Thu, 10 Feb 2022 17:10:00 GMT
Danielle Hinde and Eric Doak first met while working on a web series in the spring of 2020 (Danielle is the founder of Doomsday Entertainment, a production company that reps directors such as Hiro Murai), and they immediately struck up a friendly bond over things like ethos, creativity and music.
Eric got in touch with Danielle in February 2021, with the prospect of building a web3 project based around NFTs (non-fungible tokens) together. Her interest was piqued despite her self-confessed lack of knowledge about NFTs at the time. “I spent the next few weeks researching and processing all the hyperlinks Eric sent me, but once I wrapped my head around it, I was all in and DOOMSDAYX was officially born.”
DOOMSDAYX officially launched on 19th January as a business that aims to steer artists from short-term cash grabs to “long-term metaverse worldbuilding”, with an initial focus on delivering uniquely compelling and custom NFT projects. "With those key values remaining top of mind in our mission, DOOMSDAYX is a creative technology studio for web3 artists and fans, focused on redefining culture on chain,” Danielle tells me. “We created DOOMSDAYX to fuel a new era of music, fandom and storytelling both technologically and creatively. We provide creative, strategic and technical services to build bespoke projects for artists we believe in, while giving fans new levels of access, adventure and contribution.”
For Danielle, embracing the world of web3, blockchain, NFTs and the metaverse was a huge learning curve. What made it all the more challenging was that she was also recovering from a severe concussion at the same time. “Even with a healthy brain, understanding web3 is no easy feat, so it took me a good three to four weeks before I really started grasping the significance of it all – but once I did, I was so amped. I read all the books/articles and really immersed myself in the community to soak up as much as possible during the early stages – I am still learning today, and it’s been a wild ride.”
According to Danielle, web3 is changing the connection between consumers and creators, with music being one obvious opportunity in the space. The concept of fandom in 2022 is seldom a consumer relationship between artist and listener. “It’s an arena where all parties can coordinate, collaborate and win as a team,” she says. “It unlocks a new foundation.”
What’s more, Doomsday Entertainment understands what it takes to do work that connects beyond the immediate trend into the larger cultural fabric - music videos like Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’ are testament to that. “And that is what an NFT needs to be,” adds Danielle. “A piece that needs to hold its relevance and visual power well beyond the moment of its creation. These are not just paintings on a wall, JPEGS or avatars. They represent something far more potent. They are communities, platforms for change, whole metaverses that continue to evolve and shape themselves in new surprising ways. We’ve barely scratched the surface as far as what’s possible.”
DOOMSDAYX’s first project is a producer NFT Collection in partnership with artist and web3 pioneer Haleek Maul to fund a big budget music video and give fans new levels of access and rights. Haleek is recognised by the crypto community as one of the artists paving the way in web3, managing a thriving community on Discord and having sold several songs on Catalog; the first four songs off his INNER EP sold for 56 ETH ($235,000 at that time). Producer NFTs represent such a powerful option as they give fans access and rights without the artist having to give up any portion of their masters or publishing.
“For our first drop, we knew we had to work with a crypto-native artist who was already beloved by the community and would therefore embrace them,” says Danielle. “Haleek Maul is all of those things, so it was a no-brainer. We also wanted to be able to truly flex and show what we can do. We were able to raise 640k in three minutes for an epic music video shot in Barbados with an artist who operates outside of the mainstream music scene. Our Producer NFT holders got a front row seat to our production and the Platinum Producer NFT holders will get a producer credit by name. I’ve admittedly become a bit jaded after 24 years making music videos, but after sharing our process with the DOOMSDAYX community, I feel invigorated and inspired in ways that I haven’t experienced in my career yet.”
Danielle sees similarities between the creative process behind music videos and this project with Haleek Maul. That being said, what DOOMSDAYX can do that the more traditional process can’t is to sidestep the go-betweens who have a tendency to water down a production’s creativity. “Before DOOMSDAYX, we grew accustomed to the same scenario,” Danielle says. “Our director would submit their very elaborate treatment to the label, it entered the running alongside several competing directors and then we would wait to hear back, often finding out we didn’t get it because the video was already online or that the artist didn’t even see our treatment. The creative we developed with Haleek was artist-to-artist and devoid of others telling them they couldn’t do certain things for whatever reason. DOOMSDAYX was the client, so we were able to approve overages based on creative decisions my director wanted to make the best possible video. I honestly don’t believe we could have achieved our video through traditional means – it would have been shut down immediately before we could even make it to the next step.”
To build out the team at DOOMSDAYX, Eric has assembled what Danielle calls “the absolute A Team of native crypto heads and they are all the biggest thought leaders in the space”. They also have creatives, NFT strategists, crypto community builders and music marketers from web2 “to help bridge the gap”.
“NFTs represent a new form of deliverables for artists,” adds Danielle. “We’ve already seen so much growth in the last year, and it will continue to evolve from there. This evolution in opportunity is what we are working on developing every day, and it’s so exciting to crack our creativity wide open without limitations.
“It is 100% a game changer [to the advertising and production communities]. We are trying to rebuild the music industry from the ground up and create a new model for both web3 and web2 artists. We are directly connecting fans to musicians in ways that weren’t possible before – fans are becoming stakeholders and contributors to their favourite artist’s career. NFTs may just seem like a bunch of expensive JPEGS to people right now, but the entertainment industry will have to start wrapping their heads around it ASAP because it’s not slowing down anytime soon!”