AMM Global, a production and investment company spun out of Hong Kong’s Asia Television, and Phoenix Waters Productions have announced “Crypto Keepers,” which they claim will be Asia’s first NFT drama series.
NFTs or non-fungible tokens, which aim to lock in the value of digital intellectual property, have taken the art and music worlds by storm and are now being expanded into more traditional media spheres.
The drama, an English and Cantonese language hybrid, is planned to shoot across multiple countries with the fictional narrative taking place against a backdrop of real events, with figures in the cryptocurrency space appearing on the show. It will be presented as 12 episodes, executive directed by Philip Ma, and delivered in 2022. The producers have not yet finalized a distribution company.
The story follows a group of young Hongkongers competing with a team of American bankers to create the next Bitcoin-like digital currency. As relations between the East and West sour, the two teams become part of a wider geopolitical movement, and put their personal and professional lives at stake to dominate in the world of crypto.
“Crypto Keepers” will be structured as a Hong Kong-U.K.-U.S. co-production. Development has been handled in partnership with Kudos co-founder Debbie Mason (“Life on Mars”, “Spooks”). Hong Kong-based tech company CryptoBLK is responsible for developing the series as an NFT. It is produced and co-financed by Phoenix Waters Productions, Hong Kong-based asset management firm YG Capital, and AMM Global.
“ ‘Crypto Keepers’ is part of our strategy to tell international, topical stories that bridge the gap between the East and West in a trailblazing manner,” said Bizhan Tong, who is senior executive at AMM, founder of Phoenix Waters and a former banker. Tong will be showrunner on the series.
Tong says that NFTs can strengthen viewers’ relationship with the show so that they engage with its characters and ecosystem after the show’s run time. “This exists in various forms and taking inspiration from arguably the most interactive form of storytelling – videogames. We are incorporating some of those functions via the use of NFTs, from the unlocking of concept art to collecting characters and even some of its most memorable scenes, Tong told Variety. “Other uses include collecting scripts, props, and all kinds of collectible artifacts.”
CryptoBLK has also partnered with Phoenix Waters Productions and AMM Global to convert gameshow “Blockchained!” into an NFT. “This is a pioneering endeavor towards creating NFTs which bring drama series and gameshows to a new high level of interaction with viewers,” said CryptoBLK CEO Duncan Wong.
Phoenix Waters Productions, YG Capital, and AMM have partnered on other Hong Kong productions. These include the recently-completed international pandemic thriller “Lockdown,” crime drama series “Forensic Psychologist,” and an Asian remake of Richard Linklater’s “Tape” which is being produced with original writer Stephen Belber (“Match,” “What We Do Next”).