Proposal: NEW HERE Documentary Film x Nouns Partnership

I’M NEW HERE - a feature film, an NFT odyssey

Goal: Proliferate Nouns within the leading non-fiction film about the emergent NFT movement.

First Official Teaser:


  • I’M NEW HERE is a hybrid narrative documentary feature film capturing the transformative power of crypto-art, from Sundance award-winning director, Dan Sickles (Dina, Mala Mala), and producing team that includes Academy Award-nominated Producer, Shane Boris (Edge of Democracy, Navalny.)
  • The film features top NFT talent
    • We’ve filmed +90 interviews with top NFT artists + crypto disrupters to date.
  • Award-winning filmmakers with proven track-record in film sales
    • Sundance & Tribeca award-winning Director
    • Producers’ credits include: Academy Award nomination, and NYT Critic’s Pick
    • We have distributed previous work on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon, Criterion.
    • With I’M NEW HERE, we aim to secure the widest distribution deal possible for the film.
  • Secured crypto-native partnerships
    • Secured a $1M grant from a major crypto-backer


We are proposing a $200,000 (~200E) Nouns & I’M NEW HERE Partnership Grant that celebrates Nouns within and beyond the feature film. The partnership has four key elements:

  1. Crafting high-quality Nouns animations
  2. Building a Nouns-themed virtual environment for the film
  3. Featuring a Nouns character within the movie. This Noun would be donated by the DAO as part of the partnership.
  4. Promoting the DAO within the film’s main company credits as well as in our PR communication.


  • Create premium, animated sequences that center the Nouns and CC0 narrative as told by 4156’s avatar. Note: the team interviewed 4156 in June 2022.

    • These assets will be open source and made available to the community.
    • In partnership with award-winning animation studio Nice Monster TV, our acclaimed cinematographers Adam Uhl and Bruce Thierry Cheung, whose films have premiered at Sundance, Venice, and Toronto Film Festivals will lead creative development.


  • Design and Build a “Nouns Virtual World Gallery” that will:

    • Be the location of our interview with 4156
    • Exist in both our film (as an Unreal Project) as well as be deployed online as a public virtual world.
    • Be offered to the community for events.


  • Donation of a Noun NFT that can be integrated into the film as its own character.
    • the Noun NFT will be a key fictional character in the film.
    • the Noun will appear as “The Director” - a filmmaker interested in the ideals of CC0 and open source creative collaboration.


We will publicize the partnership as follows:

  • The DAO’s logo will be featured within the film’s main company credits
  • In press announcements
  • On social media with custom teaser content


  • Nouns has established an exceptional reputation as a patron of innovative Crypto + Web3 endeavors. This is an opportunity to showcase Nouns’ vision and cultural impact to a new mainstream audience.
  • The Nouns community will have an exclusive sneak-preview of the Nouns sequences.
  • Credit and publicity for the DAO as a project supporter within the film credits and on social.
  • Community will be able to use and share our open-source animated character models and environments.



Driven by curiosity and a growing disillusionment with the status quo, an isolated internet-user, ROOKIE, falls down the rabbit-hole of cryptocurrency and NFTs. On their kaleidoscopic journey, they encounter visionaries, dreamers, and revolutionaries who weave together a narrative of the most important emerging art movement of our time and the colliding ideals that it embodies.

As they explore the metaverse and meet the most influential creators of its culture, they confront the chaos and beauty of the virtual world and find a newfound appreciation for humanity.

Visual Language

Part desktop documentary, part dreamscape, the film will blend live-action and animation to mirror the increasingly blurred lines between the physical and the virtual.



Current Cast




Final 2_1.mp4

Check out for additional cast announcements.


