SingularDTV at SXSW: New Models for a Sustainable Entertainment Economy

Zach LeBeau, Gramatik, Khushnuda Shukurova and Nate Bolotin discuss how tech is enabling new ways of producing and distributing music and film.

SingularDTV’s involvement at SXSW in 2018 has included a host of major events, panels, late night party showcases, and a live AMA as the blockchain revolution continues its takeoover Austin at this year’s edition.

At the New Financial Models for a Sustainable Entertainment Economy discussion on Saturday March 10 at the Austin Convention Center, CEO Zach LeBeau sat down with DJ Gramatik, filmmaker and Tokit artist Khushnuda Shukurova, and film producer Nate Bolotin of New Frontiers to discuss how blockchain and projects like SingularDTV can provide a better way for creators to fundraise, produce, and distribute their work.

Gramatik kicked off the conversation by placing blockchain tech in the historical context of techno-anarchy. “I started making music on a computer when I was, like, 12 years old. It was also the same time when internet piracy became a thing,” he explained. “The sole reason I started making music on the computer is because of piracy!”

Perhaps even more importantly, the internet and file-sharing represented an early version of decentralized networking, and it played an imortant role in creating access to information and the music industry itself for many people, Gramatik included.

“I come from a working class family. At that time, it was impossible for people from working class background to just become music producers,” he said. “It was similar to blockchain today: unregulated, people didn’t know how to handle it. Meanwhile, it democratized the process of being involved, for regular, working class people to be able to make art in that way. The streaming revolution only addressed one part of the problem: the consumers. For me as a music listener, streaming services are great. For me as an artist, streaming services are still horrible! Blockchain addresses both issues. Some form of this will be the future of entertainment and content creation.”

Approaching the discussion of blockchain and entertainment from the film perspective, Nate Bolotin discussed New Frontiers, the collaborative endeavor between SingularDTV, XYZ films, and some of the most remarkable young directors and writers in science fiction. “New Frontiers is a sci-fi anthology that was essential invented by a filmmaker named Ruairi Robinson,” Bolotin explained. “He’s a World-building kind of filmmaker. One of the things that we struggle with is that a movie like that is extremely hard to finance through the traditional models of independent film financing. I truly believe that the audience for this film, the right audience for this film, will discover it through SingularDTV.”

“It’s actually the best sci-fi script I’ve ever read,” exclaimed LeBeau. “I’m really, super excited about it. And I love sci-fi.”

Scenes from the SingularDTV SXSW Showcase with Gramatie, Mosie, and ilo ill

Khushnuda Shukurova, whose Detained was successfully crowdfunded via Tokit and SingularDTV, had perhaps the most important message for newcomers at SXSW: “Don’t be afraid of it. Learn about blockchain and cryptocurrencies.”

Gramatik agreed: “Do as much as you can to learn and single out good media sources, platforms, and publications that are doing a good job of explaining this to the regular public.”

Keep an eye out for footage from SingularDTV’s next panel from SXSW, Blockchain and the Impact of a Decentralized World, with Kim Jackson, President of Entertainment, filmmaker Alex Winter, and journalist Logan Hill.

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