Crafting the Narrative and Assembling a Team
In this interview we are joined by Hardfork co-creators; Doug Karr (@dougkarr) and Eric Vance Walton (@ericvancewalton). Karr is an award winning Director based in New York, and Vance Walton is an acclaimed poet and novelist based in Minneapolis. The two have teamed up for the purpose of establishing a disruptive new precedent for the filmmaking industry. Their series “Hardfork” is not just a sci-fi dystopian film inspired by blockchain technology, it also challenges the traditional norms with respect to how films can be created and funded.
This interview is Part 2 of a two-part series. In this part, we’ll be learning about Hardfork’s process of assembling a decentralized team and developing the project. Read the first part of the interview here.
@creativecrypto (TCC): Tell us about the dynamic of the team behind the Hardfork Series. Who are the players and how did they get involved?
@dougkarr + @ericvancewalton: Our core team of writers is made up of us, Doug Karr and Eric Vance Walton, and Christopher James Baker. Doug and Chris had been friends for a while and had worked on past projects together. Doug reached out to Eric on Steemit in July of 2017 to propose a collaboration, Eric accepted and the rest is history.
The three of us have a combined 60+ years of writing experience. We each lend a unique perspective to the project that makes for a very interesting trifecta of creativity: Chris writes from the perspective of an actor, Doug writes from the perspective of a film director, and Eric writes from the perspective of a novelist and poet.
In addition to our core writing team we have the amazing Naomi Brockwell, Matt Niemerg, Andrew Levine, and our advisors, Matt Mckibbin, Jason King, Bruce Fenton, and Jim Bursch. Naomi’s talent is truly multi-faceted- she’s contributed so much to HardFork in terms of social media, community building, and in many other ways. Naomi’s wit and energy has be a tremendous asset in terms of propelling the project forward and letting people know what we’re doing. Working with Matt Niemerg, in the realms of both business affairs and creative aspects, has been a hugely fun part of our collaboration. Matt is a premiere expert in distributed ledger technology and he’s been integral to integrating blockchain tech into the narrative in realistic and imaginative ways. Jim Bursch helped to guide our team through the Dash proposal process with expert advice. We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have such a strong and diverse team.
TCC: What was the process of recruiting people to the project? What was the dynamic in terms of people understanding the project vs. cryptocurrency newcomers?
@dougkarr + @ericvancewalton: Luckily, the idea pretty much sold itself. Most of the people we approached in the cryptocurrency/blockchain sector understood the importance of the story and wanted to be involved.
Anyone who understands the crypto/blockchain sector knows we need creative people and mainstream creative projects to serve as a bridge to connect to the general public in a way that they will understand the tech. The complexity of the technology has been one of the main barriers of mass adoption thus far. Projects like HardFork will be the bridge. Most everyone involved in HardFork has at least a year’s worth of experience with cryptocurrency and blockchain, some having team considerably more than that. We feel we’re very well positioned to give the tech the respect it deserves.
TCC: Hardfork strikes an interesting balance in terms of themes and outlook for the cryptocurrency universe. In writing the arc and developing storylines, how did the themes of optimism and pessimism shape the way your story unfolds?
@dougkarr + @ericvancewalton: As in any point in history we understood that the future world could be dystopian or utopian depending on whose hands the tech is in and how they control it. We’ve had a lot of fun exploring both, “sides of the coin” and will continue to play with all of the potential outcomes throughout the upcoming seasons of HardFork. These distributed ledger innovations will so fundamentally reshape the world and our aim is to be a predictive force to speak to both how they can be abused by renewed centralized power and how they can reshape equality and move us towards a more equal and equitable future. We can’t even explain in words how much fun we’re having imagining the implications of these technological shifts.
TCC: How are you integrating cryptocurrencies in the film?
@dougkarr + @ericvancewalton: Without spilling too much of the details, cryptocurrencies and blockchain will be the backbone of the plot. As part of the sponsorship packages, coin teams that invest in the series will be represented in various ways depending upon which level of sponsorship they choose. We’re committed to accurately representing the unique attributes of each coin and their tech and integrating them into the HardFork series in smart and fun ways. This won’t be just product placement. Our first goal is to entertain our audience but we understand that, if we do it correctly, we will also be subtly educating our viewership about the potential of this amazing technology at the same time.
TCC: What do you think will happen over the next decade or so? Will storylines within Hardfork come to fruition?
@dougkarr + @ericvancewalton: For those of us who’ve been in the sector for a while, it’s clear that mass adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain is coming within the next few years. It’s difficult to forecast the true depth of impact or how exactly the future will play out. One thing is for sure, the more we learn about the potential of the technology the more we see that almost no industry will be left untouched by it.
Blockchain has the tremendous potential to benefit our society in terms of transparency, efficiency, and equality. We feel that this technology will change humanity as much as the Industrial Revolution. We feel that the more the public understands the tech, the less likely it will be that we’ll go down the dystopian path.
Our goal is to get the HardFork series made as soon as possible in order to craft the narrative that introduces the tech to the mainstream. We want our viewership to learn about the tech in a fair and balanced way early enough that they have the time to digest the implications and positive use cases of some of these groundbreaking ideas before mass adoption hits.
We want the public to understand the full potential of cryptocurrency so the powers that be can’t bastardize it or manipulate the public’s perception by spreading FUD, turning them against it before it has a chance to prove its worth. If we produce a wildly entertaining piece of art with the HardFork Series that spans the course of many seasons and also helps people understand the tech, we’ll feel like we’ve accomplished our mission.
If you are interested in learning more about The Hardfork Series, make sure to keep track of the project by exploring the project details, below:
Cover illustration by @zsolt.vidak