This is a transcript of SYS Podcast Episode 412 – The Future of NFT’s For Movies/TV .
Ashley: Welcome to Episode 412 of the Selling Your Screenplay Podcast. I’m Ashley Scott Meyers, screenwriter, blogger with sellingyourscreenplay.com. Today I’m interviewing writer-director Trevor Hawkins who just did a cool indie drama called Lotawana. I was researching what I might be able to do with cryptocurrencies and NFT’s for the rideshare killer. And I kept running into articles about his film. So, I reached out to him and he very graciously agreed to come on this podcast and answer all my questions. He minted some NFT’s for his film, one of the first films to really try this, wasn’t a huge success for him, but it did get him some press, which is how I found him. So, we’ll dig into that a little bit, the whole crypto NFT wave and how that might affect the television and film industries in the future. So, stay tuned for that interview. If you find this episode valuable, please help me out by giving me a review in iTunes or leave me a comment on YouTube or retweeting the podcast on Twitter or liking or sharing it on Facebook. These social media shares really do help spread word about the podcast, so they’re very much appreciated. And I’ve talked about this before, but I’m actually now on Tik Tok as well. So please, if you see my Tik Tok videos, give it a like give it a share. And all of those likes and shares really do help with these social media. It’s just that’s the currency that they run in. So, the more likes and shares that I get, the further these videos seem to go. So, it is very much appreciated. Any websites or links that I mentioned in the podcast can be found on my blog in the show notes. I also publish a transcript with every episode in case you’d rather read the show or look at something later on. Can find all the podcast show notes at www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/podcast and then just look for episode number 412. If you want my free guide “How to Sell a screenplay in five weeks” can pick that up by going to sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide, it is completely free. You just put in your email address and I’ll send you a new lesson once per week for five weeks along with a bunch of bonus lessons. I teach the whole process of how to sell your screenplay in that guide. I’ll teach you how to write a professional logline inquiry letter and how to find agents, managers and producers who are looking for material really is everything you need to know to sell your screenplay just go to sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide.
So now let’s get into the main segment today. I’m interviewing writer-director Trevor Hawkins. Here is the interview.
Welcome, Trevor to the selling your screenplay podcast. I really appreciate you coming on the show with me today.
Trevor: Well, hey there, Ashley. It’s awesome to be here.
Ashley: So, to start out, maybe you can tell us a little bit about your background. Where did you grow up, and how did you get interested in the entertainment business?
Trevor: So, I live in a small lake town called Lake Lotawana, Missouri and I started filming my friend skateboarding and wakeboarding when I was in high school, and just kind of became a passion of mine. I always loved the skateboard and whiteboard videos more than the actual tricks themselves. And then when I was in high school, I went over to my buddy’s house, and he showed me Requiem for a Dream, Donnie Darko, and A Clockwork Orange in his basement in one week and it just kind of blew my mind. And it was no hope from then on. I knew that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. And then just kept with the skateboarding and wakeboard thing. Eventually, I started doing like smaller commercial work. And then I just kept developing my style and working on personal projects. And then eventually, one thing led to another and I had my own production company. Now I’m a rep DP, and director for commercial work. And I finance and wrote and directed my first feature film called Lotawana.
Ashley: Perfect, perfect. So, we’re going to dig into that for sure. So just talk about your kind of career trajectory here. I noticed that you do editing cinematography, as you mentioned, Director, as you mentioned, but you also have done a lot of writing, what do you see yourself in those roles? And like, what is your ultimate goal? Do you just want to direct, you just want to edit? Why are you doing so many roles? And do you want to do continue to be so that auteur of your of these films?
Trevor: Well, I don’t necessarily prefer doing all of the roles, but since I started out doing it that way. And when you don’t have a ton of money to work with ideally, I mean, in a perfect world, you get to hire a cinematographer who’s better than you are and an editor who’s better than you are. But when you don’t have a lot of money like myself, you kind of, sometimes it’s easier just to do it the way you want, if you can, and instead of trying to get other, like trying to communicate that with other people. But I mainly consider myself these days like a writer-director, DP, I do edit in color as well, I enjoy it, but it’s not really like what I’m trying to do with myself. I wrote my first script folding script with Lotawana I had never written a script before but knew I wanted to direct a movie. And so, I just Googled how to write a script and then jumped in and then I just finished my fourth script, full length script that I’m that’s the next one that I want to get produced. But yeah, so mainly I consider myself a writer director these days.
