How Do You Get a Film Funded?

During the Golden Age of Hollywood, five gigantic studios produced almost every major motion picture. Producers, actors, directors, cast and crew – even screenwriters – were all contracted employees of single studios and were assigned to many projects a year by the big execs. Most films earned respectable returns, and the runaway hits more than covered the losses of the year’s biggest flops. As long as the film industry ran, studios were in business.

 

After the vertically integrated system broke down, big studios downsized and esssentially became backer-distributors rather than production companies. They would hire production companies or freelance creatives to work on their projects. With less control over the production process and monetising at fewer stages, studios took fewer and fewer risks, ultimately leading to the highly formulaic, reliable, massive-scale tentpole productions we see from the big studios today.

 

This opened the doors for independent cinema to fill an artistic void in the film industry. However, this meant people were specialising in essentially unreliable and largely unprofitable films. Small-scale film financing largely became a gifting economy, forcing the best creators into a network of boozing, schmoozing, nepotism, connections and wealth. Any original talent without access to this network will have a hard time indeed of getting their film made.

 

So where does that leave a prospective filmmaker today? Crowdfunding, when it emerged ten years ago, presented a radical new alternative to outdated industry standards for funding. Even some big names like Charlie Kaufman ($406K) and Spike Lee ($1.4M) turned to crowdfunding to realise their passion projects. However, crowdfunding ultimately depends on fandom and altruism, and could never become a fully sustainable model for film funding.

 

Here at LiveTree, we are revolutionising the way films are funded. Because we are using blockchain technology, small financial transactions can be made throughout the world with great efficiency, meaning that royalty contracts remain profitable for financiers on tiny scales. If the LiveTree community notice a pitch that they love, want to see more from a new director or need to see a sequel to a sparkling indie flick, they can pool together and fund the project with Seed tokens, the world’s first film and television cryptocurrency.

 

The blockchain enters each backer into contracts of rights and royalties with creators which cannot be altered or dishonoured. This is of great contrast to the purposefully opaque and notoriously unreliable royalty agreements made through studios. Audiences can fund the content that is meaningful to them, and then earn their share of the profits. Meanwhile, creators can be assured of a scaleable fanbase for their content. Fewer middlemen and fat cats leads to a fairer, more reliable, more equitable deal for creators, as well as much greater creative control.

 

The alpha version of LiveTree’s own streaming channel, Blossom TV, launches 5th November, so why not register now, stay up to date and discover the future of entertainment.

Discover the true value of storytelling.

What is a Blockchain?

What is a Blockchain?


Despite having been invented along with Bitcoin ten years ago by somebody under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, blockchain technology is now beginning to enter mainstream popular consciousness. Blockchains provide records of financial transactions that cannot be altered or corrupted. Soon, however, blockchains will be recording the movement of ideas and information, too.

 

How does a blockchain work?

 

Someone, somewhere in the world requests a transaction. Rather than this request going, say, to a bank, the request is sent to thousands of computers – each being one “node” – from around the world. The algorithms for verifying the amount of value, the type of value and the identities and locations of the individuals involved are divvied up amongst the computers (nodes), which together encode the information in what is known as a “block”. Each block holds this information along with the information from the previous block in the “chain”. As such, if anyone tampers with one block, the entire chain is disrupted and the change is disallowed.

 

How do I use a blockchain?

 

The great thing about blockchain technology is that you don’t need to know that you are using it. When you send money, you let your bank do the work, and blockchains work in the same way. The only difference is that the process is quicker, more efficient and more secure. Hacks have proven to be far less likely, and less money is spent by the participants on intermediary charges.

That said, if you want to get involved, there are tons of blockchain communities you can join. By turning your computer into a node for a blockchain network, you earn a share of the transaction charges each time one is made.

 

What else can a blockchain do?

 

Here at LiveTree, we are reimagining entertainment as a blockchain-based industry. On LiveTree, users can fund film and television projects using “Seed” tokens, the world’s first film and television cryptocurrency. When those projects are successfully completed and then broadcast on television, screened in cinemas or streamed on Blossom TV (LiveTree’s own streaming platform), backers are rewarded with their share of the profits.

Because blockchains move currency so efficiently, small transactions in great numbers are much more valuable than when transmitted by centralised banks. Furthermore, the smart contract technology offered by blockchain providers such as Achain, Infinity Economics and 0chain means that the royalties and rights deals can be organised more fairly and more transparently between cast, crew and backers.

We can even use the network of nodes to host video content. As a result, we do not have to rent server from internet giants like Amazon. The process is cheaper and more efficient, and our users are able to continue sharing LiveTree’s growth.

The alpha version of Blossom TV launches 5th November, so register here and get involved with the future of entertainment.

Discover the true value of storytelling.