With the launch of its new platform, startup StoryCo wants to rewrite the rules that have, for decades, governed the Hollywood creative process.
“Creators have to move to Hollywood, hire a manager, get an agent, get staffed into a writer's room and then finally they might get their big break,” said StoryCo co-founder Justin Alanís. “We, instead, give creators the opportunity to contribute freely to existing stories and intellectual property and to also build out new stories … in a way that cuts out the middleman and allows them to connect directly with their supporters and other creators.”
To do so Alanis has enlisted Hollywood veterans keen to level the playing field for future creators. So far the company’s most important creative partner has been Kyle Killen, writer-producer of the TV-adaption of the popular “Halo” video game. Killen, the writer and “story architect” behind StoryCo’s first project “The Disco Ball,” joined forces with StoryCo earlier this year. The company has raised $6 million in seed funding.
“The Disco Ball” story follows a crew of astronauts committed to saving the multiverse. The first chapter is available online and StoryCo's expectation is that the story will continue to unfold over the next several months as “creators from around the globe expand and extend the story world alongside its chief creators.”
The first episodes of the animated series “The Disco Ball” are initially being created by Killen, tasked with writing duties, and a cast of actors with credits from hit shows like “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “The Bear” and “The Americans.” Actors like Stephanie Beatriz and Costa Ronin are among those starring in the sci-fi project.
'Profit Points' minted on the blockchain
As “The Disco Ball” narrative evolves, “artists, writers, musicians, actors, producers, and many other types of creators” will be invited to create story elements and earn “Profit Points,” StoryCo said in a statement.
Minted on the blockchain, “Profit Points" will be awarded to participating creators and will be their way to share in the potential financial success of the show. The company said it has already benefited from creative contributions including illustrations provided by a Nigerian art student, writing from a high school English teacher in New York state and a notable “voice performance” from a retired Disney employee in their 70s.
Killen, who said it took him about a decade to break into Hollywood, said he found the way communities form around different events and brands within the world of blockchain not only refreshing but also something the entertainment industry has begun to lack. His hope is that by marrying seasoned professionals like himself with passionate new creators, all of whom are passionate about a common project, a new way of crafting memorable content can be created.
“I felt like there is a hunger for people to participate and feel like they are a part of something,” said Killen. “The StoryCo platform provides a way for people to not only contribute but to be compensated.”
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