Digital content platforms such as Netflix and HBO and changes in consumer trends have exploited the seriéfilo phenomenon, but they have not managed to finish with their most fervent competitor: the feature film. But if there is a decisive discriminating factor in the seventh art, it does not have as much to do with the format as with any other primary issue in any sector: money.
Although the new distribution channels have given wings to various independent productions, the lack of funding remains an essential problem for artists other than entertainment giants. Technology has opened some solutions so that many creatives do not have to depend on a big hand to feed them and are able to diversify this responsibility. Apart from the best known, the crowdfunding, the chain of blocks offers a possibility that a few pioneers have dared to explore.
Leonardo de Armas has ventured to direct World Championship, a biographical film about gymnast Gervasio Deferr, starring the Olympic double champion and with María León and Carmina Barrios in the cast. The production will be in charge of Íñigo Marco, member of the Film Academy and producer of national feature films as Alatriste.
Faced with the prospect of finding a budget for the shooting, he wanted to get out of conventional funding channels. "Blockchain is the ideal solution for what I am looking for, an environment that allows me to carry out this project with greater creative freedom", defended the director in the presentation video of his project.
The initiative, which seeks to raise seven million euros before February, uses Tokit for this, a platform for tokenization of content developed by SingularDTV, a pioneer company in the decentralization of the entertainment industry.
De Armas presented his project on this platform and defined the budget he needs to carry it out. Those people who want to invest, buy Hagak, the virtual currency created for this purpose. Once filmed, the film will be distributed on the EtherVision content distribution portal and each euro collected will be distributed proportionally among investors.
World Championship is the first Spanish film project that seeks to finance itself through a network blockchain, but there are other international initiatives that explored this model before. Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum, convinced the filmmaker Mitzi Peirone to use the chain of blocks in the fundraising of Braid, his first film. In this way, the first American film financed with a virtual currency has been released.
Peirone used the technology of ConsenSys – a company recently founded by Lubin – to make his project possible. Thanks to Braid, this company was able to inaugurate WeiFund, a financing platform through blockchain who received an award for the most innovative project in the International Week of Blockchain from Shanghai, in China, two years ago.
The Guatemalan director Javier Borrayo also resorted to the chain of blocks to address his film Light and he did it through the same platform that De Armas is using. "As an artist, musician and actor, I can say that in the world of culture it is difficult to take a project forward because there are not enough channels or ways to share our creations and this solution can give us hope," he said after finishing his fundraising campaign .
Borrayo then highlighted the difference between this financing model and others that, in practice, seem similar. "Tokenizing a project is not the same as launching a project crowdfunding"He remarked categorically. "With blockchain you tell people: I am selling you a part of my project and we are going to make a profit together. " Lubin himself did not consider that this practice could be strictly defined as crowdfunding and preferred to understand it as a hybrid between it and a financial investment.
With blockchain you tell people: I am selling you a part of my project and we are going to make a profit together.
Javier Borrayo, film director
There is no doubt that there are differences between both collection systems. The best known modality of crowdfunding is one in which a group of people decide to sponsor a campaign in exchange for receiving the product in which they are investing. The kind of blockchain it maintains the initial spirit of support of interesting and innovative initiatives, but it provides a speculative component with which the investor can benefit if he is right when deciding where to put his money. This also generates a certain loyalty between both parties. "With this form of financing, it is possible to maintain a relationship of continuity with the investor, sharing the benefits of my work and making the work feel like something of my own", recognizes De Armas. "A relationship of mutual growth is established, without intermediaries"