When the inventor of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, revealed that he played a role in the recently launched NFT-based series “Stoner Cats”, people in and outside the space paid attention. NFTs have become the “next big thing” and their applications are starting to filter into other sectors, gaming, and entertainment in particular.
VUELE is an NFT based platform that will take that model to the next level. Created as a direct-to-consumer for a full-length feature, their first project is ZERO CONTACT and will star academy award winner Anthony Hopkins.
The movie will be released exclusively as an NFT, and it will provide consumers with access to exclusive content. This model is very promising for the entire entertainment industry and adds new revenue streams for everyone from the independent producer to the big studios. We sat down with Cameron Chell, co-head of VUELE, to talk about this revolution, the future of NFT based films, and more. This is what he told us.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your background, and the process and motivations that led to VUELE, why it has implemented a direct-to-consumer model?
Chell: I have always been passionate about creating companies with purpose and value. With demand growing for digital currencies, digital assets and security tokens, I started CurrencyWorks, which is a full service blockchain platform provider.
The company has been creating digital collectables for quite some time. We recently launched the Motoclub.io platform, which is basically NFTs for car collectors. Partnering with WAX and Topps, CurrencyWorks helped create the $100,000 Garbage Pail Kids Series 1 inventory into non-fungible digital collectibles. The first release of the card packs sold out in just over 24 hours.
VUELE was created through discussions with Rick Dugdale, the president and CEO of Enderby Entertainment. We both live in Los Angeles and have been talking about the impact of blockchain on the film industry for years.
The more we looked at the distribution of digital content and the use of blockchain in doing it, it became clear that films in Hollywood had all the characteristic traits of collectibles. Diehard fans have proven time and again that they will go to great lengths to acquire exclusive memorabilia connected to their favorite films or actors. We see NFTs as a way to help studios keep that spirit alive while forging deeper and more personal relationships with their audiences.
That is why we implemented a direct-to-consumer model. It is about the filmmakers and their fans. A lot of blood, sweat and tears go into each film and VUELE wants studios to celebrate the entire process with their community rather than just the final product.
The platform allows the studio to promote itself. They can decide how many NFTs of their film they want to distribute and if they want to package it with exclusive content such as artwork or behind-the-scenes footage. They also have full control over the price and the timing of the NFT drops. It is then up to fans and collectors to pay for the NFTs to sell and/or trade and to watch the film on VUELE.”
Q: What does it mean for VUELE to have Anthony Hopkins involved in your first project, and how did he come aboard? Did he previously express an interest in NFTs or cryptocurrencies?
Chell: We are beyond thrilled that VUELE’s very first film features such a high-profile star. It is a massive endorsement for what we see as the next frontier for Hollywood and how studios will premiere feature-length films and merchandise collectibles surrounding the films produced.
Before ZERO CONTACT, Anthony Hopkins and Rick Dugdale worked together on the 2015 film Blackway. Watching NFTs surge in popularity, the pair decided to break new ground with ZERO CONTACT. Instead of a traditional theatrical release, they chose to make history and have the film premiere exclusively as an NFT on VUELE.”
Q: We understand that ZERO CONTACT was produced from 17 different parts of the world, can you tell us about the process and obstacles of creating, producing, and distributing a movie in the middle of a pandemic? How did NFTs allow the project to circumvent the situation?
Chell: ZERO CONTACT is a perfect example of how technology and skill allows us to make the impossible possible. Using video conferencing software, Rick and the Enderby team were able to shoot the film all over the world without compromising the health and safety of those involved. At the same time, this style gives the film a more personal and intimate feel – making the audience believe they are along for the ride on their own computer, tablet or smartphone.
Offering the film as an NFT on VUELE celebrates the revolutionary way ZERO CONTACT was shot and produced. Since the dawn of cinema, technology has reshaped how films are made, viewed and shared. With theaters shut for most of 2020 due to pandemic, many filmmakers turned to streaming services since they could not go the traditional distribution route. VUELE provides an effective and sustainable way for studios to directly connect with their fans to ensure they always have access to their films and exclusive entertainment content.
Q: VUELE’s direct-to-consumer model is one-of-a-kind. What are the benefits for actors, filmmakers, audiences, and the film industry as opposed to the legacy model?
Chell: VUELE is dedicated to providing a unique space where films can thrive. We see NFTs as an opportunity for filmmakers to elevate their offerings to consumers without sacrificing certain rights to traditional distributors and streaming services. VUELE gives studios the power to directly distribute films and other exclusive entertainment content as digital collectables to fans on the platform.
For movie stars, VUELE is an exciting new way to forge deeper and more personal relationships with fans through NFTs. Each offering is also a way to keep up to date on the content their audiences want.
As for fans, VUELE allows them to own authentic, personal and exclusive content from their favorite celebrity, film or franchise. Having these NFTs in their collection will make them the envy of fans that do not.
Q: What do you think people find so attractive about NFTs? It is a question of value, generational preferences? And, in that sense, do you see platforms such as VUELE multiplying in the future?
Chell: Collecting is part of the human psyche. The success and growing popularity of NFTs shows that people are looking for ways to prove ownership over certain digital assets. We live in a world full of talented and creative people. NFTs give us a chance to support these creators and truly own pieces that resonate with us.
When it comes to the film industry, VUELE is allowing studios to do exactly that. The platform is setting a new standard for how filmmakers can celebrate their work with their fans. It is important to note that VUELE is more than a platform where film NFTs are watched, collected, sold or traded. We are focused on building communities where people genuinely care about the digital collectibles and what they represent.
Q: How do you envision the future of VUELE, what is your next big milestone after the launch of your first feature film?
Chell: We envision VUELE as being the largest platform, community and marketplace where films are premiered and where fans hold and manage their digital film and digital memorabilia collection. We are hopeful that VUELE will be a new cornerstone in the film industry ecosystem.