How to Support Independent Filmmakers? Put Their Movies on the Blockchain

Is Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook following in the footsteps of CinemaWell, a 2.0 decentralised platform of online cinemas?

That’s certainly a question that remains to be answered, but it appears that he’s thinking along the same lines.

Four years ago, CinemaWell.com launched as an Internet Video Co-Viewing (IVCV) platform, providing the space for filmmakers to launch themselves into the digital world, making it the first social network of online cinemas.

Now, the online cinema has prepared its 2.0 version, which leverages blockchain technology to connect independent filmmakers and keen film viewers from around the world in one place.

Due to launch at the end of April, beginning of May, the decentralised platform will reward both filmmakers and viewers with its ApplauseCash token (APLC). By jumping on the blockchain bandwagon, CinemaWell is giving users a unique opportunity to earn APLC coins for reviewing and watching films.

Access to Nontraditional Movies

Not only that, but according to its white paper, viewers will have access to a diverse range of content that they would not otherwise see, simply because the films never find their way into traditional cinemas. Via its IVCV platform, users can watch the same film at the same time from one online theatre.

Moviegoers will be able to meet and interact with other viewers, take part in group chats before or during the films, invite friends, or simply make new friends who are watching the same movies while being paid to do so. In turn, it fosters a relationship between viewers who have similar interests regardless of where they are in the world.

Win-Win Situation

And unlike video content platforms such as YouTube, filmmakers can make a profit instead of relying on advertisers to monetize, creating a win-win situation. They will be able to sell tickets to their premiers to unlimited worldwide online viewers priced in APLC, set the price and date for when the film will begin, get access to viewer feedback, and see viewing numbers.

Additionally, filmmakers may use a crowdfunding feature to raise money for the development of future films. If the cinema owner doesn’t own the copyright to the content being shared then a basic account is assigned and the tickets are free.

In such a competitive industry, CinemaWell is aiming to bridge the gap between independent filmmakers and viewers.

Each year there are around 6,000 film festivals worldwide, with participation from over 100,000 film directors; however, only a small percentage of films reach the big screen. Notably, it’s estimated that only around 100 films from a festival make it to the retail market. With massive competition from large film productions, independent filmmakers must spend huge amounts of money to market their films.

Unfortunately, this often means that high quality films that lack funding never make it to the cinemas. Yet, while filmmaking is still largely dominate in the cinematic industry, independent filmmakers are making themselves known.

According to Festival Genius, the software that tracks independent film festival content, it found that 6.4 million viewers watched 70,000 independent films in 2017. Seeing a gap within the market, CinemaWell is seeking to create a network of cinemas that isn’t monopolised by major film companies.

Facebook Wants a Piece of the Pie

It is because of these tools that Facebook has been watching the developments of CinemaWell closely. So much so, that the California-based social network has announced plans for similar tools: the co-viewing, or in Facebook’s case, the Watch Party, a Facebook integration where friends can watch shows together, and the use of a decentralised force to put power back into people’s hands. Both Zuckerberg and Fidji Simo, Facebook’s Product VP, have made announcements stating their intention to incorporate them into Facebook in 2018.

Notably, Facebook has already expressed an interest in the purchase of CinemaWell when the concept of posting movie-like videos on the social media platform wasn’t possible. According to a 2014 report from Crunchbase, $95 million was the asking price; however, Serge Petrov, founder of CinemaWell neither confirmed nor denied the rumours. The similarities between the two are evident.

Now with CinemaWell on track to launch it 2.0 platform later this year, it will be interesting to see what interest this raises from Facebook. What offer will it be willing to put on the table? Moreover, CinemaWell is increasing its appeal factor with its own dating feature on its platform.

With Facebook focused on rebuilding connections with friends and family combined with CinemaWell’s co-viewing movie platform and dating features, will Facebook be tempted to approach the company again?

The ICO is now live and will last until 28th February, with 1 APLC token valued at 0.001 ETH. The total supply of ApplauseCash tokens is 300 million. Three percent is split equally between the pre-ICO, the bounty campaign, and the advisory board while 144 million, or 48 percent, is allocated to the ICO.

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