This is a transcript of SYS 464 – How Crypto and NFTS Will Change The Film Business Forever.
Welcome to Episode 464 of the Selling Your Screenplay Podcast. I’m Ashley Scott Meyers, screenwriter and blogger over at sellingyourscreenplay.com. Today I’m going to be talking about my own NFT project that I did in conjunction with The Rideshare Killer. So, stay tuned for that.
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So as mentioned, this is going to be a discussion about my feature film – The Rideshare Killer and basically creating this NFT project to go along with it. So, what have we done? What we have done is we have outputted the film by frame. So, we have all of these individual frames in JPEGs. And then we meant it individual one of one NFTS of every single frame. And yes, that’s a lot of frames, it’s an almost 84-minute movie at 24 frames per second. So that comes out to about 120,000 individual frames, which of course means this there’s also 120,000 individual one of one NFT’s that we created. But first, let’s take a step back. And I just want to kind of give you my view on crypto in general. And then where I think it’s kind of going with NFTs and specifically NFT’s in the movie business. The main innovation with crypto is this idea of a fully autonomous monetary system that is trusted, it is decentralized, and nobody has absolute control of it. There can’t be any sort of Monkey Business monkeying around with the currency. And Bitcoin miners, do we hear this often the Bitcoin miners around the world are keeping track of all this. And that’s really all that it is. It’s a bunch of computers that people plug into the internet, they’re running some bitcoin mining software. And essentially, they become a part of this network where when you make a Bitcoin transaction is going to this network. And then they have this whole consensus mechanism in place. And it’s complicated, and it’s very mathy. There’s a lot of these long hashes and it does a lot of computation. And it can verify who owns what by these computations. And then there’s, as I said, this consensus mechanism where there’s hundreds or 1000s, or millions of these computers out there doing the same thing. And they all sort of arrive at the same conclusion. So, there’s no way of really hacking the system, because it’s so decentralized. It’s millions of computers across the planet, and every computer kind of has to come to the same consensus. And again, it’s more complicated, I’m kind of giving a overview of that. But essentially, Bitcoin has been un-hackable since it started, you know, now 12-15 years ago, some of the other cryptocurrencies have had some major hacks, but Bitcoin has not. And it’s been totally safe, you’ve been able to invest your money, there really hasn’t been any problems in terms of the security of it.
Now, the downside to Bitcoin, of course, is there is some environmental issues, because there’s all these computers basically doing the same thing. So, they can come to this consensus. But we’ll talk about that in a minute. The illicit stuff, you do hear about that a lot of the people sending payments to ransomware, and this kind of stuff. I frankly, think that sort of stuff will fall away. Right now, these criminals are using crypto just because people don’t really understand it. But again, think about sort of what this actually is, and just conceptually, really, what cryptocurrency is, is this an Excel spreadsheet that all these computers are running and when a transaction goes through, it’s recorded in this Excel spreadsheet, and then they can verify again, through this Bitcoin mining all of these algorithms, they can verify the username and password of who actually owns this money and then all of these can pewter has come to a consensus. So again, just conceptually, it’s just an Excel spreadsheet that’s running on these computers that they’re all sort of, in tune with, and they all sort of agree that this is the authoritative version of it. And again, going back to some of the illicit stuff, it’s publicly available. That’s the great thing. It’s decentralized, and it’s publicly available. So, anybody can check this stuff out. And so eventually, I think, you know, just forensics and crypto forensics and these things, these will catch up. And I actually think, to some degree, it will be difficult to use crypto for illicit purposes, because it’s going to be so people will figure out how to actually follow that paper trail. You know, criminals are always thinking up things. So, there will always be some illicit activity, obviously, with crypto but I think really long-term it will be used less than something like cash. Cash really is untraceable. But you know, crypto, it’s very, very traceable. Because again, it’s all the information is available on this public Excel spreadsheet. Especially with the regulations, from what I’ve heard with the regulations, one of the ideas is, is to tie these crypto wallets. And when I say a crypto wallet, if you want to do it in exchange and cryptocurrency, you have to get a crypto wallet. There’s a variety of them out there; meta mask is the one that I use. But you can just go basically get a crypto wallet, they give you this address, and you get basically your own spot on the blockchain. And that’s the sort of this username and you’ll see your username. It’s not like Ashley Scott Meyers, your username. It’s this long string of characters and uppercase and lowercase and numbers. It’s this hash, they call it a hash. And that’s it’s and the password is equally as convoluted. But what the some of the ideas with the regulation of hers is that you’re going to have to actually claim these wallets. And somebody’s going to have to keep track about who owns these wallets. So certainly, stuff like that will start to crack down on the illicit activity that goes along with crypto. So long term, I just I don’t think that’s a real criticism of crypto.
The other criticism, again, that I mentioned earlier was this environmental issue where all of these millions of computers across the world, essentially, they’re all sort of doing the same transaction so that they can sort of all validated in this consensus mechanism. Obviously, just think about what that is. It’s all these computers are burning energy to do something that essentially one computer could actually do if we trusted that one computer was honest. In the case of having your money, a Bank of America, essentially, they’re running some servers, and they’re keeping track of this, but we trust Bank of America. So, it doesn’t need to be decentralized because we trust that they’re not going to do anything funky with the bookkeeping. So, this is a way of getting away from that in terms of security and decentralization. But obviously there’s a potential environmental costs. I think, in general, my opinion is the environmental costs are greatly overstated. Obviously, you’re burning a lot of energy. But the fact of the matter is, is Bitcoin mining has become so competitive. So, if you want to run one of these things, you have to figure out a way of getting very, very, very inexpensive energy. And just as someone who’s very technical, I’ve actually looked into this like well, what would it take for me to run a Bitcoin mining operation and you got to know something about hardware again, because these Bitcoin mining machines has become so competitive, you know, you the Bitcoin mining for basically validating one of these transactions, you get paid like just a sliver, just a micro sliver of Bitcoin. So that’s how you make money as a Bitcoin-miners, you record the transaction, and then you make this, you know, fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a Bitcoin.