Ashley: Perfect. Let’s talk just a little bit about some of the things you just mentioned, like with the skateboarding and wakeboarding videos. We’ve had a number of people on the podcast here that started out that way. And I’m curious, did you do anything with those videos? Did you put them on YouTube? What can someone do if there’s a high school kid listening to this now, what do you recommend they do, if they’re just basically shooting videos to kind of build their craft, build their sense of style. But what can you ultimately do, do you enter in film festivals, you put them online? What is sort of the way to market those and get some exposure with them?
Trevor: Well, I’m kind of an old dogs, I don’t know if I’d be much help in that realm. Because when I was doing it, it was way before YouTube. So, what we did was we actually created physical DVDs and then just walked around and sold them and handed them out. And it was kind of just more of a fun thing. I’ve never taken anything I’ve done super seriously. But I’ve been lucky enough that the few times I have put stuff online, it’s gotten me a bit of notoriety, I made some short films a long time ago, I got some notice from National Geographic at one point, got published by them. And just, I would say, yeah, just post stuff. Get it out there as much as you can, because you never know who’s going to see it.
Ashley: Gotcha. Now, how did you make this leap from shooting videos, skateboarding videos for your friends, to getting commercial work? Did you do some free commercials for local businesses? Explain that transition going from basically just a guy who enjoys doing this to someone who’s trying to make a living and doing it professionally. How do you talk those first, you know, businesses into hiring you as a director when you don’t have a, you know, a big reel of commercials you’ve done?
Trevor: Sure, I think it’s a lot more organic than it seems like it would be because I just started making stuff that I thought was cool. And then I just show it to people. And they’d be like, oh, did you see what Trevor made and then word got around. And then sure enough, some local people wanted some small commercials, they just asked me to do them. And then I got lucky enough, there’s a hunting show starting up. I’m not 100 myself. But there’s a TV show, starting up here in the area with a couple guys I went to high school with and they asked me if I wanted to make the show. So, I jumped on. And I made the show and it kind of took off in the hunting world because it really was something that stylistically that industry hadn’t seen yet. And then from there, I got my first big client, which was AMC Theatres, and we got to make some of their like, pre roll, like some of the content that plays before the actual film in the theatre, we got to start making that stuff. And then it just snowballed from there. And then yeah, that’s how I got into commercial work. And I wish I knew how to crack into the feature world better. Because getting a film off the ground is about the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Ashley: Yeah, no kidding. So that’s sort of the next question. So, a guy like yourself, why do you stay outside of Hollywood? Why don’t you move to LA? And you know, make a go of it here is there advantages to being not in LA versus some things that maybe you wish you could be in Hollywood? What is sort of your thinking around moving to LA?
Trevor: Oh, I mean, I would in a heartbeat if I was like, all of my friends, all of my family, my entire support system, and everything about who I am, is rooted in, like Lotawana, which is where I’ve lived my whole life, and I still live, if I were to leave and go to LA, I mean, I wouldn’t be myself anymore. And a Lotawana was based on and shot at the lake, I live at the second movie that I want to get off the ground. My fourth script is also based around a Missouri lake. And so, I would love, love, love to be able to like somehow do both because there’s so many opportunities in Los Angeles just being around so many different people, but it’s just not something that I feel like my heart can do with the life I’m living right now.
Ashley: Gotcha. Gotcha. So, another question I had, as I was sort of preparing for the interview, as I said, I noticed you did a lot of editing cinematographer, director, writer, but you don’t have a lot of producing credits. So, talk about that a little bit, like for Lotawana, who was your producer? And how did you meet that person? Because it seems like a writer, that’s definitely someone, a writer could really, you know, needs to meet, is that good producer that sees value in their work and is able to kind of work some of the business and have that but who was your producer? And how did you meet that person?
Trevor: So, Nathan Kincaid and my wife Cory Joe Hawkins, were my producers for a lot of one and I guess you would call myself sort of a like, ghost producer as well. I’m not trying to be a producer with myself. But just being a independent filmmaker, you inevitably have to almost produce everything you do. Like I said, I financed Lotawana, I paid for the whole thing. I got a mortgage against my house. And then Nathan, he was integral in the production because he had a lot more experience with how to actually produce the shoots themselves. And so, he also came on as an assistant director, so he was like, Alright, now we got to put this schedule in place and he’s sort of a genius when it comes to lining up talent and props and schedule and locations, and how to make sense of this huge ass like puzzle that just staring at it feels so daunting, but he kind of looked at it, Brady chop it all into pieces. And then yeah, the three of us. And then Cory did everything else as well alongside Nathan. So, I think it’s probably just indie filmmaking at its finest, we’re probably more indie than what’s considered indie a lot of times. But yeah, we just guessed. And we put in a lot of hard work and made some mistakes, but learned a lot.
