Sir Anthony Hopkins already has two Oscars to his name. Now he adds another one-of-a kind experience to the list – his latest film, ZERO CONTACT, will be the first film released on VUELE, the world’s first NFT (non-fungible tokens) viewing platform.
VUELE is the world’s first direct-to-consumer, full-length feature film viewing and distribution platform delivering feature films and digital collectible entertainment content as NFTs. It marks a new era for the realm of entertainment and how films are viewed and marketed.
What’s most significant about this new film is that it was produced remotely in 17 different territories during the early waves of the global pandemic in 2020. According to production details, the film relied heavily on using Zoom to shoot scenes.
The story follows five characters from around the globe who are connected only by their devotion to tech titan Finley Hart (Hopkins). The five characters discover a secret invention by the tech titan and collaborate to shut it down as it provides “either the solution to mankind’s problems or the end of life on earth.
ZERO CONTACT is produced and directed by Rick Dugdale (Intrigo Anthology, Recon) and written and co-produced by Cam Cannon (USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage). VUELE is powered by CurrencyWorks (CSE: CWRK and OTCQB: CWRK), a fintech platform developer in partnership with Enderby Entertainment.
Is it correct to say that this is the first feature film specifically made for the NFT segment/platform?
ZERO CONTACT is the first star-powered feature film NFT. Using video conferencing software, Enderby Entertainment was able to shoot the film all over the world during the COVID-19 global pandemic without compromising the health and safety of those involved. At the same time, this style gives the film a personal and intimate feel – making the audience sense they are along for the ride on their own computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Offering the film as an NFT on VUELE lends to the revolutionary way ZERO CONTACT was shot and produced. Demand is growing for digital currencies, digital assets, and security tokens. We started CurrencyWorks as a full service blockchain platform provider that can and has been developing high-quality digital collectibles for some time now.
VUELE was created through discussions with Rick Dugdale, President and CEO of Enderby Entertainment. He and I have been talking about the impact of blockchain on the film industry for years. The more we looked at the distribution of digital content and the use of blockchain in doing it, we came to the conclusion that films in Hollywood had all the characteristic traits of great potential digital collectibles.
Diehard fans have consistently proven that they will go to great lengths to acquire exclusive memorabilia connected to their favourite actor, film or franchise. That is why we implemented a direct-to-consumer model. VUELE allows filmmakers to forge deeper and more personal connections with fans.
A feature film seems like a highly creative and unique offering. Does this mean that “the sky is practically the limit” when it comes to NFTs (mediums)?
NFTs are incredibly versatile. The successful sale of the first 11 ZERO CONTACT NFTs showcased how creative studios can be with their offerings. The assets, created by CurrencyWorks on VUELE, include the feature-length film that the purchaser can watch on the VUELE platform as well as highly sought-after content such as crypto art and behind-the-scenes footage. The NFTs grossed more than US$90,000.00 – demonstrating that digital collectibles are a viable revenue stream for the film industry.
This initial sale is a significant advancement for film distribution and digital collectibles. Instead of offering ZERO CONTACT on its own, we are already able to package high-profile films with exclusive entertainment content. A lot of work goes into each film. VUELE allows studios to celebrate the entire process with their fans rather than just the final product.”
How hard was it to convince Sir Anthony Hopkins to get involved in such a project?
Before ZERO CONTACT, Anthony Hopkins worked with Rick Dugdale and the Enderby Entertainment team on the 2015 film Blackway. Seeing NFTs surge in popularity, the pair decided to break new ground with ZERO CONTACT. Instead of only a traditional theatrical release, they made history by exclusively premiering the film as an NFT on VUELE.
We are thrilled that VUELE’s first film features such a high-profile star. It is a massive endorsement for what CurrencyWorks and Enderby see as the next frontier for Hollywood and how studios will premiere feature-length films as well as merchandise collectibles surrounding the films produced.
How was the production process like for ZERO CONTACT and were you excited about the outcome?
We are beyond thrilled with how ZERO CONTACT turned out. Instead of seeing the COVID-19 global pandemic as a hurdle, Rick and the Enderby team saw it as an opportunity to use technology to create something truly unique and relatable given the circumstances.
