Mint Season 7 Episode 8 welcomes PplPleasr, the talented digital artist and founder of Shibuya. She shares with us the story behind her fan club creation PleasrDAO, her involvement in Hollywood films, and her insights into the animation industry. We delve into the creative process at Shibuya, how they handle creative differences, and the exciting impact of NFTs and blockchain on the world of animation. You won’t want to miss PplPleasr’s thoughts on great storytelling and how to boost your creativity. It’s a must-listen for anyone in the creative field.
I hope you enjoy our conversation.
- 00:00 – Intro
- 04:51 – Fan Club Creation and Brand Use
- 06:51 – Involvement in Hollywood Films
- 10:26 – How Do You Define Your Work?
- 13:15 – Shibuya Team Size and Creative Process
- 16:54 – Navigating Creative Direction Differences
- 20:13 – Challenges in Running an Operation Like Shibuya
- 23:17 – Impact of NFTs and Long-Form Animation on Visual Content
- 25:38 – Impact of Blockchain on Funding and Distributing Independent Animation
- 28:21 – The Potential of Financial Legos and OnChain Provenance in the Film Industry
- 30:18 – Tailoring Better Experiences for Community
- 34:53 – Elements of Great Storytelling
- 37:06 – Emotions Triggered by PplPleasr’s Content
- 40:32 – Weekly Practices to Enhance Creativity
- 42:05 – White Rabbit is Published, What’s Next for Shibuya?
- 44:46 – Outro
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Emily aka the infamous PplPleasr, welcome to Mint. How are you doing?
Pplpleasr: Hey, I’m good. How are you?
I’m feeling great, feeling alive. Excited to be sharing the next hour with you, talking about all things PplPleasr, art, Shibuya and everything in between. I think a good place to start, Emily is for those who don’t know you, and I’m not familiar with your awesome work. Who are you? What does the world need to know about you? Let’s start there. And then we’ll take it forward.
Pplpleasr: Sure. So I am a digital artist of sorts and I have been working in visual effects and the computer graphics animation industry for over six years before I started working in crypto. And my relationship with crypto, I think began in 2017, where I bought some ICO shit coins back in the day and rode the bull run all the way up and then, you know, when the bear market hit, I sort of went back to focusing on my regular career and then I essentially became unemployed during sort of, just before the pandemic. And then, so I was like unemployed for over a year and during this time, I was looking into alternate revenue streams. And then so that’s fine. I sort of dove into crypto again and then I was introduced to defi summer. And then, so I sort of PplPleasr brand within crypto started because I was making these little animations that helps promote defi protocols. And they were usually sort of my way to digest all the like white paper information that I was reading and then we get sort of presented in like a fun understandable way for a more wide audience, I guess. And then yeah, slowly. I you know, worked with pretty much every defi brand that there was. And then in 2021 I worked with Unisoft to make the v3 announcement and then that video went viral and then I auctioned it off as an NFT and then it sold for, I think 10 Eth. And a bunch of people there to bid on it and create a PleasrDAO. So yeah, that was sort of like the moment that kind of established. I could say maybe like my magnum focus in the NFT space. And then since then, you know, I’ve been doing always sort of anything that involves the intersection of like art, crypto, Daos and NFTs. So, for example, I see that you have to two of the Fortune Magazines.
Yeah. So, those character caricatures are like, this is like the perfect sort of resemblance of, to put words to an image. Yes.
Pplpleasr: Yeah. These are rare. Did you find them when they came?
Yes. I went to the newsstand, and I picked them up.
Pplpleasr: Right. Yeah, so that was also 2021. And then I also you know, did other things within the NFT space like, you know, collaborations with Steve Aoki. We sold some ants on bees. And, you know, I’m trying to think of like the other stuff that I did. I also helped to crowdfund for the Ethereum of documentary. And then last year, I launched Shibuya, which is my sort of latest project, let’s say, you know, I still consider it a project but it’s basically a company now and it is a sort of platform that uses quite free technology and also, now AI where we help create tools for people or creators to easily be able to either fund their ideas or artistic tools to make you know, sort of representation of your ideas are creation of IP, even easier and faster. And the first IP that we’re working on, there is our own, which is sort of a passion project of mine. It’s called White Rabbit, and it’s an anime, short film that is similar to a Fortune magazine cover or I actually also did like about Taiwan cover last year as well.
Pplpleasr: All of my art is usually sort of depicting the current state of, it’s like subtle, right? It’s, you know, when you look at it, it could just be art, but you know, when you look at it, more than you understand, like the meaning behind it, and then. So that’s kind of what White Rabbit is, as well. It’s a metaphorical piece of depicting sort of everybody’s experience of going down the crypto rabbit hole. But obviously, if you’re not in the space and you don’t know how to look out for those Easter eggs and stuff, and you just watch it and it just regular, normal film to you. So yeah, that’s kind of the general theme of my art. And yeah.
