The Big Interview

Filmio’s Bryan Hertz: ‘2019 will be a big year for blockchain’

The need for empowerment is palpable, not just in entertainment, but across diverse industries, Bryan Hertz, Executive Chairman, Filmio, tells Coin Rivet

Coin Rivet: Tell us about Filmio and the highlights and biggest issues/challenges thus far.

BH: Filmio is an entertainment platform that leverages blockchain technology to form a more democratic ecosystem for creators, fans, and other industry players. Though the advantages of blockchain-based platforms are well-known among crypto enthusiasts, our main challenge as we work towards the release of our MVP is to educate and inform the filmmaking community about the advantages of our solution.

We recently attended the Sundance Film Festival for this express purpose, which furthered a continuous conversation to discover what filmmakers need to create, market and distribute the content they want.

Coin Rivet: Could you tell us about the tech behind the ecosystem?

BH: Our developer team is building Filmio on the EOSIO blockchain, a decision we made based upon the emphasis on user-friendliness and developer-friendliness, two factors that we believe will have the greatest impact on the adoption of blockchain-based platforms in 2019 and beyond. We also use Node.js for optimal scaling, speed, data storage, real-time feedback, and developer education.

“The underlying brilliance of blockchain technology is its ability to empower all members of a network with more control over their own assets, value and participation. This is what we intend to do for the entertainment industry”

Coin Rivet: You’ve been talking to filmmakers, producers, distributors, and other entertainment executives. What feedback have you been getting?

BH: The feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive and has only punctuated the necessity of a blockchain solution for film. While creators are a great mix of passionate and forward-thinking visionaries, they’re surprisingly pragmatic when it comes to their projects.

We’re finding that once creators overcome the initial learning curve as to how the blockchain can further their goals, they’re interested to explore how our specific decentralised solution can empower them with tools to incubate their projects, build audience and launch to a wider distribution. At that point in the conversation, they only want to discover more of what Filmio can do for them.

Coin Rivet: There are many high-profile critics who argue that blockchain ventures are offering solutions to problems that don’t exist etc. How do you respond to them?

BH: That’s an understandable characterisation. And while it’s likely true in select, near-term instances, when you examine the argument upon which this particular criticism rests, it’s our belief that it derives from a fundamental underestimation of the functional purpose of blockchain technology, namely, enabling the decentralisation of previously centralised networks.

The overarching problem that many blockchain-based projects, including Filmio, seek to address is the issue of concentration of power in the hands of few entities and the correlated lack of agency experienced by the majority. It’s almost axiomatic, really. Power has an innate tendency to concentrate. Some of the emergent properties of this concentration, as we all know, are loss of democratic vitality. But overcoming that structural bias takes time.

The underlying brilliance of blockchain technology is its ability to empower all members of a network with more control over their own assets, value and participation. This is what we intend to do for the entertainment industry.

“Power has an innate tendency to concentrate. Some of the emergent properties of this concentration, as we all know, are loss of democratic vitality. But overcoming that structural bias takes time”

Coin Rivet: ConsenSys’ Andrew Keys recently predicted that 2019 will be a significant year for the blockchain space. Would you agree?

BH: We too anticipate that 2019 will be a big year for blockchain-based projects, because the need for empowerment is palpable, not just in entertainment, but across diverse industries. In entertainment, we recognised the need for validation on the part of filmmakers, opportunities for participation on the part of fans, and avenues for collaboration and meaningful data on the part of all players.

Filmio’s gamified creative incubator, market validator, and distribution launchpad is committed to filling these needs with a blockchain ecosystem, so we wholeheartedly agree with Andrew. 2019 is going to be a big year.

Coin Rivet: What can we expect from Filmio in 2019?

BH: The Filmio public beta is slated for release in Q1/Q2 of 2019. In the meantime, we’re continuing to receive feedback from our partners and select filmmakers on our private fully EOS-integrated testnet. In addition, we’re meeting with select film funds, production companies, content buyers and talented creators as we prepare to launch our platform.

Complementary to that effort, we’re in talks with several strategic partners, including an international television company and a leading literary management company, to utilise our platform to discover new creators.

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