So today we are going to go down the rabbit hole of NFTs. What the heck is an NFT. It is a Non Fungible Token. Basically, an NFT is a completely original digital file or a digital collectable which is registered on a blockchain ledger just like any cryptocurrency. But unlike cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, an NFT is totally unique and because it lives on the blockchain it verifies who is the rightful owner of this one-of-a-kind digital collectable file.
In February 2021, digital artist Peebles sold a digital artwork for $69.3 million at auction. You heard correctly almost $70 million for a digital file. The founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, sold his very first tweet as an NFT for $2.9 million.
It took me a minute to understand what these things were and then it clicked. NFTs are digital baseball cards, comic books, Garbage Pail Kids or Pokemon cards. They are just a digital version and in many ways better because you know exactly how many copies exist.
The NBA is sell "moments" as NFTs through NBA Top Shots. Basically, they are selling highlight clips as NFT and they are killing it. Fans of the NBA are gobbling these NFTs as fast as they are released. I really think there is now one doing NFTs better than the NBA right now.
Musicians are having amazing success selling NFTs directly to their fans. This is turning the established music industry on its head. NFTs are essentially killing off the middle man. No more label, just a direct relationship with the artist's fans.
The other amazing thin about NFTs is that the artist continues to make money on every sale of the NFT forever. Let me explain. When an artist creates a NFT by minting it. Minting is the process of create the digital file (NFT) and placing it on the blockchain. The artist then sets the residual percentage every time the NFT sells.
So if I mint a short film and sell it for $500. I get $500. Now, if the new owner sells it 2 years from now for $10,000 I get 10% of that sale. Every time that NFT is resold I get my cut. All transactions transparent. All on the blockchain.
So how can filmmakers make money? There are so many options because NFTs are in their infancy. Everyone is trying to figure out how to use them in indie film. Some ideas are:
Selling the distribution rights to the entire film, like Kevin Smith is doing with is latest film Killjoy
Selling the distribution rights to your film in shares like the indie film Lotawana
Create an NFT to a short film to finance it
Sell NFT collectables from the film
Fund raise your film's budget with NFTs
These are just some ideas. I decide to throw my hat in the ring and created an experiment. I minted a few NFTs for my first short film BROKEN and some "legacy NFTs" of the first ever filmmaking tutorials ever uploaded to YouTube. Here is the description of one of the NFTs.
This NFT is called Muzzle Flash Breakdown and is one of the first filmmaking tutorials to ever be uploaded to YouTube. It was uploaded on August 28, 2006 by filmmaker, author and Indie Film Hustle Podcast host Alex Ferrari from his 2005 award-winning short film BROKEN.
It was taken from the best-selling DVD of the film. That DVD was one of the first indie short films to ever create a massive collection of tutorials and making of videos that explained how to make a low-budget independent film with off-the-shelf software and digital consumer cameras.
This is part of a limited series of filmmaking tutorials that were uploaded to YouTube from the short film BROKEN. All the videos were uploaded and released on the same day in 2006. The external link attached to this NFT will show the original upload to YouTube.
When you purchase this NFT you will also gain access to the short film BROKEN, the entire collection of tutorials and commentary tracks via private link and passcode. You will also receive the original QuickTime file that was uploaded to YouTube.
To access my NFTs go to: www.ifhnft.com
I released three of 6 of the total filmmaking tutorials I uploaded on YouTune back in Aug 2006. If these sell out I'll upload the rest and maybe some of my other popular short films I directed over the years. I wanted to give you an example of what an independent film NFT looked like and this is totally an experiment to see what happens.
Maybe I'll never sell an NFT, maybe I sell them three years from now or maybe they will sell out in 15 min. Who knows. What I am excited about is the potential of what this could mean for the indie filmmaking community.
In this episode I break down everything you need to know about NFTs, how to make money with them and more. Enjoy!