Christopher Woodrow is the CEO of MovieCoin, an innovative blockchain solution, creating a transparent, fair and accurate financing for motion pictures and television.
1) Please could you tell our readers a bit about yourself?
Absolutely. My name is Christopher Woodrow and I’m a financer and film producer. Before founding MovieCoin, I was the Chairman and CEO at Vendian Entertainment, Worldview Entertainment and Managing Director at media and entertainment venture capital investment company Prospect Point Capital.
In that time, I’ve been a part of some incredible teams, including those behind box office successes such as “Black Mass,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” and the critically acclaimed Academy Award winner for Best Picture, “Birdman.”
In my position as Chairman and CEO at MovieCoin, I am responsible for guiding the company’s strategic direction as we improve the financing of entertainment assets globally.
2) What is MovieCoin?
MovieCoin is a film and entertainment asset financing platform, built on the Ethereum blockchain and powered by BANKEX’s Proof-of-Asset Protocol. Using distributed ledger and tokenization technology, it is designed to improve access to the $2 trillion annual global entertainment market for accredited individual and institutional investors. The platform will also bring more transparency to how revenues are tracked and distributed.
The MovieCoin platform entails a website, wallet, distributed application and mobile application, each of which helps facilitate investment in film projects held by MovieCoin’s Smart Fund via the purchase of “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.
A separate cryptocurrency token, known as a Moviecoin, will denominate value for goods and services throughout the MovieCoin ecosystem, from purchasing movie theater tickets and renting content, to accessing financing tools and redeeming third-party loyalty rewards.
MovieCoin’s executive team brings a wealth of experience from across investment banking; portfolio management; corporate law; film financing, production and distribution; technology deployment and public company management.
3) We’re seeing several real-world use cases for blockchain emerge. What are the entertainment industry challenges that this technology addresses?
Major studios typically finance their productions through the treasuries of the conglomerates that own them, or through “slate financing” arrangements with a handful of well-connected partners. Those slate financiers are usually backed by hedge funds, private equity firms, sovereign wealth funds and family offices. As a result, most individual investors have no opportunity to participate in the performance of studio-released products other than by buying shares in a studio’s parent company. In those instances, a company is usually so big that its gains or losses on a particular picture or slate of pictures have minimal effect on a shareholder’s return.
For investors looking to directly invest in the asset class, opportunities until now have been limited to non-studio or “independent” productions on a one-off basis. Some independent films compete with studio productions at the box office and elsewhere in the marketplace, but even well-executed, highly-regarded independent films often struggle to find adequate distribution and connect with audiences. That lack of access to top-quality studio productions and the uncertainty of financing independent projects often discourage outside investment in an otherwise vibrant market sector.
Whether a party invests in a slate of studio productions or a single independent project, liquidity is another challenge within entertainment industry financing. Investments usually consist of contractual arrangements between the financier and the producer/studio, or are structured as membership interests in privately-held companies. In either case, there is typically no secondary market for a financier’s participation other than through a distress sale to a private buyer, which may come at a significant discount.
By creating tokens that derive value in a slate of high-quality films and building the functionality to buy and sell these tokens via MovieCoin, the company is actively tackling accessibility and liquidity challenges.
4) MovieCoin also claims to improve the efficiency of capital flow and accounting practices throughout the entertainment industry, how so?
That’s correct. Our platform’s blockchain, smart contracts and cryptocurrency technology will transform the traditionally inefficient flow of capital throughout entertainment ecosystem. By establishing faster and more transparent payment practices, MovieCoin will tackle pressing issues including the over-exaggeration of expenditure and failure to disclose licensing terms that disadvantage outsiders. In essence, we’re condensing a multi-year process marred by friction and ambiguity down to a series of prompt and transparent transactions that give investors and stakeholders a holistic view of product performance, including revenue shares, royalties, residuals, proﬁt participations, licensing ownership and intellectual property rights.
Moviecoin tokens will also prevent third-party gatekeepers, including aggregators, royalty collection services and agents, 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 an accepted method of payment at entertainment venues and among content providers throughout the world.
5) Who can invest in MovieCoin’s film and entertainment portfolios? Who is allowed to buy Moviecoins?