So, what that forces Bitcoin miners to do is find really low cost, energy sources. And a lot of these Bitcoin mining operations have located where there’s cheap energy, there’s geothermal, so they’re actually taking advantage of energy sources, that, frankly, were just going to waste before. So again, there’s definitely some fair criticism that Bitcoin is highly inefficient. But I think for the most part, these things are overstated a little bit. And ultimately, the only way these Bitcoin miners are going to be able to make money is if they find a way of producing the energy. And you know, I mean, as someone who’s in Southern California, I would have to really make money on this, I would probably have to get like solar panels, I’m not going to be able to pay the local power company enough, you know, that cost of paying the power company to run that computer. And that tells you how much money you make because it doesn’t cost much to run one computer, but it tells you how little you actually make off running one of these transactions because you need really, really, really inexpensive energy to actually make it work.
So okay, so those are some of the downsides of Bitcoin. But one of the big upsides with Bitcoin, is by design, it is not inflationary. There are 21 million bitcoins and eventually all these miners will have been things. And when I say there’s 21 million total right now, I think in circulation, there’s almost 20 million. So almost all the bitcoin is in circulation once it gets to two and right now the way it works is, is they, you know, that’s how between 20 and 21 million all these Bitcoin miners they get this fraction of a Bitcoin. So, this last million of Bitcoin is going to be divided up into these miners, eventually, obviously, that will run out, and then there’s just going to be like some sort of a transaction fee where you will have to pay when you want it to a Bitcoin transaction, you’ll send $1 And they will skim off a fraction of a penny to cover those costs, just to keep the system going. But by design, whoever designed Bitcoin, they made it so it’s not inflationary, it’s going to hit that 21 million point. And it’s not there’s never going to be 22 million Bitcoin or 23 million Bitcoin. And this is an important concept for cryptocurrency and specifically for Bitcoin. And it’s why you often hear people when they talk about Bitcoin, they say it’s a hedge against inflation is because ultimately, I think that it will be a hedge against inflation, because once it sort of reaches some sort of equilibrium, there’s no more Bitcoin that can be created it through hook and by crook, it cannot be created, it’s locked in there. Again, this consensus mechanism makes it impossible to hack. So, you’re just never going to have any real inflation.
Now, I’ve heard arguments against this well, having something that’s non-inflationary is potentially bad. There’s argue economic arguments on both sides. But every one of these crypto currency projects is a slightly different experiment in economics. And Elon Musk has always mentioned Dogecoin. Dogecoin, again, by design, the guys who designed it, they designed it to be inflationary. So, it is constantly creating more Dogecoin, the number of Dogecoin in circulation does always go up and will always go up. So, Dogecoin, whatever bitcoin is, let’s say at $20,000 right now, I think it’s below that maybe $16,000 Right now, but Dogecoin, I mean, even if it became the cryptocurrency of choice, it’s never going to get to $16,000 for one Dogecoin, because it’s just not designed that way. And this is not, you know, financial advice or some great insight that I have, it’s just if you go read the how Dogecoin is set up. That’s just the way the creators of it, set it up. It’s created to be inflationary, and as things and again, I won’t get into all of these arguments, they’re getting a little outside of the scope of what we’re trying to talk about here. But there are arguments on both sides of the equation for having a currency that’s inflationary and having a currency, that’s not inflationary. There’s benefits to both there’s disadvantages to both. And as I said, all of these cryptocurrencies, they’re really just experiments in economics, some of them haven’t worked out, and they’ve gone out of out of business or hit zero, and some of them have done well like Bitcoin and Ethereum. And they still remain. So again, these things will continue to come out in people that create new cryptocurrencies, they will be treated tweaking the systems, but this is all important sort of to understand just sort of the landscape of crypto.
So, again, back to Bitcoin. The thing that I think is misunderstood, I guess it’s not so much Bitcoin, but crypto in general, what I think one of the things that I think is really misunderstood is you often hear people, very sophisticated investors, smart, sophisticated investors, like, for instance, Warren Buffett, who come out and they call crypto a Ponzi scheme, and especially, you know, as I record this in, you know, late December, 2022, we’re in the throes of this whole FTX scandal. And clearly, that was a Ponzi scheme. And so, I think a lot of these people are sitting here thinking, oh, Warren Buffett was right. But I really would urge you to if you if that’s sort of how you feel about cryptocurrency, I would urge you to take maybe another look or a harder look at it. What I think people like Warren Buffett are getting wrong is there’s a whole industry… see Warren Buffett’s whole thing is, is that the asset has no real value has no sort of inherent value. If you buy a business that produces something it has something of value by, you know, a farm that produces food, you own the land, you own the products, you have something to sell, and I definitely get that and you know, obviously Warren Buffett is a smart guy. But what I think people are missing in the current environment is that right now what cryptocurrency is, is not what it’s actually going to end up being and what I mean by that. There’s a whole thing these, there’s a whole cottage industry of people that do what’s called forex trading, foreign exchange trading. And so, there’s a whole niche of people that every day they’re online, they’re looking at the value of currencies, and they’re just swapping currency in like an arbitrage play. They’re just trying to, you know, buy low, sell high With different currencies, and, you know, but and while this has been going on pretty much since probably the birth of currencies, it’s not really what the US dollar is all about or the Japanese yen or the euro or any of these things, that’s a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of what these currencies actually are, there’s a lot of utility, the US dollars, you can go to the store, they will accept that they will, you can give them $5, they’ll give you a gallon of milk. So, there’s some actual utility to those dollars, there’s some real value to it. And that’s right now, that’s the problem, all the crypto space really is basically just like these Forex guys, these foreign exchange guys, people basically just speculating on which currency which of these cryptocurrencies is going to make it which is going to go up in value, the actual utility of these cryptocurrencies is only like 1% of them, or maybe it’s grown to like 5%. But for the most part, cryptocurrency now it’s still in its infancy, and it’s just being used sort of purely for speculation, but eventually things will turn, and there will be some actual utility to it. And I’m going to get into that in a bit of in a moment here. And I want to point out to all I’ve done, I mean, I bought, you know, a few $1,000 worth of crypto myself, and it’s just purely a speculation play, part of my motivation for doing it was just to learn about crypto and I definitely did getting in there, buying a little of this, buying a little of that I opened a Coinbase account, and you can just buy cryptos and, and let them sit there and you know, I’ve lost money. And yeah, this is definitely not financial advice. I started buying sort of when we were at the height, and I knew the price was probably going to be going down, but I just kind of wanted to learn. But you know, I only put money in there that I absolutely know, I can afford to lose, I’m not putting my life savings in there. I’m not certainly not putting anything that would endanger my family, you know, to not be able to pay rent or to eat, nothing like that. It’s just some extra money I want to learn and I just look at this really the money I put into crypto I in some ways, I look at it as sort of an investment in my education, learning about it, and understanding it, and just getting familiar with it. And I think it’s done that even though I’ve actually lost money on crypto. And I say this too. I listened to a lot of these Tik Tok crypto enforcers, and they always go not financial advice. This is certainly not in any way financial advice. I am definitely still what I would consider a newbie to crypto. And as I said, at this point, all I’ve done is lose money in crypto. So, you definitely would not want to follow my advice in any way, shape or form. I’m really just giving sort of my thoughts on it. And again, those I think will be pertinent to the people listening to this podcast, just as screenwriters understanding where crypto and ultimately NFT’s are going to interface with the film business. That’s where I think I can actually add some value.
