The newly-opened Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is exploring the non-fungible token (NFT) space as a way to raise money to support its mission.
The museum is partnering with artists Simon and Nikolai Haas to issue NFTs inspired by its Future of Cinema gallery. The NFTs, which will go up for auction beginning Oct. 20 on the NFT platform OpenSea, will feature the museum’s Pillar Award, which it presents each year at the Academy Museum Gala. The Haas brothers also designed the award statuette, which was first handed out last month to Bob Iger, Tom Hanks, and Annette Bening.
Each NFT will feature a moving rendering of the Pillar Award, with one of 5 different colored backgrounds, paired with a quote from Whoopi Goldberg (“The future of cinema is in your hands now”) that is featured in the gallery.
Future editions of the NFTs will include other quotes from the likes of Howard Berger, Effie T. Brown, Sid Ganis, and R.J. Kizer, all of which are featured in the museum.
The funds raised from the sale of the NFTs will towards the museum’s access, education, and programming initiatives.
The Academy Museum’s foray into NFTs comes as the entertainment industry as a whole slowly begins to explore the space, which uses the blockchain to establish a chain of ownership for the digital content.
A number of major entertainment companies have entered or are entering the space, including ViacomCBS and Lionsgate, which will create NFTs based on their intellectual property (like Star Trek, or John Wick), as well as Fox, which is launching a $100 million Blockchain Creative Labs, and recently launched an NFT sale based on the competition series The Masked Singer.
It has also attracted the interest of the talent agencies, which see the burgeoning space as a new area for representation. UTA, for example, recently signed on to represent Larva Labs and some of the NFT projects created for film and TV, including the popular CryptoPunks project.