To preface my inquiry, please do allow me to offer a brief background about myself. I am a 3x Emmy-Nominated filmmaker based in Los Angeles and working in the Hollywood film industry. I am a member of the Motion Picture Editor’s Guild and am often working on documentary projects – most recently on a feature-length film with Oscar-Nominated producers, which was recently acquired by a notable studio for wide distribution.
Phew! Now that I’ve gotten the cringy humble-brag stuff out of the way, it should be noted that this knowledge is presented only to lend credence to my experience in this specific area as it pertains to my small grants proposal.
I am currently developing an episodic documentary series titled “JPGs Against Humanity”, the story structure of which shares parallels to the popular show “Chef’s Table” on Netflix. The name originally started as an obvious tongue-in-cheek reference to the card game, but has since taken on a deeper meaning for me as I document the multitude of ways in which NFT culture has become a war of attrition pitting deeply-flawed artists against powerful status-quo enemies standing in the way of global adoption. Those “foes” may include financial struggles, mental health issues, and socialization difficulties.
The series is intended to onboard a generation of artists and art collectors who are completely unfamiliar with blockchain technology. It will shine a light on issues that “privileged” nations are oblivious to, such as how much of the world lives in extreme poverty and are unbanked – people for whom the ability to sell a single NFT for $10 and receive funds in a MetaMask wallet can be life-changing. We will focus primarily on artists and NFT communities with origin stories outside of those “first-world” countries so that rich cultural traditions can be preserved on camera and we can show how those have influenced our most cherished NFT pieces.
With this general overview of the series in mind, I’d like to present a concept for a pilot episode that cross-promotes Nouns with a female Ecuadorian artist whose artwork and imaginative lore bears a striking resemblance to Nouns! This is Uman (@worldofumans on Twitter):
NFT communities can proliferate rapidly when presented to collectors of similar values and interests, and it is my thesis that Nouns and Umans have much in common. BitUmans in particular can be observed as having similar traits, including some with glasses very much akin to the iconic symbol of the Nouns.
One primary obstacle to global adoption is education, and despite the immense strides that have been made in the last few years, many people still view crypto and NFTs through the lens of being a giant ponzi scheme wrought with low-effort scams. Words like decentralization, governance, and even blockchain itself are complete gibberish. This film series will add much needed context to the web3 space by educating people on these concepts in a subtle manner; that is to say, they’ll be wrapped up in stories of art, culture, and history, which are much more digestible and relatable to the average person. It will also demonstrate how NFTs unite people together and help individuals “find their tribe” in a strange online world that is refreshingly devoid of identity politics.
If any of this logic resonates on an emotional level with the Nouns community, I welcome a public discussion about my goals with this project. But the TL;DR here is: I believe there is an impactful opportunity to continue growing the Nouns community by funding a feature-length documentary episode that is paired with the story of Uman. As a filmmaker, I am driven to offer a cinematic experience that will put much of this space into perspective for those outsiders who may look down on us.
The production of this documentary episode can be funded almost entirely with ETH and USDC by using crypto-friendly vendors for the services we need. For example, Travala can be used to book our crew’s travel to/from Ecuador. This would be just one city on the agenda of course, because the story of Nouns would need to be equally documented! To that end, we would welcome the Nounders as story producers to cooperatively shape the narrative and help discover the overlapping histories of a Nouns x Umans collaboration.
Other expenses include camera equipment rentals, crew rates, meals, hotels, and all post-production in Los Angeles. I estimate that these expenses would total about $50,000 USDC (or about 40 ETH at the time of writing).
As a final presentation of my thoughts, I will leave you all with a teaser trailer for “JPGs Against Humanity”. The focus of this trailer is for a completely different episode, but should still imbue you with a sense of confidence in my ability to deliver an uplifting message that the NFT/crypto space sorely needs right now. I expect that, given recent market tremors, many “doom docs” will be coming – and my mission is to combat those with a reminder of why we fight to change the world through code.