Okay, so why am I so bullish on crypto if all I’ve done personally is lose? And smart guys like Warren Buffett think it’s a Ponzi scheme? Why am I so bullish on it? So, number one, I think, you know, as someone who’s lived through the recent COVID pandemic, we’re now in this really is certainly in my lifetime. I have never seen inflation like this, where the economy really is in sort of freefall as far as inflation. And a lot of that has to do with this modern monetary theory. And the governments all around the world. This is not just the US government, governments all around the world, they have been printing money, so they’ve been increasing the supply of US dollars in circulation, obviously, that brings the value down now, what they’ve done over the last 10-20 years, overall, the economy tends to go up, the economy is on an upward trajectory. So, it doesn’t really matter. Now, the printing of them, as I said, doesn’t matter. It slows down that growth, for sure, because inflation is not a good thing. But it’s a way for governments to just come up with money, all of these stimulus checks and all this stuff, just putting more money into circulation does have some advantages for governments. And it’s definitely something that, you know, they like to have that power. But again, going back to what I was talking with about Bitcoin not being inflationary, even Dogecoin, where it is inflationary. It’s all written out the people who created Dogecoin they wrote out sort of what is the math on this, how does more Dogecoin get into circulation case of Bitcoin there is no inflation. And so, this is an important concept. That that is really important to the crypto is that people will start to put their money in these assets that are not inflationary and that you the government can’t mess with, you know, the US government, the UK, all of these governments can always put more money into circulation to kind of boost the economy or just boost government IT services or whatever they need to do, but that’s not necessarily always good for the investors or the people, the populace. And you can see this, you know, with like, the third world countries are basically a lot of third world countries really don’t even have much of their own currency, a lot of them have currency, but really, they’re reliant on the US dollar. And they are not, I mean, they are not happy with that they don’t want to necessarily be tied to the United States for a whole variety of reasons, you know, political reasons, you know, in addition to just the economic reasons.
We got the benefit as Americans, when all those stimulus checks went out, we got the benefits, obviously, if you qualified for one, which I think was pretty linear, most of us got stimulus checks. But even so, I mean, it’s like, I’m quite certain that some people out there got stimulus checks, and they came in bought SYS services with those stimulus checks. So, I’ve benefited from some of those stimulus checks. Even if even if you take away just the direct benefit, I still benefit of just from the surge of money in the economy. But these people that are holding us dollars in the third world, they didn’t get that same benefit, you know, now someone has their life savings, you know, in a third world country, let’s say that’s, you know, $300,000 bills under their mattress, that the value of that $3,000 has now gone down, their purchasing power has been eroded, really through no fault of their own. So, again, there’s a big incentive from just the grassroots level, all the way up to the, you know, the geopolitical level of third world countries, and, and really all countries, you know, China and even Russia, you know, they don’t like being tied to the US dollar. So, there’s a big incentive for these countries to move or move to something else. And you can see this starting to happen. El Salvador has invested heavily in cryptocurrencies and the third world in general has been much more open to cryptocurrencies, and just being more supportive in general for it. So again, this has good and bad I mean, ultimately, when people are not, as you know, there’s not as much demand for the US dollar that will decrease the value of the US dollar. So ultimately, that will start to erode as well. You know, and, again, why am I so bullish on crypto in general, I think that obviously the governments are not going to relinquish control to Bitcoin, or they’re not going to relinquish control of the monetary system, it’s a big part of their power structure. At the same time Bitcoin is here to stay, and more and more money will go into crypto. And it’s at the very least, it’s going to remove them governments from having a monopoly on the system. And, you know, they control the monetary system. And slowly that’s going to start to be eroded, more and more people will start to keep money in crypto, and the governments will have less and less power because of this. So again, this is not something that’s going to happen overnight, obviously. But I do think in the near future 10-20 years, I think a lot of people’s wealth will start to move away from US dollars and into crypto, again, to protect it against governments finagling with it and causing inflation and causing your hard-earned dollars to become less, less valuable.
The other big thing and this is a more practical reason, almost every, you know, business to consumer transaction, like when you go into a restaurant and buy your dinner, but even a lot of business-to-business transactions. I mean, I use my credit card for a ton of stuff that’s wrapped up with selling your screenplay. These are business stuff. In fact, I have a credit card specifically for selling your screenplay and my business is to run certain expenses. It’s just easier, you know, you hook up your credit card in blah, blah. But think of what an enormous drag on the economy this actually is almost all transactions, as I said certainly B2C transactions and a good number of B2B transactions run through credit cards. And those credit cards are charging about 3%. And again, think of what a drag on the economy through the Visa, MasterCard, they’re basically charging us 3% for these transactions, and obviously they have to get paid, they have to make a living, there’s customer service, blah, blah, blah. But with crypto eventually, once some of these user-friendly user interface, things are worked out, you’ll be able to walk into a restaurant just you’ll tap an app on your phone, maybe they’ll scan like a QC code and then boom, you’re going to be able to send them money directly. And these Bitcoin miners will have to get paid for recording the transaction. But as I said, it’s a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a penny and frankly It’s not really tied to the dollar amount. So, I mean that you could have a transaction for like less than a penny, you could buy $100 you can take your family out to dinner, the bills, $100 you whip out your things. And again, that’s better for consumers, but it’s especially better for restaurants now. You again, there’s some downsides to crypto in this in this example, again, there’s no customer service. So, there’s things like with Visa, MasterCard, there is some things you can get your money back if someone runs your visa, guys, you know, so we are relinquishing that stuff to these autonomous organizations, autonomous cryptocurrencies, basically to just run themselves. So, it’s not like there’s not some downside, but for the most part, I think that will be a benefit for society where we don’t have to pay to all of these transaction fees, it just really will, it really will be benefited if we’re not paying 3%. If it’s less than 1%, I think that is a great benefit for the economy, we can put more of the money into things that actually matter, not just transaction fees, bureaucracy and transaction fees.
