can't do that now. Like, that's, that's gone. You know, but but that's kind of like what you're able to do here, because it's just so fresh

Arel Avellino 41:29
Because like when when they came in, they were doing something different that you hadn't seen yet, right? You too. And so even though it was not day one for YouTube, it was still new for the platform. So if you even as the space within Cosmos, or any one of these marketplaces starts to fill up, there's a lot of new things that you can bring in to these spaces, especially when you think about, you know, well, who is it that I'm that I'm talking to that needs to buy into this. And I would just start that exploration because we had no idea whether or not this was going to do well, it was all exploration all trying to say, you know, alright, let's just have this conversation with them, you know, let's continue to paint our vision. But our vision was always for that for that to three months, our vision was always kind of like, only about a month out really, for what we were like, really trying to plan. And so everything was, you know, making decisions on the spot, really trying to cultivate, you know, what is it that we're, we're ultimately trying to bring to this and listen to people when they said, Hey, I love what you're doing. I think that if you just did this over here. So for example, we didn't even consider the idea of trying to launch your own token, because none of us were like, particularly blockchain developers. We just happen to have some people who had a gist of it. We had no concept of launch our token, people convinced us to do it. And now we're about to do it. And that's a much bigger money raised for the stuff that we're trying to build. Because now we're getting way more ambitious as far as like, the the types of things that we're trying to take on. Yeah, there's

Alex Ferrari 43:12
Multiple, multiple, multiple IPs, multiple everything. All right, so if you are going to go into the cosmos space right now. Yeah, with an independent film project. Mm hmm. How would you go about it?

Arel Avellino 43:25
Yeah. So for me, I would try to pick something that you could actually carry on because there's a difference between, you know, like, for example, you know, you have the, the point about the, like, retired athletes, right? If you're looking at that project, and you're saying like, yeah, I just want to do like this one off thing, right? I don't know, that's a great place to start, I would say, if you if you're wanting to do that project, think more like the the toys that made us or, like brand like IPs that actually have, you know, longevity to him. Because when you think about the toys that made us that's something that could go on for a long time and continue to go on have a life of its own.

Alex Ferrari 44:07
So you wouldn't say so let's say I just want to do I'm going to create an IP. Um, I have I have I'm not doing this by the way. So everyone's like Alex is fishing. I'm not gonna do this, but I have I have a short film called Red princes blues. It's an entire universe that I created years ago. And I created an animated short film prequel of it, I created a full length you know, had some Oscar winner Oscar nominees in it, it was a big IP. It was an IP that was trying to launch back in 2010 before any of this happened. Now don't get pulled up. It is known as a pretty it's pretty badass is a pretty badass idea. But um, if I would bring this to them and go look, I want to make a feature film of this. I need $2 million to generate revenue. I've got this person involved in this person involved in this person involved. Then I've already packaged a nice, you know, I've got this actor who's thinking, this actor is committed, this actor is committed. I've got this Oscar winning producer on I've got this Oscar winning screenwriter on, you know, and I create a really cool package and go, How would you approach that? I'm not doing this, by the way. So no one email me, but I'm just using it as an example.

Arel Avellino 45:21
Yeah. So the I use the I use the example of the toys that made us thing because I there's probably somebody out there who's like, maybe Oh, well I'm not I'm a fantasy guy or I'm not trying to tell like fiction stories like, that's fine. You can tell like real stories, but there's a way to frame it so that it's actually a unique IP, versus like, the toys that made us create a brand, right? And now they've created a brand that's all about idealizing, you know, brands from the past. That's cool. There's something about that, right. But for years, it's that's easy to talk about. Right? Okay, so step one, you got to be on Twitter, if you're not on Twitter, then you're not talking to the community, especially when we talk about Cosmos, but really all of crypto talk and discussion and, and where the real influences are. Like, that's Twitter. I was not a Twitter guy for the longest time because I freakin hate, like the

