At a time when the biggest film studios in the world are wrestling with how to deal with “toxic fans,” a new startup has chosen to make film-lovers a bigger part of the process.
Mogul Productions brings together cryptocurrency and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) with community-based financing for film, aiming at an ambitious goal of creating an entirely new way of making movies.
The company’s founders want to “give everyone a voice in the filmmaking process,” according to the website.
Mogul Productions launched their platform in February 2021. The company describes itself as a “decentralized film financing and NFT platform” where aspiring filmmakers, movie fans, and cryptocurrency holders can work together. The core of the business is an app that allows writers to submit screenplays, and users to vote on their preferred scripts with Ethereum-based tokens called STARS. Anyone can also choose to contribute in Mogul film projects using its token system, which the company said will allow for greater transparency in funding and distribution and a more cost-efficient filmmaking process.
The idea behind Mogul Productions is so new that there’s not much to compare it to. Other than investing stocks in existing film production companies or donating money on crowdfunding platforms, there’s not much of a precedent for a personalized approach to funding movies and participation in the script-to-screen process.
If you’re a serious film-lover who has always wanted to participate in that creative process, there’s a lot to appreciate about Mogul’s platform.
STARS tokens are required to access the Mogul platform. After purchasing STARS tokens, Mogul users can use them to vote, using blockchain-based quadratic voting, on scripts they think deserve to be made into movies, or purchase rewards only available on the platform, like non-fungible token film posters, tickets to red-carpet events — even Executive Producer credits for users to want to shell out big bucks.
The in-app currency program is based on blockchain technology, and claims to be “cost-effective, trackable and auditable.” Features include: sponsored transactions, burn & mint technology, instantaneous transactions and transferable ERC-20 DeFi tokens.
Their smart wallet can also hold and manage users’ NFTs.
There’s also a new opportunity for creators and investors.
Mogul recently announced its first film funded through its DeFi platform: “Bonded,” a socially conscious drama inspired by a true story of a young Mexican teenager who is exploited by human traffickers and sold into slavery in Los Angeles.
The film “boasts a stellar ensemble cast and delves into social issues that are as prevalent as ever in the modern day,” the company said in its announcement.
The project will be a big test for Mogul. The film’s writer and director, Mohit Ramchandani, said that the film creates an opportunity not only to “bring awareness” to modern-day slavery, but also “engage with the Mogul community” on an important topic.
Mogul aims to release its films first on its own platform, giving its users the first look and allowing for direct feedback between fans, creators and investors.
It’s a novel approach, and whether or not Mogul succeeds, it seems likely that some kind of cryptocurrency-based model for film financing is inevitable, given the increasing penetration of DeFi in nearly every industry.
Mogul seems to understand the demographic that will be interested in using their service, especially in their marketing.
In April, Mogul Productions hosted a special event for lovers of cryptocurrency, filming a live painting by Marvel and DC Comics artist Rob Prior, who then burned the painting on camera. Inspired by “The Wolf of Wall Street,” the painting was simultaneously converted into a non-fungible token (NFT). Prior and other special guests discussed the sudden rise and popularity of NFTs in the entertainment industry.
Mogul Productions also offers Mogul Live, a weekly talk show where users can see interviews with the actors, directors and producers of Mogul films. Hosted by James Pratt, the platform aims to provide weekly shows featuring conversations about the latest Mogul projects.
Mogul clearly wants to create as many opportunities as possible for fans to share their enthusiasm for cryptocurrency, be it movies or visual art.
The main appeal for Mogul users is likely the platform for deeper communication between experienced industry professionals and long-time movie lovers.
In a time when going to an actual movie theater continues to be difficult or impossible, Mogul has created a new model for the film community to watch original movies and support the filmmakers directly, all from the comfort of their home.
If you’re a film lover looking for a way to engage with real films and filmmakers, then you will likely find something to love about Mogul Productions.