Enderby Entertainment’s pandemic pic Zero Contact (formerly called 92) with Anthony Hopkins (The Father) will premiere on new NFT platform Vuele later this summer, possibly the first times a feature-length film — versus, say, a basketball highlight clip — is offered for sale as a so-called non-fungible token.
Vuele, which means to be a direct-to-consumer NFT viewing and distribution platform, was formed last month amid a cryto-NFT craze. It will let users buy exclusive, limited edition films and collector content to watch, collect, sell and trade on the platform, which is a partnership between fintech firm CurrencyWorks and producer Enderby Entertainment. People can pay for the film with cryptocurrency or regular credit cards.
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Produced in 17 different territories entirely virtually during the 2020 global pandemic, Zero Contact, script by Cam Cannon, follows five characters around the world connected only by their devotion to tech titan Finley Hart (Hopkins). They are forced to work together to shut down Hart’s secret invention, a machine that is either the solution to mankind’s problems or the end of life on earth. Veronica Ferres, Aleks Paunovic, Lilly Krug, TJ Kayama and Martin Sternmark also star.
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“Everything about this film is unconventional, from the way we shot it using Zoom and remote production, to its distribution,” said producer/director Rick Dugdale of Enderby. He said Vuele will have four or five “drops” of Zero Contact with the first likely in late July-early August. They’ll include the film, plus extras still to be determined that would vary from token to token to create different price points. The idea is to develop a marketplace for the NFTs, which are basically digital assets placed on an encrypted blockchain with unique serial numbers.
“It creates scarcity in copies of the film, and protects against piracy,” said Dugdale.
NFTs shot to prominence in March when the artist Beeple sold a collage at Christie’s for $69 million as an NFT. Dozens of NFT platforms have launched since for fine art, sports, music, games and entertainment. By some accounts, the NFT market has cooled a bit since then but it’s still significant (sales were $2.47 billion in the first half of 2021, according to data by DappRadar which tracks the industry, and new entrants continue to pop up.
NFT platform Chronicle recently hired former Universal Pictures global, digital marketing chief Doug Neil as chief marketing and brand officer.
Vuele is basically an experiment aiming to create a new revenue stream for the industry. “We said, ‘It could be a new platform, let’s take the risk and do it with our own film,’” said Dugdale.