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Cinema on ICO: how the film adaptation of Pelevin's novel Empire V restored faith in crowdsales and Russian films



All over the world, the industry of primary offers of coins (ICO) is experiencing a recession due to growing legal risks and collapses on the crypto market. In Russia, where regulators took a wait-and-see attitude towards the crowdsales, not even agreeing on a single interpretation of this term, the success of the crew of the Empire V movie, which managed not only to finish the tokenail but also exceed the amount of the hardcap – 3, looks unique , 5 million euros instead of the planned 3.36 million

Why cryptoinvestors go to a big movie and whether the time has come for the revival of the ICO market in an interview with BlockchainJournal told the producer of the film "Empire V" Maria Kapralova.

BlockchainJournal: You managed to attract € 3.5 million even though the ICO field has been in decline lately. What do you associate with the success of your campaign?

Maria Kapralova: First, this is the first project of its kind. The first film in the world, which since September is being filmed on cryptoinvestment. This is not a “wanna be” project. Secondly, we launched ICO already being in production and having a sufficiently large volume of finished material at that time – more than 70% (shooting started in September 2017 – BlockchainJournal note) . At the presentation, we showed the finished frames. At this stage, it is already clear that the film will definitely come out in the foreseeable future. And thirdly, people who, at least a little bit in the subject, immediately understand that we are making a film-event.

At the heart of Victor Pelevin’s novel is the story of Roman Shtorkin, a young man turned into a vampire who reveals the plot of an elite sucking joy, dreams and bablos out of humanity. However, even having joined the highest caste of vampires, the protagonist cannot break the bond with people. The film adaptation starred Pavel Tabakov, Oxxxymiron and Vera Alentova.

BlockchainJournal: How many investors took part in financing the project? What is the share of foreign and government investment?

Maria Kapralova: By the time ICO ends, we have 145 token holders. Investment confidentiality is one of the advantages of the blockchain. We verify users, but we cannot disclose the information they provide.

BlockchainJournal: Are you going to offer a Bablos token for listing to major exchanges?

Maria Kapralova: On December 11, Bablos began selling on the exchange. We also go through the listing procedure on

BlockchainJournal: Given that the crypto market is in the “bearish” phase, do you plan to withdraw the received cryptocurrency to fiat?

Maria Kapralova: Since the softcap was already assembled at the start of the tokensale, we were able to immediately use the raised funds for the shooting. What happened before the fall of the market. Thanks to our cryptoinvestors, we have finished a substantial part of the material, now we are finishing the penultimate shooting unit. And, like everyone, we are waiting for the restoration of the cryptographic market.

BlockchainJournal: What are the prospects for the cryptocurrency market and ICO for the film industry?

Maria Kapralova: It is worth separating these concepts. The blockchain factor of understandable development for the film industry is presale of tickets for tokens, an opportunity to attract the widest circle of film fans at the film production stage. You can already organize a scheme for selling online browsing for tokens. But when we come to the fact that it will be possible to go to the usual cinema for tokens, when the crypto markets will be settled in the world and in Russia, when calculations in tokens will be possible (this, of course, not only the film industry is concerned) – all filmmakers "Change" on the blockchain, and a completely different story begins.

At first, this will only work for iconic, iconic films, the release of which the audience is waiting for a year or even earlier. And, of course, it will be relevant, primarily for those who are already in the blockchain system, who buys and sells. But the number of such people is constantly growing, and the “entrance” to cryptographs through film projects is convenient and simple. For example, during the ICO, Bablos could be bought with Visa and MasterCard cards of any country in the world, with the exception of the United States, for up to 150 euros per transaction. No exchangers, cryptographs, easily and affordably.

BlockchainJournal: That is, people are not deterred by the fall of the market and the jaded term ICO?

Maria Kapralova: Our experience has shown that people are ready to invest in a film through ICO, and there are a lot of such people. Why do they do it? First of all, for humanitarian reasons. People want to touch a big cultural project, to become a part of it. Because investing through the ICO even a small amount equal to the cost of a ticket to the cinema, the audience understands that they have not just secured a place in the hall – this film was created with their help.

In addition, tokens holders can receive various nice bonuses. For example, a movie ticket and access to a closed digital version. And, of course, if the film is successful, an investment in its tokens is always beneficial.

ICO for the film is primarily an opportunity to attract investors from outside the film industry. In Russia, a very small and closed circle of "traditional" film investors. And through the blockchain, the film company gets the opportunity to attract any person, which in turn develops the cinema market itself.

We are now "pushing the stone up the hill" with our project "Empire V". It is difficult to be pioneers and it is very important for us to support each person, whether he came through the ICO or buy Bablos tokens on the exchanges. It is encouraging that more and more people are starting to use cryptocurrency. All this panic of the last month and a half around the fall of the crypt, of course, scared everyone. But, in fact, the cryptocurrency market has not gone away from this, it has not ceased to exist. On the contrary, suddenly many people who had no idea what bitcoin was before, found out about its existence.

BlockchainJournal: Did you encounter problems during the campaign due to the lack of ICO regulation in Russia?

Maria Kapralova: We dreamed of holding an ICO in Russia on behalf of the Russian film production company Kvadrat, but the current situation did not allow us to do that. We hope that by the time of the launch of the following projects this issue will be resolved.

The first problem we encountered was that we were not advertised. We had a planned advertising campaign from a large publishing house before the start of the ICO, which had to be abandoned precisely because of the lack of transparency in ICO regulation in Russia. Therefore, when we started ICO, nobody even knew about us. I had to go through the PR method after the start of the ICO. But this was not easy, because the media not specialized on the topic of cryptocurrency also remains skeptical about ICO due to the lack of legislative definitions for cryptocurrency and blockchain, even if it is followed by a film with a 95% expectation rating, recognized by the director and star cast.

BlockchainJournal: Did you mention that you plan to repeat the exit on the ICO with other films?

Maria Kapralova: Yes, the Kvadrat film company has already bought the rights for the film adaptation of Pelevin's novels SNUFF, iPhuck 10, Batman Apollo and an international historical series.

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