this is bbc news. we will have the headlines and all the main news stories for you at the top of the hour straight after this programme. this week, it's pure box office. we'll find out how to buy into the latest blockchain blockbuster. we'll talk to the titanic talent behind terminator. we'll give a vfx artist a ring — orten. and did someone mention box office? well, i'm in a box, at least.
los angeles, the place where anything is possible — even the weird stuff that i've got up to here over the years. it's a town that revels in the new and right now, that town seems to be talking about nfts. now, as a reminder, nfts are a way of recording who owns what — mainly digital art and music. frankly, the mind still boggles every time i remember that this image by beeple sold for almost $17 million at auction. so, i thought i would jump on the bandwagon. now, anyone can create — or mint — an nft. in fact, i have minted myself, which was refreshing!
that means that this mini animation now has a unique identifier which has been recorded on... ..the blockchain! an indisputable record of who owns it and who buys it afterwards. now, last year, a lot of the focus on nfts was on ownership of digital images and small animations but 2022 looks like being the year that hollywood sits up, takes notice and decides, "yeah, i wouldn't mind a bit of all that!" simon hancock has been talking to some of those hoping to mint some films to print some films and make a mint. that sounded better in my head. over to you, simon. for over 100 years, hollywood has been the centre of the movie—making world. this is the city of angels, the city where people come every year to turn their dreams into reality.
but those dreams, of course, don't come for free. while those in hollywood may be more used to massaging egos rather than breaking down the blockchain, it hasn't stopped them spotting an opportunity and if there is one thing people here love more than anything else, it's opportunity. six months ago, i thought nft was a football club in germany — i'm not kidding. nft stuttgart or something. as a producer working with martin scorsese on the likes of the irishman and silence, nielsjuul is used to spending years trying to get films made. and despite the rise of streamers like netflix and apple, he believes it's getting more and more difficult to secure money for independent and mid—budget films. a movie like kramer vs kramer, for instance, or any big, great oscar movies that we all love and cherish, today — or at least in the last six years — would never have been made in this climate because it's simply not possible to raise the money for it. and if you do, it's an average time of 5—6 years to get it financed, because it's
a complex operation and it's complex how it works. his next film, though, won't be financed through traditional means. with several other investors, niels has started nft studios — a studio he believes can democratise film financing with tokens being minted and bought by an online community. when i heard about this, there was two aspects of it that was really, really interesting. one is that these are communities that very engaged in art and music and, you know, film, et cetera, but also that they are engaged investors. and how interesting it would be to have people invest in something where they have an excitement to be involved in from it an art perspective orfrom a movie perspective. and then we started thinking, "oh, boy! there's a market hub in every investor." and as a producer, that's the best you can get. the studio plans to make a $10 million budget movie called a wing and a prayer that focuses on the british adventurer brian milton and his quest to travel around the globe in an
ultralight aircraft. the film's star will be announced next month and cameras are set to roll in malta onjune14th. those willing to part with their hard—earned cash will secure tokens in the film and, a bit like some crowdfunding campaigns, will receive perks, depending on the level of their contribution. they will also have a say in how the studio is run as part of a decentralised autonomous organisation, or dao. we don't want to have to put every single process to the dao, right? how much we're gonna pay the cameraman, how much are going to allocate for catering when we're on malta, filming this movie? the decisions are too small and the process is too long to leave everything up to the community, right? so what we want to do is let the community have this creative direction.
