MPI fellow Calvin Tran recently debuted his show Rizqui Presents: Blockchain on Amazon Prime. Produced by his production company NodeHaus, the series follows its host, international hip hop dance artist and data visualizer Rizqi Rachmat, as he explains the fundamentals of blockchain technology to an unversed audience. MPI caught up with Calvin (CT) and Rizqui (RR) to get the inside scoop on the venture. Here’s what they had to say:
MPI: Why make a series about blockchain technology? CT: The value of this technology is incredible and world-changing, and yet the world still doesn’t understand it very well. Considering it’s been ten years since the beginning of Bitcoin, I wanted to jump right in and help people grasp it better.
MPI: What’s the biggest misconception about blockchain, and how do you address it? CT: Blockchain is a tech protocol that can have many different applications in our lives. We demonstrate that in our show by touching on the different ways new ventures are using blockchain. It has the potential to revolutionize whole industries.
MPI: What’s the greatest challenge facing blockchain right now? CT: Slow, confusing, and unnecessary regulation. The industrial energy is definitely there, but it is diminished if major regulatory bodies act too slowly, if their laws are too confusing, or if their rules are just too onerous. We need good, solid legal parameters as soon as possible.
MPI: What did you learn in the process of making this show? CT: Producing a documentary series requires a lot more pre-production than I thought. Even though it’s unscripted, and a lot of the production depends on your instincts on-set, there’s definitely so much to prepare for before shooting. Lesson learned! RR: No matter how people feel about the hype and salience of bitcoin as an investment, BTC is undoubtedly changing markets (and minds).
MPI: What has been the response to this series? CT: Incredible. We’ve gotten great reviews on Amazon, and around 5,000 views on the site,which is great for a pay-walled series. I’ve had so many great conversations where people have said I’ve helped introduce this industry to people in an accessible way for the first time.
MPI: How can the embrace of blockchain improve the world? How does the individual benefit from blockchain? RR: It’s as revolutionary as the printing press, the computer, and the internet. How did those benefit the individual and the world? CT: This is a decentralized record-keeping protocol. That means truth is being decentralized instead of remaining dependent on central institutions such as big businesses, banks, and governments, all of which has been the cornerstone of the developed world since the Second World War. This is going to change the way our world works under-the-hood.
MPI: How did MPI support your early filmmaking career? CT: MPI has been there for me since my senior year of high school, when I went to their inaugural conference with the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). Since then, MPI has supported me with workshops, a strong network, and even production grants. They’ve done a great job of planting the seeds to help my career take off.
MPI: What advice would you give filmmakers looking to make and sell their first series? CT: Be as unique and flexible as a startup. You’re providing a real value to people and your real job is discovering what that value is and executing it. If you’ve got a unique idea, you’ve also got to have unique market to serve.
MPI: Tell us about the new projects you’re working on. RR: Data visualizations and engineering of F35 simulators using gaming network protocols. Next-level hip hop cultural diplomacy initiatives, focusing on conflict transformation and entrepreneurship. Founding and incorporating a new venture called Chart Supply Co. CT: I’m developing a new show called Bitcoin World Tour, a travel-tech show on blockchain use-cases around the world. I’m also developing a documentary on Dennis Rodman and a feature comedy about marijuana and local politics in a trailer park.