And again, I do want to just really point out that this is a step towards the matrix, for better or for worse. And as I mentioned, you know, you’re off board, and you’re offshoring the customer service, to the actual Bitcoin holder, like there is no customer service. So, you have to be responsible for your username and password. All those links, oh, I forgot my password, click here to reset your password? No, there’s none of that with Bitcoin, you have to keep your password safe. Now, again, there might be some interfaces where they start to figure some of this stuff out and make things user more and more user friendly. But if you put an intermediary between you and Bitcoin, they’re going to need to get paid. So that’s going to raise the fees. So, I do think ultimately, there probably will be some sort of a way of paying directly to it. One of the things I don’t really understand, I mean, this is sort of a problem in our country in general, but I don’t really understand you, you listen to a lot of these crypto guys, or people like Warren Buffett that hate crypto, they just think it’s a complete Ponzi scheme. And then on the other side of the equation, you have these people that just think, you know, Bitcoin is going to save the world. And, you know, as with most things in life, the answer is just not that simple. There’s going to be some good, there’s going to be some bad, but it is a purely sort of a, you know, it is an ambivalent system, there’s no real biases in it at all. And that’s good. Again, it’s good on one hand, but it also can be bad, on the other hand.
As I said, the customer service issues, and there are certain issues where, you know, we do need to sort of finagle with the economy and finagle with the system, and you can’t do that with Bitcoin, we’re kind of signing up and if there becomes a recession, and everyone’s got their money into Bitcoin, like there’s not going to be a lot that government can do in terms of stimulus checks and this sort of stuff. So, again, these are things we’re going to have to work through. They’re complicated issues, but long term, I do think that there is going to be a place for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general, in our society.
So now let’s get into sort of NF T’s because that’s a little more, you know, app to what I’m actually talking about. So again, let’s go back to this idea of a public ledger, like what is an NFT, and we’re going back to this idea of a public Excel spreadsheet, it’s just basically a spreadsheet that’s publicly available, and they have this consensus mechanism to confirm that all of these things are authentic. And so somebody realized that you could use and that’s really when they say the blockchain, that’s really what it is. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Ethereum blockchain, the Bitcoin Blockchain, it’s the same thing as an Excel spreadsheet, and you’re basically recording these transactions with this consensus mechanism, so that it’s authoritative, and we all trust it. So, someone realized at some point that not only can you record these transactions of Bitcoin and Ethereum on this ledger, but you can you can really, you can record a transaction of any digital asset or digital collectible, really, you can record any bit of information. So, what NFT’s popped up, it stands for Non-Fungible Token. It just basically non fungible means it’s unique, so it can’t be replaced. And so, there’s a lot of things. Oh, what does that actually mean? So, like, for instance, your house, the house or apartment, wherever you’re living, that is non fungible, it is unique. While you might live in a housing development, and all the houses might have been built by the same contract at the same time using the same, you know, layout and blueprints and plans, those houses are still not the same. It’s a one on one they’re in slightly different locations. They have different addresses, you know, the property is slightly different. So, they have different values. So, they are a one of one. So those are the kinds of things that could potentially be recorded on the blockchain. And I’ll go into that example. So, what does that mean recording a house on the blockchain? Why would you want to do that? So, it If you’ve ever bought a house, you’ll know as you go through escrow, there’s a whole cottage industry of things you have to do. Namely, like a title search, like, you’d have to go back does this person did this person put a lien on the House does you have to pay back things, there’s all this stuff. So, if you’re recording this stuff on the blockchain, all of this stuff, so let’s just say you minted your house into an NFT. Obviously, you still have your physical house, but then you have a digital NFT to go along with your house. And then all of these liens and everything else that you would do on your house, they would get recorded on this blockchain. So, what it would do is it again, it would remove this whole cottage industry of title searches when you run to your house, because it would be very simple to just press a button, see what the deal is, it would be much simpler than it currently is, I should say, to just press a button and view everything. And again, these are all being recorded on the blockchain is publicly available, we have the consensus mechanism, so we trust that it’s authoritative. So, once we get to that point, then we won’t have to, you know, pay a lawyer and a title search, there’s all these things, it’ll be much easier now we’ll still be probably someone, you’ll probably want to pay an expert to look at it, kind of make sure everything looks okay. But it will be much easier, therefore, it will be much cheaper. Again, we’re sort of removing some of the bureaucracy with this thing. So, that’s one-use case.
Another use case that I heard, which makes a lot of sense would be putting your driver’s license into an NFT. Again, your driver’s license, obviously, is a unique one of one thing. It’s there’s no other driver’s license, like the driver’s license of you. It’s your birthdate. It’s your driver’s license number, it’s your picture. And so, recording that, again, recording your driver’s license on the blockchain or on a blockchain, then let’s just say you get pulled over by the police, you could pull out your cell phone, that would probably be some sort of an app or and you’d have a QC code, the policeman could scan that. And then again, because we have this consensus mechanism, we all recognize it as authoritative, it can’t be hacked, then he would know that, okay, this actually is your ID, this actually is who it’s this person that I’m talking to, is who he says that he is. And just I’m sort of a less, you know, more practical example, there’ll be when you’re just going into clubs, you know, and you want, oh, I’m 21. Okay, well, let’s see your ID, you could whip out your phone. And again, it would be authoritative. It would prevent people from passing ideas around again, criminals are criminals, there’s probably ways that they could think of, to kind of you send it NFT things, but send an NFT to a friend when there’s not really their ID or whatever, but there but again, for the most part, this is going to be authoritative. And there’s going to be a lot of trust that gets put into these things. Because this blockchain, it solves those problems of trust and authority. So again, those are two examples, the houses the driver’s license.