Fan Club Creation and Brand Use
What does it feel like to have a bunch of cryptic girls and guys with a lot of money, create a fan club around your name, and start purchasing really cool things using your brand? What does that feel like?
Pplpleasr: It feels definitely surreal. I think I tried to explain this to somebody the other day was not in the space. Because they were like what’s PleasrDAO and I was like, well, it’s kind of like a company. But it’s not my company named after me. And it took a minute explaining that I was like, this sounds really ridiculous and sounds almost fake. Honestly. I think it’s just a testament that life is honestly so random. And you know, you can do as much as you want to sort of prepare, but you just genuinely never know what’s going to happen. Obviously, I’m just, it’s been like a nice community for me, just to actually make friends with a lot of really cool people, who are now still good friends in my life and learn a lot. And yeah, it’s funny because at the time that PleasrDAO was born, it was just guys, there was one girl and that was me. So, people often joke that it’s like the original simpDAO.
The original simp DAO.
Pplpleasr: Now we have girls.
Amazing. So, when your parents ask, or when you try to explain to your parents what PleasrDAO is, it all the things that you’re doing in crypto on web three. How do you typically approach that conversation?
Pplpleasr: I typically don’t with my parents. Friends let’s say but with my specific parents, I think they are quite sort of up to date and open minded about a lot of things. So, they actually were around, you know, on day you’re gonna start thinking about when things are gonna happen. So, they’re pretty caught up. So, it’s not like I have to actually explain. I think even including Shibuya. They have a pretty good understanding of what it does and what it is what I’m doing. So that’s been really nice.
Involvement in Hollywood Films
Solid. And one thing you didn’t talk about your intro is your features in like Hollywood films and getting involved in like the cinematography in getting credits and these really big blockbuster films. Can you talk about that for a moment?
Pplpleasr: Sure. So, I was working in post-production, so you know, we were doing all things visual effects for big blockbuster films, such as, you know, Wonder Woman or Star Trek Beyond, Batman vs. Superman. I think the best movie I’ve ever worked on it’s called; this movie called the Emoji Movie. I’m totally joking. They literally won the Award from.
I remember that movie though.
Pplpleasr: Yeah. Do you know this YouTube channel called Honest Trailers?
Pplpleasr: So, I obviously was a huge fan of that YouTube channel. And my name made it into the Honest Trailers of the Emoji Movie, because in the Honest Trailers, they were scrubbing through the credits really fast. And they were like, oh, we just want to say sorry to all the, you know, people who worked really hard on this film. Not for the mean comments we made about the movie, but for the lost years of your life, Jesus. But I consider that a special moment. You know, who cares about being on the cover of Fortune or Vogue?
That’s probably your most memorable W by far. By far, I’m curious how that sort of influenced your approach to creating digital art.
Pplpleasr: Well, I mean, I think it’s shaped it a lot. My story about that started when I was in college, when I was in my first year of college, I watched Mali for the first time, and then I sort of immediately fell in love with the movie. You know, the first half doesn’t even have dialogue, but that just goes to show sort of how powerful of a storytelling tool it was. And at the time, I thought what I wanted to do was animation because I have watched this amazing movie. And so I went online and Googled how to get a job at Pixar. And then I started learning 3d and all these tools. And then I think sort of like a few years into my career that I actually realized that all this time I don’t think it was about, ever about wanting to work on the next biggest Hollywood film or animation event. And that was more, my passion was actually around storytelling. And you know what I thought drew me in from Holly was the animation was actually you know, successful storytelling. So, it doesn’t matter if it’s live action or animated. I think I’m just, that’s just what I’m passionate about. And so, but I think the years working in that field, were absolutely necessary for me to learn the technical skills to be able to convey my thoughts, because, you know, I’m not like a film director. So, I’m not going to go out and shoot a live action film right now. I am an animator, but you know, sort of emotions and themes can be conveyed in so many different ways and my way of conveying it thus far has been animation. And I think, without technical skill, you can’t really target your ideas with precision, right? So, I think those years were super necessary for me to learn the skills and brush up on that before I started executing on my own creative ideas.
How Do You Define Your Work?
That makes that makes sense. And I guess as you execute more on your own ideas, do you think your work is more defined as familiar or something novel? How would you define it?
Pplpleasr: I think I like to juggle that line a lot. So and has to be somewhat novel but you know, novel enough that people find it interesting but and familiar enough, but not too familiar, so that people might think, you know, it’s been done before or there needs to be some level of familiarity for people to relate to it or you know, to understand it, but then it also has to have the right level of novelty. And with that, I think I usually have some pretty concrete ways of targeting that. So you know, I think a good measure is if people’s reactions to things I make, are kind of more on the what in the world that I just watched level then means that I did a good job making something somewhat novel.
Can you talk about that more in the context of White Rabbit because if you go to Shibuya website and the White Rabbit videos there, and I watched it, and it’s really beautifully done, so props to you in the team, and it feels familiar, yet novel. So, I’m trying to understand like in the context of that framing, how would you go and describe it and how would you approach the creation of that video using that framing?
