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Hollywood producers leverage NFTs to give fans a chance to create movies

·Senior Reporter
·4 min read
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Two Hollywood veterans are betting on the future of the entertainment industry with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are becoming more entrenched in creative spaces like music, art and cinema.

Roger Birnbaum – owner of Spyglass Entertainment and former co-CEO of MGM—along with AOL scion and Atmosphere Entertainment’s Mark Kimsey – have teamed up to form a new movie production company called Electromagnetic Productions (EMP).

The venture offers movie fans the opportunity to buy into producing movies through NFTs, which have seen explosive growth driven largely by the boom in cryptocurrencies.

“We always wanted to launch an entertainment company that focused on creating the best possible connection to audiences,” Birnbaum explained to Yahoo Finance. “We are inviting consumers to be a part of the art of making entertainment content, whether it’s movies or TV.”

The newly formed film and TV production studio is aiming to create a community for feedback on making movies, by selling memberships to the studio through NFTs. The membership program offers the opportunity to weigh in on making movies and TV, while the NFTs will also act as tickets to exclusive experiences like live performances, special interviews, and community events.

Birnbaum said EMP’s goal is to engage members as early and often as possible, prioritizing community feedback and using those insights to make the most appealing content.

“The beauty of what we are doing is that it’s a two-way street as Electromagnetic Productions’ community is a place where artists can interact and engage with audiences and build deeper, more meaningful connections,” he explained.

Birnbaum, who has produced over 90 feature films, including “Rush Hour,” “The Hustle,” “Memoirs of A Geisha”, “27 Dresses” and “Seabiscuit” – earning him twenty-eight Oscar nominations and three Academy Awards.

'Deeper, richer fan experience'

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 11: Horsepowar attends the unveiling of NFT display hologram experience in conjunction with MIGOS launch of
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 11: Horsepowar attends the unveiling of NFT display hologram experience in conjunction with MIGOS launch of "Culture III" Live From Miami at TCL Chinese Theatre on June 11, 2021 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Longer-term, the studio hopes building the NFT community and getting outside feedback will create a deeper connection with an audience.

Birnbaum and Kimsey are focusing primarily on deeper fan engagement and believe revenue and profits will follow — not just from NFTs, but from creating a better project based on feedback.

“It’s all about a deeper and richer fan and artist experience,” says Kimsey, who has worked as an investment banker, launching the movie production company Atmosphere Entertainment.

“In this new world where the entertainment industry continues to evolve into the Metaverse, a production company that can make great content and integrate its community to better understand and connect with them, is more valuable,” he added.

Any time the movie studio does a production, the execs will look to see if there's an NFT application and another opportunity to build momentum around a new movie or TV show. EMP has an active pipeline of 50 movie and TV projects at various stages of development.

The company just dropped 10,000 NFTs, and is planning to do another drop for NFT members of the studio soon. Birnbaum and Kimsey say there will only ever be 10,000 NFTs offered, which will be made available at various purchase window periods that coincide with new production, art or event offerings.

Those who purchase membership will only have access to offerings at the time of purchase, and won’t be eligible for any access from earlier NFT drops. That means early members will see the most value and benefit, since they’ll have the most access to offerings as they’re unveiled since they got in first.

On March 28, EMP is auctioning off the opportunity for members to bid on going to the Cannes Film Festival. It would include roundtrip airfare, accommodations at Hotel du Cap in France, and a chance to attend film screenings, private parties and other backstage activities during the festival.

“We are passionate about expanding the possibilities for audiences and providing our community with not only access to exclusive content, but the opportunity to be a part of the process, from both creative and business perspectives,” said Birnbaum.

NFTs can be purchased on Electromagnetic Productions’ website for $1,000. Patrons will need to set up a wallet on the website to purchase using a credit card, but don’t need to use crypto.

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