Novel developments in technology have given rise to entirely new industries. One of the best examples of this is the film industry: the new possibilities of the “moving image” ushered in a new medium of art, expression and storytelling.
With the advent of blockchain technology, this centuries-old medium could take its biggest leap forward. Actor David Bianchi hopes to spearhead the coming developments in the film and entertainment industry. He has teamed up with Gala Film to develop a series that could take the concept of audience participation to the next level.
In Gala’s film department, Bianchi hopes to deliver a global experience that makes entering Web3 a more compelling decision than ever. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Cantor and viral animator Peter Draw are collaborating with Bianchi on this ambitious project. And if things go as planned, it could give us a powerful glimpse into how NFTs could fundamentally change the way audiences engage with media.
Real-time development of entertainment
So what is Bianchi and the rest of his team cooking? It’s called razor – an eight-episode sci-fi drama with nuances of black mirror and Mister Robot, “focuses on the world of neural implants, code culture and the underbelly of black market crime,” Bianchi said in an interview with nft. Even though razor‘s theme may contain strong dystopian imagery, everything around it is very optimistic about our Web3 powered entertainment future.
As such, they have gone above and beyond to make this an exclusive experience for Web3 users only. after release, razor will not be available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max or any other mainstream streaming service. It is said to be a gala film exclusive, meaning the series will only exist on the Ethereum blockchain.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be working with David and the Gala community to bring Web3’s first-ever live-action series exclusively to Gala Film,” Gala COO Sarah Buxton said in a statement to nft now. “David and the team are as incredibly talented and dedicated as we are to delivering decentralized entertainment for fans. I can’t wait to see where this partnership will take not only us but also Web3 as a creative space.”
Although the series is still in development, Bianchi and the rest of the team use NFTs to build the series’ fan base long before the show even airs. This NFT collection, which will be released in late October, is said to contain “a nice collection of concept posters, storyboards and pre-visuals and concept art,” Bianchi said.
By releasing these artworks, Bianchi hopes to “engage audiences as early as possible [and bring them] into the filming process.” While behind-the-scenes footage is nothing new in the entertainment industry, it is often released as a series broadcast — or as part of a box set release at the end of a season. But what is It is unheard of to release storyboards and concept art to the public while a series is still in development.
“There’s so much art associated with the production of cinema that most people don’t even bother,” Bianchi said. He hopes to set a precedent in the entertainment industry by further unlocking the value of these concept visuals through the release of this collection. After all, they not only play a crucial role in the production and development of a series, but are also works of art.
access via art
However, one question remains: Why does the release of these plays have to be done through NFTs? Because of utility.
By selling these items as NFTs, Bianchi hopes to engage early fans razor essentially unlimited access to its ongoing development by purchasing NFTs from this drop. “You have access to the screenwriters, […] the producers, […and] Eventually we will offer IRL access to live table reads in Los Angeles,” he said. For all razor future community of die-hard fans, that’s a huge thing.
It’s also worth noting that the access Bianchi hopes to provide incorporates Web3’s guiding principle of active participation and engagement. So how is razor will fulfill this ideal? It’s all about access.
Audience access goes beyond simply observing the ongoing development of razor. You will also be able to deal with it directly and influence it. “We really just want to take it one step at a time so we can figure out which models work. What is the audience reacting to? What do you want to see? […] Audiences will really be able to give producers real-time feedback on narrative structures [and] on story arcs,” he said.
This happened elsewhere recently when Netflix is experimentally using NFTs to indirectly poll its audience for the episode of love death + robot they liked the most. Should this model be adopted for projects outside of Web3’s current remit, the general public will have a say in whether beloved intellectual property rights are treated in the same way war of stars, game of Thronesand The Hobbit suffered in the last decade.
Our extended future
But all of this is just the face of things to come as the entertainment industry undergoes a different evolution. Other emerging technologies such as virtual and augmented reality (AR) may continue to converge with blockchain technology, offering a new way for mass audiences to enter the larger Web3 metaverse.
Bianchi compared the ultimate experience of consuming content to the world we found ourselves in minority report – with holograms driving the interactivity of our future content. It may sound like far-fetched babble now, but augmented reality technology has advanced at an amazing rate. After Google’s attempts to bring AR to a mass market with Google Glass in the early 2010s, AR broke into the mainstream in 2016 Pokemon Go.
With massive worldwide success, Niantic’s groundbreaking game gave millions of people their first experience of interacting with AR. With Niantic officially launching its Web3 division in early 2022, the start of AR experiences in mainstream media — integrated with blockchain technology — may be years away, not decades.
“Instead of using a remote control, I use my fingertips to swipe through an episode and pause it. I could zoom in and see which sneakers [the actor onscreen is] wear, tap the sneaker and buy a digital version of that sneaker, which is instantly authenticated on the blockchain. The idea is that you can basically interact in real-time with the episodes or movie content that you’re watching,” he said. Is the world ready? We can’t say for sure, but ready or not, the technology is on the way.