Miguel Faus is an indie filmmaker looking to make a feature film with fundraising entirely procured from NFTs. He recently had this killer interview with Harry Lately, and he’s got a Nifty Gateway drop on April 4th where you can own your own piece of his next film, Calladita. Check out the whole short here if you want to get hyped, or you can peruse this list of almost 80 punks who are early investors!
What’s Calladita all about?
Calladita is about a Latin American who lives and works for a rich family in Spain. It talks about racial injustice and class inequality, female empowerment and liberation. It’s also a portrait of the bougie world in Spain.
What inspired you to make the film? Do you have a personal connection to the bougie world of Spain?
Yes, absolutely I’m personally familiar. I felt inspired to create a satirical portrait of the young kids in the world, full of stupidity. The domestic worker was this ubiquitous character, a perfect protagonist, but not a part of the world. She was the medium to build the portrait. I interviewed many domestic workers to understand their struggles for this part.
How long have you already been working on Calladita?
I started writing since late 2018, 2019. We finished the short in late 2019.
Did you initially try to fundraise the traditional route?
Yes. In Spain, the fundraising for a film is very different. It’s public funding and it’s nightmarish. All public funding is decided by an organization that’s very opaque. They only give the grants once a year and only 5% get approved. So if you do that math, you may have to wait 20 years to get your project approved. We presented last year for funding, but didn’t get selected.
That probably answers this next question, but what made you want to finance Calladita through NFTs as opposed to the traditional route?
Twofold. On the one hand, I was very disappointed and fed up with the traditional systems. I already had a familiarity with Web3, and I felt like I could apply that to cinema. Also, we need successful case studies on harnessing the power of JPEGs, and I felt like I could be a trailblazer.
What is your background in Web3?
I entered the NFT space in February 2021. I read articles about trading. I found the OpenSea Bible. I read some articles on NFTs and found them fascinating. As a creator and an artist myself, I’ve always been aware of how screwed Web2 artists were for decades. I wanted to be a part of that movement, so I immersed myself. I listened to a lot of Clubhouse rooms. My CryptoPunk was my first NFT, and I spent about 70% of my life’s savings on it. I just had a sense of conviction, an awakening. It wasn’t a financial decision. It was more, I want to be a part of this. I want to devote my life to these values, and I saw all around that the CryptoPunks were the best.
What are some of the immediate benefits or disadvantages you’ve noticed from fundraising through NFTs?
The only disadvantage is that the target audience is smaller. The learning curve is tough. Even friends who want to support the film don’t because they find the process too jarring. For normies, it’s still hard. Except for that, it’s all benefit. Kickstarter is a good comparison. When you help make a film on Kickstarter, that’s a donation. You’re never getting anything back. What you get as a thank you are usually physical rewards, which are quite costly for the creators of the film. It’s usually some T-shirt that you don’t even want most of the time. The interests of the donor and the creator are very misaligned. Web3 solves a lot of these problems. And then, the NFT is tradeable on the marketplace instantly. The donors have an opportunity to have a return on their investment because the value of the NFT is tied to the performance of the movie. There is a value they get in the NFT.
Who actually made your NFTs, and who decided what benefits each of the tiers would get?
I did the art for the NFTs. I had a dev team from Argentina who did the development. All the art was pulled from the original short film and other material. I put together the whole thing.
When will the feature film be finished?
We film this September, which for now is going well, but still needs a push. The film will be ready beginning in 2023 and premier in 2023.
You have a Nifty Gateway drop coming soon. What’s significant about that?
Yes, the drop is Monday, April 4th. We are doing open editions for five days, Monday through Friday. It solves two problems. The lowest price point was 0.18 ETH, which many people said was too much. The new price point is $99, and since it’s through Nifty Gateway, they accept credit cards, so it’s friendly to onboarding normies and film buffs who aren’t crypto-native.
Do you have any advice for future filmmakers looking to fundraise through NFTs?
The most important thing you can do is immerse yourself in the community first. If I just came here with a film project and amazing concept, as an outsider, it’s going to be super tough. It’s clear you’re just trying to take liquidity. You have to be a part of the community. Immerse yourself, join some discords, and try to bring value back to the community.