Ashley: So, let’s dig into your new film – Lotawana, maybe just start out, you can give us a quick pitch or a logline, what is the pitch for this film?
Trevor: Sure. So, it is a young couple that are kind of fed up with maybe the materialistic lives they’ve been living sort of into the wild vibes where they want to throw everything to the wind, and they go and live out on a sailboat. And they sort of like reconstruct, like construct a new world for themselves? Well, maybe because of a bit of their lack of preparedness, they have struggled, the world crashes down on them in certain ways. And so, the whole movie exists as a thought experiment to the viewer of ‘can we rewrite our own rules of modern existence? Or does society operate the way it does for a reason.’ And that whole theme came about because I’m a sailor, as well. And I had an opportunity to go sailing around the world with a buddy of mine, but I’d be gone for like three or four years. And it was sort of this like, idealistic thing that I really like, I had to do it. But then whenever, like, we even bought a sailboat and all this stuff. But then I knew that I would be leaving, all of the momentum I’ve been building this whole time to become a filmmaker, and being a filmmaker has always been my dearest goal, like not sailing around the world, that would just be kind of a bonus. And so, I really, along with meeting my wife at that exact same time, I really had to, like make that decision of like, wow, do I really, like, buckle down, focus on my commercial work? And like, keep the axe of the grind? Or do I throw everything to the wind and sort of go reinvent my life? And yeah, I’m really interested in the interface of those ideas. And like other movies, like into the wild and recently, Nomad land, as well have explored that as well. And I mean, I love that idea.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah, for sure. For sure. So, let’s talk about your writing process a little bit. Just how do you typically write? Are you one of these people that has a home office you write? Do you need to go to Starbucks with ambient noise? What are your most productive writing days look like?
Trevor: I actually kind of feel like I’m a weirdo when it comes to writing process, I have really no struggle. I one time heard an interview with Paul Thomas Anderson, where he said that he never gets writer’s block. He suffers from having too many ideas and like, and that doesn’t mean they’re good. But like, I kind of feel like I suffer from that as well. Or like, I have so many things I want to do that. Like, I never get writer’s block. It’s I have a one-year-old and I work full time. And we’re like remodeling the cabin house that we live in. And like, just finding the hours is the hardest part. But once I dedicate like a morning, like, alright, tomorrow morning, I’m going to get up at six and write till noon, I have no problem. Like, I’m just a machine. And then I don’t stop at noon, I’ll write until 9pm that night, because I’m just so like, cherished of like, having free time is like, the hardest thing to come by in my life right now. And so, I know that when I get it, I just like, got to make it worth it otherwise, like, you know, just like go to work kind of like, alright, this is my time, I got to do it. So, if I sit here and dream off and don’t get any words down, then I’m like, I would hate myself, essentially, because then I blew like one of my small windows and but yeah, once I’m flowing, you know, like, it, I’m sure you know, just as well as any writers. Like, it’s so hard, like, alright, it’s 6am, my brains not working. Like I got to make this time worth it. And like, alright, I’m not feeling creative at all. This is kind of feeling like more like a drag than what I thought it’d be. And then, once you like, force yourself to like, hit a few keys. And then like, no, let me just go back and start reading. I’ll reread what I wrote last time I sat down. And I think just like reading, the last thing that I wrote kind of gets the wheels spinning automatically. And then you’re like, oh, no, let me change that. Let me change that. Let me change that. And just making those edits, all of a sudden is enough to just jump off the cliff. And then once you’ve jumped, then you’re just free falling and writing and creative mode the rest of the time, but that’s essentially my whole process.
Ashley: Gotcha. Yeah, that’s a great tip. I’m curious how much time do you spend outlining, it sounds like you had a pretty good idea of sort of thematically what this movie was going to be but how much time do you spend just like outlining it index carding, versus how much time do you spend actually in Final Draft cranking out?
Trevor: I outline religiously now, Lotawana was my first script, so I didn’t realize how valuable an outline would be I had sort of like a rough rudimentary one, but kind of like, just made a mad mess on the page, like just hit the points along the way. But now I essentially, I create a note like, on my laptop, there’s like the Notes app. And I’ll just do bullet points and bullet points and highlight different colors for different fill out that outline until is essentially the whole movie. And then when I sit down to actually write, it’s quite easy, because I know, alright, this scene takes place here with these characters, and these three or four things have to happen. And so, there’s not an infinite number of possibilities to write that scene. And so, it’s like the actual writing process and final draft goes like that *clicked fingers* for me. It’s super-fast.