In order to purchase the restricted security “MSF” tokens that represent film and entertainment assets within MovieCoin’s Smart Fund portfolio, investors must either be accredited or non-US investors in compliance with the registration exemptions provided by Regulation D and Regulation S of the United States Securities Exchange Act.
Moviecoins, however, are publicly available to all consumers as a substitution for cash and similar financial products.
6) What types of partner is MovieCoin looking for to establish Moviecoin as a viable entertainment industry currency?
We’re looking to develop partnerships with a variety of key vendors and professional service providers across the industry. MovieCoin is already in negotiations with a major theater chain and a transactional video-on-demand service to accept payment for tickets, concessions and content, allowing for immediate payment for services ordered via the service if required. The company also hopes to provide reservation and ticket purchase services for Moviecoin token holders via the company’s main website.
Over time, we hope that every theater in North America and across international territories will accept MOV tokens as a means of payment.
7) What are the benefits of financing a film using MovieCoin, versus traditional channels?
While the benefits of financing a film via MovieCoin are extensive, we’ve identified four main incentives for accredited investors and entertainment industry professionals:
- Real-Time Auditing and Reporting: As films generate revenue through distribution channels, including box office ticket sales and payments on international distribution contracts, MovieCoin automatically reports the transfer of funds via auditable records written on the blockchain. This helps remove tedious tasks from the workflows of the entertainment industry and audit professionals, allowing them to focus on revenue-generating tasks.
- Faster Payments: As capital surfaces and is distributed in accordance with an entertainment project’s financial “waterfall,” MovieCoin’s faster clearing and settlement times ensure all stakeholders are guaranteed to receive their entitlements sooner than under the status quo.
- Reduced Costs: MovieCoin’s use of smart contracts to enforce agreements significantly reduces the cost of legal and accounting services by eliminating the need for impartial middle parties. This allows investors to recoup more value from their original investments.
- Better Marketing Data: As Moviecoin tokens become a viable currency for consumer transactions across the entertainment industry, MovieCoin can use anonymized data on general customer behavior to help inform select marketing efforts and optimize promotional spending.
8) What is MovieCoin’s short-term roadmap for success?
We’ve broken down our short-term strategy into three main phases.
- Phase 1: Platform and Model Validation. We will build out the platform and its underlying tokenization and smart contract technology, including the tools that management requires to establish the financing, production and distribution of its initial slate of films and television programs. These will be financed by selling MovieCoin Smart Fund Tokens backed by the fund’s underlying entertainment assets.
- Phase 2: MovieCoin-as-a-Service Management. We will invite major independent production companies and studios to use the platform and market financing opportunities for their film and television programs to a wider array of investors.
- Phase 3: Moviecoin Tokens as Industry Currency Management. We will enlist the support of entertainment industry service providers, talent, unions, guilds, and other industry stakeholders to establish Moviecoin tokens as the standard for making payments throughout the global entertainment industry, citing the cryptocurrency’s transparency, efficiency and cost-effectiveness benefits.
9) You recently appointed former Participant Media COO Jeff Ivers as MovieCoin’s new Chief Operating Officer, what will he bring to the organization?
That’s correct and we’re delighted Jeff has joined the team. He brings a wealth of financial and M&A experience to the company as a former COO, CFO and EVP of Business Affairs, including negotiating investments in several media properties, managing the acquisition of The Documentary Channel and Halogen television networks, and earning executive producer credits on more than 20 feature films, including the critically-acclaimed documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”
In his new role, Jeff will oversee MovieCoin’s day-to-day operations as the company works to raise capital, invest in studio-quality content and other entertainment assets, create a new standard for film production and reporting, and establish Moviecoin Tokens (Moviecoins) as the industry’s leading currency.
10) Is there any more information our readers should know?
The traditionally ‘recession-resistant’ $2 trillion annual entertainment industry has enjoyed steadily increasing returns over time that, until now, have been off-limits to all but a handful of companies and privileged insiders. At MovieCoin, we look forward to changing that dynamic by democratizing access to ‘film slate’ assets with uncorrelated and frequently above-market returns for all accredited investors.
Find out more on the website: https://movie.io/