A third piece, and this is we’re starting to slowly um, hopefully, anyways, trying to slow us slowly bring us over to you know, what I’ve done with The Rideshare Killer. But the next example, and I think this one, again, it just makes perfect sense is for artists, so and I’m not talking about digital artists, like just a regular artist, you know, does a painting an oil on canvas painting, and he wants to sell it, what’s starting to happen, and we’ll have continued to happen more, as the artists will do his physical painting, you know, in his studio, and then he will meant that he’ll probably take a digital picture, and he’ll mint that digital picture into an NFT. And then when he sells the physical piece of art, he will also along with it, he will sell the actual NFT. And again, what it does is it establishes ownership in an authoritative, trustworthy way. So, you know, a lot of expensive art, one of the problems with it is that it’s sometimes hard to validate, is it real? Is it really from the artists? So now this will all be publicly available, and the whole history of the piece of art, where it came from, who belong to who it was sold to, will all be recorded. So again, it will remove some of this bureaucracy of having to hire people to go in and establish that this painting is authentic. And this idea, I think, and frankly, a lot of times, they can’t tell, even experts go into this stuff. And they can’t always tell whether something is authoritative or is actually from the original artist or not.
So anyway, so those are some sort of examples of NFTs that I think are very practical, and I think for sure, those will start to come about over the next decade. But let’s take a leap to digital assets. So, where this sort of occurred to me or where I sort of started to get excited about this. Myself was watching my kids they play a game called Roblox. And within Roblox, Roblox is sort of the framework and then within Roblox there’s hundreds if not 1000s, if not 10s of 1000s of games, and some of them are like obstacle courses. Some of them are gunfights, you know you go in and shoot other people, but some of them are just sort of games that you play. And you trade digital assets in the game and my kids play one called ‘Adopt Me’. And essentially, you go in there, you have a little character, and they can interact with their friends or they can interact with strangers. There are other people in these worlds as well. And then you can basically it’s called Adopt Me and it’s all about getting these pets. So, you buy like, let’s say, a little cat. And then you walk around with your cat. And then you can go up to someone say, hey, they you see that they have a dog, he’s oh, I’ll trade and so my kids love to trade these cats and dogs. And it gets much more sophisticated than that, you know, I don’t really even understand it, frankly. But you’re there’s dragons and they do like holiday stuff. So, it’d be like a special edition, you know, Christmas dragon that comes out and you know, it never come back again. So, you get this and you can buy these things with real money too. You can take, you can go to the grocery store now and you can find Roblox gift cards. And that’s what you’re essentially doing is you buy this $25 Roblox gift card. And then you go into your Roblox account, and then you type in the serial number, then you get actual gear, you convert your actual dollars into these Roblox dollars, and then you can buy these pets in Adopt Me. And then the game the people that are running the game, bah, bah, bah, those people are all you know, they’re getting some money from that that’s how they make a living is they get some of this money by getting these I’m sure Roblox get some, I don’t really know that much, frankly, about the economies. But the bottom line is I saw that my kids, you know, they’re very excited about trading these collectibles. And that’s sort of how I see NF T’s interacting. That’s sort of interacting with the movie industry. Now, one of the things that I get criticism for people, people, especially older people, they have a hard time sort of understanding, well, what are you actually buying, and it’s just a digital collectible. You’re just getting an NFT a lot of this NFT or you’re just getting a digital collectible. Obviously, anybody can copy the digital image and put it on their, you know, web page or you know, Tik Tok, or their Facebook page or anything, anybody can do that with a digital with an image. It’s not that hard. We all know that. But, you know, part of ownership is sort of the pride in ownership. And, you know, as an example, you know, the Mona Lisa, probably the most famous painting of all time, we could all, you know, get a really high-quality reproduction of that Mona Lisa, and we could hang it in our house. I’ve never been in anybody’s house that had that, that reproduction. So, there is something inherent, I believe in human nature, that people like ownership. And so having something like this, you know, an asset, digital collectible that you can share and show to your friends. I think it’s a potentially really cool thing.
Okay, so now let’s get in and sort of talk about what I think or what I would have actually done, you know, how does film fit into this? And ultimately, specifically, how does The Rideshare Killer into cryptocurrency? What I’ve seen and I’ve been sort of following this now for probably a year, you know, how NFT’s and crypto has interfaced with film. So far, it’s all been sort of a funding mechanism, essentially, like Kickstarter, people, you know, create a new cryptocurrency or they create a bunch of NFT’s. And they basically try and sell them to fund their movie. And, you know, it’s, that doesn’t personally excite me, like I see people doing that, and I’m going to get to that a little bit later. But that’s essentially what they’ve been doing. And I think, I don’t think that’s really the direction that this is going to go, I just don’t see that it offers a lot of value to the people that are making the investment. So, what I’ve done, and what I think is going to be the future of NFT’s for movies, is we’ve taken every single frame of the film, so it’s about 120,000. It’s a, you know, 84-minute film, which is composed of about 120 is 119,170 frames, I think don’t quote me on the actual number, but slightly short of 120,000 individual frames, that’s what a movie is. It’s individual frames run together. So, we’ve outputted all these frames, and then we minted 120,000 frames into individual one of one NFT’s that we are now trying to sell.