Ashley: I’m curious on a film like this, that’s kind of a subtle drama. How do you approach screenplay structure? You’re not going to have you know, that asteroid crashing into Earth on page 25. So, what how do you get through the structure? How do you keep the story like this moving?
Trevor: This is my first movie, so I’m just like, it’s a miracle that even got made. It’s a miracle that even looks like a movie. It’s a miracle that like, is even somewhat good looking. I like I said, I just that was my first script I ever wrote. And so, it was simply just naivety. Like if it works, the only reason it would work is just because of those like, instincts you just inherit from being a movie lover your whole life, you know, just by watching movies, you’d have some sort of instinct of like, that would be cheesy, this might be a more interesting way to play that. But now, I absolutely think of that. Now that I’m starting to learn the craft of screenwriting more, like I said, I got my fourth script done and man, learning structure and then abandoning structure for the right reasons and breaking rules but knowing why you’re breaking the rules, like just becoming good at Craft is so interesting to me. Like, when I first started out, I thought you could just do whatever you want, whenever you want. And then I paid the price in the editing room with Lotawana the first cut of the movie was four hours long. And it took me like three or four years to get it cut down to 90-minutes, we shot it in 2015, which is why it’s just now coming out. And it had I’ve been a better screenwriter, I would have written that script more appropriate to a finished product of a film. But having that… that was essentially my film school, I didn’t go to film school. And now when I write a script, I’m like, wow, like, it is so important to actually like stick to the tried and true rules of like, Don’t meander on stuff that isn’t relevant to the story. Yeah, you can throw in some flavor here and there just to kind of make the movie interesting and totally awesome. But you can’t linger. You know, you got to like in and out in and out and like get your beats in and like figure out what the story’s for. And so, a Lotawana is completely different than this fourth script I just finished that I want to produce next. That one’s much more in the realm of like one of Edgar Wright’s Cornetto movies where it’s just sort of like, like, it’s purposeful, it’s page count. It’s like moving, but it’s like fun, and hopefully something no one’s ever seen before.
Ashley: So, let’s talk about NFT’s for a little bit. I found you, I was doing some research on movies doing NFT’s and your movie kept coming up as just in articles and in videos, people were mentioning it. So, let’s just start out I know there’s going to be a lot of people that don’t even understand what NFT’s are. So maybe you can kind of give us your definition, what is an NFT? And then ultimately, how does it become useful for filmmakers?
Trevor: Sure, I can answer the first one. I’m not sure if I can answer the second one anymore. But an NFT is essentially a shorthand for Non-Fungible Token and all that is like, fungible means… I don’t need to get an all that… An NFT is essentially a piece of digital art, that there’s only one of because there’s only one Creator, and through the blockchain, because blockchain is one consistent thing across all these different platforms, that’s un-hackable. You can upload your original art. And even though somebody can screenshot your art are duplicated a million times, because it’s just digital artwork, there will always be a certificate of origin that says, you or someone, whoever buys it will be the original owner of that piece of art. And so, what that’s done is it started treating digital art, like a gallery would classically treat a painting or something like that. There’s only one and so there’s a lot of people that find an inherent value in that and like being the original owner of some piece of art. And so that’s essentially all it is on the blockchain and the blockchain is a new technology and I’m not an expert on the blockchain or anything. But what happened was NFT’s, when they started getting popular, we found ourselves sitting there with a recently finished movie. And we’re like; wow, there’s a lot of hype going on with this NFT stuff. What if we just like said, Screw it, I own the movie outright, we can do whatever we want with it, and just throw it up online and just see what happens with it. And sure enough, it got a lot of buzz. And we were really fortunate, we got like interviews with Movie Maker and indie wire and a handful of other press in the industry that we’re really thankful for. And we had high hopes of what we’re like, oh, this could be really cool. We’ll sell the ownership and blah, blah, all this stuff. Well, it turns out that because of technicalities with the SEC, which I’ve never even heard of before this whole thing, our lawyers told us that technically what we were doing was illegal, and you cannot actually sell shares of a company to people you cannot vet. And since people can purchase NFT’s just through a screen name, you cannot properly vet that person. So, we had to stop what we’re doing. And it was kind of this like sad deal. But even aside from that, we thought it was going to be a lot more interesting to raise money and funds to create our next film. But then, as we sold a few NFT’s, we saw the volatility of the market and like you’re you have this much money this one day, and then the next day, you have that much money and I’m like, well, it like it’s weird. It’s almost like trying to raise money on the stock market. Like it’s not a for sure thing, because everything’s up and down and volatile. And then also, at the end of the day, the blockchain and NFT’s aren’t a hype machine, intrinsically in themselves. They are just a platform. So, it’s almost kind of like, there’s something how many people out there in the world are trying to get famous on the internet. The internet is just a platform like you have to have your own inherent following. And you have to have your own inherent reason for people to care about you. I’m just a no name indie filmmaker, this releasing my first movie. So, me jumping on the blockchain… Like I have no notoriety in the blockchain space either. And so, it was kind of this like, harsh reality of like, wow, since I’m a nobody, yeah, I’m the first one doing this. And we got some press for it. But I’m still like, had a famous filmmaker like Paul Thomas Anderson or Quentin Tarantino done what we did, it would have just blown up and skyrocket and who knows what would have happened, they could have made millions and millions and blah, blah, blah. But like, since we don’t have that following yet, it was essentially kind of like, yeah, we made a little splash, but we’re just kind of right where we were. So, we had to really adjust our expectations for the blockchain. I think, it’s going to be awesome down the road, but I don’t think for folks like me, it’s there yet.