what scripts are we going to play? who's going to compose the score? and, like, have that feeling of involvement without having to really deal with the really nitty—gritty stuff involved in this. coming from a marketing standpoint, there is no, like, "we must target this exact demographic, from the ages of 16 to 29 with this salary, from this place." that isjust not the case any more. we're — it's creating a decentralised world where people — everyone can be involved in the arts. you don't have to have millions of dollars to be involved in a film any more, and that's what's so exciting. but buying an nft can't force anyone to make a film and with all the risks in the movie game, what guarantees are there for contributors it will ever happen? we will make this movie, and i don't have a choice — we don't have a choice. we came out and said we're going to do it, we're going to have to do it — that's just how it is. and so, if i had to sell two of my children out of three, that's not so bad. i will sell — i don't know which one yet. i'll have to get back to you on that. no, but we will get it done. it's gold rush time for nfts, and notjust films. the market for movie memorabilia is potentially huge. and in this new frontier,
that means headaches all round. this week, quentin tarantino put scans of handwritten pulp fiction script notes up for auction. i have the entire pulp fiction script, written in my own hand. the nft drop has led to a bitter legal battle between the film—maker and miramax. mother... ! ..the company behind the film. kal raustiala is a professor in international law and has written extensively about nfts. he thinks hollywood will be watching the outcome of the tarantino case closely. you know, there's so much money potentially to be made but if it keeps flowing, there's going to be disputes and the disputes, again, will turn on what does the given contract say? and no—one anticipated any of this. so this will not necessarily decide the issue, because every contract is a little bit different, but it will certainly help shape some of the debate in the courts and also what's happening right now in town, here in la — how are contracts being written today? and then, will people team up to make the money or will they argue over the money? there is an air of desperation around nfting anything possible in the hopes that, somehow, money will rain down. i'm not convinced that all of these things will work, but some of them may. artist versus corporation — it's a familiar hollywood story — and some do think nfts
could help return some control to the artist. what i'm excited about with web3 is that it feels like a sort of renaissance — a revolution where art is coming back to the forefront and, you know, artists are in the spotlight now. that's the beauty of the blockchain. it's just there's physical proof and there is a way to track someone's artwork. in the end, the royalties and the money goes directly to the artist, and that is empowering. photographer, film—maker — and, yes, daughter of oscar winner al — julie pacino has been selling nfts of her photography in order to finance her upcoming debut feature. my genesis collection, i live here now, the photos from that collection inspired the screenplay from my first feature film. yes, the film will get financed with nfts but the film will also be better
because of nfts. now, i have collectors who are excited about the movie, who have interpretations of the artwork about the movie that can then open my mind to things that i never even saw when i was taking the photo, and so that inspires new storylines and, you know, different ideas for characters. so far, the big companies have been reluctant to abandon their usual financial methods in favour of community—led collaboration. that may well change if the nft space continues to attract deep pockets. my good friend phil said — he quoted me from moneyball, this movie moneyball, where he said, "if you want to be the first man to walk through a wall, you're going to expect a bloody nose." and we feel that way! but we are happy with it because we know that this industry needs some disruption. the financial system of this is broken. it has not kept up with the digital streamers at all. so it's an industry that is lagging behind modern world, digital world, streaming world and new financings
worlds, and so, yeah, we are the first and that's why also, we have — we feel the pressure, definitely. traditional hollywood may not have embraced the disruptive mentality quite yet, but the thing is, if you'd have suggested ten years ago that martin scorsese would make a 3.5—hour movie costing hundreds of millions of dollars for a streaming service that used to rent out and mail dvds, you'd have been laughed out of town. it's clear that change is on the horizon. whether nfts are part of that long term is a question that only audiences will be able to answer. hello. it's that time again. welcome to the week in tech. it was the week microsoft announced it will buy candy crush and call of duty games company activision blizzard for around $70 billion. youtube's internal content—making arm youtube originals is closing down. and some mobile networks in the usa are delaying switch on for the specific part of the sg spectrum around us airports.
this week's seen a push to clean up the world of online advertising. the advertising standards authority has called out some influencers for failing mark their instagram posts as ads, and the uk treasury announced it will pass new laws about misleading crypto asset promotions. remember anymal, the robot that could go on two legs or four legs or even wheels? well, researchers have let it out of the lab and out on its own. the real world is harderfor a robot. some terrain may look solid but gives way when walked on. learning how to get over all kinds of surfaces remotely can help search—and—rescue robots like this navigate hazardous environments. and finally, you might want headphones for this one, as the australian open is now accessible to ears as well as eyes. blind and visually impaired people can now hear the position of the tennis ball, thanks to action audio, which places ball bounces and hits in a 3d space. have a listen.
different tones play. its inventors use real—time data from ball—monitoring software already in use for umpire decisions. game, headset and match! what am i doing over there, though? what's he doing? in early 2020, pretty much the last thing i filmed outside of the uk — just before we were all locked inside our homes — was portl, in los angeles. spoileralert, i'm not really in the box — i'm over here! not quite a hologram but so remarkably lifelike that it really impressed me. it was a backlit cubicle and a large transparent lcd screen which really made it look like there was someone in the box. exactly two years on, i'm finally back in la and i wanted to catch up with david nussbaum to see what's happened to his idea. how have you been?