Alex Ferrari 46:20
Tweeting, you hate tweeting,

Arel Avellino 46:22
I hate tweeting. It's just obnoxious. So the the problem with well, okay, so go to Twitter first. And then when you talk about this package, to me, that's that's your roadmap, right? And everybody understands, like every project needs a roadmap, because if all this is going to be is just an image that lives on a marketplace, then all those, you know, right click copy, guys, you know, those guys are all right there. Correct. Which basically is like, there's a whole argument to well, it's just a freakin image or a JPEG. You know, if I copy this, and then I go mint, this on the same place that you did, what's the difference between yours and mine? Well, alternately, if you have this roadmap laid out, yours is the only one who's got commerce roadmap ideas are worthless, unless there's actually the ability to back them up. And that's what that roadmap is all about. The Roadmap says, Alright, I'm not just going to make these images. I'm bringing on these actors, I've got this plan for where this is going. So mine is valuable because mine has all these things versus yours, which is just a copy of mine. That's it. Okay, so. So I would say that step one is going on Twitter. Step two, is people are gonna start asking you, okay, Discord, what's the discord, you want to go follow the people who are following influencers within the blockchain and trying to build on I would obviously push towards Cosmos, because I think that's one of the greatest communities that's out there. As far as crypto goes. And you want to go follow the people who are talking about projects, especially ones that are in NFT world, because the people who are looking at those, they not only want to support the ecosystem, but they also believe in the power of NF T's and what what that technology is bringing to the ecosystem, which is most of the guys to be honest, you're rarely going to miss. And then from there, it's all about one continuing the dialogue with the community as far as like, you know, this is what we're doing to lead up to the launch. These are the conversations that we're having. I have we have somebody hired on our team who literally her only job is to every single day, have coffee in the morning with our community answer questions, and then tweet out updates. And, you know, post discord updates, you know, all that stuff. So there's a whole process of engaging with community while you're going through this development process. But then leading up to the launch of just ENFPs that first like two months, let's say it's, you know, make the artwork, the posting little bits of the artwork, find ways to collaborate with the influencers, doing giveaways, potentially giving people whitelist spots on onto your NFT launch. And, I mean, all these are very, like community engagement oriented things. But that's, that's, that's where that's where I would lay the groundwork. That's where I would say that that's the that's the foundation point of it.

Alex Ferrari 49:30
And then from there, you launch and then you will launch NFT's. So when you say and if so, because it's such a broad term, when you raised money for your IP, were you selling collectibles, or were you selling pieces of the will you're selling pieces of the IP or the owners? How is that work?

Arel Avellino 49:49
Okay, okay, so we were selling images of the characters that would be in the game, and these would all be characters that were playable in the game. Our main goal was We were trying to launch this IP was one, we wanted to want to be able to make a game. There were several reasons for that, because we were actually working on a project that could essentially be a form of a Metaverse project. Everyone started calling it Metaverse, we called it a virtual event platform. And we wanted something that we could show like, Hey, this is the power and the complexity of what this thing can actually do. But we want it to be very, like, customer focused. So we're like, Let's build a game on this thing. You guys, if we build a game on this thing, I think that people will people come to the game not knowing all what we're doing. And then there'll be attracted to what it is that we're doing with this platform. So the game itself was kind of like always part of the plan. So when we priced out what our NF T's were going to cost one, we knew they were going to be the playable characters. So that was always something that oh, God, we made a ton of artwork around what the character playable characters were. And then I've been by I've been mentoring another guy who mentoring, mentoring is a big word, I would, I would say that I have been talking with a good friend of mine who has a pretty big audience that he wants to launch NF T collection to. And I've been giving him the same counsel, like, you know, these should be playable characters, or these should be access points, you know, into a community, depending on whether or not he wants to go down the route of making a game or whether or not he wants to, you know, give people access to just a community.

Alex Ferrari 51:26
So in other words, I would if I would do references blues, I would actually introduce my main character or multiple characters, I could create NFT's that were playable inside of strange clan, or another community as a as a way to generate revenue. If we wanted to. Yeah, even though it's based on a movie, it's just using those NFT's inside of one more

Arel Avellino 51:50
Metaverse project, because that is that's the other thing too is, so long as somebody is building something on on the same thing that you are building, there's ways to make connection points that but even the easiest thing, because this does not take a lot of money to do is creating a community. The only people with these NFT's get access to the whole board is Yacht Club, the reason why people spend like half a million dollars on a yacht club is because it is a access card into a private community. And if you don't have that access card, you don't get in, it doesn't matter how many times you try to copy that NFT and mint it yourself, it does not matter you cannot get into this community unless you have that NFT.

