When Mogul Productions launched in February 2021 after two years of development, it was anybody’s guess how long it would take for a company committed to creating the first DeFi film platform to produce an actual film.
We didn’t have to wait long.
This Spring, Mogul announced that its first-ever feature film would be “Bonded,” which Mogul describes as “the story of a Mexican teenager whose dreams of becoming a soccer star are derailed when his mother dies. He is smuggled across the border with the promise of a better life but instead ends up being sold to a sweatshop in downtown Los Angeles.”
The movie’s script was hand-picked and financed by Mogul Productions on its DeFi and NFT-based platform. The company wants movie fans, filmmaking hopefuls and cryptocurrency lovers to work together for a new model of movie financing.
The basics of the business model involve an app that allows writers to submit screenplays, which can then receive votes from Mogul app users. The app uses proprietary, Ethereum-based tokens called STARS. The app’s users can spend the STARS tokens to vote on scripts, buy NFT merchandise, and redeem rewards for certain Mogul films, like tickets to special screenings and other forms of access to Mogul films. Big spenders can even earn an Executive Producer credit.
From the beginning, part of Mogul’s message was that the company wants to be part of diversifying the film industry so that independent movies that would normally have no chance of widespread distribution still get made and seen.
With “Bonded,” they already have a good example. As Mohit Ramchandi, the director and writer of the film said in a recent interview, it’s not easy to find major studio support for a movie about child slavery.
“I didn’t have a producer. Nobody wanted to produce this movie because there was no money,” Ramchandi said. “Nobody cares about the issue. Most people don’t care. They are so involved in their own lives, and that really affected me a lot because my only motivation for making this film was that I wanted to shed light on this issue in America.”
Ramchandi plans to finish post-production on “Bonded” and release the movie trailer by the end of the year. In the interview, Ramchandi thanked his production team, actors, and Mogul Productions for helping him make his artistic vision a reality.
Though “Bonded” has already received quite a bit of press for its crypto-based financing, Mogul is clearly keen to capitalize on the attention and keep moving forward with new films.
In July, the company announced its first-ever crypto-based voting process for the next Mogul film. In the first part of that process, Mogul received more than 500 script submissions, which were then whittled down to three possibilities based on Mogul requirements, which include:
- The film must have 50 percent of their total financing already in place
- It must have A-List on-screen talent, experienced directors and producers
- It must have imminent distribution deals and a commercially appealing storyline
Now Mogul users will be voting on which of the three films becomes the second movie to be financed on the DeFi platform.
The blockchain-based vote runs from August 5th to August 19th.
According to Mogul: “It will be the first time ever that cryptocurrency holders get to govern the financing of a Hollywood movie; decentralizing the process and giving the power to the hands of fans. To this point, blockchain-based voting, despite its clear security and transparency benefits, has not gained popularity in the offline world – making this event a monumental moment for Ethereum.”
You can learn more about the three films at my.mogulproductions.com. They are:
- Terminal Station (Phillip B. Goldfine, Keoni Waxman): A retired hitman for the Mafia is waiting in a train station to leave his life behind when he unintentionally steps in to save a pregnant woman running away from her husband, an ex-Mafia boss. The Hitman must now use all of his skills to protect the woman and himself from the group he used to work for.
- MR-9 (Asif Akbar, Binh Dang): MR9, a spy with a mysterious past, joins forces with an elite group of international Agents, racing against the clock to stop a terrorist attack set to happen during the World Peace Summit in Bangladesh.
- Devilreaux (Thomas Churchill): Devilreaux and his family were killed unjustly in the 1800s, calling on a forbidden Voodoo to avenge their murders. The movie takes place in the present day where an unwitting group of teenagers accidentally bring Devilreaux back to life to wreak vengeance again.