EXCLUSIVE: The world of crypto currency and non-fungible tokens is becoming increasingly mainstream – so much so that you can now buy your morning Starbucks using Bitcoin.
This world is now extending to television.
Beacon Pictures, the company behind long-running ABC drama Castle and feature films such as Air Force One, is developing what it calls the first scripted series about and financed by crypto.
The comedy Hold on for Dear Life is being developed as a 10-part series, with principal photography set to commence in August in Puerto Rico.
The show is being financed using blockchain technology – it will “tokenize” portions of its profits into a cryptocurrency token, built on Ethereum, a technology that is essentially digital money, allowing investors to receive pro rata net profits from the series directly into their digital wallets.
It will also mint non-fungible tokens (NFT) – one of the most buzzed about new technologies among digital investors – and will look to release an entire episode as an NFT.
It is the latest example of the entertainment world moving into this space; Starz’s American Gods released collectibles via NFT, rock band Kings of Leon recently launched an album using the technology, talent agency A3 Artists Agency set up a task force to monitor the sector, and artist Beeple sold a work via traditional auction house Christie’s for $69 million.
Beacon Pictures is currently in talks with broadcasters as well as showrunners and directors.
Hold on for Dear Life centers on a young tech founder, Mel, as she launches a token named after her best friend Aveer, who disappeared. Mel and a squad of misfits — Elvis the crypto anarchist, Bear the Lambo-bro, DiNo the digital nomad, Liberty the opensource purist and Satoshi — give their all in pursuit of Mel’s vision for the Aveer token. To do so, they must overcome enemies, centralized powers and FUD (Fear Uncertainty Doubt).
Casting is underway for the lead roles. Members of the crypto community — including tech billionaire Tim Draper; investor Jeremy Gardner; and Crystal Rose, founder of female-led blockchain company Sense — will have cameos.
The series was created by pseudo-anonymous crypto insider Suhh Toshee, who has contributed to the writers’ room. It is exec produced by Beacon Pictures’ Mark Pennell and MAP Group’s Christina Martin and Massimiliano Musina, whose credits include the Nicolas Cage feature Primal.
“Crypto is about community. The show is an extension of that community. So, we embraced the innovation by creating an opportunity for crypto entrepreneurs to participate in a show that reflects many of their own stories,” Pennell said. “As far as I know, this is the first mainstream TV show to be financed by Bitcoin and Ethereum.”