Brazil’s Hype Animation has launched Meet Ed, an NFT campaign to fully finance the production of an animated feature film.
Who is Ed? Ed is the titular protagonist of a short film by Hype Animation’s Gabriel Garcia from 2013, which screened on the festival circuit. He’s an anthropomorphized rabbit who is one of the world’s greatest movie stars, crossing genres and styles with ease. Although his career is the envy of all his peers, Ed’s private life is a mess. In the 2013 short (linked below), Ed is seen struggling with depression and considering ending his own life.
What is Meet Ed? Meet Ed is a fundraising campaign for which Hype Animation has created a collection of 10,000 NFT pieces of Ed impersonating classic figures from movie history. Each will have a different value and come with a reward for the backer who purchases that piece. Available rewards include a credit on the film, an appearance of a specific NFT in the film, a character in the film named after the backer, and more. The NFTs will release on June 9 on the Open Sea platform. The filmmakers hope to raise around 1,000 Ethereum, which current converts to around USD$2 million.
What are Hype’s credentials? Hype’s credits include animated series Tainá and the Amazon’s Guardians (Nickelodeon Brazil, 2018) and Guitar & Drum (Disney Channels Latin America, 2020). The company is also a member of Los Amigos (Angry Birds Bubble Trouble), a Latin America animation collective which includes Oscar-winning Chilean studio Punk Robot and Red Animation Studios from Peru. The collective boasts more than 160 in-house artists and can produce around 20 minutes of animation per week, making it one of Latin America’s largest and most prolific animation organizations. Los Amigos has worked on productions for Disney, Nickelodeon, and Discovery Kids, among others.
What are they saying? According to Garcia:
With this project we aim to bring every part of Ed’s life to life in a new world with a new perspective. We’ve chosen his craziest dreams and characters to play a role in each NFT, also paying homage to the history of cinema while we are preparing for a new era of the industry in Web3. In addition to the possibility of financing the film in a new way, we also want to innovate the production model. Our idea is a collaborative creation, bringing the community together and letting them following the entire production from script to completion while being able to interact with our artists and help with suggestions about the project.
Have other feature productions used NFT for fundraising? Several have, yes. In December of last year, Neils Juul (The Irishman) launched NFT Studios which issued NFTs to fund their film A Wing and a Prayer. A U.S.-U.K. co-pro, they promoted the project as the “first feature film intended to be solely funded by minting NFT tokens.” At about the same time, Al Pacino’s daughter Julie Pacino generated nearly $100,000 selling no-fee prints of her photographs to help fund her film I Live Here Now.
In January, First Flights was launched as a tokenized community-driven funding platform for films. Barcelona’s Miguel Faus is working on Calledita, which he says will be Europe’s first NFT-funded film. And Rooftop Production and Karlab in France recently launched their own NFT fundraising program for their feature Plush. It’s too early in the game to predict what history will consider the first film financed entirely by NFTs, but in all likelihood, it’s already in production.