Alex Ferrari 52:28
So would you would you like be doing you know, concept our character artists, and NFT's? Would you

Arel Avellino 52:36
Character art, Concept art, I love all that.

Alex Ferrari 52:39
You know, you could you could do you know, anything, you can do 1000 Different kinds of NFT's and you can meant, you know, 100 of them, you can one of them, you can make 500 of them, depending on how you want to do it and price them accordingly. But for an unknown IP, but because I've seen this, I've talked to other filmmakers who have gone on to like the main NFT platforms, and they made a little bit of money with it. And some of them has sold their distribution rights through NFT's and you know, all of that, wow, whole life, all of that world. But it's so early on, it's hard to even fathom how that is going to work. Like you're then

Arel Avellino 53:15
I would say that I would say that there's you're not gonna you're probably not going to make too many mistakes here in the beginning, because we don't even know what the mistakes are. So

Alex Ferrari 53:22
It's it's the internet 1997 Man, that's where we're at

Arel Avellino 53:25
Yes 100% percent. So what I would say is, is there's, there's, there's a few big things to watch out for, if you're going down this space, there's a few big things to watch out for. One is creating something that ultimately has absolutely no utility whatsoever. And you don't put any kind of utility into the plan. Like, honestly, I would just say from the get go say this is going to be access point into a private community, at least have that. And then when you do your agreements and stuff with actors and stuff, you know, I would say try to pull those guys into the private community, at least for you know, a time period q&a, stuff like that, like that should be part of the agreement. The second thing is is you have to watch out for language that's insinuates, unless you're ready to do this insinuates that this is going to be a security. So this is what we're dealing with right now.

Alex Ferrari 54:22
That'd be real careful.

Arel Avellino 54:23
Yeah, this is what we're dealing with right now. Because we're now talking about why our RFPs are totally safe. Now we're talking about better offers offered any like profits and stuff if you own the entities or anything like that. The the main thing that we told people was, this is what we're building this is gonna be the starting price. You know, the we never speculate on what the future price could be. We let other people speculate on that. And but the second you say that, hey, you're going to have the profits from x, which a lot of people even Gary Vee has been like, you know, hey, if you if you're a music guy If you make an NFS, if you make your song into an NF t, and then just share all your profits from that, you know, you can make you can make a ton of money doing that. Yes. If you're also ready to, you know, make an agreement with the SEC, and label this as a security, which you can totally do. They're down with it, they'll let you do that. The only issue is, is are you ready to go hire that lawyer? You can, and you can do it in the reverse. And you can, by the way, this is not legal advice is not financial advice. Yeah, of course. Of course, yeah. 100 of that 100% Entertainment is just my opinion. But what you can do is you can say, I'm going to launch this project, we are going to share the profits. And you build into your pricing and your budget, like whatever the prices, you're going to sell each individual and yet, with the understanding that you're going to pay for the lawyer who's going to help set you up with the SEC to be able to do this legally.

Alex Ferrari 55:54
Man, this is man, we are in the wild, wild west right now. It is it is crazy. Even in the short time that I've been talking about NFTs, and blockchain and crypto and all the stuff that we've been able to talk to you about on the show. It's changed dramatically. someone like yourself comes on and does what they do, man, it's just like, I mean, I had a website in 98. I remember what it was like, I mean, I was making $6,000 a month back in 1997. But unfortunately, my server bills were 6000 bucks a month. So really, yeah, it didn't really,

Arel Avellino 56:30
The price of things goes up, the price of things goes down as development continues. It's crazy, man.

