Grab your popcorn and soda because a new film is bringing blockchain to the masses.
Narrated by actress Rosario Dawson, “Trust Machine: The Story of Blockchain“ takes viewers behind the scenes in the blockchain industry for a look at how it has evolved over the past year. From interviews with blockchain technology experts to British singer-songwriter Imogen Heap to innovators using the technology to solve real-world problems in Africa and the Middle East, the documentary captures multiple angles of how the technology is growing throughout the globe.
It was produced by Kim Jackson of SingularDTV, Geoff Clark, president of Futurism Studios and Alex Winter’s Trouper Productions. Winter acted in Warner Bros.’ “The Lost Boys,” co-starred in the popular “Bill & Ted” franchise and has directed several features. The film was also funded and will be distributed using blockchain. SingularDTV’s Ethereum-based distribution and production platform uses blockchain technology.
The documentary has been shown in various film festivals, and will premiere on Oct. 26 at Cinema Village in New York and on Nov. 16 at Laemmle Monica in Los Angeles. It will then hit the SingularDTV Digital Distribution Platform next year.
ThirtyK caught up with Clark to learn more about the thinking behind the film and what producers hope to accomplish.
ThirtyK: Why make a film on blockchain for a general audience?
Clark: We wanted to find a way to make the topic feel very human, and try to show as many real human test cases as we could. The film is a really fun, exciting take on blockchain, which I know sounds ridiculous.
There was a little luck involved. We happened to hit the best year ever of crypto. We got to film things as they were actually happening, to film companies as they were actually launching their ICOs. We filmed a lot of great interviews with respected people across the industry, with thought leaders, and these people reveal things in ways that are not dense or uninteresting.
This is a film you can probably bring your girlfriend to and she won’t hate you after. It’s also a film you can show to your mom. It moves really fast. It gives people a much bigger picture of blockchain’s humanistic future implications.
“We found a cool window in time that will never be replicated. If blockchain does become all that it could be, I think this will be a really important movie in the future.”
ThirtyK: What were you hoping to accomplish?
Clark: Someone who knows nothing about blockchain can see the film and say, “Oh that’s what it does.” And people who already understand blockchain, the film can be fun for them on a different level. They can see how this last, fast-paced year unfolded.
ThirtyK: What are some film highlights?
Clark: We have a fun section on British singer-songwriter Imogen Heap, how she’s started accepting bitcoin (BTC) and micropayments for her music. You can pay her directly to download her songs or buy tickets to her shows. DJ Gramatik from Slovenia has done something similar, and we film him as well. He raised over $2 million in ether (ETH) in less than 24 hours to support his new album.
We filmed for 14 months, everywhere from London to Zurich to San Francisco to Los Angeles to Kenya to a UNICEF camp in Jordan. We tried to get a nice cross section of the world, because the idea is this is a technology that can benefit the world, if it comes to fruition. But, it’s not kumbaya, it’s not “blockchain will change the world.” We share the highs and the lows. We all decided from the get-go that we wanted to make film about what the future potential could be, but still be accurate for what the moment is.
The Human Face of Blockchain
ThirtyK: What are your hopes for the film?
Clark: First and foremost I hope people will actually go see a blockchain film. But seriously, [I hope] that the film will connect humanity to the technology. At the UNICEF camp in Jordan, for example, we showed how blockchain is being used to help identify, feed and eventually relocate refuges to a place where it’s much better for them to live. People think blockchain is just a bunch of rich dudes; they don’t necessarily understand that it can be useful in those ways.
ThirtyK: Why Rosario Dawson?
Clark: The blockchain world is mostly 30-something-year-old white dudes. There are very few women, and very few nonwhite men. The film doesn’t have a huge female presence. We interviewed every woman we could who’s involved, but we wanted a female narrator. We didn’t want someone who was a blockchain advocate. There are plenty of celebrities well versed in blockchain. We felt like the film needed someone to guide us through it, someone with a beautiful voice, someone trustworthy and educated. I reached out to Rosario, she loved the film and she agreed to do it.
ThirtyK: What do you think the documentary’s legacy will be?
Clark: When it stands the test of time, it will be an important film. I would totally watch a film of how the internet grew back in the 1990s. We found a cool window in time that will never be replicated. If blockchain does become all that it could be, I think this will be a really important movie in the future. It will help educate people.