Kabosu, the Shiba Inu featured in the original Doge meme, has in the last decade inspired a cryptocurrency with a $11.6 billion market cap, a life philosophy, and a holy pilgrimage to Japan. Now, a group of filmmakers and community participants is working to commemorate the 17-year-old dog with a feature film.
Doge-oriented NFT community Own the Doge has partnered with Web3 art and culture collective PleasrDAO—which purchased the rights to the Doge meme image for $4 million worth of Ethereum in 2021—to produce an as-yet-untitled “dogumentary” film chronicling Kabosu’s rise from abandoned puppy to global icon.
The film, which is currently in production, is directed by Jon Lynn and has been funded to date by PleasrDAO and Own the Doge community members. Despite the project’s niche, Doge-engrossed origins, however, its backers hope to position the film to break through to a mass audience.
Announcing THE Doge Documentary!
This will be the FIRST EVER feature length film about Doge when completed.
Here’s a never-before-seen sneak peek: pic.twitter.com/cnTeMrwmpT
— tridog (@tridog) April 10, 2023
“We are looking to bring on the right partners to make this the most wild film the world has ever seen,” tridog, a pseudonymous film producer and Own the Doge core contributor, told Decrypt.
The film is also produced by director Lynn and New Revolution Media. That group, however, is currently courting other, more traditionally established backers.
So far, according to tridog, the project has attracted the support of Jim Toth, the former Hollywood talent agent, producer, and recently separated husband of actress Reese Witherspoon. Also onboard, he said, are Arthur Jones—director of Pepe the Frog-inspired documentary “Feels Good Man”—and documentary producer Evan Rosenfeld.
The creative team behind the film is angling to attract a major film distributor, such as streaming giants like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video.
“We plan to have a variety of partners and producers, traditional and crypto-native alike, in order to make this the absolute best piece of art the internet has ever seen,” tridog said.
It’s currently unclear, however, whether any traditional film studio will have the appetite to shepherd a crypto-native project backed by a decentralized web of numerous producers, many of whom use pseudonyms.
That hurdle is one facing not just Doge documentarians, but the numerous filmmakers currently attempting to harness Web3 tools to fund, produce, and distribute media in novel ways.
While DAOs—or decentralized autonomous organizations—can offer unique fundraising mechanisms and distribution channels, the reach and impact offered by established film studios can be difficult, if not impossible to replicate. Such studios have yet to embrace DAO-created film projects in a major way.
Proponents of Web3-native film projects, for their part, believe they can offer studios an asset that those companies are struggling to find anywhere else: built-in, passionate audiences with a stake in a project’s success.
And passion, without question, is one thing that the Doge community does not lack.