Berlin-based production company Bitfilm released a teaser and launched a three-tiered funding campaign on May 14 for the first feature-length, Bitcoin-inspired fiction film, called Satoshi's Last Will. They made the announcement at the Bitcoin Conference Prague. Bitfilm intends to raise US$2 million to complete the movie.
The film is set in a future where Bitcoin and blockchain technology are in common use. The plot follows one of the seven heirs to Satoshi Nakamoto's fortune who wants to kill the others in order to get their parts of Satoshi’s multisig-protected private key. An agent of a private law enforcement company is sent to solve the mysterious murder case and travel around the world to find out which of the heirs is the villain.
While following a classical thriller plot, Bitfilm CEO, writer and producer of the film, Aaron Koenig, wants viewers to learn about Bitcoin in a playful way. They get to see a world in which governments and banks have lost their power, people live together in voluntary communities, and blockchain technology has changed the way humans interact. Koenig said:
“We will create a world as we believe it could look like if Bitcoin and blockchain technology takes hold. Sort of a world as Murray Rothbard would imagine it. For instance, our main character doesn't work for the police, or for the state, but she works for a private law enforcement company. And in order to understand the story, you need to understand the concept of multisig, while Satoshi's will is not a piece of paper, but — of course — a blockchain entry.”
Satoshi's Last Will is not meant to be an educational film about Bitcoin, however. Koenig emphasized:
“If it comes across as education for Bitcoin, we haven't done our job properly. We want people to enjoy watching the film in and of itself. If they then get more interested in Bitcoin, that's great, but it's not our main objective.”
Through the crowdfunding effort, which was launched alongside the release of the trailer, Bitfilm hopes to raise US$2 million dollars. While this is not a lot of money for a feature length film, Koenig believes his production company will be able to make the movie with this limited budget by producing it in Argentina, where film professionals charge less than in most European countries or the U.S.
Furthermore, the film will be shot entirely in front of green screens, while all backgrounds are created digitally. Not only is this a relatively affordable method of shooting films, Koenig believes it will create a futuristic, stylish look inspired by comic books and German expressionist cinema of the early 1900s. He explained:
“Although the film should create some illusion of a futuristic world, it's not about building something photo realistic. It's ok if people see it's a rather artistic style, if they see it as a creation.”
The funding of Satoshi's Last Wish will take place in three steps. The first funding round will have a minimum investment amount of 50 bitcoins and will be open to individual investors, such as companies and wealthy individuals. The second funding round will use colored coins and will allow anyone in the Bitcoin community to invest bitcoin in the film. The third and final funding round will use a regular crowdfunding platform, like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, and will be open to anyone. The teaser itself was funded by cloud mining company Genesis Mining.