Just when you think the world can’t get much stranger, you come across a local newspaper photo of a smiling man in a tuxedo holding a toaster while surrounded by police, in front of an RV that has partially slid into a river.
It’s been a few years since I saw that bizarre image, and the world has since become decidedly more odd. In fact, before the weekend I read that the similarly strange - but far more hilariously ominous photo of Disaster Girl - sold for $650,000: But not as a physical art work - no: On the block chain, as a Non-Fungible Token or #NFTs or #Nifties.
In early March I heard about this phenomenon for the first time; maybe six weeks ago I learned that someone called Beeple had sold a collage on the block chain for nearly $70M; and two weeks later - Easter Monday 5th April to be accurate - we shot a skit called Nifty Roadshow. Initially, I wanted it out into the world immediately - but when everything you do is at cost, and you don’t have a ton of cash or resources at hand, well, you just do it as quickly as your wonderful crew will allow!
To be fair, we do have plenty of sweet patrons of the arts, kind donators, viewers and a handful of helpers on Patreon on our side – and between them all, we scraped in enough to be able to go shoot and pay for basics. So yeah, you know, do sign up on patreon.com/cameralla and chuck us a buck if you can - it makes a world of difference! Or a few skits of difference, anyway. Alright, I’ll put the pimping on hold to say that in short… Sunday night we popped a 7 minute skit and some cut-downs on the ‘Tubes - featuring some cheeky easter eggs, naturally.
There are so many great people who have put time and effort into this, and beyond the usual Cameralla suspects/legends Troy, Strauss, Nat, Dave and Thanassi, I was lucky enough to have Darren McFarlane producing, Aaron Farrugia shooting (and creating the amazing logo!), Keith Bottomley on sound, Melinda Beard on makeup and Dmitri Golovko on the score. And in addition to the usual, incredible actors, I also had the likes of Charlie Mycroft, Tim Mager, Urvi Majumdar and Alex Cooper lend some big hands. All you can do as a director is stand back and smile. I’m so lucky to have people like this around me.
Not to mention all the extras that rocked up! You know who you are - but also, you are…
Eddie, Sarah, Michael, Graham, Natalie, Kai, Oanh, Eldene, Amy, Lauren, Maddison, Denise, Mayra and Simon - not to mention Esther, who not only extra’d up, but helped out with so many other random things I don’t even know where to start.
All the people who came and helped out, making this weird little thing real, are the human definitions of the topic we’re trying to comment on: they’re irreplaceable, unique and have tremendous value. (Alright, alright, not all NFTs have tremendous value, but I’m trying to tie in a nice compliment with the theme of this update, so, you know, STOP JUDGING ME. I’ll squeeze another one in, you just watch me.) We literally couldn’t have made it without them, simple as that: They’re integral parts of the chain. (BAM! What did I say!) Being a film director in Melbourne is special, sure; but meeting the gracious people of Melbourne, is not just special, it’s humbling.
Since making Nifty Roadshow I’ve had the tremendous pleasure of meeting the incredibly versatile, excited and multi-talented artists in the NFT space, and talking about the value of giving artists back the control of their art, not to mention opening up an entirely new world. “It’s like the new renaissance”, said a mate when we talked about how endless the possibilities in the virtual world are. There are no basics; no boundaries - and everything is a canvas. It’s astonishingly endless… So much so I sometimes feel like we might be stuck inside that Rick & Morty episode where they visit the universe within the universe inside Rick’s space ship battery. Alright, let me end this before I get all shroomy…
So what am I trying to say with all of this? Beyond “thank you”? And “watch the skit and give us money”? Well… Look. What I’m trying to say is that if you happen to read this, and you were at one point in time a smiling man in a tuxedo holding a toaster while surrounded by police, in front of an RV that had partially slid into a river - I’d get a hold of that photo if I were you.