Ashley: Gotcha. So, what did you actually meant as NFT’s did you do like screen captures from the movie? Were they stills from the movie? What were you going to actually offer as NFT’s?
Trevor: So, we offered three different types of NFT’s. We offered actual copyright shares to own the actual movie itself. And those the ones we had to stop selling because of technical legality. And then we also sold tickets to our online world premiere, so people… and those are still for sale as well. I think December 9 is going to be the night of our the first ever world premiere via the Internet sold via NFT’s in the blockchain, which is kind of cool. So, that’ll be instead of doing like eight the act like a classic theatrical premiere, where you’re like rent a space in Hollywood or something and have a bunch of people come, this will be like a streaming thing that will do a live Q&A with the cast and crew and will host the movie, it’ll be kind of like a digital event. So, people from all over the world can attend. Those NFT’s are still for sale on open sea. And then the third type of NFT we sold which already sold out, we listed 20 movie frames from the film. So, we minted 20 Different NFT’s and they’ve already sold. And so, you can only list one piece of artwork once. So, that particular movie frame is technically, that NFT for that movie frame is owned by people out into the world, and only one person can own it. And that’s pretty fun.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah, for sure. But I mean, if you sold 20, why didn’t you do 40 or 400 or 4000? Why did you stop at 20?
Trevor: Just because a scarcity, we don’t, like not all the frames in the movie like half motion blur frames and people aren’t that cool. So, we kind of just cherry pick like 20 really cool ones and just decided to do as an experiment, they’ve all sold out so who knows if they’ll rise in value in the future or not, but and they were super cheap. I think we sold them for like a few like five bucks apiece or something like that just more as a fun thing.
Ashley: I think your point about having a following is so important. It’s not unlike Kickstarter. If you’re going to do a Kickstarter, you can throw your thing up on kickstarter.com. But that doesn’t mean anybody’s going to actually give money to it unless you actually have this following already built.
Trevor: That’s a better way to say it than what I said, that’s way better.
Ashley: So, I’m curious, what do you see in the future? Are you sort of bullish on NFT’s? Ultimately, like, how do you see ultimately, in the future? How could filmmakers make this work from you? I mean, you mentioned Quentin Tarantino, if he had done when he could have sold millions, but what can people do in the future? How is this going to help filmmakers in the future?
Trevor: That’s the question that I’m not sure I’m equipped to answer. Because I’m not a blockchain guy. I’m not an NFT guy. I’m a sensitive, creative guy, my whole life is spent writing and directing and making movies and I’m a hopeless romantic artist. The actual like nuts and bolts of how this could be good for filmmakers, or that’s more of a question for people out there that actually know how this could what this could turn into one day. I just know your Kickstarter point was right on the hit the nail on the head, because you it’s just a platform, the blockchain is just a platform, essentially. And if you’re nobody, you’re going to be a nobody on that platform. If you’re somebody, if you jump onto that platform, you’re already going to have a following. So, I mean, that’s a great question, if you could, I bet. There’s a lot of companies, we had talks with companies that are racing into the NFT and blockchain space for cinema and Hollywood. They don’t know we had talks with actual blockchain companies themselves. And they said; Hey, if you’re the one that can answer these questions, then you’re going to be the next millionaire, mega millionaire, whatever. Like right now, it’s the Wild West. No one knows what’s going to happen. Blockchain is cool in theory, because it’s verifiable across the planet. So, it’s almost like all business, all creative, everything becomes public, not public domain, but publicly visible. So, when everything’s out in the open, you can’t fake anything. And that’s just itself. That’s why cryptocurrencies are so popular is because money can be verified. And yeah, I mean, I’m kind of spitting at this right now acting like a know what I’m talking about. But I’m not an expert at this at all.
