Nov 12th: We've reached our second stretch goal. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Our next goal is even cooler: Check out this video to get a glimpse where we want to go. Psssst, It's a top secret location!
Nov 8th: We've reached our first stretch goal. Wow! We now want to film in Berlin, one of the global crypto hotspots. Torsten is German, we have a German TV channel as partner and will talk to the most interesting people there. Our 2nd stretch goal: Help us make this shoot awesome ($3,300 AUD)
Nov 7th: Check out some of our videos here
Oct. 27th: We reached our goal!! You're awesome. Our first stretch goal ($6,200 AUD) is to visit and film inside a mining operation and discuss the issue of energy consumption, a point that crypto skeptics often bring up. Here is one way to look at it.
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Oct. 24th We're proud to announce that Screen Australia (the film commission) is supporting our documentary with a grant which will cover around 40% of the budget.
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Bitcoin has been called one of the most disruptive technologies of our times, threatening banks by building an alternative and decentralized currency system. Moreover, its “blockchain” could provide a blueprint for a better Internet - challenging the dominating technology giants. Despite this potential, Bitcoin is undergoing severe price volatility and the community is facing a bitter internal ‘civil war’. Moreover, much of the media coverage is often misinformed or misleading and the general public is still confused about the technology and its larger implications.
Can this technology, designed to operate independent of trust and within a decentralized network, really provide a robust alternative? Can it and the people behind it be trusted to secure elections, prevent financial meltdowns and keep our private information safe? Or are cryptocurrencies just as unfairly distributed, easily manipulated and dangerous as our current systems? Join award-winning filmmaker Torsten Hoffmann four years after his first Bitcoin documentary on his journey to find the answers to these important questions that may redefine the future of the Internet (web3.0).
With the proliferation of the Internet, the power of Governments and large tech corporations has reached unprecedented levels. In fact, in the past few years...
- Our privacy has been jeopardized,
- Our social media weaponized,
- And our democracies compromised
... leaving some to wonder whether technology itself lies at the core of the problem.
Now, the big brains (and big egos) who brought us Bitcoin claim that they are building a cyber utopia, where we can take back control of our privacy, run unhackable elections, and break free from the shackles of existing institutions. Can blockchains live up to this bold promise and ... or has the movement lost steam amidst scaling problems, consumer confusion, price crashes and internal debates within the community?
And why does this all somehow sound familiar?
Also: How come, these guys really don't like Bitcoin?
OUR FIRST FILM
The production of “Bitcoin: The End Of Money As We Know It” started in January of 2014 in Miami, New York, London, Cambridge, Melbourne, and Toronto. We successfully raised A$17,362 via a small Kickstarter campaign in July 2014 and otherwise self-funded the project. We released the film in July 2015 (BTC @ $280) and it quickly became one of the most pirated documentaries of the year. @TheEndOfMoney went viral: 2,300 Facebook fans, 104,000 Tweet impressions, and 1,500 upvotes on Reddit.
Torsten was even on Randi Zuckerberg’s show (and many other radio shows and crypto podcasts) to talk about the film. This generated approximately 500,000 downloads via BitTorrent, Vimeo On Demand, Amazon Prime, and iTunes. Our fans created more than 20 ‘unauthorized’ subtitle versions. Our IMDb rating has been consistently at 7.1 with 750 votes and 81 critics - not bad for an independent first-time filmmaker! In 2015 and 2016 we also won four awards at international film festivals. We supported public screenings in 12 countries at meetups, educational events at startup hubs, incubators, technology conferences, accountant associations, university lectures, etc.
We are most proud about our reach via traditional media because we promised to make a film for everybody. These are some of the broadcasters, TV channels and media platforms that have licensed the documentary.
On these platforms we have reached audiences in developing countries like Kenya, Lebanon, and the Philippines as well as in crypto-hotspots like South Korea, Sweden, or China, ... 40 countries in total. Here's the alphabetical list:
And that’s not all. We also went airborne: These Asian and Middle Eastern airlines showed @TheEndOfMoney in their in-flight entertainment systems.
But here’s what should get you excited: Our first film was released more than 3 years ago. Since then, the price of Bitcoin has increased by a factor of 30. And the interest in the topic as well as the size of our audience has grown by a factor of 10 - at least. Imagine if we could reach 10 times more people than 3 years ago. Let’s go mainstream, baby!
PRODUCTION PLAN AND TIMING
First, let us be clear: Our new documentary CRYPTOPIA will be very different from "Bitcoin: The End of Money As We Know It" where we focused on the history of money, economics, central banking and Bitcoin. This time, we work with a higher production budget, better creative ideas and with a much bigger scope. We'll get to know the experts in depth, cover actual applications of the blockchain and discuss the decentralization of the Internet. Luckily, we’re already in the finishing stages of production after filming on three continents and have sources of funding. Please do help us bring the project over the line at the best possible quality level!
Depending on budgets, we're still planning shoots in Germany, Switzerland, China and Australia (and will let you know once we have confirmed). Here are some behind-the-scenes impressions from our productions in March, April, and August.
