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Would “Game of Thrones” Have Ended Differently if It Was on the Blockchain?

Remember when season 8 of “Game of Thrones” ended, and all you could think about was how badly you wanted to rewrite the ending? That was when 1.8M fans signed a petition for the producers to change the grand finale, or rather, the grand fiasco that it was. Sadly, HBO responded that there was zero chance that the last season of the legendary series would ever be remade.

Well, what if we told you that with the blockchain, redoing it wouldn’t have been necessary in the first place? The emergence of Web 3.0 technology and crypto is looking to disrupt the stagnating film industry and empower creators, together with film audiences, to participate in the creation of movies through decentralized communities.

Who Pays for the Creation of Movies?

While enjoying popcorn and movies in the cinema, everything seems easy. After the lights go down, in the midst of the film and the action, no one thinks about the experience of its creators in the cut-throat film industry and the hell’s kitchen that most likely went into making the movie.

First of all, and most importantly, finding someone to pay for the movie is never an easy task—maybe it would even be easier to just sell a kidney to fund your next film! Well, the film industry is full of the weirdest stories of how movies get funding.

In 1958, the creators of sci-fi horror movie “Plan 9 From Outer Space,” after multiple unsuccessful attempts to impress the film industry, had to convince the Baptist church to fund their film. The church agreed and generously sponsored a movie, with the condition that cast and crew members had to be baptized.

Robert Rodriguez, director of legendary movie “Desperado,” featuring Antonio Banderas, could only film the first part about Mexican gangster “El Mariachi” (1992) after selling his body into medical testing for new cholesterol treatments. Even one of the most acclaimed British independent filmmakers, Peter Strickland, was only able to fund “Katalin Varga” after receiving an inheritance from his uncle.

An even more bizarre funding story lies behind the making of “The Cotton Club” (1984). Much of its financing was arranged through producer Robert Evans, who was fresh off a guilty plea for cocaine trafficking. The movie had many strange characters funding its creation, including Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.

In normal circumstances, movies are funded by film studios, and this is the model that has been used since forever by Hollywood. Essentially, the studio provides funding in exchange for distribution rights. In this way, producers and studios have sort of become gatekeepers in the film industry, leaving many alternative and indie film creators undiscovered. Box offices raise millions for film production companies, and have developed the power to curtail the creativity of filmmakers in favor of generating the most revenue possible.

Contrary to high-budget Hollywood productions, independent films have to deal with the intricacies of funding a motion picture by their own means, often through crowdfunding, applying for grants, pitching concepts to private investors, or by believing so fully in an idea that they fund it with their own personal finances.

By entering the film industry, Blockchain and Web 3.0 can transform it from within, empowering creators and audiences to co-produce and co-fund movies together.

With Crypto Comes Decentralization

But how is it possible to co-produce and co-fund a movie? The answer lies in DAOs. These three letters stand for decentralized autonomous organization, and it can disrupt how movies are traditionally made. To explain in basic terms, DAOs are member-owned communities without centralized leadership. By using cryptocurrency transactions, a computer algorithm automates decision-making, thereby removing the factors of bias and human error.

For the film industry, This would mean that the approval of a project, the selection of actors, or even decisions about a movie’s plot could be voted on by DAO users. Indeed, all of these decisions would be carried out automatically via digital smart contracts—without the need for human intervention. Just like in crowdfunding, the use of a DAO would enable the community to fund the movie. The difference is that, this way, instead of just receiving some minor perks, the community becomes shareholders of the film.

In the traditional film industry model, the principal shareholders of the movie are the production company, investors, and in some cases, the big names in the film. Most of the people contributing to the movie’s physical creation are merely employees who get a salary, but no actual ownership of the final product. But consider this: if the creation process were put on the blockchain through a DAO, the process would become more collaborative and transparent, not to mention granting all creators a genuine stake in the project, and the possibility to receive a share of the revenue.

Empowering the Audience to Become Shareholders

While all the power is in the hands of the film industry’s behemoths, the classical movie business model leaves the audience outside of the periphery of active participation in a movie’s creation. Instead, fan interaction is entirely limited to buying a ticket to the movie, merchandise, and writing a review.

So, what would the film co-creation process look like with the help of blockchain? Imagine that filmmakers decided to run using a DAO – directors, cinematographers, editors, sound technicians, and actors; anyone interested in participating could join in and create a decentralized community to back the movie.

Creators would pitch their visions for the movie, and the participants of the DAO could vote to decide who to work with, and how the movie should be realized. Important cuts can be voted on by the community in the post-production phase, especially for sensitive parts of the movie, such as the beginning and ending. Additionally, to fund any further production, the final film can be sold as an NFT.

Even the scripts can be written collaboratively using the blockchain. Imagine an idea for the script in written form is minted as an NFT—the user could be rewarded with a stake in the DAO. When more participants mint their ideas, NFTs can be remixed to add more details to the story, which can then be staked again. By repeating this process, anyone can create a branch with new story elements, and earn rewards for their contribution. It can go on like this until the entire script is done.

The finished screenplay could then be minted as an NFT and auctioned off to raise funds for the movie’s production. Buyers and sellers of those NFTs would then become part of the same DAO, with an authentic stake in the end product.

Crypto Has Drawn the Film Industry’s Eye

Producers have started taking notice of the power of crypto in the movie industry, and this year at the Cannes Film Festival, Web 3.0 technologies had their time in the spotlight, with tech start-ups crowding in to sponsor panels, parties, and events.

Indeed, the DAO behind the ‘Nouns‘ NFT collection has already funded an indie film titled “Calladita“. The movie is about female empowerment, and follows the story of a young, Colombian domestic worker in a wealthy family’s Spanish holiday home. After raising 6.9 ETH ($21,000), the Nouns DAO became the second-largest backer of the film, and is thought to be the first DAO to fund a feature film.

Based on DAO principles, decentralized studios are also beginning to emerge. Decentralized Pictures, run by producer and director Roman Coppola, announced the launch of its blockchain-based film financing application. A documentary film award and mentorship soon followed the launch, in partnership with The Gotham Film & Media Institute. Filmmakers are invited to submit proposals on the platform, and the community can vote to determine which projects should be considered for funding allocations.

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The future of film is bright—and decentralized. If you could have had your voice and vote, what would you have made the ending of the final season of “Game of Thrones“?

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed to be financial legal or tax advice. Trading Forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs poses a considerable risk of loss

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Paulina is a writer, journalist, and digital craftswoman. She comes from anthropology, art & IT backgrounds, and her writing varies from screenplays for theatre, poetry, or culture to fintech and blockchain. On DailyCoin, Paulina covers in-depth stories and exclusive interviews.