You've heard the acronym, but what the heck are NFTs? Don't worry if you feel like the last person left who doesn't understand what a nonfungible token means. You're not alone! Even if you are familiar with NFTs, you may not know how this blockchain technology applies to screenwriting.
NFTs are booming, and the film industry is already beginning to explore their possible applications to screenplays.
In this blog, I'll explain what you need to know about screenplay NFTS and how this tech might apply to your screenwriting situation.
What are NFTs?
An NFT or a non-fungible token is a one-of-a-kind digital asset that represents the ownership of digital or real-world items. Non-fungible refers to something having a unique identifier that can't be copied, altered, or divided. This identifier is recorded in a blockchain, or digital ledger, to certify asset ownership. In the past year, we've seen NFTS become popular as a means for a digital artist to sell digital artwork as a limited edition or one-of-kind piece.
So, what does that all mean? The popularity of NFTs is mainly about the digital collecting aspect of it. Think collecting Pokémon cards or Funko Pop figures!
NFTs are like a digital version of collectibles, but where you know only a limited number of a particular thing exists. Like in the physical world, scarcity sells - sometimes for millions of dollars.
Why release NFTs for your screenplay?
Releasing NFTs for your screenplay could get you in on the ground floor of something exciting that Hollywood is only just beginning to explore!
Right now, the world of NFTs is pretty much the wild west. It's hard to predict what the NFT landscape will be in the future.
But someday, big franchises like Star Wars or Marvel might get into NFTs and sell the work through digital tokens. Then, the people who own those digital assets could profit from the stories, characters, and even character outfits for decades to come.
Benefits of screenwriters using NFTs
Exploring or creating your own NFTs now could give you knowledge and experience that could prove valuable in the entertainment world in the future.
NFTs are profitable beyond the initial sale
NFTs are profitable beyond their initial sale since digital ownership is traceable, and NFTs continue to pay dividends to anyone who owns a piece of the pie.
The process of creating an NFT is referred to as "minting." Minting covers the creation of the digital file itself and its placement on the blockchain. During this process, the artist then sets a percentage for residuals that they'll receive following the NFT's sale and it's all written into a smart contract.
For example, if you mint a drawing and sell it for $100, you receive $100. Then if the new owner sells it in the future, you make a percentage of that sale. Thanks to smart contracts on the blockchain, all transactions are secure, verified for authenticity, and transparent.
NFTs attract attention
Another benefit is the huge popularity NFTs currently have since the idea is fresh and novel. Using NFTs in your screenwriting or filmmaking now would make you an early adopter of NFTs in the film industry. Played correctly, you could use this skill to generate buzz that your script or film might not receive otherwise.
What kind of NFTs could screenwriters sell?
Sections of the script
Script pages with handwritten notes from the writer
Characters and character elements
Comic books or graphic novels
The boom of NFTs is so new that the sky's the limit of what could be created and sold.
You might have heard about Quentin Tarantino selling chapters of his handwritten copy of "Pulp Fiction," minted as NFTs. In the future, we might see filmmakers make short films and mint them as NFTs or mint scenes from features and sell those off.
Screenwriters could also develop comic books or graphic novels as early story pitches, then mint those. If a studio wanted to option that comic book to turn into a movie, you could continue to earn residuals for every spin-off, sequel, plush toy, and t-shirt sold!
There are a lot of possibilities regarding NFTs and the film industry. The tech is just waiting for creative and savvy writers to explore them!
Three dangers of NFTs for screenwriters
If NFTs sound too good to be true, let me let you in on some of the disadvantages you'll be up against in this digital realm to help balance your opinion.
You need an audience
As if you were creating a funding campaign online, NFTs require you to have some pre-existing audience or fan base. If nobody knows about your work and you start a funding campaign, you likely won't receive much backing; the same is valid with NFTs. You need to have a fan base interested in your work, or else they likely won't sell.
You'll pay fees
If you want to mint your own NFTs, be prepared to pay fees! There might be service fees, transaction fees, or even royalty cuts when you mint and sell your NFTs, so do your research to figure out if it's a worthwhile venture to pursue.
You need to understand the digital realm
If you want to get into NFTs, you should do your research. Minting your own NFTs requires knowledge of cryptocurrency, digital wallets, and digital marketplaces. To learn more about minting your own NFTs, check out this guide!
Hopefully, this blog sheds some light on NFTs and how they can be helpful to screenwriters! NFTs can help artists cut out the middleman in terms of selling art. For a screenwriter, they can be a way to make money from a script for years to come and generate a buzz about their work. Hollywood is in the early days of exploring NFTs, so I suggest keeping an eye out for what kind of NFT sales happen in the world of film and television!