Ashley: Gotcha. Gotcha. I’m curious, though. How did you build that buzz? Was it just because you guys were so early, but how did you get that buzz where you’re getting meetings with these companies where you got in moviemaker magazine? Did you do some press releases? Did you do any kind of PR reach out? Like how did you build that buzz? Because I think that was sort of going in the direction where you could have potentially if you’ve gotten over that hump, maybe become somebody in the blockchain community just as being the first.
Trevor: Yeah, absolutely. So, what happened was, is we went to those NFT’s. And then my wife created a quick press release. And we sent it to … what was the first one, it was one of those publications and they picked us up, and we got an article and then from that, it just snowballed. Like, the problem was, is that Hollywood wasn’t ready for NFT’s like the rest of the world, like nobody even knew what they were. So, whenever the article got passed along, and people started talking about it, we were so ahead of the curve that it was hard, even like having people take us seriously. And even though we’re the first ones in the world to do this, which I’m stoked about, we’ll always be the first ones in the world to bring Hollywood and to the NFT space in this way. Yeah, I think Hollywood still decades behind it, or a decade at least, because like the forces that be within Hollywood and the structures that already set up, and the way that money is classically made within Hollywood, it’s just too strong of a paradigm to just throw it to the wind and gamble all that money into the blockchain, right, I think was probably going to happen is big studios, and things will probably start dipping their toe in, you know, like, if Marvel and all those mega corporations are like; Alright, we’re going to like, have some additional assets that are only available as NFT’s as sort of like a case study. And if those go really well, I think they’ll gradually start moving but right now I could have no prediction for what the blockchain holds for Hollywood.
Ashley: One of the big thing that’s interested me is this whole idea of smart contracts where you can mint these NFT’s, but the original artists can get 5% 10% 20%, whatever is written up in these smart contracts, and then the blockchain keeps track of all that. So, it seems like a guy like let’s say an independent filmmaker, like yourself, if you could get sort of a least some sort of ball rolling and the and then there’s a market for these NFT’s, then you as a filmmaker have a residual source of money coming back to you as people are buying and selling these NFT’s, as you’re making new movies that are bigger and better. The value of those goes up and you continuously get 10% through this sort of smart contract things and it’s really not unlike selling stock, I guess an artist. I mean, someone might listen to this podcast and think; wow, Trevor really knows what’s going on. I really believe in Him. They might go buy some of those NFT’s. And so, then they’re almost buying stock. And you as an artist, and as you continue to make movies in 10 years, inevitably, those things I mean, think of George Lucas had done that for Star Wars, how much some NFT’s if he then minted a couple of 20 frames, can you imagine how much those would be worth if you had one of the 20 frames from the original Star Wars movie as an NFT? How much those would actually be worth. And especially if George Lucas could get 10% as these things were bought and sold?
Trevor: I feel like you should be the one being interviewed because that was so much better than I would have said it everything you said, you hit the nail on the head there, man like, yeah.
Ashley: I’m still learning this too. And I would recommend people and I mentioned this in the email when I reached out to you, Gary Vaynerchuk is a big social media marketing guru type guy. And he has started in an NFT project where he’s created these animated characters. And he’s minted them. And they’re worth I think he minted 10,000 of these things. And they’re worth 50,000 each. Now to your point he had a following before he got into that. So, he comes to it as a famous person. But he’s very much understanding sort of where this is going to go. And I see it. As I said, any artist could potentially take advantage of some of these same things, obviously, maybe not on that scale, but potentially so I’m learning right there with you. So, this has been a fascinating, discussion. I do appreciate your being so candid about it as well.
Trevor: Yeah, of course, man, only ever nothing but 100% honest, and you said it perfectly. If the blockchain is essentially just like the internet, there’s so many people on the blockchain, there’s so many people on the internet, there’s so many people in real life, like, you’re not going to be successful on the blockchain unless you have a following in a way to get people to you. And I think, from what we saw, just sort of like on the outside watching the NFT space, when we were seeing what other people were doing, when we dove into it. There was this mass flood of like, all these digital artists, were releasing all this digital art now, like, I mean, there’s got to be a spike like you would think that like, this is like something that can’t be sustainable, like people selling little cat gifs for like, a million bucks or something like there’s going to be like 10 million of those cat gifs within.