Using video conferencing software, the team was able to shoot the film in 17 different countries without compromising the health and safety of those involved. Rick told me that innovation was key during the entire filmmaking process and that it only made sense for ZERO CONTACT to continue its ground-breaking trajectory by revolutionizing the way Hollywood films are premiered, viewed, and shared utilizing blockchain technology powered by CurrencyWorks.
As far as being a film goes, this particular project is centred towards an NFT platform. How does it feel not being able to showcase the production to a wider audience?
The platform does not take anything away from what fans experience today and as demonstrated, ZERO CONTACT offers fans and collectors a rare opportunity to acquire a piece of film history.
Instead of just watching the movie in theatres or on a streaming service, a select group of people will be able to actually own a copy of it. Having a ZERO CONTACT NFT in one’s collection will make them the envy of fans that do not.
Collecting is part of the human psyche. The success and growing popularity of NFTs shows that people are looking for ways to prove ownership over certain digital assets. We live in a world full of talented and creative people. NFTs give us a chance to support creators and truly own pieces that resonate with us.
Powered by CurrencyWorks, VUELE is setting a new standard for how filmmakers can celebrate their work with their fans. We are focused on building communities where people genuinely care about the digital collectibles being offered and what they represent.
How was the interest for ZERO CONTACT and does it spur for more similar projects for VUELE in the future?
We have received an incredible amount of interest in our ZERO CONTACT NFT offerings from both fans and major studios. The first 11 NFTs CurrencyWorks created on VUELE grossed nearly six figures. A prominent NFT collector and fan of Anthony Hopkins’ work purchased the one-of-one Platinum Edition NFT for nearly US$57,000.
The results of our initial sale demonstrated that fans and collectors understand how historic this moment is for the film industry. We are scheduling another ZERO CONTACT NFT drop in November. Each drop is designed to uniquely capture this revolutionary moment for Hollywood.
Do you feel there is enough interest to create and maintain a film NFT ecosystem or marketplace?
Absolutely. In an increasingly digital world, studios are looking for new ways to connect with fans and consumers want more and more authentic offerings / options to engage with. While many of us have traded in our DVD and Blu-Ray collections for monthly subscriptions to streaming services, NFTs are creating exciting opportunities to once again own exclusive memorabilia associated with a specific actor, film, or franchise.
In order to maintain a film NFT ecosystem or marketplace, the proper infrastructure is required. VUELE is an all-in-one platform that handles the creation, distribution, viewing and exchange of feature film NFTs. Studios can decide how many NFTs of the film they want to distribute and if they want to package it with highly sought-after content such as crypto art or behind-the-scenes footage. Filmmakers also have full control over the price and the timing of the NFT drops. It is then up to fans and collectors to pay for the digital collectibles, which they can watch, collect, sell or trade on VUELE.
Depending on the size and frequency of the drops, strategic exchange opportunities can be created. Motoclub, CurrencyWorks’ NFT platform for exclusive automobile collectibles, continues to sell NFT packs containing a variety of assets. In order for automotive enthusiasts to complete their collection for a specific vehicle, they have to trade with other Motoclub members to get the digital collectibles they are looking for or buy the NFT off them if they are willing to sell it.
The same is true for the ZERO CONTACT NFT drops. Each offering uniquely captures this historic moment in film history. In order for fans of Anthony Hopkins to have the ultimate collection, they will have to trade VUELE members for the desired digital collectible on the platform or purchase it from them.
Will the film serve as a template for how films are made, marketed and distributed for the future?
I think it showcases the important role NFTs can play in the future of film distribution. Since the dawn of cinema, technology has reshaped how movies are made, viewed and shared. Studios can debut a film exclusively as an NFT on VUELE or distribute digital collectibles on the platform alongside a traditional theatrical release.
The successful sale of the first 11 ZERO CONTACT NFTs, which grossed more than $90,000.00 USD, shows that digital collectibles are an effective marketing tool for the film industry and a significant revenue stream. Several major studios are closely following the ZERO CONTACT NFT drops – looking at ways to integrate NFTs into their marketing and distribution plans.
ZERO CONTACT is an important step towards our goal of developing VUELE into the largest platform, marketplace and community for film NFTs. We are determined to make VUELE a new cornerstone in the film industry ecosystem.
(Images: VUELE and CurrencyWorks)