Toxica – Bringing the silver screen to Cardano

Toxica

A few months ago, when we first started interviewing Cardano NFT projects, we interviewed Revas World. A project looking to bring film to the blockchain through NFTs.

Today we interview another project looking to do the same thing but from a completely different stage of development. Toxica as a movie, is complete and ready to release.

Read why the team want to utilise NFTs and the blockchain for their film release.

Tell us more about TOXICA, what type of movie is it? Is it an animated movie?

TOXICA is a live action independent feature film, 85 minutes of adventure, mystery and action.

It is written as an anti-origin-story. Many films (especially Marvel) concern themselves with a hero overcoming adversity to become something greater. Toxica is about a hero who descends, through pain, treachery, and elements of body-horror, to become something else.

In the end TOXICA became the 1990s inspired action-adventure with cosmic-horror elements with a touch of Lovecraft. As we didn’t have the resources for explosions or car-chases, we focus on things like camerawork, performances, in-camera effects, atmosphere, and sheer inventiveness of the creatives involved. We are the underdog equivalent, or more correctly, the under-puppy.

It is shot mostly in Brighton and London in the UK, but also in the jungles of Borneo in Indonesia.

A bit about the plot of TOXICA:

It’s the late 1990s in a sinister city where a cosmic horror lingers …
Your guide is Augusta, a former stunt woman who just ran out of luck and makes some cash as a PI. You don’t have to trust her and perhaps you shouldn’t. But she’s all you got to make it through this adventure.
She will find herself amongst gloomy goons, psychotic professors, eerie engineers, and barbaric business women… and maybe… maybe you will too in the near future.

You mentioned in our initial discussions that the movie is already finished and wrapped. Where do the NFTs come into things?

Yes, TOXICA is completed and ready to find it’s audience. After we put the final touch on it at the end of 2021, we looked through offers from international film distributors. With our first feature, CLAY’S REDEMPTION, we experienced that the movie almost disappeared amongst other releases. It felt like we were missing out on a big bunch of movie lovers who would have enjoyed our unique take on visual storytelling and the escapism that comes with it. For TOXICA I wanted to fine-tune this search for an audience.

Toxica

With uniquely crafted TOXICA NFTs, we will explore a hub of open minds, and hope to find likeminded fans of the silver screen.

The team behind Toxica asked themselves: what if instead of going down the traditional distribution route (which for indie films is currently almost unworkable), the film found its audience via NFTs?

In short, NFTs become equivalents of a movie ticket. As the blockchain is designed to remove all middle men, the filmmaker or creative could now connect directly with their audience. Or to put it another way: why not distribute an entire new film straight to NFT?

As movie nerds we also love to connect with like-minds and other film lovers.

What NFTs will people be able to mint and will they hold any utility linked to the movie?

The “Augusta” set is a collection of 2,500, launched on the CARDANO BLOCKCHAIN exclusively.

These beautifully hand drawn NFTs will be part of the first set based on Augusta, the lead character of the feature film ‘Toxica’, which will be one of the first feature films to be released exclusively on the Cardano platform.

But there is more!

Exclusive content including Behind-the-Scenes, deleted scenes, outtakes, alternative art, etc. will only be available to people collecting this first set of NFTs.

What about the team behind the project? Tell us a bit about the team and what has led you to this project.

Our handy team consists of Venezuelan director, writer, post-producer Carlos, who worked on video games like Fallout 3 and W.o.W.

Ivo is our Polish/German producer who is a fantastic marketing and project manager, and also a darn good storyteller. And then there is myself, Rona, a former music video director from the Isle of Skye with a passion for building sets and making costumes. Together we tackle most bases of independent filmmaking – even without having a studio budget.

The three of us had worked together since 2016, crafting short films, trying out new effects and hand-made props such as light sabres for fan film JEDI’S CODE, individual wands for fan film MINERVA & THE WICKED HEIST, and funky cyberpunk head gears for some 48-hour challenges (you make a 5 minute short film in 2 days, including writing, filming, post production, etc… a perfect bootcamp for every creative). As a result, the props in TOXICA are all hand-crafted and created mostly from scratch.

After we locked our first feature CLAY’S REDEMPTION, directed by Carlos, creative produced by myself and produced by Ivo, we wanted to see if we could try our hand at a different genre with a different hero.

We chatted a few months ago to Reva’s World, another project bringing film to CNFTs, their plan was partially to use funds raised from NFTs to fund the film’s production. As your film is already shot and finished I presume it’s different for you guys?

It is indeed quite different.

There is no need for our team to fund money. At this point we have long finished TOXICA, and NFTs and CARDANO won’t serve as a crowdfunding platform for us.

We want to use CNFTs as a connection between the existing film and its audience. Involving CNFTs with the film’s characters enables collectors to go on a journey of discovery, the film experience being at the end of it.

Do you see more independent filmmakers embracing crypto and NFTs to get their movies made and seen?

Absolutely. Film distribution is a huge and unwieldy machine with many different stake holders on many levels, whereas on CARDANO you can go straight to the audience, and have wonderful chats with them.

Look, the film industry is heavily gate-kept, I hope that more independent filmmakers will be brave enough to explore the NFT realm. It is after all an utterly compelling rabbit hole we love to float down, deeper and deeper by the day.

It will take some time for others to make the jump, I am sure, and the hope is to inspire more “indies” to follow.

The NFT world will also animate and allow the storytellers who have a hard time getting their voice heard in the classic film industry to do just that. To get their own ideas out there without studio restrictions. In the raging sea of never-ending remakes, reboots, sequels etc…, audiences long for something new every now and then.

And that’s what we are here to do: tell original stories, hoping that our company SERENITY Pictures will be an oasis for movie buffs.

Why did you choose Cardano to launch?

Funnily we did meet an old friend one evening, and other than having a great karaoke night, we also started talking about his involvement in CARDANO. We kept coming coming back to it, and at this point I for one was rather unsatisfied with the offers from film distributors; the poor visibility and impossibility of keeping the rights to my creation. Frankly, I had everything to win and little to lose – so our team decided to go for it.

Quickly we got some good crash courses in NFTs and CARDANO – and we still feel like we know more about knitting hats for turtles at this point. Though all of us who have ever collected stickers or baseball cards (even MAGIC) understand the feeling behind it. Therefore we now have these rather cool film assets, and these film characters with a story behind them, it seems like the logical place. But we needed more than that…

We were introduced to a good team of trusty CNFT professionals from RetroNFTs, who joined forces with us right away, trusting not only in our project, but also in us as creators which is a super nice feeling.

CARDANO also seems to be the most reliable and useable platform for us right now. We learned about its rapidly advancing technology, and building what is called a blockchain ecosystem that makes it stand out.

For now, this is the way for us, but we also love shedding our skin, and will surely evolve in this exciting world.


Thanks for reading, if you’d like to know more about Toxica then head over to the Serenity Pictures Twitter page.

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