The NFT space has always attracted innovators, and Lost India is no exception.
Lost India is exploring the history of one of India's most famous poems with breakthrough technology and will become the first ever show released on a blockchain as an NFT.
Lost India is a documentary series about ancient India centered around an in-depth investigation looking at the historical accuracy of one of India's oldest and longest epic stories: The Mahabharata.
Each episode in the documentary will be released as an NFT that has been uploaded through ArDrive onto the Arweave network. Free episodes of the show will be released approximately one month after the release of the NFT version.
We sat down with Lost India to ask them a few questions about this innovative new approach to distributing a show to its audience as an NFT. Enjoy!
Why was it important for you to make the shows into NFTs?
The reasons for making films and tv shows into NFTs are many and in my opinion add up to a solution to the youtube and Netflix models. Youtube relies on advertising revenue and Netflix relies on subscriptions. Both of these models are very flawed when it comes to delivering quality content to users. Advertising interrupts and devalues content, while subscriptions rely on several very popular productions and generally create the large variety of generally poorly produced products that we now see on Netflix.
NFTs can put the power much more directly in the hands of directors and producers, allowing for large budgets to be built off of quality content that a large number of users are interested in. Our goal with doing this is to create a platform that combines the concepts you see in Netflix and open sea to create a very user friendly platform that can allow for a new film industry to be built around movies and shows that people actually want rather than propaganda.
When we began on our journey of this show 6 years ago we planned to make our own streaming platform for it. That plan evolved into selling to Netflix and then evolved more into making a platform for the show that utilizes NFTs and if that works, which it seems to be, we plan to make a broader platform that will allow filmmakers we want to work with to use the platform for their own films and shows as well. We feel a show lends itself better to NFTs than a film would because each new episode increases the popularity and value of the ones that came before. I also feel that the NFT space could use a new thing like this and that because we are the first on chain NFT film series we may have the ability to lead a bit on this and encourage the film world to be a bit more democratic
How will you be releasing the NFTs?
Lost India is a series so we will be releasing NFTs of each episode as they come out. The first season will have 9 or 10 episodes and we have already filmed most of season 2 as well so we will be seeing new Lost India NFTs as each episode is released. Each collection will be 10,000 with the initial floor price around $20 USD. We are currently releasing NFTs of our teaser which is our proof of concept.
How much total data will be uploaded for the first season of Lost India?
I'm not sure the total amount of data, because we may try to use a larger file size later in the season if we can work out how to get that to stream at the same speed but it will be a minimum of 12-15 GB, which is significantly smaller than our first estimates.
How did you find ArDrive for your project & what made it appealing?
I found Ardrive after a long search for a solution for permanent on chain storage of the show. I first found technologies like IPFS and Piñata but after trying to use them learned quickly that they were not actually a solution to the problem of information rug pulls. We could have stored the show on something like Google Drive, which you pay for storage but at any point we could delete the information or even accidents like forgetting to pay for the storage could lead to breaking the NFTs. Ardrive and the arweave blockchain seemed to be the only real solution to storing films or other motion picture content on chain in a way that it would not be deleted or compromised over time.
Did you look for any other storage solutions before settling on ArDrive?
I did an extensive search for other solutions and have still not found one that will solve our goals of having the show permanently available. Because the subject is historical and archeological and deals with archeological discoveries it was very important that the information would be available, even long after everyone on the team is old and dead.
Are you a developer? Did you use ArDrive Web or CLI to upload the assets for Lost India?
I would not call myself a developer. I'm a filmmaker and we often have to do development to achieve our goals but my skills as a dev are limited. We used Ardrive web because we were able to compress the files without losing quality and get them under the limit. However I'm probably going to use CLI shortly to also upload a feature film called Polarity as well.
Where to find Lost India
Episodes of Lost India will be available for purchase on OpenSea.
In addition, Lost India will be made freely available to the public.
Free episodes of the show will be released approximately one month after the release of the NFT version.