Ashley: Yeah, and I see these on Tik Tok, these people telling you how to mint like you create, you set it up in Photoshop. And then you can just create 10,000 unique things by swapping out the hair color and the eye color, you know, this sort of programmatically, and clearly, those are clearly never going to…
Trevor: Devalues the whole thing and it just makes it a bubble.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So yeah, I’m right there with you. And it was I like to wrap up these interviews just by asking the guests, is there anything that you’ve seen recently that you thought was really great, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, anything out there that you would recommend to screenwriters, you thought it was maybe really interesting?
Trevor: Oh, my gosh, yes.
Ashley: Perfect. Usually, people don’t want to give me, I’ll usually put them on the spot and they don’t have an answer. So, this is great you do.
Trevor: I don’t know if this is something that’s going to be as useful for screenwriters. But definitely useful for screenwriters, directors, cinematographers the whole bit, but I think it’s 1985. I recently watched a Russian movie called “Come and See.” And it blew my mind. It was so freaking cool. Just the craft of filmmaking and its most pure form. I keep a revolving top 50 movies of all-time favorite list of my own. And once I saw Come and See. I was like, shit, watch one of my dearest movies. Do I have to kick off that list? Because I have to put this Come and See movie on this. Like, it’s so hard to believe that no one knows this movie. And it’s got to be one of the greatest movies of all time.
Ashley: And where is it? Where did you happen to find it?
Trevor: I just found it online somewhere. I don’t remember where I watched it, it was a few months ago by now, maybe early summer, something like that. But I’ve been telling everybody about it. Since I’ve seen it. It’s pretty cool.
Ashley: Perfect. Well, that’s a great recommendation. Definitely one I had not heard of. So how can people see Lotawana, and what’s the release schedule going to be like for that?
Trevor: So, a lot of one is coming out this winter actually on all the major streaming platforms like or the video on demand stuff. So, it will be on Apple iTunes, Google Play, which is also I think they’re doing YouTube as well. So, Google Play will also be on like YouTube TVs and movies. And then we’ll be on Amazon and Voodoo possibly. Yeah, that’s the fourth one, I think. But yeah, that’ll be it’s like 3.99 to rent it, so it’s no money to pretty much watch the movie but yeah, it’s coming out this winter. I think it’s going to be February 22nd, as of right now, if everything goes well.
Ashley: Perfect, gotcha. Gotcha. And how can people keep up with what you’re doing? Twitter, Facebook, a blog, anything you’re comfortable sharing I will round up and put in the show notes so people can click over and find you?
Trevor: Love it. Thank you. Yeah, everything I… the only social media I really have is on Instagram and I have an Instagram, it’s just Trevor_Hawkins_film. That’s my name and that just the words have underscores and then Lotawana has an Instagram and my production company – Mammoth has an Instagram as well.
Ashley: Well, perfect. Well, Trevor, I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to come talk with me. Good luck with this film. And good luck with your next film as well.
Trevor: Awesome. Thank you so much, Ashley. I really appreciate it. It was fun.
Ashley: Day. Thank you. We’ll talk to you later.
Ashley: SYS is from concept to completion, screenwriting course, is now available, just go to www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/screenwritingcourse. It will take you through every part of writing a screenplay, coming up with a concept outlining, writing the opening pages, the first act, second act, third act and then rewriting and then there’s even a module at the end on marketing your screenplay once it’s polished and ready to be sent out. We’re offering this course in two different versions, the first version, you get the course. Plus, you get three analyses from an SYS reader, you’ll get one analysis on your outline, and then you’ll get to analyses on your first draft of your screenplay. This is just our introductory price, you’re getting three full analyses, which is actually the same price as our three-pack analysis bundle. So, you’re essentially getting the course for free when you buy the three analyses that come with it. And to be clear, you’re getting our full analysis with this package. The other version doesn’t have the analysis, so you’ll have to find some friends or colleagues who will do the feedback portion of the course with you. I’m letting SYS select members do this version of the course for free. So, if you’re a member of SYS select, you already have access to it. You also might consider that as an option, if you join SYS select, you will get the course as part of that membership to a big piece of this course is accountability. Once you start the course, you’ll get an email every Sunday with that week’s assignment. And if you don’t complete it, we’ll follow up with another reminder the next week is easy to pause the course if you need to take some time off. But as long as you’re enrolled, you’ll continue to get reminders for each section until it’s completed. The objective of the course is to get you through it in six months so that you have a completed power screenplay ready to be sent out. So, if you have an idea for a screenplay, and you’re having a hard time getting it done, this course might be exactly what you need. If this sounds like something you’d like to learn more about, just go to www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/screenwritingcourse. It’s all one word, all lowercase. I will of course a link to the course in the show notes and I will put a link to the course on the homepage up in the right-hand sidebar.