it looks like you are doing ok. we're doing all right. how has the pandemic affected the course that portl took? well, i thought that we were going to be doing a lot of permanent installations a couple of years ago. i was talking about portls being permanently installed in movie theatre lobbies and hotels. everything shut down right after i said that. chuckles. so what we did was, when everything shut down, we focused on live beaming. if you cannot be there, beam there. there are now more than 200 portls around the world and as long as you have a connection of 15—20 mb per second, you can talk back to the person in the box. yeah, it's more expensive than a zoom call but, of course, it's more eye—catching, too. and that's why they're also being used for advertising with some shopping malls streaming 4k animations and video from the cloud. the window of the future, if you are walking into a retail location, might look something like this. i cannot listen to you at
the moment because in my peripheral vision, there is a lion walking towards me on a travelator. laughs. a cgi lion. now, last time i was here, i was beamed into the portl using a very expensive 4k camera and a lot of cables. but, as i said before, technology only moves in one direction, so now, would you believe, i am being filmed on a phone and sent wirelessly into the portl? now, there is a bit of a delay, admittedly, but apart from that, i'm in the box. tiktok stars, instagrammers, youtubers — they're the movie stars of today and i said, "well, if they are creating content on their phones right now, i want them to be able to create content for our devices on their phones," so we have developed an app that goes on any smartphone that allows people to remove the camera and start using their phones. what's really interesting is that once you've cracked the main problem, you can start drawing on other ideas
and plugging into other existing technologies — so, of course, this is going to start talking to snapchat and of course you're going to be able to turn into iron man or mr cartoon face or... sighs. ..i don't know, whatever you want, really. donkey brays. what? what are they doing to me? and while i make an ass of myself, here is the next portl. it's not life—sized, it's desktop—sized. now, there are no working prototypes yet — these are cg simulations — but there are also no real technological barriers preventing them from being built. picture a virtual assistant, so we're putting a face to alexa. we can also display your nfts and all of your digital artwork. i can see architects using this as a way to display their — the structures that they are working on. you could zoom in —
it's touchscreen, it's voice—activated, so you can move it around and manipulate it. i can see little sally talking to grandma from across the pond as a way of full interaction, right? i wonder what another pioneer of the moving image — james cameron — would make of all of this. well, as it happens, we spoke to him recently, and would you believe it, the man behind the terminator is actually a bit wary of some of the latest developments from the tech world. almost everything we create seems to go wrong at some point. i have worked at the cutting—edge of visual effects and our goal has been progressively to get more and more photo real. and so, every time we improve these tools we are actually, in a sense, building a tool set to create fake media, and we are seeing it happening now. right now, the tools are people just playing around on apps, aren't that great. but over time, those limitations will go away.
things that you see and fully believe you are seeing could be faked. i'm going to show you some magic. this is the great problem with us relying on video. you have to really emphasise critical thinking. "where did you hear that?" ..in defiance of tyranny. the fact that he is talking about this stuff is just absolutely amazing. you know, we have all these search tools available, but people don't use them. understand your source, investigate your source. is your source credible? but we also shouldn't be prone to this ridiculous conspiracy paranoia. you take a straight edge and you go straight edge, just to the other end, and it's flat. people in the science community don'tjust go, "oh, that's great!", when some scientist, you know, publishes their results.
no, you go into this big period of peer review. it's for to be vetted and checked. the nobel committee says the work of both men could revolutionise stem cell treatment. and the more radical a finding, the more peer review there is, so good peer—reviewed science can't lie, but people's minds, for some reason, will go to the sexier, more thriller—movie interpretation of reality than the obvious one. qanon is just an amalgamation of all of the greatest conspiracy theories. i always use occam's razor. occam's razor�*s a great sort of philosophical tool. it says the simplest explanation is likeliest, and conspiracy theories are all too complicated. president trump is trying to get all these people to go to jail for paedophilia, child sacrifice. people aren't that good. human systems aren't that good. people can't keep a secret to save their lives and most people in positions of power are bumbling stooges. the fact that we think they could realistically pull off these complex plots, i don't buy any of that crap.
bill gates is not really trying to microchip you with the flu vaccine. he laughs. you know, look, iam always sceptical of new technology — we all should be. every single advancement in technology that has ever been created has been weaponised. well, i say this to ai scientists all the time, and they go, "no, no, no! we've got this under control," you know? "we just give the ais the right goals." so who is deciding what those goals are — the people that put up the money for research, right? which are all either big business or defence. so you are going to teach these new sentient entities to be either greedy or murderous. look, if skynet wanted to take over and wipe us out, it would actually look a lot like what is going on right now. all of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical left democrats, which is what they are doing.
it's not going to have to, like, wipe out the entire, you know, biosphere and environment with nuclear weapons to do it. it's going to be so much easier and less energy required to just turn our minds against ourselves. all skynet would have to do is just deep fake a bunch of people, pit them against each other, stir up a lot of foment... ..china... — ..people out there... ..they're bringing crime. ~~antifa~ _ ..and then just run this gigantic deep fake on humanity. gunfire. yelling. i mean, i could be a projection of an a! right now. that was james cameron. and from one film legend to another now — specifically shang—chi and the legend of the ten rings, one of the films from last year that proves there are glimmers of life returning to the box office. now, this is a marvel superhero origin story that combines impressive choreography with equally impressive visual effects and, after seeing it — well, we had to find out how it was done, didn't we?
