Warner Brothers Brings Web3 ‘Lord Of The Rings’ Experience

The Film production company is bringing the “Lord of the Rings” film franchise to the Metaverse with the launch of a non-fungible token (NFT) collection tied to the original “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” movie. Fans can get a preview of the interactive experience and can begin to purchase the collection from October 21.

Lord Of The Rings NFTs

In partnership with Eluvio, a blockchain-based technology platform for internet video, Warner Brothers will launch two NFT tiers. The “Premiere Mystery Edition,” will have 10,000 collectibles selling at $30 each, and the “Premier Epic Edition,” will have 999 collectibles selling at $100 each. These NFTs grant access to collectors to watch an extended version of the film and enjoy some other special features like curated galleries and hidden art collectibles. These collections are the first step as part of the production company’s plans to tokenize blockbuster movies in its portfolio. 


The Impact Of NFTs On The Film Industry 

Film NFTs have major impacts on both Hollywood and the Web 3 space. It further drives crypto adoption and is a great means by which film production companies can use it to generate revenue. Below are some impacts of Movie NFTs:


Film Distribution And Exploitation 

NFTs provide a new avenue for film production companies to distribute and communicate their content to viewers. For example, the producers of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Claude Lanzamann: Spectres of the Shoah” released the documentary as an NFT earlier this year. Fun Fact, this documentary aired on HBO but was never available for public purchase, either physically or digitally, until now. The producers probably realized the ingenuity behind releasing the movie as an NFT. In the words of the Director and Producer Adam Benzine, while acknowledging the power of blockchain technology, “While the first film reels, VHS tapes and DVDs will one day crumble to dust, this digital token has the potential to exist forever in perfect perpetuity.”Benzine aptly describes the benefits of tokenizing films; ownership is forever as blockchain technology provides long-term value. 

Another fun fact, the 10 first edition copies of the “Claude Lanzmann” documentary NFT sold for 200 ETH, which was roughly $375,000 at the time. That is proof of the economic impact that film NFTs can have on the industry. Similarly, the producers of the animated series “Stoner Cats” made $8.4m by creating an NFT collection that granted collectors access to watch the episodes of the series. The Stoner Cat NFTs sold out in less than an hour. 


Funding Film Projects With NFTs

The NFT space provides a new avenue for film producers to fund their projects. Earlier this year, Film Investment firm The Forest Road Company closed a $20 million fund to invest in upcoming film projects. In exchange for its investment, the company would gain the licensing right to create and sell associated collectibles using NFTs. Furthermore, selling film NFTs would provide the producers with liquidity for new productions, just like the creators of Stoner Cats have done.

Independent Filmmaker Trevor Hawkins realized the power of NFTs. That was why he made history when his film “Lotawana” became the first feature film to be sold as an NFT. Hawkins created two types of NFTs: He sold the first collection at $1,000 each with 1,000 tokens representing ownership shares in the film, and he sold the other at $100 to grant fans access to the movie’s online premiere.

AI Pacino’s child, Julie Pacino, can also testify to the power of NFTs after making about $100k by selling her photography NFT collections which she used to fund her upcoming feature film, “I LIve Here Now.”

Merchandising In Film NFTs

NFTs also provide merchandising opportunities. For example, the producers of the Claude Lanzmann documentary sold the 10 first edition copies alongside copies of the unreleased extended director’s cut and signed digital film posters. NFT marketplace, Opensea also offers collections of digital movie poster NFTs. 

Merchandising makes the money flow and is a very good avenue for filmmakers to generate revenue from their films further. Besides tokenizing their films or creating NFT collections which grant access to the film, producers can also create NFT collectibles that feature the stars, locations, and notable scenes in the film. It is also an avenue to give fans an immersive film production experience. 

Film NFTs Create A Web3 Community For Production Companies

Communities wield so much power, and the Web 3 community is no different. If the web 3 community strongly believes in what a project is building, there is no extent to which they can’t go to ensure the project’s success. Film NFTs are an avenue for filmmakers to gain loyalists and fans in the Metaverse. As the executive vice president and general manager of Warner Brothers Home Entertainment, Jessica Schell, rightly stated, Film NFTs are another way to engage fans through communities and NFT marketplaces. 

Legal Implications Of Film NFTs

Film producers retain copyright ownership in the original work. Just like other NFTs, the collectors of Film NFTs are only buying the metadata, which contains information about who owns the particular version of that token and not the ownership of the film itself. For example, people who bought the 10 first edition copies of the “Claude Lanzmann” documentary NFT only have the right to claim that they own a certain edition of the film, not the film. As such, they only have the right to own, sell, lend or transfer that NFT edition. 

This article was written by Patrick Hagerty on the Exploring Digital Assets  on 20.10.2022 and has been published here with permission.

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