The "Storyline" Newsletter
The "Storyline" from StoryCo - 001
Hello! Welcome to the first edition of the new and improved "the Storyline" from StoryCo.
From here-on-out, the Storyline will be your go-to place for anything and everything storytelling related across the worlds of Web3, Hollywood, AI, and internet and meme culture. This will also be the forum in which we share updates on The Disco Ball production and other internal goings-on at StoryCo.
Our goal is to inspire our StoryCo community to pursue creative storytelling endeavors, both personal and with the many co-creation initiatives we have already started to roll out.
Without further ado…
We are knee-deep in production on The Disco Ball - working with actors and artists, recording, building the core story platform, and more. We will be sharing updates and pre-releasing story content to the community in the weeks ahead - both online and IRL, so please stay tuned, particularly in our Discord and on Twitter.
In the meantime, we are eager to share with you some other exciting updates and news items in regards to the project!
The Disco Ball Story Artists shelby and sandy to be Included in “Aku’s Art Collection”
Some HUGE news from the desk of Micah Johnson and the Aku team: The Disco Ball Story Artists shelby and sandy have been announced as one of the five artists creating special edition NFT backpacks for the next Aku collection!
For those who don’t know, Aku is an animated character created by former MLB player-turned-artist Micah Johnson. Aku is known for his signature backpack and astronaut helmet, and has been featured in a series of NFT collections since the first Aku NFT dropped in February of 2021 on Nifty Gateway. The character is one of the most beloved and sought after pieces of IP in the entire NFT space.
The upcoming Yellow Backpack NFTs are in commemoration of the two-year anniversary of Aku’s genesis drop, and we couldn’t be more amped to have The Disco Ball’s Story Artists creating art for the collection.
🎨 Meet our First Disco Ball Bounty Winner, Aanu 🎨
We don’t take the “Co” in StoryCo lightly - The Disco Ball and all subsequent StoryCo productions will have an endless variety of opportunities for our community to co-create elements of our Story Universes. Our first creative-bounty winner was Aanu, a world-class artist from Nigeria.
Aanuoluwapo, or Aanu to his friends, was born and raised in Abeokuta, a city of approximately 500,000 people located about 50 miles inland from Lagos
Aanu has been working with our team for a couple of weeks creating amazing supplementary panel illustrations for the backstory of one of the main characters in The Disco Ball, supporting shelby and sandy’s creative vision and leadership for the main production.
Growing up, Aanu was heavily into comics and began creating his own at the age of 10. His interests quickly expanded to gaming, leading him to combine his two passions at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), where he currently studies and majors in art with a focus on graphics and flash art.
Aanu is a massive talent, and we can’t wait to see his completed Disco Ball illustrations. Sneak peaks coming soon.
Request for Proposal: Diorama Artist Bounty
If you missed our first creative bounty, don’t fret - we are currently accepting proposals for another amazing opportunity to have your art incorporated into the The Disco Ball Story Universe. We’re seeking a diorama artist, miniatures artist, or someone with relevant skills (any certified professional LEGO builders out there?) to help create a key piece of art for an early chapter of The Disco Ball experience. We encourage you to get those applications in and spread the word to the various creative communities you may be part of. Deadline to apply is Friday, 3/3.
Some Disco Ball Production Musings from J.P.
Hello! J.P. here from the (remote) set of The Disco Ball…
As I’ve coordinated and sat in on our first few actor voice-over sessions for The Disco Ball, I’ve done some reflecting on why we’re building what we’re building here at StoryCo, and what we’re hoping to accomplish with productions like The Disco Ball.
There was an epiphany moment while I was in a recording session last week. I was watching some of The Disco Ball characters come to life through jaw-dropping performances from our A-List Hollywood cast who were written into existence by a top tier Hollywood writer in Kyle Killen, when I got an email in my inbox from Aanu - our first artist bounty winner. It was an update on his progress, and as I scrolled through the incredible illustrations he's been working on for the backstory of one of our main characters… it hit me:
Aanu lives about as far away from Hollywood as one could get, separated from the traditional Hollywood system by a slew of literal and metaphorical barriers. Yet, through the powers of community and community co-creation, Aanu’s landed a seat at the table of a full-fledged Hollywood production.
Couple this with the notion that The Disco Ball will be not only consumed by our community but owned and governed by them, an unprecedented notion in the traditional world of Hollywood in which IP is gate-kept by the powers at be.
All this is to say that my conviction in what it is we’re building here at StoryCo, and what we’re creating with The Disco Ball, has somehow been even more reaffirmed than it already was…
Last week we launched our first “storycollab" challenge, an initiative we’re rolling out to co-create a full-fledged Story Universe with our community. The contest will build upon itself week-after-week, and each week's winner will be voted on by the community.
The challenge commenced with a prompt for community members to come up with ideas for a potential setting of a future StoryCo Story Universe (congrats to the winner, community member @Pavel G!). The second prompt is now live in the Challenge #2 Discord channel, building on the first one by challenging the community to come up with a main character or characters. There have already been some awesome submissions, and we can’t wait to see the other creative submissions to come!
Our StoryCo community spotlight will be where we highlight the awesome creative work getting produced by our community members.
This week we have some exciting announcements from three of our Producer Token holders!
First we have Sam Kadi, whose new film LAMYA’S POEM is now available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube Movies, and On Demand!!
Check out the trailer:
Logline: “A Syrian girl escaping war is given a book of poetry by Rumi. The book becomes a magical gateway where she meets Rumi when he was a boy fleeing the violence of his time and must help him write the poem that 800 years later will save her life.”
Many on our team have had GLOWING reviews for the film's heartwarming coming-of-age themes and inspiring use of poetry and language. Give it a watch with your loved ones.