you are a product of all who came before you. the legacy of your family. you are your mother. and, whether you like it or not, you are also your father. music builds. we did the final battle with the good versus evil, the demons versus the humans. it has got everything that you really want to work on as a cg artist. it has, you know, dragons and beasts and massive effects, and kung fu fighting. i mean, it's pretty much everything you could possibly want. you know, it's this insane action, it's this crazy action beats going on, dragons, and then it's like, "oh, yeah, but make it — try and make it realistic at the same time," and so, that was sort of our challenge is to always try and, you know,
as fantastical as it is, try and ground it a little bit as well and not — not, yeah, not — not push it too far in either direction and, you know, from an emotion standpoint, just trying to keep it — that movement somewhat grounded in reality. and, you know, if you have got, you know, these two huge beasts fighting, you're — luckily, you have these two human characters there also, so you try and, you know, stick the camera around them, try and frame it from their prospective, which, luckily, gives you a lot of scale, as well. we looked at a lot of reference, even for things like, you know, dragons, it was — we are trying to always find something that would give it an element of realism. like, we are looking at, you know, sea snakes and iguanas sort of moving through the ocean and how they sort of push their tail and move around, so it was some element of, yeah, realism, despite all the craziness that was going on. it always starts with good intentions. we have had a few of these
on marvel shows where they shoot something and then the story kind of changes a little bit so they — more than once, we have had to just roto the actors off the plates and replace it with an entirely cg environment. it's still a bit tricky to make it feel not quite stage lit, you know, when you have an enclosed environment or a semi—enclosed environment, making sure that you can adjust the plate lighting to match the cg lighting and vice—versa, is a bit tricky at times. aside from the characters, we had to replace the entire environment. to get a rough idea of how render—intensive this show was, the water especially, the shot where the dragon encases the beast and all the demons are feeding him to power him up, the water alone would have taken a single—core processor
25 years to render. you can't outrun... ..who you really are. and we'll find out soon whether shang—chi has moved up from the shortlist to the list of five films which are nominated for the best vfx oscar. in the meantime, that's it from us from los angeles for this week. don't forget, we live on social media — on facebook, youtube, instagram and twitter — @bbcclick. thanks for watching and we'll see you soon. hello there. wednesday brings the promise
of a bit more brightness. some sunshine, even, across parts of england and wales after what has been a very stagnant and cloudy and cold few days. you can see that haze of grey on the earlier satellite picture. bright white cloud up to the north—west, though. that's indicative of frontal systems approaching, eventually bringing some rain into scotland and northern ireland, with a strengthening wind. so, through wednesday, england and wales having a better chance of some sunny spells, although towards the south—east corner it may stay cloudy for a good part of the day. strengthening winds across northern areas. rain just getting into northern ireland, certainly setting in across western and north—western scotland through the afternoon. gusts of wind in excess of 50 mph in exposed north—western parts. but milder than it has been, certainly across england and wales — eight, nine, ten degrees. northern ireland and scotland up to 10—11. through wednesday night, it will turn very, very windy in the far north. gales, even severe gales,
close to the northern isles. our band of cloud and increasingly light and patchy rain will be sinking its way southwards through the night. with some fairly windy weather, and relatively cloudy weather as well, temperatures should stay above freezing in most places. so, into thursday, this frontal system pushing its way southwards, taking cloud and patchy rain across england and wales. low pressure still close to the north—east of scotland, so a very blustery start to the day here. that wind will only slowly ease as the day wears on. our band of cloud and patchy rain clinging on for a time across southern counties of england. it should clear out into the english channel by the afternoon to allow brighter skies to develop. some showers feeding in on the north—westerly breeze. temperatures for most of us between seven and 12 degrees. now, thursday night could get a little bit chilly, this ridge of high pressure building in. that could allow for some frost and some fog, but there's another frontal system approaching from the west. that'll be freshening up the winds as we go through the day, particularly across northern ireland and scotland. rain getting into north—west scotland. in fact, some quite heavy rain through the north—west highlands. further south and east,
increasing amounts of cloud. best of the sunshine in eastern counties. eight or nine degrees along the east coast of england. more like 10—11 for western parts of the uk. the weekend looks unsettled and changeable. some rain at times, but not all the time. could be quite windy and generally, particularly on saturday, very mild.
welcome to bbc news. i'm david eades. our top stories. police launch an investigation into whether parties at downing street violated coronavirus rules. a spokesman says borisjohnson didn't think he had broken the law. more tough talk to prevent the ukraine crisis reaching a tipping point. president biden says he'd consider personal sanctions on vladimir putin if russia invaded ukraine. at least 46 people are killed as tropical storm ana hits malawi and madagascar. thousands have had to leave their homes. coronavirus breaks out among crew on an aid ship headed for tonga, hampering relief efforts as authorities try to keep the islands covid—free.