Despite the fact that the way motion pictures are made and seen hasn’t changed dramatically in the last century, there have been notable examples in the last twenty years of technological advances which have revolutionized the film industry.
Streaming services have reshaped the way audiences watch movies or other content at home or on the go, creating a new wave of innovative entertainment options. The ability to actually make films has become easier, as director Steven Soderbergh proved with his latest film, Unseen. IMAX made the “big screen” experience even bigger with movie screens that are nearly 100 feet tall. Movie theaters made the change from heavy, analog 35 mm film to digital in the early 2000s, and one of the biggest technological advances came in the world of animation as Pixar revolutionized animation by expertly combining engaging storytelling with breathtaking visuals. Check out Coco for further proof!
Now, the latest tech trend that appears ready for its close-up in the movie business is blockchain and that technology is poised to take the film industry, in the words of Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear, “to infinity and beyond.”
The following is a sampling of sectors within the movie business which are using blockchain, and the women at the helm that are creating lasting change in the industry.
One area of the movie business that is already incorporating blockchain is in the production, marketing, and distribution of independent films. The first blockchain film is set for release in early July and is called, No Postage Necessary. The film, starring George Blagden (Versailles) and Charleen Closshey (An Evergreen Christmas), is a romantic comedy about a man who poses as a postal worker to steal people’s mail in order to make ends meet.
What makes this film different from traditional movie production is that it is being distributed through a P2P incentivized video network which utilizes the blockchain app Qtum. The clear benefit of this technology is that, in addition to being released in theatres, it will also be made available to purchase and view online using bitcoin. This groundbreaking change will immediately eliminate a litany of movie industry middle men who are waiting to get their hands on a portion of box office revenues.
Blockchain significantly reduces the possibility of piracy by providing top-to-bottom transparency whereby all individuals involved in each stage of the process, from production to content viewing, are identified. Piracy is a problem across the movie industry, but it hits independent films especially hard. These films already are at a disadvantage in trying to gain moviegoers eyeballs against the big studio tentpoles. For example, the music industry is already using blockchain by utilizing unique IDs and time stamps in a way that will all but eliminate piracy. Watch for the movie industry to follow suit.
The social media interaction app TaTaTu is the first video-on-demand and social platform to reward consumers for watching movies, music videos, sports, gaming, and celebrity content. The app also rewards consumers for sharing and posting content in addition to when their friends watch and post, as well.
The platform is the brainchild of AMBI Media Media Group Co-Founders Monika Bacardi and Andrea Iervolino. The company is in negotiations for additional content partnerships and, on June 27th, announced it would produce and finance the directorial debut of actor David Henrie (How I Met Your Mother) entitled This is the Year.
The company’s new beta test is scheduled for July 1st.
Distribution and Marketing
Led by company CEO Amorette Jones, Treeti is designed to harness the disruptive power of blockchain in order to create a new way for filmmakers to distribute and monetize their creative projects. Jones is no novice to the film industry. Over the past two decades, she has revolutionized marketing from
creating the first dedicated movie website for Stargate to being first to leverage the power of the internet for The Blair Witch Project, widely praised as the first and most successful socially interactive marketing campaign ever.
Jones also paved the way for digital distribution with the launch of Standing in the Shadows of Motown, which enabled studios to increase revenue by eliminating the cost of striking prints. The Treeti program will eliminate the need for third party services for studios and allow content owners and distributors to directly bring their content, promotional events, and PR directly to audiences.
Hong Kong based ANX Blockchain Services has developed a blockchain platform that will eliminate a theater circuit’s dependence on time consuming, credit card transactional cash flow by working in, what they call, Movicoin. Starting with incorporating the ABS into a chain’s loyalty club service, moviegoers purchase Movicoins either at the theater’s online platform, POS system, or right at the box office. Then, consumers store their Moviecoins in their digital wallets and can use Moviecoins to purchase either movie tickets or theater concessions. Due to the technology’s simplicity and convenience, Moviecoins will significantly cut down on long lines at the box office and concession stand through their innovative technology. The company recently announced the addition of former Focus and Sony Pictures executive Peter Schlessel to its Advisory Board.
What will be interesting to watch is which of the subscription moviegoing apps will be the first to incorporate a blockchain component. The majority of bitcoin users are between the ages of 20-35, the prime age demographic of subscription moviegoing apps such as MoviePass, Sinemia, and exhibitor subscription programs that are in place from circuits such as AMC and Cinemark. Fan favorite Alamo Drafthouse announced a subscription based beta test that will begin in mid July.
If its financial standing (or lack thereof) is to be believed, MoviePass, which set the moviegoing industry on its ear in early 2017 by bringing a $9.99 subscription plan to market, won’t be the service to do so, as financial and industry experts don’t expect the service to last much longer after consistently hemorrhaging money. Alternatively, look out for the individual circuits to revel in the benefits of blockchain. From the standpoint of lower transactional fees, increased concession sales, and greater customer loyalty, MoviePass showcase’s a version of ANX’s Movicoins as part of their programs.
While the movie industry is currently lagging behind other sectors with the incorporation of blockchain in its day-to-day business, it’s important to note that it is an industry that historically takes a while to incorporate new technologies. When it does, however, that technology usually takes off like a
500 HP Dodge Charger in The Fast and the Furious, and women are more than happy to take the wheel.
This article was first published on Forbes.com