Now, my experience as a kid was with Star Wars cards and baseball cards and football cards. We even had back then; NFL football cards, you know, we would collect these, me and my brother me and my friends, we would trade them we would take them to school, we would trade them around, we would have favorites, we would have your there would be little things on the back of them where you would collect like all of them from a given set. And then you could make like a little puzzle on the back of the cards. So, there was just sort of things to do collect these cards and you could just have a collection. And in fact, I still have my Star Wars card collections. When my parents moved out, they moved out of the house that I grew up in, through most of my stuff away. But some of the stuff they actually kept in and they gave to me. And my Star Wars cards were in this little shoe box type thing. And I remember well, and they’re still there. So, I just had a lot of fun with this, me and my friends had a lot of fun with this. And I think eventually, that’s really where I see the NFT’s being with the movie business is people start minting every frame and into a NFT. And then fans can come and collect these things. I think eventually there will be you know, very sophisticated apps, on our phones, on our iPads on our computers, where we can display these things, probably picture frames, we’ve already seen some of this where there’s digital picture frames where you can put in a little USB stick and then it will show all of those JPEGs they’ll probably be somewhere you can hang on your wall, it will show all your NFT’s. But I think mainly, you know, you’ll get an app on your phone, and you’ll be able to go talk to your friends and you’ll be able to show them. Oh, I got this frame, you know from the new Disney movie or the new Star Wars movie, the new Marvel movie or the new indie film? Oh, I saw this indie film. Yeah, I bought a frame, you know, for $5. I bought one of the NFT’s. Yeah, here it is. And you’ll swipe through, oh, that looks cool. And you’ll trade it with your friends. And people will just collect these things.
You know, part of my problem with The Rideshare Killer is obviously it’s a new movie, it’s not a franchise, there’s not really any fans of The Rideshare Killer, since it’s brand new and, and things. So really what we’ve sort of done, it’s more of a proof of concept. And we’re going to be the first ones to actually do this. We hopefully have a first mover’s advantage. But imagine if Disney did this with their next Star Wars or Marvel movie, you know, fans could you know, once the movie was made, the frames would come out, there would be some sort of an interface they could go on, they could look at all the frames, they could decide for themselves, oh, I like this frame, I like that frame. That would be part of the fun of this, they could, you know, go and get like one frame from every scene or they could get you know, all the frames from a particular scene or even shorter, like just a particular sequence. Like maybe there’s like a cool punch that they like. And they could go by the 100 frames from that particular sequence. And they could own all of those. And again, have them in their digital wallet, they can then trade them with their friends, all of this sort of stuff I see again, I see it very much working as sort of film collectibles work today. And again, going back to the Star Wars example. Think of how many just ravenous Star Wars fans are out there. If Disney decided to do this, I don’t think there would be any problem selling I mean, their movies are whatever, two hours. So, you know, I got 120,000 these frames, they would have probably close to 200,000 frames. But I mean 200,000 frames, I mean, there’s millions of rabid Star Wars fans around the world that would be happy to get these. And I think they would have a lot of fun. And the other piece of this that I see for the fans is you they become a part of the legacy of the film, like in some small way they become part of the film, you know, they own sort of almost a piece of the film. So, there’s just you know, and fans get into this stuff. So again, I just I see it as a big win, especially on the higher end, these higher end films of Marvel films or Star Wars films, where there’s already a big fan base, it will be very easy for Disney to sell these, and it will be a cool thing for the fans, like the fans will get a lot of you know value and have a lot of fun with these things.
Now, just imagine just flipping this around to indie films, I think I again, people, people like me that maybe don’t have a huge fan base for their movies, but are trying to put films out there. You know, again, thinking about the fans, I think it’s a cool way for fans to kind of get in on someone’s career on the ground for that would be a certain speculation to this, I guess. But again, I see it more as a collectible than really like an asset. But you could support filmmakers, as new filmmakers emerge. And if everybody was doing this to their film, everybody was creating NFT’s of all of their films. You know, you might watch a film I do this all the time where I might watch sort of an obscure film on Netflix. And sometimes I’ll be like, Wow, that’s actually a really good film. And I’ll often go and I will look up on IMDb, who’s the director? Who’s the writer, have they done anything else? Where do they come from? Was this your first film? What did they do after this? And but if there was, if I knew that those films had been minted in NFT’s I would probably go by again we’re selling them as 120,000. These frames were selling most of them for $5. So, let’s say that sort of was industry standard for indie films. If these things were out there and I knew I saw a cool film. Again, I could open up this app. I could go to some sort of a marketplace. I could buy a couple of these NFT’s from a film that I just watched that was really cool. And then as that filmmakers career rose, most likely these digital collectibles they would appreciate and value as well. It’s also a way you can support the filmmakers because again, the money goes back to the filmmakers. So, it’s just it’s a great way for them. It’s a great way for us as fans to support filmmakers and, and also, again, potentially own something that goes up in value. Again, I don’t want to over state what I actually think all people going to make all this money. That’s not what crypto needs, like a bunch of speculators getting in there trying to make money with this stuff. It really should come from an earnest place where people just want to collect something cool, something that they think is cool, and they want to be a part of something that’s cool. Just like the people that buy Star Wars cards, I mean, Star Wars cards, baseball cards, football cards, they do go up in value, but it’s really very rare that anybody makes you know any like big money. I mean, of course there’s always those examples the Babe Ruth card, you know, rookie, baby Ruth Card, whatever sells for a million dollars, but for the most part baseball cards, yeah, they go up in value, but it’s not huge. I mean, you buy a pack for whatever, a few dollars. And then, you know, in 10 years, maybe some of the cards are worth $5, or $10, or $30, or something. So that’s sort of just my honest assessment of sort of how this ultimately multiple goes out, especially for indie films. I do think the bigger films, The Star Wars, the Marvel films, I do think those will garner because there’s just so much fan interest in those, you know, goes something like Comic Con, you just see people that are just so passionate about these things. I think those high-end films, I think those entities will become valuable. Again, just going back to just imagine what would happen if Disney minted the next Disney or Star Wars film into it. I think that people would just be clamoring to get those.