  • The total film budget is $3.25M.
  • To date, we have received a $1M grant from a major crypto platform.
  • We are fundraising the remaining $2.25M through a combination of grants, equity financing, and our NFT drop, “WE’RE NEW HERE” (learn more here:

Timeline and Milestones

PHASE 1: (July-September 2023)

  • Design / Build Animation Models for 4156 and other featured Nouns for the Film
    • Character Design
    • Rigging and Texturing
    • Facial Expressions
  • Edit Rough Cut of 4156 Interview
  • MILESTONE 1 - Fund 45% of the proposed grant

PHASE 2: (September-December 2023)

  • Design / Build of the Nouns Virtual Space
    • Collaborate with a Virtual Architect
    • Design Nouns themed gallery for the film
    • Deploy the Nouns themed gallery onto a an open source metaverse such as Webaverse
  • MILESTONE 2 - Fund 45% of the proposed grant

PHASE 3: (January-March 2023)

  • Edit 1st Cut of the Film
  • Share sneak-preview of the Nouns sequences of the film with Nouns Community
  • MILESTONE 3 - Fund 10% of the proposed grant

Team Bios

Our film production team has deep experience with creating critically acclaimed film work


  • Filmmakers have successful track record with past films that achieved wide release such as Dina, Fire of Love, Mala Mala, Navalny, and Edge of Democracy (nominated for Academy Award.)


Dan Sickles is an Internationally award-winning film director, writer, and producer, known for DINA (Sundance Grand Jury Prize 2017, International Documentary Association - Best Feature Film 2017) and MALA MALA (TriBeCa Audience Award Winner 2014, GLAAD Award Nominee 2015.)


DINA (2017) - Sundance, Grand Jury Prize

MALA MALA (2017) - Tribeca Film Festival

Film Work:


Shane Boris is an Academy-Award nominated producer, focusing on films that push the boundaries of conventional forms in order to tell timeless stories. He was nominated for an Oscar for the 2020 film The Edge of Democracy. His latest films include NAVALNY and FIRE OF LOVE, which both premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.


NAVALNY (2022) - Sundance 2022, Audience Award and Festival Favorite Award

FIRE OF LOVE (2022) - Sundance 2022, Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award

EDGE OF DEMOCRACY (2020) - Academy Award Nominated, Best Documentary


Bruce Cheung’s feature film debut, Don’t Come Back From the Moon, was a New York Times Critics’ Pick and won the Jury Prize for Directing at the Los Angeles Film Festival. His cinematography credits include the narrative series This Close (Sundance Film Festival) and the upcoming Modern Love Tokyo (Amazon Studios.)


DON’T COME BACK FROM THE MOON (2019) - Los Angeles Film Festival, Special Jury Prize for Directing

THIS CLOSE (Sundance Film Festival) (2018-2019)

Film Work:


Hannah is an independent filmmaker who delights in pushing the boundaries of non-fiction storytelling. Commercially, she has produced video-led campaigns for The Malala Fund, the United Nations, Alicia Keys, and the World Food Program. Hannah holds an MFA in TransDisciplinary Design from Parsons School of Design, where she also teaches a Design Activism Studio.




Film Work:

a bunch of image links are broken fyi

were you already in talks with 4156 about doing this film when you did the interview? curious how the two events are connected

So is this an investment, a sponsorship, or is it paying for Nouns to have a more prominent role in the plot like product placement? If the former, how are you marketing and distributing the movie? Do you anticipate $3 million in revenue to make this a sustainable venture? I’m not sure why, but I just can’t quite seem to grasp the relationship here.

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Hey @krel and @AndrewLaddusaw! Thanks for checking out the proposal and for your thoughtful q’s.

I’m one of the producers on the movie, and wanted to respond to your questions and comments!

  1. Re: 4156- yes, when we interviewed him for the movie in June, he knew it was for this movie and that he was being interviewed as a cast-member.

  2. Re: @AndrewLaddusaw’s questions:
    A) on the nature of this proposal – this is strictly a sponsorship proposal. It is not an investment or product placement opp. The $200K in proposed funding goes towards the overall production of the movie; however, we named the Nouns-specific production/story details we’re working towards, so the community can better see the relationship between our movie and the community.

