Where Hollywood Falls Short
Is Hollywood a democracy? No, it’s not, and that’s to the disadvantage of movie fans, creators and investors. The traditional process in Hollywood is drowning in inefficiencies and unfair practices, leading major publishers such as Vanity Fair to declare that “Hollywood as We Know It is Already Over.”
If Hollywood is over, what’s coming next? Cultural trends all point to a more democratic, creatively fulfilling and transparent entertainment system, one that prioritizes fan inclusion over executive egos. Filmio is bringing that new world to the blockchain.
So why does filmmaking need a makeover? Let’s take a look at how Hollywood makes movies–and how its aging system is falling short.
You probably know aspirational filmmakers with dreams of breaking into the film industry. These industry hopefuls know success will be difficult, but they might not realize just how much Hollywood’s product-to-market model prioritizes prior connections (nepotism) and profit over creative promise. In a crowded creative space, career-changing connections with major studios often stem from who a creator knows. This system prioritizes those already well-angled to succeed in Hollywood over talented creators with unrecognizable names.
Even when creators snag a studio connection, they still face challenges. For instance, Hollywood heavily relies on franchises; Hollywood released 58 franchise films in 2019 that captured 82% of the worldwide box office. This means that creators find themselves working on executives’ ideas for sequels far more often than their own stories.
Hollywood wants your money, but do they respect your input? Movie tickets are becoming more and more expensive while studios are manipulating review windows so audiences can’t access critical takes on movies until after they’ve paid for tickets. Trailers are misleading viewers not just about a film’s quality, but about its actual content.
Some fans tried to sue producers of 2016’s Suicide Squad for heavily featuring Jared Leto’s Joker in the trailer because he was only in the film briefly. Misleading advertising is hardly a new phenomenon, but the rise of hyped “event” movie releases, easier access to information through the internet and the skyrocketing costs of movie tickets have made the deception much more extreme.
Furthermore, many studio practices that punish creators also wind up punishing fans. Fans have little chance of seeing creative, interesting movies when their creators get shut out of moviemaking altogether.
Mega-successes such as Jordan Peele’s Get Out and Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman show that audiences crave a diverse range of storytellers in the historically white and male Hollywood system, but you wouldn’t know it from a look at the heavily studio-influenced Academy Awards.
Some of Hollywood’s greatest inefficiencies can be seen from a business perspective. Investing in movies remains a high-risk venture. Big data is transforming many industries, but investors and moviemakers are having a hard time getting meaningful pre-production data from the existing studio system. Test screenings help makers and investors understand audience reactions to early cuts of movies and TV pilots, but those screenings can’t take place until after most of the production is already done. When movies screen poorly, makers have to choose between moving forward with a likely flop or engaging in lengthy and expensive re-editing and re-shoots.
Investors have data about how previous movies have performed that can inform their decisions moving forward, but Hollywood hasn’t found a great method for extrapolating those data trends into reliable models for future moviemaking. Some of the greatest flops of the past decade have been sequels to successful franchises that boasted top actors working with award-winning directors. Moviemaking is a complicated and lengthy process, and an idea that appears on-trend at first may be distorted by unfactored challenges or simply become outdated by the time the movie debuts.
How to Solve These Problems
Technology isn’t a cure-all for Hollywood’s problems, but it offers a path forward for fans and creators who care about moviemaking. One of the most promising technologies available for the film industry is blockchain, the same technology supporting Bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain’s value to the film industry stems largely from its inherent decentralization. There is no “master” copy of a blockchain ledger–the only valid version of the ledger is the one agreed upon across the entire blockchain network through a programmed consensus protocol. Because no single node controls the state of the blockchain, this technology has become a promising tool for democratization and radical change in a wide variety of industries.
Because smart contracts and other data written onto the blockchain can’t be altered without network consensus, less powerful players can participate in a blockchain system without worrying that their interests will be bulldozed by powerful players manipulating the network-wide consensus. Immutable blockchain data can also protect important agreements and network-wide conditions, such as contracts established between nodes or timestamp data against copyright infringement. A filmmaking environment built on the blockchain protects the interests and rights of all involved, and those conditions naturally nurture democratic participation. The result is a more vibrant, diverse and transparent film scene. Blockchain networks also provide rich data sources for investors seeking audience and film data because they immutably record all relevant blockchain-based interactions.
Filmio’s core component is its Decentralized Movie Database, an open library of existing and proposed film projects. Fans can interact with projects in the library while earning and spending blockchain-based FAN tokens. As creators reach certain milestones in updating their project, such as adding a trailer or finalizing a cast, they receive new opportunities for fan interaction.
Fans can use their utility tokens to validate, review and promote projects to influence a project’s location on the Filmio development ladder.
The Filmio ecosystem supports a wide variety of interactions between fans and creators that reward fans for supporting the projects they love. These interactions ensure that moviegoers, not executives, decide which films get made. A fan who supports a project, for example, may earn an advanced ticket screening.
Fan interactions generate valuable data on how audiences might interact with a project, providing both valuable creative feedback for filmmakers and meaningful data for potential investors trying to gauge a project’s likely success.
Blockchain’s decentralized structure helps this project stay democratic rather than isolated in an elite and out-of-touch studio system, with consensus protocols protecting Filmio from hostile manipulation. Blockchain smart contracts reliably execute protocols governing fan, creator and investor interactions, offering both transparency and low administrative costs.
The Bottom Line
The traditional Hollywood product-to-market model is inefficient, and a creative ecosystem that rewards content creators and true movie fans is coming to replace it. Filmio is already well on its way to disrupt Hollywood’s current model, but there’s still time for you to get involved! Check out our website, Facebook and Telegram channel for more information on how you can play a role in changing the way movies are made.