Lights, camera, action: Demand Film makes crypto play

Screencred tokens can be exchanged for movie tickets to Demand Film screenings as well as VIP events

Australia-based cinema-on-demand distributor, Demand Film, has launched a cryptocurrency, called Screencreds, to reward users who watch and promote trailers for its upcoming releases.

The company is rolling this out ahead of its launch in Germany next week. Demand Film CEO and MD David Doepel told The Hollywood Reporter: “Users will be getting paid for what they are doing already — watching trailers, sharing them, promoting our movies to their friends,” says Doepel. “And payment will be based on influence. The more people see the shared trailer, and the more people that then buy tickets to our screenings, the more Screencreds users earn.”

Tokens can be exchanged for movie tickets to Demand Films screenings as well as VIP events, such as meet-and-greets with directors and talent. In the coming months, the currency will also be fully tradable on Australia’s NCX exchange.

Demand Film is also piloting the use of Screencreds to pay royalties to filmmakers, working with Aussie helmers, Nickolas Bird and Eleanor Sharpe, to test the system. The venture works on a revenue split model, with filmmakers receiving a cut of the ticket sales when their movies screen in cinemas.

“At the moment, we report royalties every quarter and pay the filmmakers,” says Doepel. “With a cryptocurrency the payment would be automatic. The filmmaker would get their money right away.”

Without the cost of exchange rates and banking fees, Doepel adds, the Screencreds model is financially feasible even for very small films and releases.

We need to talk about Kevin

In June, Coin Rivet reported on KevCoin: The Movie. Shot over 35 days, this was released on 28th June for digital download, with the world premiere taking place a day earlier in London.

The movie follows Kevin Powder (Attar) as he works his way around Peckham, South East London and co-opts real local residents into his scheme to make a sci-fi film, paid for with his own cryptocurrency, the KevCoin, which actually exists and sits on the Ethereum blockchain, as an Erc20 token.

In an interview with Coin Rivet, Attar, whose fascination with Bitcoin et al dates back to the early crypto days, when he bought his first units from a hacker at a London train station, said: “Low budget indie film distribution is a broken system, in fact there was probably not ever a proven model to systematically move low budget films into profit. Too many film makers, once they have produced their film, expect a distributor to waltz in and hand them a cigar. This has never really happened. Barriers to entry have been destroyed and you can get films financed, but not distributed.”

He added: “We also have new platforms to sell our content, but you need eyeballs to know what is happening and to care. With tokens, there are many options around writing contracts. We are just starting to experiment, but we have some cool ideas about how this could develop especially around the social media model. Most people love to be part of something early and watch and perhaps help it to grow. We think you can apply this to indie film making; there are so many interesting on and off camera stories that you can’t tell to engage an audience. It is ripe for development and potentially very lucrative.”

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