In 2021, the NFT (non-fungible token) marketplace has grown by a whopping 1,785%. Considering they were only born in the last few years, it’s clear we should be paying attention. Things are only just getting started.
In a ground-breaking move for the digital art world, Beeple, an artist also by the name of Mike Winkleman, sold an NFT of his work for $69 million.
The buying and selling of digital tokens is now expanding well beyond the art world. In February Jack Dorsey, the Founder of Twitter, had bids of $2.5 million for an NFT of the first ever tweet.
For creatives, this is all incredibly exciting. In the film industry it’s tough to capitalise on your work without streamers, distributors and other industry giants taking huge cuts. Could NFTs be a way of creating a fairer economy for filmmakers and shift the power back over to the originator? We believe they could.
We’ve compiled a list of 5 very cool, very doable ways you can use NFTs for your film:
NFT your entire film — (with or without copyright) — Recently, the documentary, “Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah”, became the first Oscar nominated film to be released as an NFT. Lanzmann is selling 10 first edition copies, each for around $200,000. This provides a blueprint for thousands of filmmakers to follow. There is no reason you can’t do the same. It’s as easy as making a certain number of editions of your film and placing an NFT value on each of the video files. Buyers will then own this digital copy, like any other collectable. The value has the potential to then increase as your career progresses.
It’s important to note that selling an NFT of a copy of your film would not mean that the buyer has copyrights. Although you could sell NFTs as copyrights too, as an additional means of getting revenue and this, to certain buyers, could be more valuable! You could also NFT in a way that gives you a % of any future sales, for a longer-term revenue upside.
NFT your accessories (including the music!) — As well as the film itself, there’s potential in your byproducts as artwork or music. You can create NFT art based on limited edition posters, photography, a signed copy of the script, you can even NFT the plan you wrote when your film was just an idea. A good example is the debut of Wong Kar Wai’s first ever NFT creation — “In the Mood for Love — Day One” — edited from never-before-seen footage shot on the first production day of the international masterpiece, “In The Mood For Love” (2000).
Any digital collector’s items that relate to your film can be sold as an NFT, but remember, when there are limited copies in existence, there is more value. Where possible, don’t create thousands of visual pieces or hundreds of signed copies of your screenplay, or sell each of your individual 300 pages separately. Just like shiny football cards, the rarer the better! Selling the music (if you own the rights) as an NFT is also a great way of creating buzz around your NFT.
NFT the tickets — Another way to earn money from your film is setting up an exclusive screening event, either online or at a venue, and selling NFT tickets. Simply put, minting (minting = launching/listing on the blockchain) your tickets as an NFT means buyers will have a digital copy to keep forever. As well as granting them access to your event, the tickets are an excellent collectable as they have emotional value; they have memories attached to them.
There are seemingly endless, inventive ways to use NFTs as a paywall for viewers. Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher recently sold NFTs of their animated web series ‘Stoner Cats’, which raked in over $8 million. Each token takes the form of a randomized image and these NFT’s act as “tickets”, as only NFT holders have access to the content, and will indefinitely for all future releases.
Some sellers use NFTs as raffle tickets, so you could win a ticket to a screening or access to exclusive director Q&As, as a form of gamified crowdfunding.
NFT components — In the same way that you can make copies or first editions of your film, you can create NFTs of certain clips or scenes. You could split the film up into sections in any way you like and even sell particular sequences or pivotal moments. For a Wes Anderson fan, imagine owning one of his iconic, perfectly shot scenes from The Royal Tenenbaums. There are also a number of new ‘digital frames’ on the market, primed for showcasing your NFT clip as a real piece of gallery art in your house, so it can be displayed in a real environment and not just sat on a USB.
NFT shares of your film- If you made shares of your film purchasable, you could grant buyers things like ownership, profit shares and voting rights. With this option, you can have larger amounts of NFTs up for sale, as it is the access, rather than the rarity that benefits buyers.
Earlier this year, independent filmmaker, Trevor Hawkins, made his film Lotowana the first to use this method. A share of the film is currently selling for around $1,000 on the NFT platform OpenSea, and Hawkins has placed a thousand copies up for grabs.
The future looks a little brighter for creatives thanks to this new, easy way of adding value to your assets. At Paus, we are passionate about the film industry becoming fairer for creators, and NFTs have the powerful potential to put sales back into the hands of the artist. We want to work with filmmakers to explore how NFTs can impact your film’s revenue.
Going forward, we are looking to aid you in selling NFTs in any of the capacities listed above. We currently host limited-time screenings and Q&As and encourage viewers to tip, but NFTs open up a new door for both filmmakers and consumers. We can integrate NFTs into the purchasing process of our screening events, giving them a unique and exclusive feel. In the same way merchandise can be bought and sold at concerts, NFT buyers have something unique, impossible to lose and bragging rights to boot.
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