Next, we have an awesome NFT drop from Sherry McCracken’s Never Alone (NAx) Film3 production company. “Encounter: A Divine Inspiration in the City” is an original piece of animated artwork from Sundog, inspired by NAx’s first film, DOLLYVILLE. The token, available to mint now Manifold, will serve as an access pass to future online screenings of DOLLYVILLE.
J.P. got his hands on the 20th edition!
Last but not least we have Ben James’ genesis 404 NFT collection, which drops on March 1st! 404 is an incredible project steeped in sprawling lore and unique digital art.
There is still much to be revealed with regards to the NFT utility and lore, but the collection consists of 4,444 “Areas,” serving as one’s key to the larger 404 ecosystem. The public mint will open on March 8th-follow 404 on Twitter for more announcements and updates as the collection drops.
Oh, and Producer Token holders might have special access to the drop as well, so stay tuned on that 👀.
Sam, Sherry and Ben were all early supporters of StoryCo as Producer Token Holders. We’re over the moon that their work is being released to such wide audiences, and highly encourage you all to check their projects out.
Our content roundup will be where we compile a mishmash of content from around the internet that the StoryCo team has found enlightening, inspiring, humorous, and/or amusing in any way. We’ve segmented the content by categories in relation to the different industries at the intersection of which our company exists.
Please reach out if any content you stumble-on in your scrolling would fit in this section for a future newsletter.
- StoryCo lead investor and Producer Token holder Derek Edward Schloss made waves on crypto Twitter with his Substack article “Storing Value in Digital Objects.” In the enlightening piece, Derek highlights the revolutionary value decentralized IP ownership will have in enabling fans to invest in and own a piece of a creator's work, opening up novel forms of digital revenue streams and empowering fans to contribute to the success of their favorite artists
- Pplpleasr, a pioneer in Web3 narrative storytelling, appeared on the PROOF podcast with Kevin Rose to discuss how Web3 technology allowed her to bypass traditional Hollywood gatekeepers with her various creative endeavors, enabling her to leverage co-creation mechanisms to create quality content with a bootstrapped team and release that content directly to her fans
- StoryCo got a shoutout in “Overpriced JPEGs with Carly Reilly,” during a recent episode with former Disney Exec Jon Rogers! Skip to 57:00 to hear what was said about our rebrand and mission (and listen to the entire thing for some great insight into the current Web3 media landscape)
- COCAINE BEAR just opened its theatrical run and is already taking the world by storm (ok, maybe just the internet). The movie is based on a true story about a bear that did cocaine, and looks truly *batsh*t*
- A Fun thought experiment to mull over - Taxi Driver? After Hours? Gangs of New York?? So many fun choices
- Filmmaker and TV showrunner Tony Tost is always gracing our Twitter feeds with inspiring content from cinema history and insightful tips for aspiring filmmakers - we loved these photos of classic 90s movie stars and celebrities just being cool
- We’ve been coming back to this enlightening Twitter thread from filmmaker Cameron Van Hoy in which he explains how AI is making the filmmaking process - from pre through post-production - more time and cost efficient
- This animated reimagination of Indiana Jones using AI tool Runway speaks for itself. It’s truly mind-boggling how AI will change every facet of the filmmaking process
- On a less-inspiring note in the world of AI - an AI generated animation of Jerry Seinfeld made transphobic and homophobic jokes during a standup bit on a live Twitch stream, resulting in a 14-day ban from the streaming platform. With the good comes the bad in these early days of AI innovation
- @0xGaut’s “Shitposting Works” newsletter has opened our eyes to how memes and satirical internet culture shape new narratives, and repurpose our most storied cultural touchstones into current societal contexts- all while using humor and simple, effective narrative devices to connect with readers and convey a message
- One of the funniest meme accounts on Twitter right now is ”Christopher Moltisanti Weighs In On Current Events,” which consists of commentary on the hottest discourse of the day on the Twittersphere in the voice of everyone’s favorite Sopranos character
- Bitcoin Ordinals have taken crypto Twitter by storm in recent weeks, and vocal Bitcoiner Udi Wertheimer is the creator of the OG Ordinals project Taproot Wizards. Udi wrote an enligtning Twitter post explaining how the project is an homage to a 2013 meme in r/Bitcoin that helped galvanize mainstream attention for Bitcoin in its incipient days
ICYMI: We rebranded → StoryCo and announced our $6m seed round
As many of you know by now, January was a massive month for us. We rebranded from StoryDAO to StoryCo, and announced our $6m seed round raise and details of our first production, The Disco Ball.
We generated a ton of buzz, over 100k visits to our new website, and over 60k new member sign ups in just the first two weeks.
Catch J.P. and Justin on the “NFT Steez” and “One More Question” Podcasts
Listen as StoryCo’s co-founders, brothers J.P. and Justin Alanís, jump on the NFT Steez podcast from Cointelegraph and Ross Drakes’ One More Question podcast. They discuss among other topics: emerging trends in the Web3 space and entertainment industry, storytelling NFTs and “Film3,” and the state of The Disco Ball production and other internal projects at StoryCo.
Technical Product Manager: We’re looking for a Technical Project Manager who has a passion for storytelling and collaboration, and a proven track record of delivering complex projects. Know someone who fits the bill? Please ask them to apply here.
International moderators: With the explosive growth of our community in the last few weeks, we’re ready to expand our team of Community Moderators! We’re specifically looking for folks who live in Eastern Hemisphere timezones to help bring our team to a 24 hour cycle. Check out the job description and link to apply here!
Let’s Get Social: We Just changed all of our social media handles from StoryDAOxyz to StoryCoHQ. Please give us a follow!
Join Discord: We’re building our Discord to be a hub for writers, filmmakers, and any other artists and creatives. Join to get acquainted with our community and stay up to date with our upcoming events, activations and contests — more