I mean, imagine if Disney or whoever owns the rights went and minted frames from the original Star Wars. You know, I would go and I would buy a couple of those because I’m such a Star Wars fan. I mean, I think that’d be a super cool thing to own. And I mean, these frames would be worth millions, I mean, some of the iconic, especially a film like that and older film, you know, they meant to those frames into NFT’s. Some of those frames are absolutely iconic images. So, owning them would really just be like a cool thing to have. I mean, I’m sure they’d be, frankly, more expensive than what I could afford. But it would be cool, in my opinion, a cool collectible. Okay, so that’s sort of from the fan perspective. And that’s really important, because I think, ultimately, so much of crypto has been about speculation, and making money. I think it’s important for us as filmmakers to not necessarily overstate, you know, the potential, you know, we all going to make millions of dollars. Yeah, I doubt it. But it could be a cool collectible. And it could be a way for both big studio films to have an additional revenue stream. And it could be a way for indie filmmakers to make a sustainable career for themselves if they build a following. And these NFT’s do appreciate a little bit. So now let’s just flip that. And let’s just think about this from the Disney standpoint. And then we’ll talk about the Indies a little bit, you know, again, and this is just sort of some simple math, as I mentioned, Disney films, I mean, my film is 120,000 frames in a four-minute movie. Yeah, these Disney films are in excess of two hours, two and a half hours, two hours, 35 minutes, two hours, 20 minutes, they’re going to be about 200,000 frames. So, if you just do the math on that, you know, 200,000 frames, there’s obviously way more than 200,000 fans of Star Wars and mark these Marvel films. And a lot of these Disney films, there’s just millions of fans, frankly. So, 200,000 frames, I think that would be in short supply, I think there will be a real shortage. So, I think the price would be would go up. So, if you just averaged out, let’s just say these frames sold for $100. That’s $20 million. Now think of some of these really high-end films, premium films, think if fans were willing to spend $1,000 a frame, that’s $200 million, that’s the budget more than the budget of many of these films. So just from the Disney perspective, you know, it’s a no brainer, there’s a market for this, if fans really do want this, I can’t see Disney not giving this to them. In addition, I haven’t really talked about this, I don’t want to get too far into the weeds on sort of the technical aspects of all these NFT’s and crypto but there’s also these things called Smart Contract which you bake into these NFT’s. And the typical smart contract with NFT’s for artists is that the original artist gets 10% of all future sales. And I think that’s pretty much standard. And I think that’s a good thing, especially for the indie art artists, maybe not so much for Disney, but definitely for the indie artists. You know, getting some residual income is a big thing. So, when this thing sells on the open market as it sells in the future, again, because it’s all autonomous, and it’s run completely by computers. When you create this thing you put in your crypto wallet address. So that’s tied to the original thing. So, every time one of these things get sold the earth Job Creators going to get 10%. Even if someone were to buy it, and then they sell it to somebody else in 10 years 10% of whatever that sale price is, is going to go back to the original creator. So again, it creates some residual income. And that’s a huge thing for independent filmmakers. But again, I think these the Star Wars and Disney and Marvel and FTS, I think they would sell like hotcakes just back and forth on the open market. So, there’s really no telling how much Disney would make, but just on the initial sale, I think it would be in that 20 million to $200 million range, and then it would be residual income forever for the studios.
So again, it feels like a no brainer on the studio side. And if fans really want this, I definitely think it will be something that they would want to offer. Because again, it just really changes sort of the whole economics of making movies. So now just you know, fold that over into indie films, how is this going to help indie films? Obviously, it can give support, I mean, as I mentioned, we’re selling most of our NFT’s for just $5. Again, there’s 120,000. So, you could do the math on that, that’s way in excess of what our actual budget is, we don’t we sell, I think it’s like 5 or 8% of these things will actually cover our entire budget. And so again, if a lot of films did this, I think it would get some sort of critical mass more people would sort of be in tune with it. And then people would be looking for these entities that would be an actual market to for this. And again, going back with that residual income, one of the problems of being an indie filmmaker, I can tell you, since I am an indie filmmaker is, you know, it’s just you’re constantly starting from scratch with these films. Now we’ve got The Rideshare Killer, but, you know, I suppose there’ll be some fans from the pinch that come along for the ride on The Rideshare Killer, but he has a little bit of a different genre and stuff. But again, the cryptocurrency it sort of ties it together and makes the indie filmmaker, it makes him sort of front and centre and his career. And again, you could potentially buy one of these things for me, if you think my career is on the rise or anybody that menses things on and then as they go up in value, you’ll have a collectible that becomes more valuable, and, and you’ll be supporting the filmmaker because that money will go back to the filmmaker, if you sell the NFT to somebody else, you can feel really good about the fact that hey, that filmmakers still getting 10% of that sale. So that’s going back and again supporting those artists. And I know people that listen to this podcast, for the most part, you know, you we’re all sort of creatives and artists. So, I think that’s going to be a big thing, especially in the indie world in the future, once this does actually catch on. So, I think that kind of sums it up.
I mean, for my money. This makes a lot of sense for both sides of the equation, as I’ve laid out, I feel like it’s a great thing for fans. But I also think it’s a great thing for filmmakers, obviously, it’s a great thing for the studios potentially, to also make some additional money. So, it feels like a win-win for me. Now, the pre selling that they have been doing, as I said, doing these NFT’s before the movies made trying to raise money to go and shoot your movie. I’m just a little more skeptical for that. I mean, it’s definitely a different proposition, you know, you’re just asking someone to sort of come along on the ride and trust that you’re going to do a good job and make a good movie. And I kind of feel like Kickstarter is already doing this. And frankly, they’re doing it better because you don’t need to get a crypto wallet to help the filmmaker get his movie made. You just log in and you can use your credit card. So, you know there’s an additional sort of loop of complexity. And again, over the years, that will probably that barrier will go down. But I don’t personally see any benefit to doing a presale in crypto versus just doing a Kickstarter. And again, I’m not down on Kickstarter, I’ve done Kickstarter myself, I think it’s a great way to potentially pre sell your movie, if you have an audience. If you have people that are looking for your film and you can tap into an audience. I think it’s a great way to go. But I don’t really see any advantage to do some sort of crypto presale versus doing it on Kickstarter. It just feels a little bit convoluted. Maybe at some point it will become easier on crypto in years to come and people will become more used to crypto but I guarantee you if I did a Kickstarter, I could I’ve done I’ve done Kickstarter before I’ve raised money but if I did some sort of a crypto thing. Most of the people listening to this podcast could not even donate even if they wanted to just because it is so complicated. And it is complicated. You know I’m doing this whole project. I had to create a number of wallets and transfer money around and transfer NFT’s around. And it was very, very not user friendly and kind of complicated. So again, I’m ahead of the curve with minting all of these things. I think there’s still a number of years before it becomes sort of main Stream is ready for primetime, I think there’s definitely some sharp edges that need to be sanded down. But again, I think at long term, I do think that this is sort of where we’re all selling.
