A direct-to-consumer viewing platform using NFT technology is making the first release of a feature film in a move disruptive of conventional distribution. The auction to own rights locked into a NFT token goes live on September 24. If it attains anything like the $69 million paid to own the NFT for a single digital artwork from Beeple earlier this year, Hollywood will sit bolt upright.
Vuele, which utilizes uses blockchain and NFTs, is exclusively releasing Zero Contact, a pandemic-themed feature starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, directed and produced by Rick Dugdale, who is also President and CEO of Enderby Entertainment.
Entertainment companies are dabbling in NFTs, mainly as a way to purchase and verify digital collectables associated with a franchise or feature release. Marvel and Fox have both embarked on such endeavors. Zero Contact is the first time a feature-length film has been offered for sale as an NFT. People can pay to buy the film with cryptocurrency or credit cards.
“Everything about this film is unconventional, from the way we shot it using Zoom and remote production, to its distribution,” said Dugdale.
Vuele is a joint venture between production company Enderby and CurrencyWorks, a publicly traded company that builds and operates FinTech platforms for digital currencies, digital assets, and security tokens. Dugdale is co-head of Vuele.
They plan a series of release dates or “drops” of content for different offerings involving the film. These are opportunities for fans/viewers to purchase assets related to Zero Contact. The idea, he says, is to develop a marketplace for the NFTs, which are basically digital assets placed on an encrypted blockchain with unique serial numbers.
READ MORE: Enderby Entertainment’s Pandemic Film ‘Zero Contact’ To Premiere On New NFT Platform Vuele; Watch The Trailer – Update (Deadline)
“It creates scarcity in copies of the film, and protects against piracy,” said Dugdale. “Our platform is designed to offer something to high-end collectors as well as the everyday film fan.”
The “drops” are fascinating in themselves.
The film’s “Platinum Edition” auction, launching on the OpenSea NFT marketplace on Sept. 24, offers a 1 of 1 NFT for the film. In other words, there will only ever be one minted of its kind. The auction will last 72 hours.
Alongside unique NFT backed artwork from the film, the Platinum Edition also includes a 1 to 1 “All-expense paid trip to visit the production set for Zero Contact Universe to meet the cast, crew and experience a day on the set.”
It includes, believe it or not, a walk-on role in the Zero Contact Universe, available to the auction winner or someone else they nominate (another 1 of 1 edition).
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Even more incredible, 11 auction winners are offered the chance to have themselves filmed and edited into a version of the actual release of Zero Contact “as one of the characters playing alongside Anthony Hopkins and the rest of the cast.”
Since the film is part of the screenlife genre in which the action largely or entirely plays out on a computer, tablet, or smartphone screen, you can see how a customized production can made in keeping with the film’s look and cost-effectively, too.
There are also 2,500 opportunities to buy behind-the-scenes and as access to the next three feature films to be released on the Vuele platform.
Vuele is basically an experiment aiming to create a new revenue stream for the industry. “It could be a new platform, so let’s take the risk and do it with our own film,” said Dugdale.
The film itself was produced in 17 different territories, entirely virtually, and with the actor’s homes acting as sets. The story follows five characters around the world connected only by their devotion to tech titan Finley Hart (Hopkins). They are forced to work together to shut down Hart’s secret invention, a machine that is either the solution to mankind’s problems or the end of life on earth.