Christopher Woodrow

Christopher Woodrow once reached the pinnacle of the independent film world as a producer and executive. He’d like to return there via his latest venture, MovieCoin. The company’s blockchain platform is designed to make it more efficient and potentially more profitable for businesses, financiers and consumers to invest in movies. They may invest in these projects by purchasing the company’s MSF tokens. “These tokens provide a means of entry into film financing at lower cost and higher liquidity than traditional direct investments, which are often compromised by operational overheads that lead to lower returns,” the CEO told ThirtyK in written responses to questions.

Woodrow served as executive producer for “Birdman,” which won four Oscars in 2015, including Best Picture and Best Director. He also produced “Black Mass” about the gangster James “Whitey” Bulger and the World War II drama “Hacksaw Ridge.” Earlier this week, MovieCoin announced an agreement with TV-TWO, a television channel and entertainment platform that rewards viewers with tokens for watching certain content and sharing information about themselves. “Whereas MovieCoin is focused on the financing process, TV-TWO is working on the distribution of content,” Woodrow said. “By aligning with them, we’re applying effective blockchain use cases throughout the entire life cycle of an entertainment asset.”

ThirtyK: Would you describe in detail the beginning steps of MovieCoin?

Woodrow: In early 2017 I was speaking with a former colleague on Wall Street who pointed out the recent activity surrounding blockchain technology and cryptographic tokens. We began to study this phenomenon and quickly realized there was an immediate application for film and entertainment financing.

“The film industry is the modern Wild West when it comes to investing. Under MovieCoin’s model, we anticipate greater amounts of capital flowing into Hollywood.”

Shortly thereafter we started seeking out a qualified technical partner who could help bring our vision to life. That’s when we met Igor Khmel, founder and CEO at BANKEX, the bank-as-a-service blockchain-based company, and realized there was tremendous synergy between the two sides.

ThirtyK: The film industry still seems to be absorbing the concept of crowdfunding. What makes it ready for blockchain? 

Woodrow: In the context of film and entertainment, I think crowdfunding is a niche technique that fits into a particular set of circumstances. With the help of BANKEX, our application of blockchain technology and tokenization can change the world on a much larger scale. For our industry especially, it’s not a matter of do we want to adopt these technologies, it’s a question of when will most industry leaders feel compelled to adopt [them].

MovieCoin’s Organization

ThirtyK: MovieCoin operates in three distinct units. Would you describe them and the connective thread between them?

MovieCoin comprises content financing and production, business and consumer services, and technology development and licensing. The content financing and production business offers ownership of filmed entertainment assets to financial investors seeking institutionalized, programmatic access to financing of premium content. Our team of seasoned Hollywood media executives will source and qualify commercial feature film and entertainment investment opportunities.

MovieCoin’s business and consumer services direct the benefits associated with the MovieCoin platform and Moviecoin tokens to active participants in the entertainment business such as talent, production companies and various service providers. Consumers who seek to participate in entertainment can also use Moviecoin tokens to purchase movie tickets and other entertainment offerings.   

The company also holds licensed intellectual property, technology developed by or for the company itself, as well as technology-based intellectual property developed and used in connection with the MovieCoin platform by third-parties. These solutions facilitate token surveillance, ownership, reporting and trading. MovieCoin has aligned with BANKEX to develop any additional functionalities required to operate the MovieCoin platform as it scales up.

ThirtyK: Who is your target audience in the investment community?

Woodrow: MovieCoin is focused on opening quality film and entertainment investment opportunities to a wider range of accredited investors. Specifically, we’re offering the ability for accredited investors under Regulation D of the United States [Securities Act] and non-U.S. investors the opportunity to participate in the financing of major motion pictures in a liquid manner with a true secondary market. This format provides more transparency than traditional entertainment investments, so that investors can access projects in a way that does not tie them longer than desired.

The film industry is the modern Wild West when it comes to investing. Under MovieCoin’s model, we anticipate greater amounts of capital flowing into Hollywood.

The Smart Fund

ThirtyK: How does the token system central to your platform work? 

Woodrow: The MovieCoin platform entails a website, wallet, distributed application and mobile application, each of which enables investment in film projects held by MovieCoin’s Smart Fund via the purchase of MSF tokens. MSF tokens represent film and entertainment assets within MovieCoin’s Smart Fund portfolio that accredited investors may purchase. These tokens provide a means of entry into film financing at lower cost and higher liquidity than traditional direct investments, which are often compromised by operational overheads that lead to lower returns.

Separately, we will enlist the support of entertainment industry service providers, talent, unions, guilds and other industry stakeholders to establish Movecoin tokens, a separate token that operates as industry-specific currency and as the new standard for making payments throughout the global entertainment industry. Moviecoin tokens will prevent third-party gatekeepers, including aggregators and royalty collection services, from holding onto capital that is owed to other parties for longer than necessary. This will be a major win for those who earn their keep on studio lots and behind the camera.

Over time, our goal is to make Moviecoin tokens an accepted method of payment at entertainment venues and among content providers throughout the world.

ThirtyK: Who are the targets for Business Solutions: small- to mid-sized studios, larger studios or both?

Woodrow: It’s a combination of both. We’re trying to take an entire industry and equip it with standardization across stakeholders of all shapes and sizes. We expect companies large and small to benefit as a result.

ThirtyK: How far along is the company in its goal to sell $100 million in tokens? 

Woodrow: Without getting into the specifics of current token sale progress, we’re extremely confident in our position.

ThirtyK: Is the company’s goal to produce 10 film projects a year? Are there any titles you can share at this point?

Woodrow: Our goal is to finance, produce and distribute between eight and 10 major feature films every year with each project comprising an A-list cast, a top-tier producer and a highly acclaimed director. We’ll be unveiling MovieCoin’s initial slate of pictures once our token sale process is complete.

James Rubin
James Rubin has covered a range of business topics for such publications as the Economist Intelligence Unit, Forbes Insights and Adweek. His papers have been presented at World Economic Forum events. He was an associate editor at TheStreet and is the author of the "Urban Cyclist's Survival Guide."