The Renaissance Connection: How Sound Money Shaped Art and Culture
Art is full of surprises and goes beyond just stimulating our senses. It often has the power to teach us things we never knew, expanding our knowledge in unexpected ways. That’s what this short but insightful read is about.
Sound money has been driving the creation of timeless masterpieces of art and culture for a long time. While most people may associate this phrase with the decentralized form of money known as Bitcoin, which was created just over a decade ago, the need for reliable currency and a flawless monetary system has been recognized in various cultures throughout history. A good example can be found in the Renaissance, where art played a crucial role in the significant development of many cultures, serving as a catalyst for lifting people out of the dark period of the Middle Ages, paving their way for progress and enlightenment.
In his best-selling book, “The Bitcoin Standard”, Saifedean Ammous makes the case that cities like Florence and Venice flourished during the Renaissance because of their adoption of sound money, which attracted wealthy patrons with low time preference. These patrons, with their patience and vision, invested in art that would last for centuries.
While there is much to discuss the art of those times, let us zoom in on one of its most beloved forms: the cinema industry. For over 125 years, this powerful medium of communication has captivated audiences worldwide, standing as a testament to the enduring influence of this relatively new art form.
Cinema has captivated our hearts and minds more than anything else in the performing arts. It’s a medium that transcends boundaries, by telling stories that deeply resonate with the human experience. Yet, the film industry, like many creative fields, stands at a crossroads and is facing numerous challenges; ranging from financing to censorship. Bitcoin, the sound money of the digital age, not only has the potential to unleash the solutions to these problems but to revolutionize the film industry as well.
In this article, we will briefly examine Bitcoin’s potential to transform the film industry. This includes not only its themes and messages but also how it can be a transformative force for changing the way films are funded, distributed, and ultimately the overall expression of creative ideas.
Film Financing and Distribution: The Bitcoin Revolution
Film financing has long been a challenge for independent filmmakers and studios alike. From its humble beginnings in the late 19th century, where filmmakers often self-financed their projects, to the emergence of Hollywood studios in the early 20th century that centralized production and their funding, the industry has seen dramatic shifts.Traditional financing models rely heavily on intermediaries which often resulted in high fees, limited access to capital, complicated distribution networks and restricted creative control for filmmakers.
This is important because intermediaries or sponsors of films have a lot of say over the message of a given production. This can prevent creators from showing things they care about, and instead force them to include narratives that others care about in order to get paid. Bitcoin, as a form of “independent” money, could potentially transform this landscape, offering new possibilities for the film industry by cutting out middlemen, and also through micropayments, giving viewers the chance to reward creators for their work directly if they enjoy it.
Bitcoin’s borderless nature would also enable filmmakers to access funding from a truly global audience. The absence of geographical restrictions would empower creators from around the world to bring their stories to life without the limitations imposed by local financial systems. Let’s explore this concept further using Angel Studios as an example. The platform allows filmmakers to raise funds directly from their audience, breaking free from the constraints of traditional financing models. Through the Angel Studios platform, viewers become investors, supporting the creation of content they believe in. The power of this model will be fully unleashed once it’s on a Bitcoin standard and could attract a new wave of investors who see the value in supporting art while preserving their wealth.
Censorship-Resistant Money: Liberating Artistic Expression
Censorship has long been a thorn in the side of creatives since the dawn of time. Filmmakers have had to navigate a complex web of content regulations, often compromising their artistic vision. In an era where artistic expression is sometimes stifled due to political or ideological reasons, Bitcoin can free creative minds from these constraints.
With Bitcoin, filmmakers can receive funds from supporters across the globe without fear of censorship. For example artists living in repressive regimes are able to receive Bitcoin donations from supporters worldwide, ensuring that their financial independence and creative freedom are free from the influence of external pressures that may compromise their storytelling. It opens doors to controversial narratives, unconventional perspectives, and untold stories. Unlike transactions in the current financial system, Bitcoin transactions are censorship-resistant, thus offering a lifeline to those who wish to fund or create content that challenges the status quo.
Beyond Special Effects: The Substance Crisis in Modern Movies
Have you ever noticed how many modern films, beyond their dazzling special effects, often lack real substance? The quality of mass-produced films has gradually decreased over the years due to a lack of originality, which has led to the recycling of the same narratives; and even the stretching of plots transforming what could have been a concise and engaging one-hour experience into an unnecessarily long three-hour marathon. It’s very difficult to find something truly original amidst this sea of rehashed plots. To make matters worse, Hollywood’s tendency to stick to a formula often leads to the outright dismissal or even vilification of great content that doesn’t align with certain political agendas.
Take, for instance, the recently released film, “Sound of Freedom.” Based on the true story of Tim Ballard, a former Homeland Security agent who founded Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) to combat child sex trafficking, this movie faced immediate criticism from corporate media outlets upon its release. They labeled it as a right-wing conspiracy theory and questioned its credibility. While fostering open discussions and critical thinking is crucial, these criticisms severely downplayed the severe issue of child sex trafficking, despite its undeniable prevalence. The film’s success despite the backlash highlights the waning influence of narrative-driven corporate media and a growing appetite for content that authentically tackle real-world issues.
Bitcoin Cinema: A New Frontier for Independent Filmmakers
Independent filmmakers often operate outside the conventional and restrictive studio system; and they are dedicated to shedding light on underreported or controversial subjects, making them perfect candidates for Bitcoin adoption. In this landscape, independent cinema, including Bitcoin films, is a refreshing departure from what mass productions offer, especially those from Hollywood. Although still growing, Bitcoin Cinema already stands in stark contrast to the mainstream industry. While the majority of Bitcoin films remain in the realm of documentaries, there are a few notable exceptions, such as the ARTE-produced film “The Satoshi Mystery – The Story of Bitcoin” directed by Remi Forte and the soon to be released, first-ever feature-length fiction film, “The Bitcoin Executor,” which has already finished filming. After catching a glimpse of it, it will become abundantly clear that, though in its infancy, Bitcoin Cinema is anything but dull.
As Bitcoin cinema gains momentum, it’s also very important to gradually “orange pill” more filmmakers, movie theater companies, movie-focused media outlets, talent and casting agencies, and independent studios like Angel Studios. This integration holds the potential to transform the entire filmmaking ecosystem. When these key components of the industry operate on a Bitcoin standard, the odds of this new ecosystem’s success increase significantly.
Events such as film festivals and Bitcoin-funded movie premieres become essential parts of this strategy, acting as platforms for showcasing Bitcoin-infused cinema. Notably, the Bitcoin Film Fest (BFF) is gaining momentum as a leader in merging Bitcoin with the world of cinema, fostering a vibrant community of filmmakers, investors, and enthusiasts who are collectively shaping the future of film. This collaborative effort is poised to bring about a cinematic revolution that redefines not only how movies are financed and produced but also how they’re experienced and appreciated by audiences worldwide.
While there is still much more to be done, the foundations have already been laid and the future looks very bright. The steady rise of independent films, coupled with the growing interest in Bitcoin Cinema, showcases a future where creative expression and financial innovation converge, empowering filmmakers to share their stories with the world.