First Animated Film Funded by a DAO Brings Nouns NFT Collection to Life

Led by former animators for Pixar, Netflix and Marvel, “The Rise of Blus: A Nouns Movie” has a budget of $2.75 million and is said to be the first animated film funded by a DAO.

AccessTimeIconJun 21, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Jul 5, 2023 at 7:03 p.m. UTC

Can a DAO also help produce movies? As of today, it looks like the answer is yes.

Atrium, a network of independent Web3 artists and creators, has released the pilot for its episodic series "Nouns: A Movie," turning the popular non-fungible token (NFT) collection into entertainment.

Led by former animators for Pixar, Netflix and Marvel, “The Rise of Blus: A Nouns Movie” is said to be the first animated film funded by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). The project has a budget of $2.75 million, given in tranches provided the team meets its goals.

According to a press release, the action comedy "is set in the bustling, floating cloud city of Blus, where an audacious 13-year-old Noun discovers the plot of aristocrats to enslave its citizens and must team up with an unlikely band of misfits to save the ones they love."

The NounsDAO community passed a proposal to fund the film in March. Atrium creatives William Yu, HKJay, Zen Doubt, 3DPrint Guy and Meta Ent are helping to write, produce and animate the film. The movie has been created by an entirely remote team, speeding up processes that would otherwise take months.

"We are 10x-ing the speed of traditional studios because we can make decisions quickly and move forward in a more agile manner,” said Zen Doubt, who is also co-directing the movie, in a press release. One of the factors credited for the speed was that the production of the movie is fully remote, which also allows it to be produced at a lower cost than traditional methods.

Zen Doubt has been posting regular updates on the process on Twitter, including sharing information on which other projects influenced the film's animation style as well as inside information such as the Rorschach tests shown in the pilot were generated with AI.

Supriyo Roy, founder and CEO at Atrium, told CoinDesk that because the Nouns project has been released as open-source, the film's creators had the freedom to craft an entire world and storyline for the 8-bit characters without limitations.

"There is no 'canon'" said Roy. "Nouns are an infinite brand machine. There is no official top-down directive of how things should be done."

The pilot segment for the movie is available to watch through the Nouns Movie website.

The NounsDAO community continues to fund creative projects to expand its ecosystem, recently approving proposals for a comic book series with book publisher Titan Comics and NFT community ComicsDAO, along with a second ArtBall NFT collection with the Australian Open tennis tournament, OnCyber and Vayner Sports Pass.

In February, 3DPrintGuy created a short film funded by a previous NounsDAO proposal. All significant characters from the short were released as collectible NFTs.

Edited by Toby Leah Bochan.


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Rosie Perper

Rosie Perper was the Deputy Managing Editor for Web3 and Learn, focusing on the metaverse, NFTs, DAOs and emerging technology like VR/AR. She has previously worked across breaking news, global finance, tech, culture and business. She holds a small amount of BTC and ETH and several NFTs. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter, The Airdrop.