Spike Lee to Launch NFTs to Help Fund Filmmakers

Credit: CreativeReview

The iconic American director Spike Lee recently announced he will be releasing a series of NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. The NFTs will be based on stills from his appearance as Mars Blackmon in his 1986 film “She’s Gotta Have It.”

Lee first discussed the initiative on Friday at Gary Vaynerchuk’s Veecon conference in Minneapolis, and later in more detail with Decrypt, where he stated that he believed NFTs could disrupt traditional filmmaking.

The project, titled “It’s Gotta be Mars,” is being released in collaboration with the new decentralized filmmaking platform The Visible Project, which aims to support young directors fund films through NFT releases and to allow NFT holders to vote on the films that are funded.

Here are some details about the NFT project:

  • 3,945 NFTs will be released featuring the character Mars Blackmon, played by Lee in “She’s Gotta Have It” and later used in a series of Nike Commercials, the most famous of which features Michael Jordan.
  • The NFTs are rendered from the original 35mm print of the film. They also include generative effects and frames that make each NFT unique.
  • Holders of the NFTs will gain voting rights in the Visible Project’s greenlight decisions, tickets to in-person and digital events, early access to curated capsule collections, unlockable merchandise, air drops, and brand collaborations, and access to private Discord channels for the community

Lee said he was first introduced to NFTs by his adult children Jackson and Satchel and has since been collecting NFT artwork, educating himself about the space, and interacting with NFT artists.

The NFT collection is scheduled for launch this summer, although an exact date has not been announced. For more information, visit The Visible Project’s webpage.

NFT Technology Could Upend Traditional Filmmaking

Spike Lee isn’t alone in recognizing the benefits that NFT technology can have for filmmakers. Non-fungible tokens, which can prove ownership and create scarcity among digital assets, can be applied to the film industry in a myriad of interesting ways.

Listed below are some of the ways NFTs are being used in film and television:

  • Reese Witherspoon and her production company Hello Sunshine is teaming up with the World of Women NFT collection to adapt characters into film and television shows.
  • Mila Kunis is working on an interactive NFT series.
  • Kevin Smith, the director of “Clerks,” has a project called Killroy Was Here NFTs that let owners create their own short films using characters from their NFTs.
  • The acclaimed British director Ridley Scott is producing a film on the history of Ethereum
  • Quentin Tarantino’s first Pulp Fiction NFT sold for $1.1 million

In Lee’s interview with Decrypt, he emphasized the importance of ownership for directors over their work. There’s no doubt this is a huge incentive for all types of artists when it comes to NFTs, especially filmmakers who must raise large amounts of capital to produce movies.

Although we’ll have to wait and see if the NFT drop will be successful, Spike Lee has always been a visionary and even if he’s not the first director to dive into the NFT space, we’re certain he’s far from the last.