Alex Ferrari 56:36
It is. So I remember the wild wild west at that time. And like nobody even remember flash. Like everyone's Oh, Flash is the future. Like, so so many things are in flux right now. And there is opportunities just like there was in the wild, wild west to you know, put a stake in the land that might be worth worthless now, but oh, yeah, I was. I was in California. And I went to Hearst Castle, up in Northern California, where, you know, the guy that they built the basis again on, but he bought mountain side, real estate on the ocean. 19 cents an acre. Wow. 19. So he owns I think about like 10 or 20,000 acres on the ocean in Northern California. That's insane. But that was the wild wild west of the time. Like if you could afford to buy 19 cents of it to buy an acre. You could you could buy it, other people were buying other things. But so it's the exact same thing. We're here. But now we're in the digital world, where real estate and NF T's and you know, crypto and all this kind of stuff. It's still very volatile, and still very crazy. Yeah, but but it is the future

Arel Avellino 57:58
It is more of the more of the things that you want to see happen. Like, honestly, it's a good thing that we have regulators who are now taking it seriously. What they are saying is, is, in a lot of ways, they're saying that what is happening is legal, or just trying to figure out how to treat it. And so like the internet, for example, the internet, like, you have things like regulators, I mean, literally, so this is what we're dealing with is we talk to our lawyer, probably three times a week. And every time we do a conversation with him, not only do we get an update on how things are going with us setting up some of the regulatory needs, because there's very, there's a reality in which we if in order for us to launch the token that we're applying the launch, we will have to be we will have to be a security, there's a reality in which that happens. And so the crazy part is though is that every single week, we have a new update about what the government is still figuring out about whether they want to treat it as a security or what they even consider to be security when it comes to crypto, and there's constant pushback. So we're literally at the bleeding edge of a lot of stuff like you're saying, and so when it comes to when it comes to some of the unknown unknowns, there's a lot of potential upside. You just also have to prepare for the very worst case scenario. And and that's something that we just knew going in was yes, we're going to we're going to have a lot of money suddenly come in. But then how do we also protect our butts? When while the government is still trying to decide how things are supposed to go? So always back to that subject.

Alex Ferrari 59:37
It is it is a crazy, wacky world that we're going into and man I can't see I honestly can't see. Excuse me a a future in the next 10 or 15 years. It doesn't have this stuff. I mean regarding ingrained in our not only society but specifically in the film industry. It is the future I think people will start to Manding fungible copies of their movies and music that they can resell on a secondary marketplace that will become a thing in the future No, no question because it's just people will start demanding it and, and then films will start, you know, Studio will one studio will do it. The studio that's the scrappy one in the corner, like Cannon Films back in the day. I don't know if anyone listening, I just did an episode with one of the founding guys from Canon, who was one of the directors there. He basically he directed American Ninja. So back in the day, and he was telling me he's like, the reason why can and blew up in the 80s was because the studios were scared to get into VHS. Hmm. So because no studio wanted to put their movies up on VHS. There were all these video stores opening up across the country that needed content needed product. So all the independents started coming in. And that's when you had, you know, not the Terminator, but the exterminator and all these other B movies. But they made so much money. I mean, the American Ninja IP was massive around the world. And then after the studio said, well, we'll wait wait a bit. Well, we can't let these guys make all this money. And then the studio showed up and they start throwing their weight around. So that's what's going to happen here too. Right now. Everyone's dipping their toes. Look when Tarantino just dipped his toes into NFT's and and got his hand slapped. I do I'm on. I'm on Team Tarantino on this. Because I think he does have the right to do whatever the hell he wants to do with that. But yeah, it's but I even said it on the show. I'm like, imagine if guaranteed or bust out an NFT. Like who listens, man? Yeah. Well, then if you're listening

Arel Avellino 1:01:47
And he was like, Hey, I that's a great idea.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:49
If someone from Quintin's team is listening, can you come on the show Brother? I would really appreciate it. I'd love to talk to you.

Arel Avellino 1:01:55
So we're trying to did he actually tried to like tokenize each of the frames?