Many of the leading figures of the crypto community know us from 2014 and have been generous with their time again. The most influential speakers, developers and experts of the industry are part of our film. The most controversial companies and spokespersons have agreed to interviews and the list is growing still. We also spent a lot of time with the journalist & podcaster-extraordinaire Laura Shin who is helping us and our audience to make sense of this fascinating technology and the people behind it. Oh, did we mention that we even interviewed one of the fathers of the Internet (TCP/IP) who shared his words of wisdom on camera with us?
Check out some of our favorite quotes from more than 20 interviews:
Of course, we have a great archive of "historical" interviews from 2014 incl.
Vitalik Buterin, Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Michael Terpin, Jeffrey Tucker, Trace Mayer, Roger Ver, Joseph Vaughn Perling, Diego Gutierrez, Paul Vigna, Michael Casey, Bruce Fenton, Bernard von NotHaus, Nicolas Cary, Naomi Brockwell, David A. Johnston, Matt Miller, Max Wright, Elizabeth Ploshay, Ryan Zhou, Stephan Livera, Ben Dyson, Nicholas Gruen, Mark Bainbridge, Domenic Carosa, Nikki Scevac, Sam Lee, Juan Llanos, James Canning, Eric Benz, Dr. Monica Barrat, Rui Rodrigues, Eric Spano, and many more.
In the past few months we have interviewed: Laura Shin, Andreas Antonopolous, Samson Mow, Charlie Lee, Roger Ver, Vinny Lingham, Preethi Kasireddy, cryptograffiti, Wences Casares, Da Hongfei, Jimmy Nguyen, Dr. Robert Kahn, Lucas Cullen, Jamie Skella, Marc Weber, Jerry Chan, and many more.
Torsten Hoffmann (German). In many ways, Torsten has been working on this story for 9 years: In 2010, during his MBA studies at Oxford University (ChristChurch College) with a specialization on Finance and Entrepreneurship, he published a paper about alternative (paper) currencies (download). Unfortunately he missed Bitcoin then and only discovered it in 2013. He wrote, produced, and co-directed "Bitcoin: The End Of Money As We Know It", his debut film, in 2014/2015. Torsten is a technology geek, has founded several media start-ups and is a consultant, advisor and board-member of several technology companies. His additional producer and executive producer credits include Ancient Angkor (Discovery Canada), Denali4k (NHK Japan), Kalahari Meerkats (Germany), Baboon Diaries (CCTV China), Khumbu Valley (Korea Telecom) and several Virtual Reality projects. Torsten is active on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Michael Watchulonis (American). 18 year veteran of the factual television and entertainment industry as an award-winning writer, director and producer with two national Emmy nominations. From the jungles of Papua New Guinea to nuclear submarines, Michael’s storytelling experience crosses a broad range of subjects and his documentaries have been featured on TBS, History Channel, CNN, National Geographic, ... in more than 50 countries. As a co-director on this project, Michael directs field shoots and supervises all post-production aspects of CRYPTOPIA. Michael and Torsten have worked on several other documentaries since 2012 including @TheEndOfMoney.
Brinda D. Paul (Australian). Executive Producer, Production Manager and Researcher for the documentary. She has a Masters in Law (Cardiff University) and her interest is in the legal and regulatory aspects of cryptoassets. Brinda has been working in the distribution of factual content for past 6 years representing many award-winning filmmakers, globally. Her media clients include Netflix, Deutsche Telekom, Hulu, DirecTV, SONY, NBC Universal and many more. She attends film festivals and TV and digital content markets regularly. As Executive Producer her role is to secure funding grants and to negotiate with co-producers. Brinda also really likes bears!
Ilsa Harun (Malaysian). With a background in content creation and a masters in marketing communications (University of Melbourne), Ilsa is our expert in all things media. She is responsible for all publicity and community related work in the film-making process, runs our Facebook, Twitter as well as most of our other social media accounts. Ilsa manages our outreach campaigns and you can get her attention by using the hashtag #CryptopiaFilm.
WHAT WE WILL DO WITH THE KICKSTARTER MONEY
We have already produced most of the documentary with our own capital and some other funding sources. Now, we are raising $22,400 (AUD) = 16,000 USD = 14,000 EUR = 2.4 BTC here on Kickstarter in order to finish the film to the highest standards. On Kickstarter it’s all or nothing, so please do support us (tips are appreciated, too!).
We have an opportunity to tie parts of our film into the school curriculum in Australia and get teachers and librarians to access our film in schools and universities. Pretty cool, huh? Creating the necessary ‘study guides’ and DVDs cost about $4,500 (AUD).
Animation and Graphics
Many of our experts explain technical concepts like blockchains, hard forks, and cryptography very well but let’s be honest: We need animators to make it come to life on the screen. We want to spend at least $9,600 (AUD) on this. The more money we can raise, the better we can finally explain blockchain to mainstream audiences.
