Hollywood is a difficult place to earn a living. Studios, and increasingly streaming services, act as gatekeepers, deciding what gets done and who does it.
So why not just roll out your own red carpet?
That's what a team that includes Emmy nominated producers and Oscar nominees is doing. Mogul Productions, which bills itself as a "decentralized movie financing platform (DeFiFi)," recently announced its launch.
Interested creators and moviegoers can sign up for an account. Once the mainnet goes live, they will be eligible to receive STARS, the platform's token based on.
CEO Gagan Grewal, formerly Managing Partner at Three Equity Capital, recently said that:
“Fans bet STARS tokens to vote which movies they want to get funding. Mogul uses a quadratic voting system to make each vote cast by the same user exponentially more expensive to prevent rich STARS users from having undue influence over the process. "
(Quadratic voting, a voting method that allows people to rate the strength of their opinion, is a favorite of the creator of, Vitalik Buterin).
Grewal has surrounded himself with several veterans of film and television production, including producers Cindy Cowan and David Cormican. David Cormican's producer was nominated for an international Emmy for the miniseries Tokyo Trial of 2016. He has recently produced the Netflix series Northern Rescue, starring William Baldwin. Cowan won a New York Emmy for producing the documentary Miracle on 42nd Street, which featured Samuel Jackson and Larry David. His former production company helped make it Traffic de Steven Soderbergh.
Between them, they have dozens of credits to their name. So why start a new production company?
According to Grewal, this is a lack of transparency about how films are financed. And that is just the beginning:
“After a movie is released, it can be difficult for financiers and creators to get information on how the proceeds are distributed. The way films are given the green light also happens in a black box with no fan participation and little explanation to the creators as to why their films are being overlooked or completely ignored. "
What a pleasure talking about the future of film & television with @ James_Pratt7 today on @we_are_mogul 'S #MogulLive on @instagram You can watch the interview here if you're keen: https://t.co/HRf8UBlHqx
– David Cormican (@ c0rmican) June 18, 2020
Mogul's value proposition is to use blockchain to highlight these processes and reform them. "To promote fair governance and reduce voter apathy, harnessing the power of the crowd, STARS incumbents will be rewarded for betting their votes," he said. "STARS holders will also be able to govern other aspects of the Mogul platform, including a pool of funds that can be used for marketing, development and distributions to STARS holders themselves."
The project is similar to Leveler, an Ethereum-based investment platform designed to increase diverse voices in storytelling. Like Leveler, Mogul has high ambitions for how he can help little-seen filmmakers.
“With all the major streaming platforms experiencing global audience peaks in 2020 and the current market predictions of $ 50.11 billion growing 21.0% each year, it is clear that there is an almost insatiable demand for great content, and yet it is incredibly difficult for independent creators to fund their stories and turn them into movies, ”Grewal said in a press release.
Hooray for Hollywood.