Our London Correspondent Nick Ayton looks at recent events that are reshaping film and entertainment, Disney ransomware with Johnny Depp and how the Hollywood swamp is long overdue for draining…

Nick Ayton “the Sage of Shoreditch” is now Co-Founder of The 21Million Project.

Ransomware is just the beginning

I ask you why would you leave your Master Film reels on your network with access to you know who… Are you mad or is the industry simply dumb? So Disney gets hacked and the latest Pirates of the Caribbean could be free for all to enjoy

The core operating model of Hollywood is clearly creaking at the seams and being challenged on all fronts, not just by those demanding equality.

Outsiders and now those who have been part of it, are now finding common ground critical of an industry about to be reshaped on a scale not seen before.

Rotten Industry

I am a huge movie fan and love the excitement of seeing someone else’s vision, as they tell their story that takes you through a rollercoaster of emotions, draws you in and leaves its mark. We watch to be entertained, to learn, to be enthralled and a little scared, to laugh, to cry and get angry and reminisce about bygone days.

But then the enjoyment is often short lived with stories bubbling in the background of sexism, continuing discriminatory behaviors, the inequality, the general lack of respect that goes beyond hearsay. Unfortunately, it leaves a bigger impression and removes much of the luster.

Are you left wondering if the female artist although doing a brilliant job more often ‘stealing the show’ is paid the same as the leading male? Whether the people from different ethnic groups were even considered for a leading role? Whether the musicians, the script writers, the creatives on which everything depends actually got paid their attribution?

Dirty practices

So where to start as there is so much rotten about the industry dominated by the Hollywood model designed in an age where the few studio founders wielded great power but then it was they who build the industry from the ground up.

Yes, the world has changed, but the Film and Entertainment industry hasn’t.

It has resisted change because the model is a system that serves those at the top, those in power, those that as kingmakers take a disproportionate amount of the financial success, carefully hidden amongst opaque accounting techniques.

How can success at the box office really account for a net operating loss after fans spent billions on theater tickets, pay for view and buying the boxed sets? How?

Faking history

And then there is the Hollywood approach to ‘whitewashing’ cultures and faking history as a bunch of truths to fit a political agenda. It is all very smelly.

The major studios are protected because they often hold the purse strings, control the ‘pot’ of money and bring in the investment needed.

It is hard enough to come up with the create idea, the concept. Harder still to get it funded. And the fans never get a sniff of investing in their favorite show.

The way Film (content) is funded is also a barrier to entry and a protectionist layer that is holding back progress.

And when great content is generated distribution often comes with strings attached and why the platforms Netflix and Amazon are now the content creators controlling the end to end supply chain.

New movement

The 21Million Project is a prototype for Libertarian funding and filmmaking to tell the ultimate story some don’t want to be told – the Bitcoin Revolution that offers new ways of running industries in a fair, transparent and open way.

This is the big hope for releasing the industry from the grip of the few and giving it a new future where the creators, the content owners, the talent decide who consumes what they have created and where they as the creatives decide how every penny is distributed, knowing their IP, their value is recorded on an open ledger for all to see.

There are many protagonists, agitators and Libertarians trying to change the way Hollywood works. With several activist groups - Women Occupy Hollywood founded by Ivana Massetti and others including Patty Arquette pushing for change with Gender and Pay Equality.

The Equal Rights ‘ERAAction’ group fighting for equality and Equal Means Equal vocally supporting fairer deals for everyone because it matters.

There are dozens of groups responding to it seems weekly news where sexism reveals its ugly head and discrimination continues as a daily event.

And now these movements have a new supporter called the Blockchain, that reveals the bad behaviors, strips out the non value- adding ‘middlemen’ and is the return of liberty, of trust where everyone plays an equal part.

Fair Trade for Movie Making

Are we seeing the emergence of Fair Trade for movie making as a Certification of Equal Rights, Liberty and Fairness?

Maybe…but it is clear a new operating model is needed and this is the genesis of The 21Million Project, a new operating model that delivers a new way to finance the making of content by turning investors into fans and fans into investors, where activities are transparent and everyone can be rewarded and get involved, contributing to making the best content possible , a new platform for managing attribution and controlling what content is consumed, creating a new Indy Media Production Company on the Ethereum Blockchain.

21Million delivers a new approach. It’s a gender equal, pay equal non-sexist approach to film and TV making, where everyone can make a contribution and benefit from success, where the content is the asset and everyone can benefit from sale of that asset, from a royalty for perpetuity, where operations and costs are transparent and where Trust and Fairness is returned.

21Million ICO is planned for 12th June.

Fans can invest in the things they want to watch and care about and can get immersed in the experience of filmmaking, making a contribution because it matters. Knowing equality is respected and the content hasn’t been tampered with.

It is time to drain the swamp everyone knows needs draining.