B) Re: marketing and distribution: As of now, we’re aiming to premiere at Sundance '24, and we will work with a sales team to get the film sold upon its entry to the festival circuit. We have distributed previous work on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon, Criterion, and we have a proven track record of turning a profit on our films. We aim to secure the widest distribution deal possible for the film.

Hey @feverdreamer.eth thanks for the proposal. I’m an executive producer of indie feature films, so welcome to Nouns! The main questions I have are–

  • What if you don’t get into Sundance? What’s the plan? I know your a past winner but whats the backup plan?

  • What are the titles of the past projects you have distributed via “Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon, Criterion”? Did someone on your team distribute them directly, or did you work with a third party?

  • You mentioned a sales team, who are they, what is their rate (in proportionality to budget), and what past successes have they had?

  • As far as the documentary subject it seems like I’M NEW HERE has over 90+ interviews with artists and disruptors. That’s a ton of content, what is the main theme or thread that connects Nouns and how much anticipated screen time will Nouns have?

  • Budget - The budget looks to be $3.25 Million USD. Can you provide a simple pie chart of your budget break downs and costs? I.e. 10% for Development, 20% for Pre-production, etc. And what is your largest anticipated expense?

Cheers and thanks for posting this! Keep it up!



Hey @rekola would love to check out some of your work!

To answer some of your questions: our team has experience not only at Sundance, but at virtually every major festival. Besides Sundance, there are lots of great festivals where we could premiere the film, and it may receive offers for distribution before Sundance which may affect a festival premiere altogether. I’ve also premiered films at TriBeCa and Cannes and have great experiences at both. Success isn’t dependent on one festival, merely this is what timing looks like for us to submit a near-complete cut, and we have strong ties with the Institute and Festival. The plan is to get the film distributed once it’s complete. Working the festival circuit is what we’re familiar with, and would provide a great opportunity to bring the CryptoArt community further into the traditional film space.

I’ve personally sold my films to Netflix, Hulu, and Criterion. Criterion licensed two of my films, Netflix globally licensed MALA MALA, Hulu licensed DINA. Other producers on my team have worked directly with HBO and Amazon. I negotiated a few of those deals myself for MALA MALA, a sales agent and myself negotiated some for DINA. Happy to go into more detail, though it gets a bit granular.

A sales representative is a typical role for any independent film. I’m personally repped by UTA and they sell films all the time, Rhea Myers is a pro at this and they want to sell this film, though I’ve also worked with Submarine Entertainment, and they’re fantastic as well. The final decision for this role will be made closer to the films completion.

90+ interviews IS a lot, and that’s my process of doing the necessary research to make a film about a complex topic. I spent 3.5 years making my first film, MALA MALA, and that was a necessary part of the process for that film. A goal for this film is to showcase a wide spectrum of communities within this ecosystem, and to tell that story in various ways. Apart from including the voices of a few Nouners as well as 4156, certain animated characters will help guide this story. This is where I anticipate Nouns coming in. Apart from 4156’s interview being animated so they can appear as a full-bodied Noun, I’d love the world of the film to be full of Nouns, as they represent one of the most potent and vibrant communities in the space.

Happy to pontificate about why I personally love the Nouns project and feel as though a Nouns character-as-guide would align well with the values of the film, though that feels like another post/phone call.

We can provide a pie graph/breakdown of the budget ASAP.

Thanks for the great questions!

While I look forward to seeing the film, I don’t plan to vote for this proposal with current terms.

This seems lower leverage than the Stoopid Buddy proposal because:

  1. a wide variety of communities will be featured, diluting the noun-specific impact
  2. the proposal is sponsorship-only

The proposal also requests a noun, which nearly doubles the effective cost.

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its unclear how large of a role nouns will play — are you intentionally keeping that vague as plans are not finalized and/or may depend on this prop passing?

(on a personal note: it would be a turn-off for me to see nouns side by side with projects like BAYC, which I’m guessing would be the case here?)

please do! as it stands, i cant support this prop and current ask unfortunately

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Hey @willprice thanks for your input.
“A rising tide lifts all boats,” as the saying goes. There are many great artists and communities within this ecosystem, though the voices in this film extend beyond the top sellers as @krel mentions in their comment.

