With the popularity and reach of cryptocurrency growing by the day, it’s not too surprising that a new company would come along and apply it to the struggling film industry.
But there’s still an undeniable milestone in the announcement that Mogul Productions, a startup aimed at bringing DeFi to filmmaking, has started post production with a movie funded using blockchain technologies.
The founders of Mogul Productions, which officially launched in February, want to attract fans of both movies and cryptocurrency to engage with their app and become active participants in the script to screen process. The company presents its platform as a way for users to become something like mini-producers, who not only vote on which movie scripts get funding, but receive rewards if the film succeeds.
The company’s first film, “Bonded,” written and directed by Mohit Ramchandani, is inspired by the true story of a Mexican teenager who dreams of becoming a soccer star, but ends up smuggled across the border and sold to a sweatshop that makes party dresses in downtown Los Angeles.
“This is obviously an incredibly exciting time to be announcing this milestone — Mogul’s first film financed via the Mogul model,” David Cormican, Production Advisory Officer at Mogul, said in the press release. “Mogul initially invested in Bonded at the script level a little over two years ago. The filmmaking and producing team’s level of engagement served as an inspiration for Mogul’s model of interacting with investors and audiences during the script to screen journey for projects.”
Mogul’s proprietary platform allows users to use Ethereum-based tokens, called STARS, to support scripts submitted to the company for consideration, and to redeem rewards related to the film, like tickets to exclusive screenings or even an Executive Producer credit.
Thanks to social media, modern fans have already become more intertwined with the actual process of making films and television shows. The most recent example is the re-release of “Justice League” after a prolonged Twitter campaign from fans of director Zach Snyder.
Mogul’s approach dispenses with the media hand-wringing over whether fans should be involved at all, and actively invites them to participate in the process.
The company’s founders see the larger problem as an entrenched “insider” approach to film financing, which they want to change.
“Over the last two years we’ve put together an amazing Advisory Team of producers, directors, actors and other film industry professionals to help,” Mogul Productions President Lisa Sun said. “Our common goal is to give a voice to film fans, who can vote and influence which movies get funded and made as Mogul productions! All using blockchain, smart contracts, and Web3 technologies.”
As Mogul filmmakers produce their first movie, the app’s users are granted an inside view of the production process, exclusive rewards and red-carpet experiences via the Mogul platform.
The movie’s director, Ramchandani, told FilmDaily that the inspiration for the film was to raise awareness about the prevalence of human trafficking, even in the United States.
Ramchandani expressed gratitude that Mogul Productions and its managers were willing to have their first film aimed at social consciousness.
“Our goal is to build a strong social action campaign and bring awareness to the issue of modern day slavery through narrative storytelling and we welcome the opportunity to engage with the Mogul community on this important topic,” Ramchandani said.
Mogul Productions accepts project submissions for subsequent showcases and rounds of financing, which are voted on by its users. Interested filmmakers can visit my.mogulproductions.com to create a Mogul account and submit a film project for showcase consideration.
“Bonded” stars Jason Patric, Alfredo Castro, Paulina Gaitan, Francisco Denis, Samm Levine and Ari Lopez, who plays the lead role of ‘Jesus.’