Anyways. So that’s basically what I’ve done. We’ve minted at all of these things 120,000, we’ve meant to these things into NFTs. Again, for our sort of purposes, I don’t know how many of these NFT’s ultimately sell, hopefully, we do sell a lot of them. And ultimately, maybe it takes a few years, but we sell all of them. And then there is some actual value to these things. I mean, I think with The Rideshare Killer, again, we’re the first people to ever do this. No film has ever done this before. So, you we have a first mover, I think there potentially could be some historical significance to that being the first film to ever actually do this. But I also think this is sort of a proof of concept, just actually doing it, showing people that it is actually possible. I was not able to find I mean, if anybody, correct me if anybody listening to this knows that I’m wrong. But you know, when I was doing this, I couldn’t find any NFT projects that were even that large, I found some NFT projects that were as large as like 30,000-40,000. I didn’t find any of them that were much above that. And as I said, we’re at 120,000. So, I think there’s a good chance this could be the largest NFT project so far. And but it’s again, definitely, definitely I guess someone could have done this before with a movie, but I searched long and hard and I haven’t found any films that that even thought about doing this much less actually did it. So, I do think we have a first mover’s advantage. And I do think as I said, this is a little bit of a proof of concept.
So, if you have any interest in learning more about this or potentially buying some of these NFT’s, just check out our website. It’s theridesharekiller.com/nfts, and it’s literally just Nancy, Frank, Tom, Steve – NFTS with an S on the end of it. theridesharekiller.com/nfts. And as I said, we’re selling them most of them very cheaply, just $5. So, it’s not a high price point, it’s pretty easy to get to get into it, and check it out. But basically, that’s what we’ve done. And as I said, there’s definitely a big sort of a speculative nature to this. I’m interested in crypto, so I’m learning more about it. And I want to be you know, one of the people that is a thought leader in the movie/crypto space, I definitely think especially an indie world. But really, as I’ve demonstrated all the way up to the studio world, I think there’s going to be a big niche for this, I think crypto is going to ultimately be integrated into how films are funded. Or the economics is what I should say is it’s going to be a big part of the economics of making a movie Crypto and NFT’s will be a part of that and in the future, no telling, you know, I don’t know, I might be so far ahead of the curve, that I’ll be forgotten because, frankly, it could be, you know, five years it could be 10 years before anybody else really comes to the same conclusion, but hopefully not. So, I guess we’ll see.
Anyways, as I said, if you’re interested in learning more about this, definitely check out our website, theridesharekiller.com/nfts, and thank you too, for listening to me ramble on crypto and NFT’s. I know it’s not our regularly scheduled episode, but I just thought it was a nice way to kind of wrap up the year. Next week, we will be back to our regularly scheduled podcast with a filmmaker named Gregory Lamberson, who just did a contained action film called Guns of Eden. We talked about that film as well as his earlier films, which include a cult horror film from the 80s called Slime City. So definitely keep an eye out for that episode next week. As we wrap up the year, I do want to thank everyone who has been supportive of me and Selling Your Screenplay. Really, thank you. A big thanks, really to everyone who listens to this podcast, I hope people are getting some value out of it as I move along with my own projects. And I try and share what I’m learning and what I’m doing. I still enjoy doing the podcast. So, I have no plans of stopping it. I still learned so much from talking with all the guests each week interviewing all the guests. I just always find it interesting. Almost always I feel like I come away learning at least a little bit of something. So, I hope people that are listening to this also feel the same way. And frankly interacting with the people that listen to the podcast, I get a lot of emails, and I try and get back to as many of them as I can. So, I’ve definitely learned a lot just from other listeners of the podcast. So never hesitate to shoot me an email [email protected]. I do want to wish you this is our last episode of the year. I thought it was kind of a fitting episode just to come on here and ramble about my NFT project, which I’ve been talking about a lot. And I know I guess at some point I had to kind of explain it. But Happy New Year to everyone. Hopefully we’re all going to hit the ground running in the new year and write something really interesting and original. I know I’ve got some big projects planned for next year. So hopefully those will come about. That’s our show. Thank you for listening.
I just want to talk quickly about SYS Select. It’s a service for screenwriters to help them sell their screenplays and get writing assignments. The first part of the service is the SYS select screenplay database. Screenwriters upload their screenplays, along with a logline, synopsis and other pertinent information like budget and genre, and then producers search for and hopefully find screenplays they want to produce. Dozens of producers are in the system looking for screenplays right now. There have been a number of success stories come out of the service. You can find out about all the SYS select successes by going to sellingyourscreenplay.com/success. Also, on SYS podcast episode 222. I talked with Steve Dearing, who was the first official success story to come out of the SYS select database. When you join SYS select you get access to the screenplay database along with all the other services that we’re providing to SYS select members. These services include the newsletter, this monthly newsletter goes out to a list of over 400 producers who are actively seeking writers and screenplays. Each SYS select member can pitch one screenplay in this monthly newsletter. We also provide screenwriting leads, we have partnered with one of the premier paid screenwriting leads services so I can syndicate their leads to SYS select members. There are lots of great paid leads coming in each week from our partner. Recently, we’ve been getting five to 10 high quality paid leads per week. These leads run the gamut. There’s producers looking for a specific type of spec script to producers looking to hire a screenwriter to write up one of their ideas or properties. They’re looking for shorts, features, TV and web series, pilots all types of projects. If you sign up for SYS select you’ll get these leads emailed directly to you several times per week. Also, you get access to the SYS select forum, where we will help you with your logline and query letter and answer any screenwriting related questions that you might have. We also have a number of screenwriting classes that are recorded and available in the SYS select forum. These are all the classes that I’ve done over the years, so you’ll have access to those whenever you want. Once you join the classes cover every part of writing your screenplay, from concept to outlining to the first act second act third act as well as other topics like writing short films and pitching your projects in person. Once again, if this sounds like something you’d like to learn more about, please go to sellingyourscreenplayselect.com. Again, that is sellingyourscreenplayselect.com.