Stuart Haber and Scott Stornetta, creators of blockchain tech, are collaborating with us on this film. We’re also highlighting the great work of thinkers like Joe Looney (Rare Pepes), Judy Mam (, John Zettler (Rare Art Labs), Rhea Meyers, Sarah Meyohas, Cypherpunk Now, Jason Bailey…these are all brilliant artists and minds who quite literally ushered in the era we’re now celebrating. Surely they deserve a place in a film about this space. This is an ensemble film, as the history of this space (in my opinion) shouldn’t only come from one source or project. I don’t believe this dilutes the involvement of Nouns as much as honors them by placing them in conversation with a pantheon of ingenious humans and ideas. To the same point, none of these artists are operating a treasury comparable to NounsDAO, so this is an opportunity to support this ensemble (which includes NounsDAO) and be recognized for that support in perpetuity.

@krel the film is currently in-production, and it’s a non-fiction film, so the outline will continue to evolve well into the editing process. One example where we’ll be playing with Nouns is in our interstitial moments, which will feature animation. As the rest of the cast comes together, that will affect how interstitials are used, so it’s a bit too early for me to comment on exact usage. We’ve also filmed all of our interviews in green-screen studios, so each environment will need to be fleshed out and will also include animations in the background. Imagine 4156 speaking as a full-bodied Noun with a playground of Nouns hanging out in the background :slight_smile: in order to achieve this work in high-fidelity, we need to raise the budget.

@krel - As far as why I love NounsDAO: 4156, David Horvath, and Gremplin taught me everything I know about the power of CC0 and networked communities, then manifested it through NounsDAO. I watched this project come to life last summer, and was so taken with the concept that I learned how to use Rinkeby Testnet in an effort to support the build (a new thing for me at the time). While I can’t yet afford a Noun, my Horvath and Gremplin pieces are some of my most-cherished, and this is why we also featured Cryptoadz in the teaser.
For me, NounsDAO embodies the ambitious and experimental spirit of the space: it’s decentralized, imaginative, built with with purpose, and fun.
This is why we’ve already contributed resources into including Nouns in the teaser for the film, this is why I was so excited to interview 4156, and I’m excited to interview David.

NEW HERE will be honoring the work NounsDAO does regardless of the outcome of this proposal, period. If we agree that there’s a need to communicate more about the context of this space and all the great work within it to a larger audience, we’d be honored to have NounsDAO credited accordingly as a supporter of the film. If we believe that it’d be valuable for Nouns to live in the same film as thinkers like Rhea Meyers, Erick Calderon, Raoul Pal, Mighty Moose, MOCA etc, even better! Nouns will be there either way.

This proposal is a gauge to see whether or not this community believes our endeavor is important enough to support with the resources required to make it great. As an admirer of everything this DAO has built, it would be an honor.

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thanks for the thoughtful reply

your love for this project and cc0/nouns comes through and, while not yet convinced, I’m somewhat more inclined to support this now

i still think the ask is somewhat steep, however —

  • i believe nouns might want to help sponsor this film, but not at 200E (plus noun?)
  • is there a way to turn this from a pure sponsorship to a proposal centered around the proliferation of nouns? not sure what that would be, but I’m searching for ways to more easily justify the pricetag

Hi @DanSickles here’s my quick and dirty follow-up thoughts:

  • You clearly are a solid filmmaker who knows how to execute.
  • You clearly respect Nouns and the larger web3 world.
  • You clearly are going to make a great doc.

My concerns:

  • Rewarding sponsorship proposals with a Noun is a bad idea to me. Money is fine but for something that doesn’t actively proliferate the meme on a massive daily basis, nouns are a limited resource and must be protected.
  • Where is the money actually going to? You are in production so you must have substantial funding in place. What is the cost of ATL? What is Post-costs etc. Can’t wait to see that pie chart
  • Is any other web3 community already committed financial sponsorship? Who are they?