Alex Ferrari 1:01:59
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, not frames, original copies of the script. And he had an audio commentary explaining why he wrote some scenes like complete, original and NFT. But then, the company Miramax sued him? Because like, Oh no, we own the copyright to the pulp fiction trademark and, and the script that we purchased. And so now you're like, Well, wait a minute, this is a one. This is our this is a one off, we're not mass produced. Like there's a whole thing. So it's a really interesting conversation to be had. But like I always said, Imagine if if George Lucas busted out and NFT for Star Wars back in the day, or Raiders of the Lost Ark or any of the Spielberg's movies or any of Cameron's movies or any of that kind of stuff. You know, it's only a matter of time before we have the avatar and a tease, you know, that yeah, you know, James talking through it, and there's two of them. Yeah, is that gonna be valuable? Same way Mickey Mantle rookie cards valuable man or Babe Ruth card is valuable is because there's, there's there's scarcity of it, and so on and so forth. But again, do we could keep talking for hours, but I really appreciate you coming on the show and explaining your process on how you were able to raise $2 million for a brand new IP, it is a really interesting way of looking at how to raise money for independent films, especially, you know, in a world that it is getting tougher and tougher for independent films to get financed. Is this going to be for every project? Probably not. But can it be, but can it be? Can it be, you know, framed in a way like that could sell in a cosmos or an Aetherium, or in another community, another blockchain community. And if you guys want it.

Arel Avellino 1:03:42
The framing is way more forgiving than people think. I almost just want to say to the community, like hey, go give it a shot, go go, like start talking to people, you know, in Cosmos community in, you know, other crypto communities, especially ones where there's a lot of there's, there's there's two different types of people in the crypto world, you got the builders, and you got the hype, guys, and most, most communities are very much filled with a lot of the hype, guys, but not so much the builders, the builders became a very small percentage. There's a massive amount of builders within the cosmos community, and not quite as many hype guys. So the people who the people who are talking right now are people who they're very level headed. It's a very cooperative community because they just need more people present in order for mass adoption to kick in. So the more you find communities that have that kind of sweet spot where they they're in this collaboration mode, they want to be able to connect with, you know, other audiences get more attention, all that stuff. That's a that's a massive sweet spot for a filmmaker to come in and say, you know, all I want to do This documentary or I want to do, I want to actually launch an IP. Because that's the other thing too is there's lots of people out there who are trying to be the person who's going to launch that first major NFT documentary. And I've seen quite a few, raise your hand and say, yep, we're gonna jump in we're gonna be wants to do it.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:21
So it's and Listen, guys, if you want to get more information about blockchain and NF T's, I'll put the other episodes that I did in the show notes as well, because they're, they're pumped full of a lot of information that we didn't cover. But arrowmen I want to appreciate I appreciate you coming on the show. I'm gonna ask you a couple questions. I asked all my guests. What is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film industry or in life?

Arel Avellino 1:05:44
Hmm, the lesson that took the longest to learn, probably, I'm a slow learner. So it's probably more to do with patience and planning. Because I tend to like to just jump straight in and not take my time. Taking that time like in pre production in setting methodical goals, probably planning,

Alex Ferrari 1:06:11
And three of your favorite films of all time.

Arel Avellino 1:06:16
So Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, massive one, um, I would say this is kind of funny, because it's like a completely different type of film. But Incredibles, if I somebody asked me and somebody asked me, What is the film that you've watched, like, 12 times? The first Incredibles movie, I watched that so many freakin times. So I have to include it because Sure, sure, sure. I'm grateful. Yeah, yeah. Um, and then the third one, I would say, Hmm, this one's there. There's a lot of good ones, but I'm just gonna be kind of like basic and I'll say inception. Because I felt like that movie. Ah, no, I'm taking it back. Sorry. Inception. You don't get it. You don't get it. Grand Budapest Hotel because that movie I was just about to say that inception was like Christopher Nolan's like, that was what put it all together for like a lot of things that he was on a trip to try and bring together but Grand Budapest Hotel to a whole nother level of that. Sanderson

Alex Ferrari 1:07:16
I love Grand Budapest Hotel great, great film, brother, man, I appreciate you coming on man continued success in the in the wild west. That is the NFT space and, and and please, if if you raise it, let me know how this goes, man. I want to see where this goes. So let me know if you if you're pulling in 10 15 20 mil let me know. I want that success. I want the success story to come back on the show. So I

Arel Avellino 1:07:39
Yes sir, absolutely.

Alex Ferrari 1:07:40
I appreciate you.

Arel Avellino 1:07:41
Let's talk. Let's talk in maybe three months.

Alex Ferrari 1:07:46
That would be an amazing conversation. I appreciate you, brother.

Arel Avellino 1:07:49
All right, appreciate you too.

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


Right-click here to download the MP3

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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