On the next episode of the podcast, I’m going to be interviewing Jared Cohen about his new film “Deadlock” starring Bruce Willis. Jared was on the podcast before in Episode 188. So, check out that episode if you haven’t already listened to it as we talk about the early part of his career and kind of how he got started in the industry. But next week, we’re going to dive into his new Bruce Willis action film called Deadlock, and how that all came together for him. So, stay tuned for that episode next week. To wrap things up, I just want to touch on a few things from today’s interview with Trevor. As you can tell, I’m very bullish on cryptocurrencies in general. And I think there’s a lot of potential with NFT’s for film and television, especially for independent filmmakers like myself. So, I’ll be trying to bring in more of these types of interviews over the next few months really is an exercise for me to learn, hopefully, people listen, this podcast can learn as well. If you have any experience with cryptocurrencies or NFT’s, please do reach out to me. I’m very much in the learning phase right now, just reading as much as I can watch as many videos about all of this as I can and trying to absorb as much information as possible. But I’ll just leave everybody with this. There was a video I saw on Tik Tok a couple of weeks ago and it sort of described this as sort of put cryptocurrencies in this historical perspective. There was a moment in human history where church and state got separated. It wasn’t overnight, but it had a profound impact on society on civilization. And that’s the sort of change we’re going to see over the next decade or two with cryptocurrencies, as the monetary system actually gets removed from the government, these two things will be separated. Obviously, there’s some very strong arguments on both sides of this. I mean, frankly, it is a little bit scary, but I think it is inevitable no matter how you feel about it. I think that this is an inevitable change. The biggest argument I hear about why this isn’t going to happen, and it’s a strong argument in many regards, is that governments, especially in places like China, but even here in the United States, the governments will never allow this because it strips the government have so much power. Obviously, if you remove the finance system from the government, a lot of their power is removed. But I think this argument fails to really understand what crypto is all about, and sort of the decentralized nature of it. The cat is out of the bag, and there’s really no way of putting it back in especially with developing nations like El Salvador that are fully embracing this. They are in investing heavily into cryptocurrency. And it makes sense for developing nations, because for all practical purposes, they don’t have a solid monetary system like we do in the United States, a lot of these developing nations essentially use the US dollar. So, they don’t like doing that they would much rather have a currency that is not controlled by the United States. And cryptocurrencies offers that. So, there’s going to be a large part of the segment of the world governments of the world like El Salvador, like the developing nations that actually embrace this in a real way and, and encourage it and really build on this. So, we will be left behind as the first world will actually be left behind, I believe in this case. Because of this, again, it’s going to be this sort of inevitable change. And even if you listen to interviews, congressmen, senators here, some of them are starting to sort of wise up, there were some meetings actually, this week in Congress. And it seems like a lot of them are sort of starting to understand this as well. Anyways, as I said, there’s a lot of very, very valid arguments on both sides of this whether cryptocurrency is going to be good, it’s definitely going to be a true democratization of the monetary system. And again, there’s some good things to that in a lot of ways, bringing finance to people that financing and financing systems, that monetary systems that to people that ultimately would not have had them in our current system. So that’s obviously a really potentially a good thing. But there is also a potential downside to a lot of this as well. So, it’s definitely something I encourage people to at least start to learn about and keep up with. Because as I said, after doing the research, I’m certainly not an expert. It’s becoming clear, clear to me that this is going to be a big change here in the monetary system over the next, you know, five years, 10 years, or maybe even two decades.
Anyways, this is perhaps a talk for another day, and certainly not all geared towards screenwriting. Again, I just want to say if anybody has experienced with any of this stuff, please do reach out. As I said, I’m really just trying to be a sponge here and soak up as much information as I can. I’m very interested this just in sort of a general personal level. But again, I really do feel like there’s going to be a lot of benefits to independent filmmakers and even studio filmmakers as they start to understand what these NFT’s can really do. Anyway, that’s our show. Thank you for listening.