Berlin-based animation and content studio Woodblock and UltraDAO Studios have teamed up to create movie-quality animated storytelling based on UltraDAO’s “Woodies” NFT project. This milestone partnership between the world of non-fungible tokens and the entertainment inddustry aims to create value for Woodies NFT holders while bringing the IP to a wider global audience.
“Featuring unparalleled world-building and vibrant lovable characters, Woodies is establishing itself not just as an innovative NFT collection, but as an industry leader in storytelling,” commented Chris Wallace, Project Lead for Woodies and founder of the UltraDAO artist collective. “We are honoured to partner with the brilliant animation team at Woodblock to introduce Woodies to a new global audience.”
The animated content will be anchored in the rich, unique lore of the Woodies. Writer Crystal Schrader, who led world-building and character development for the original NFT collection, will oversee the story, which further expands upon the Woodies’ origins.
“Woodies is pioneering what story-driven entertainment can be in the NFT age. The team at Woodblock values the Woodies story as much as our community does. They are the perfect partner to introduce these characters and their world,” said Schrader.
The first three minute episode will showcase the beginning of the Woodies’ unique and mystical origin story about Arden, the last tree left in a grove after a logger chops down all of Arden’s tree friends. With determination and the help of a magical protective Earth spirit, Arden becomes a Woodie, mobile and free to set off on a search and rescue mission to find his friends and stop the logger. Visually, the film will be based on the original NFT artwork led by Gossamer Rozen.
SIGGRAPH and Golden Nica-winning director Tom Weber is helming the first installment. ”Bringing the Woodies universe to life through the means of animation is really a natural progression. The project already builds on a very detailed lore with lovely characters backed by a strong community and our team immediately felt right at home,” Weber commented. “This is truly an exciting opportunity to expand and enhance the NFT and Web3 space with high-quality animated storytelling while also laying a foundation for future possibilities of digital ownership and distribution of content and assets.”
The film is set to be finished and released in summer 2022, and content will be released in a tokenized way in line with the decentralization and shared ownership prinicples of Web3. Woodblock is deeply involved in the Web3 movement, building its own projects and working in high profile partnerships with other projects like the Woodies. Animation will be produced in open source software Blender. which is by itself a central tool for the open Metaverse.
“We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership and the team is loving the work on the project,” said Ilija Brunck, MD & Executive Producer, Woodblock. “The art and story are beautiful and just made for emotional and captivating storytelling. Besides the artistic beauty of the project, the partnership also perfectly aligns with our goals and vision for IP creation. Our ambition is to challenge how IP is created, consumed, and owned. The Woodies are the perfect project to help make this shared vision a reality.”
For the Woodies, the animated content partnership is a centerpiece in an ambitious roadmap of expanding the IP from the classic Profile Picture Project into a full-blown interactive and story-driven entertainment franchise. The Woodies team is working on an array of projects to create meaningful experiences for the community.
“The partnership with Woodblock highlights exactly what is important in the Web3/NFT space: collaboration, co-creation and community,” noted Richard Powazynski, CMO for Woodies. “In fact, the importance of community transcends everything that we do, so we are excited that we will be able to take our community on this journey to bring Woodies to life.”
The team-up also refllects the partners’ shared values: Both studios have a strong focus on creating positive impact and sustainability. The collection’s popularity and sales have funded the planting of over one million trees to date, in collaboration with Trees for the Future, which helps farmers in developing nations plant sustainable forests on degraded land, providing income, food and environmental improvement to the communities.
Besides producing storytelling content for Woodies, the partners will explore potential partnerships with other brands looking to enter the Web3/NFT space, especially those with an equally high focus on sustainability and positive impact. Both parties entered an agreement of shared revenue and asset ownership enabling them to create the most value for the Woodies community.
“When NFTs work with the movie and entertainment industry, great things are bound to happen. Not only will fundraising and distribution significantly change, but also the creation and the lifecycle of a franchise,” said Kai Fischer, CCO, Woodblock. “We can’t stop thinking about how, in the Web3 era, we might be able to view interactive movies and maybe even partake in them. NFT holders may be able to influence the direction of the IP as it expands into the world of film and beyond. What’s more powerful than allowing fans to directly have participation in the growth and expansion of that IP.”
Woodies is an NFT collection of 9,739 generative characters, made from over 900 nature-themed traits. The project was created as a collaboration by members of UltraDAO, an artist collective. The project sold out in 30 minutes after the public release using an innovative mint pass system, and the collections have a combined trading volume of over $11 million USD to date.
Established in Berlin and Stuttgart, and equally at home in London, Los Angeles, Copenhagen and Munich, Woodlbock is a global studio producing animated creative content across “the multiverse of media.” Clients include Apple, Amazon, DreamWorks, Netflix, Nickelodeon, Playmobil, Riot Games, Ubisoft, Universal and the World Wildlife Fund.