Illuminart, in association with the Rooftop Production and Karlab studios, has launched the production of Plush, the first French animated film financed by NFT.
If it materializes, a theatrical release is planned for the end of 2023. This is the first time that a French film has used cryptocurrencies in its financing.
Entitled “Plush»(translate teddy), this animated feature film follows a teddy bear who fights, with an environmental community, against environmental disturbance. A militant film that brings together actors, web celebrities and singers in the credits. Kev Adams, Camille Lellouche, Ludovik, Maître Gims and Gérard Damon will lend their voices to these 3D characters.
Cryptocurrencies make their movies
This feature film, of which only a few images have been revealed, has the ambitions of a Hollywood blockbuster. Artists and graphic designers from Rooftop Production and Karlab studios collaborated with Universal to “like beasts», “all on stage», “minions» either “Me, ugly and bad“, or with Netflix for the Arcane series.
But to finance the project, there are no big Hollywood studios or big French production companies. Illuminart is counting on the phenomenon of NFTs (non-fungible tokens or non-fungible tokens) to obtain the more than 60 million dollars necessary for the development of the film.
To become co-producer of “Plush», it will be necessary to pay the sum of 1,250 euros for an NFT of a bear. The characters were first imagined by the studios’ graphic designers, before an algorithm generated 50,000 variants of these teddy bears. With Indian, military, flashy or punk costume, so many daring versions that Internet users will buy blindly, before discovering them a week or two later.
A goal of 700 million box office receipts
The guarantee of this purchase lies in the speculative nature of these digital works of art. Those who wish can sell or buy others on the opensia platform, a kind of online NFT market. For entrants, it’s a chance to see how their teddy bear gains in value if it attracts as many people as possible.
With this purchase, the co-producers of “Plush» they are guaranteed to share 80% of the profits made at the box office. Illuminart, the company behind the project, has enormous commercial potential: “Given that the average gross for major anime films is $700 million, every NFT PLUSH buyer should, at the very least, see their stake multiplied by three.»explains in the columns of Parisina.
An estimate that could be considered very optimistic by Illuminart. In fact, only twenty-three of these films have managed to cross the 700 million mark at the global box office (not accounting for inflation), with the biggest animated hit of all time, The Queen of Neiges 2, racking up close to 1.5 billion dollars worldwide. It is also the latest animated film (released in 2019) to have crossed the 700 million mark.
Bad buzz on social media
On the financial side, everything seems to have been planned, but the artistic side is still unclear. If a plot and the heroes imagined by the graphic designers have already been written, Illuminart has not announced either the director or the screenwriter. The latter also indicates that the co-producers will be able to direct the stage through a voting system. Therefore, it is difficult to foresee a theatrical release for Christmas 2023, as announced.
On social media, however, Plush is experiencing quite a stir. Netizens criticize the speculative aspect of the financing, part of which would go directly to production. In fact, even if the film is not made due to lack of financing, those who have bought the NFTs will remain simple owners with a value in Ether, a cryptocurrency.
An animated children’s movie, financed by a giant ponzi scheme #NFT.
Influencers target children to sell their scam.
This assembly should not be legal. The participating stars #Plush must be tried for organized fraud
— Jam #StandWithUkraine (@Marme_elade) April 28, 2022
The celebrities of the cast and in particular the personalities are also highlighted for the promotion of this production system. Some criticize the discrepancy between an ecologically oriented synopsis and the use of NFTs, which consume a lot of energy and therefore have a significant carbon footprint.
In France, NFTs are gradually making a dent in film financing. The feature film A Wing and a Prayer, directed by producer Martin Scorsese, announced the sale of 10,000 NFTs to raise the $8 to $10 million needed for the film’s budget. In France, the director Claude Lelouch supports the Klapcoin project, a cryptocurrency that would finance around twenty films and series.