Yes, you heard right. We already have stunning footage from helicopters and drones to show the beautiful cities we visited (see below). We still need more of these cinematic sequences which will cost about $3,350 AUD.
See a sample of our aerial footage and some great EDM.
Music and Design
Art isn't free. Artists need to be paid for their work! We plan to spend around $4,950 AUD on graphic designers, composers, musicians, graffiti artists which will make our documentary look and sound 21 million times slicker. We'll tell you more about our collaborators later.
PLEASE FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA
The rewards are calculated based on Australian dollars - that's where we are based, so the exchange rate may result in odd numbers for you. Oh! We accept crypto, too (check out website above) and we always appreciate a tip.
"Zero-Knowledge Proof" Reward
So you just want to give us a tip and stay under the radar? This reward is for you. High Fives, mate!
"HODL Hollywood" Reward
Alright, alright, alright! Your name is immutably associated with our film. You will get a ‘Thank You Credit' in CRYPTOPIA. Oh, you think that no one cares about the end credits!? Watch this and reconsider :-)
"Smart Contract" Reward
Ok, smarty pants: This one is a good deal. You will get access to our 1st award-winning documentary ‘Bitcoin: The End Of Money As We Know It’ and also a 'Thank You' credit in CRYPTOPIA.
"Medium of (Movie) Exchange" Reward
Get both of our films. @TheEndofMoney and CRYPTOPIA. And we will credit you with a 'Special Thank You'. We’ll also give you a shout-out on social media.
"Full Block Reward" Reward
Yup, the Bitcoin block reward used to be 50 BTC in the good old days. Our block reward: You get both of our films. @TheEndofMoney and CRYPTOPIA. And we will credit you with a 'Special Thank You'. Also, we will ship cryptograffiti’s sticker ‘CRYPTOCURRENCY IS NOT A CRIME’ to you.
“Store of Value” Reward (Almost gone, act quick!)
Get both films and the script. Get credited as 'Blockchain Evangelist' in the new film. We will send you three stickers each and a signed 20 Billion dollar note from Zimbabwe. This is not only the fastest way to become a billionaire but also a stern reminder of the power of hyperinflation. These bills are not legal tender (obviously) but are a nice souvenir and conversation starter.
PROOF OF WORK MINER Reward (limited to 15)
Get both films and the script. Get credited as 'Blockchain Evangelist' in the new film. Three stickers 'CRYPTOCURRENCY IS NOT A CRIME' and a signed 1 billion and a signed 10 billion (the one with the miner) note from Zimbabwe. This is not only the fastest way to become a multi-billionaire but also a stern reminder of the power of hyperinflation. These are not legal tender (obviously) but are a nice souvenir and conversation starter.
"Down The Rabbit Hole" Reward
Same as the "Store of Value" reward plus a signed poster or other artwork from our film and a signed script of the film. We will also send you a 20 Billion note and a 200 Million note from Zimbabwe. This is not only the fastest way to become a billionaire but also a stern reminder of the power of hyperinflation. These bills are not legal tender (obviously) but are a nice souvenir and conversation starter.
The Anonymous Hacker" Reward
No need for our physical goodies? Don't really want to give your shipping address? We understand. No problem. Here are all the rewards that are digital-only. Both films. Script. Artwork. And, only if you want, a on screen credit "Blockchain Evangelist"
Become a community organizer and blockchain evangelist. Host an event and screen CRYPTOPIA - you can sell tickets and beer and invest your profits from the night into crypto, Mr. Movie Tycoon! Also, we’ll use Skype for a live Q&A w/filmmaker. We'll send you a signed script, poster and 5 of the cool cryptograffiti stickers plus a banknote of 500 Million from Zimbabwe. This is a stern reminder of the power of hyperinflation and the folly idea to let Governments manage money supply. These bills are not legal tender (obviously) but are a nice souvenir and conversation starter.
Become an official Associate Producer for CRYPTOPIA on imdb. This is your start to your Entertainment career. You'll get a 1-on-1 Skype session with filmmaker, a signed script of the film, three stickers and a signed book by Andreas Antonopolous (limited to 3). Finally, how about a 10 trillion bank note from Zimbabwe. Yeah, hyperinflation kills fiat money fast, we just added a couple of zeros. This is not only the fastest way to become a trillionaire but also a stern reminder of the power of hyperinflation. These bills are not legal tender (obviously) but are a nice souvenir and conversation starter.
Become a corporate sponsor. Your logo in the film. Special screenings/premiers or DVDs for your staff or clients, maybe? Get in touch to talk about the details and we'll put something custom-made together for your business.
Risks and challenges
If we don’t reach our Kickstarter goal, we will still finish the film. As mentioned, we already have produced most of the material and have access to other funding sources. So in that sense there is no risk of not delivering the film.
However, to finish the documentary at the best possible quality level we would like to spend your contributions on the items explained above.
There is a risk of not releasing the film on schedule. I am sure you understand that sometimes the creative process takes longer than expected. Also, film festivals like to get 'premiere' rights (we managed to get our first film into several festivals) and this may slow down our publishing timeline.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)