Happy Medium Approach:

  • As a executive producer, maybe I’m thinking outside the box here, but is there a world where Nouns can fund the $200K USD further down the line. Say in distribution, when a final cut is available? That way we as a community can see it and y’all can have a guarantee towards distribution costs, theater rentals, marketing materials, etc. Is there a reason you need the funds now, immediately?
  • Maybe do something like splitting the proposal between $75K USD now for production costs, and then the remaining $125K will be voted on around distribution and approval of the cut?
  • Maybe do something like Nouns specific screenings. Meaning we agree the sponsorship fees goes towards industry press screenings, national screenings when time is ready, and more. That way even if nouns is in the story being the sponsor of the events that have press will push the meme further. Like a nouns funded roadshow.

Any-ways, I’m torn as is. I like the project. Is this a competent filmmaking team? Yes. Does this fully proliferate the meme? To some extent, but not enough in my eyes. This is a sponsorship proposal. Yet you ask for a Noun when we’re already CC0. If you need more money-- ask. I’d like to see some evolution on the proposal and quote unquote business plan to proliferate the meme and where the money is actually being spent.

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I see where this proposal is headed and I just needed to hop in and express how disheartening these responses are from the Nouns community.
Here’s an excellent team that has actually delivered high-quality, awarded work in the past. They’ve already spent time on the ground, they’ve spoken with voices who are exclusive to the project, and yet the scrutiny applied to this great proposal is misguided at best.

@rekola I’m curious, what films have you EP’d and what were the budgets? As a veteran in the film industry myself I’m wondering what your experience is here.
This team has discussed distribution and their experience there, yet you propose setting aside a budget for distribution in response? If you’ve EP’d a film that’s sold to a theatrical distributor or streamer, you’d know there aren’t distribution costs associated with the film once it’s licensed, the film is licensed to be distributed. There are cases in which a distributor is paid to distribute a film, though 90% of the time that deal is coupled with a streaming deal to qualify the film for the awards circuit, and all of that (typically) is negotiated by a sales agent on behalf of the film team.
Unless I’m reading this wrong, the film team is asking for support to complete the film, not self-distribute it, of which your suggestion of $125k would do very little if self-distribution were the goal.

Compared to the other films Nouns has sponsored, this is a home run imo. This DAO has supported live-action films by first time directors thematically not at all related to crypto, yet somehow this proposal is received with skepticism. I applaud Dan and his team for responding patiently.

Overall, I worry that the wrong people are scrutinizing this project and the chances this proposal has to receive support will suffer for it. It’s important that this dialogue is on the record, I fear this myopia won’t age well for the NounsDAO community.

Seems like this DAO would much rather spend exorbitant money on short-term gags.

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I propose @noun22 make this a talking point on the next weekly call to get a broader range of perspectives.

This is fair, but please consider that Calladita was a 7 ETH ask and happened a lifetime ago in nouns time. I think its unwise to assume that everything the dao passed in the past, would also be passed today.

hi, thanks for the thoughtful proposal. i have read it over multiple times now and i am still unclear what this film is about or how Nouns would be featured in it. it sounds like you have done a lot of interviews with people in the NFT space, but do you have any details on what this film is actually about?

this proposal spends a lot of time on the credentials of the team (you all seem very impressive and talented) but beyond having a 4156 interview, i really have no idea what this film IS or what our funds would go towards.

this makes it sound like our $200k + Noun would go to pay for transition moments between scenes, and for a virtual background behind 4156 during his interview?

I don’t know who made a new account to post this, but it may not be the best strategy for you to belittle and threaten people in the DAO for asking questions for not blindly supporting this proposal. You are coming to US asking for almost $400k in funding, not the other way around.

I unfortunately do not support this proposal. I would potentially support it at a lower cost once we have more details on what this film is actually about and how Nouns will be integrated, beyond an interview you conducted with 4156.

Hey @noun22 thanks for hopping in!
To be honest, in a year pitching this project, we’ve rarely had an issue communicating what the film is about, so apologies if that’s been lost in the NounsDAO proposal, though the story overview is below from the original post. I’ve also reached out regarding the broken image links and am waiting to hear back.

