In brief

  • Mogul Productions is a content production company that is using blockchain technology.
  • Fans vote for projects using the STARS token.
  • The project announced its impending launch today.

Hollywood is a tough place to make a living. The studios—and, increasingly, the streaming services—act as gatekeepers, deciding what gets made and by whom.

So, why not just roll out your own red carpet?

That’s what a team that includes Emmy-nominated and Oscar-seeking producers is doing. Mogul Productions, which bills itself as a “decentralized film financing (DeFiFi) platform” announced today that it is launching. 

Interested creators and cinephiles can register for an account. Once the mainnet goes live, they’ll be eligible to receive STARS, the blockchain-based platform’s token. 

CEO Gagan Grewal, formerly a managing partner with Three Equity Capital, told Decrypt, “Fans stake STARS tokens to vote on which films they want to see gain financing. Mogul uses a Quadratic Voting System to make each vote cast by the same user exponentially more expensive to guard against STARS-rich users having undue influence over the process.” 

(Quadratic voting, a method of voting which allows people to rank the strength of their opinion, is a favorite of Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin.)

Grewal has surrounded himself with several TV and film production veterans, including producers Cindy Cowan and David Cormican. David Cormican’s production company was nominated for an International Emmy for the 2016 miniseries Tokyo Trial. He’s most recently produced the William Baldwin-starring Netflix series Northern Rescue. Cowan won a New York Emmy for producing the documentary Miracle on 42nd Street, which featured Samuel Jackson and Larry David. Her former production company helped get Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic made.

Between them, they have dozens of credits to their name. So why start a new production company? 

According to Grewal, it’s all about a lack of transparency on how films get funded. And that’s just the start: “After a film's release, it can be difficult for financiers and creators to gain insight into how profits are being distributed,” he told Decrypt. “The way films are greenlit also happens in a black box without input from fans and with little explanation provided to creators about why their films are passed over or ignored entirely.”

Mogul’s value proposition is to use blockchain to shine a spotlight on these processes and reform them. “To promote fair governance and reduce voter apathy, harnessing the power of the crowd, STARS holders will be rewarded for staking their votes,” he said. “STARS holders will be able to govern other aspects of the Mogul platform as well, including a pool of funds that can be used for marketing, development, and distributions back to the STARS holders themselves.”

The project is similar to Leveller, an Ethereum-based investment platform designed to increase diverse voices in storytelling. Like Leveller, Mogul has big ambitions about how it can help little-seen filmmakers. 

“With all the major streaming platforms experiencing global viewership spikes in 2020 and predictions of the current $50.11 billion market growing 21.0% each year, it's clear that there is a nearly insatiable demand for great content, and yet, it's incredibly difficult for independent creators to get their stories financed and made into films,” said Grewal in a press release.

Hooray for Hollywood.