More about the story can also be seen on our website at

Essentially this is a film within a film, telling the story of the emergent cryptoart space beginning with the creation of blockchain tech. Several artists and collections will be featured in terms of story arcs, and those arcs are coupled with an oral history (which requires a high quantity of interviews to accomplish).

What the money is going towards is production of the film, and that timeline is laid out here:

I’d say that interstitials are more than transitions, they’re actual mini-scenes (Adam McKay uses these very well, and they’re some of the most memeified and remembered moments in his films). These, in addition using Nouns in virtual backgrounds are two clear-cut examples I gave for how Nouns would be used, though there are other sections of the film in which the virtual world blends withe the non-virtual, and these moments will also include animation and characters (akin to Roger Rabbit). Again, there are a few Nouners apart from 4156 who have already been interviewed, and David Horvath is also on the schedule to be interviewed.

As for @Sundayze, I appreciate your support but I’m actually quite familiar with this dynamic.

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Hey @DanSickles,

Thanks again for your comments. I really do think y’all have a great team and would produce a great doc.

  1. Any update on that graph of cost breakdowns for the whole film?
  2. @Sundayze - I’m just asking probing questions to help myself and others.


understood. thank you for clarifying - i did read your first post. when i read the following quotes, i do not have a really good grasp on what this film is:

what i am asking is - what is the plot of this film? you reference the story - what is it? you have conducted a lot of interviews, but it doesn’t sound like the film’s plot is a single character going around and interviewing 90+ people in different NFT communities about the history of the space? your ‘teaser’ is just a bunch of people’s names. right now you are saying the protagonist goes on a journey and meets people, but i am hoping to understand the broader plot of the film, as well as Nouns role it in, before I would have enough information to consider funding such a large ask

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Curious @noun22 why you put my work in quotes. It’s a pretty universal sign of condescension, which I imagine you know.
The teaser you speak of has a lot more going on than “just a bunch of people’s names.” It’s a taste of the work we’ve done over the past year to get the community excited about the project, and includes the work of a lot of wonderful artists (Deafbeef being one of them). Coordinating all of that talent is a production feat in and of itself, though it’s your choice to disrespect it or deem it insufficient (this is your community forum after all).

As for what the film is “about.” It seems like you’re asking for a full treatment, which I can’t share publicly at this time, the same way a screenwriter wouldn’t publicly post their script publicly while in-production. I am, however, happy to walk though more of what’s happening in the film on a call or in another forum. I’ve mentioned two specific use-cases for Nouns in the film already.

For clarity, the film is centered around a new-users experience (hence the film-within-a-film container). As this user falls into the cryptosphere, they learn more about the space and various communities within it. We’ll be using this character’s laptop as a portal into interviews and scenes. In this way, it’s an experiential film, and we witness this user become a collector, create friendships, and ultimately afford their grail piece. A lot of this is also mentioned on our site

Thanks for your time.

Thank you everyone for your input and good questions on our proposal.

We are going to take your feedback, and we’re going to rethink this. We’ll soon post a v2.

— feverdreamer/ one of the I’M NEW HERE producers

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This feedback is all valid. I wish we framed it as “let’s figure out how to make this happen by having more detailed conversations and getting a better understanding of the moving parts and long term vision” vs “we don’t want it unless you can prove it’s worth it”.

Let’s be more creative about how to help get this over the finish line because this could be really cool. I totally understand what they’re saying with how the film plays out and uses Nouns as a narrative theme throughout the film. Almost as if it’s told through a Nounish perspective and framing all this craziness we’ve experienced as leading up to Nouns which is basically the end of the beginning of this first NFT boom.

If we embrace ideas like this and lean in, offer community support, rally a bit while also being critical just imagine what might happen? I’m 100% for candor and it’s everyones right to ask for as much clarity as they need but we have to find a way to do it that makes the creatives coming to us (a very real privilege) feel embraced and valued regardless of how the funding decision goes.

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