Pplpleasr: Well, I think with White Rabbits specifically the familiarity comes from the sort of references and influence in art style that it uses, which, you know, we draw a lot of influence. I mean, I work with, you know, my co-founder, Matteo Kuchera. He’s an amazing artist and mainly the reason why White Rabbit looks so amazing, is you know, we draw a lot of reference from Studio Ghibli movies, and just you know, really old school 80s anime in general. I feel like modern anime has a very, very different look than that sort of any anime that came out in the 80s 90s era. And so that’s kind of the look that we target, so I feel like that’s where the familiarity comes from. But the novel part comes from the fact that, you know, it is a new age film. So, we are first of all making it about crypto or even a metaverse. And so you know, there’s a lot of like, glitching going on, but then you see sort of like these mystical creatures like a fox and you know, in these like, grassy nature backgrounds. But then there’s, you know, things that kind of kind of resemble, like a new age or like new technology, things that you know, also appear. So, it creates this very sort of paradoxical uncanny feeling when you’re watching it. And that’s something that I’m personally pretty interested in creating.
Shibuya Team Size and Creative Process
I watched it and I was really amazed with the quality. And from the music, all the background noises, the conversation, the dialogue, and I can’t help but wonder what actually goes into creating a video like that. And there’s so many moving parts. My first question is, how big is a team right now that went to contributing to the video? And the second question is like, what goes into actually creating a video like White Rabbit? How do you do that?
Pplpleasr: It’s quite similar to a traditional sort of pipeline for creating animation. We are currently I think, around about a team of 15 artists working on White Rabbit. And initially started the first chapter, like just the first minute or so, was actually literally just me and Mache, just the two of us creating that content. He literally made the music himself as well. And then after that, you know, we were able to put it on Shibuya and then we raised some capital from the sailed NFTs, should be able to then continue funding the development of the series, which is really cool. Because this is something that we didn’t have to pitch to Hollywood or wait for anybody to sort of greenlight the project, which usually takes years by the way if you were to go about it in a traditional way. So we were just kind of able to come out and be like we want to make this and we are making it and then the audience can not only participate but also interact with the series and just get a very close up and personal and invested experience of the creation of this film. And yeah, so the rest of it sort of involves Mache and I sitting down, thinking about, you know, the general, I would say rough skeleton of a story. Because it is interactive, and the audience are helping to shape specific details of the story. So, we kind of have a node graph of the main spine and then you know, it kind of like branches off into different possibilities. And then when the audience sort of decides on a path that we kind of zoom in, and then map out the details of that specific route. But if there’s a general theme, you know, it was talking about you know, themes of self-sovereignty, freedom of choice are, you know, freedom of choice, and building sort of your own types of governance and, you know, path to economic freedom, essentially. And a lot of it is also about, you know, with new types of technology, the outcome really depends on the intentions of people who use it. And so yeah, these are the general themes of the film. And after we write the story then the typical animation processes, we do a storyboard and then we you know, like hire animators were people to create the assets and then push us down the animation pipeline, that app after animation, we do FX and then waiting rendering and compositing. And then you know, score usually happens around the same time too. And for chapter two and chapter three, we were able to hire people to write the score. Chapter two was composed by super talented composer; his name is Gavin Verbeke. And Chapter Three was composed by, actually also our screenwriter, Anthony Scott burns. He’s also Canadian filmmaker, super counting, but renaissance man. So, it’s nice because I feel like with each new chapter, we can have maybe a slightly different style of composer and musician come in and add their own flavor to it, but it still has this overall theme or I guess some vibe that White Rabbit has.
Navigating Creative Direction Differences
As a collector myself, I can’t help but wonder how fun it could be to actually contribute to a project like White Rabbit and help dictate the plot and direction in which things go. And I tried to put myself in your shoes and in your partner’s shoes and try to think wow, you guys are your own creative individuals with your own ideas, with your own vision as to how you see things forming. There must be a clash between the collector’s opinion and you and your partner’s creative direction. And my question is one, like does that happen often? And how do you navigate situations like those?
Pplpleasr: I think we’ve been pretty careful about the way that we put out our content and, you know, have our community engaged. And I think something that we’ve been actually pretty lucky with so far is that the taste of the community or the collectors is actually pretty high, in my opinion. And so there’s a good balance between their tastes versus their trust in me and Mache sort of decision making. Because actually a lot of times what you’ll learn is that even those collectors or the community, they don’t actually want to be dictating everything within creation of a film. It has to be the right balance. I think most of them actually prefer to be spoon fed contents, with just a little sprinkle of their opinions. And so that’s kind of the way that we’ve been going about it with White Rabbit. And that way, you know, people feel like they are taking part and they are participating without actually draining too much of their time and resources into something that they are not professionally trained to do. Right. So, I think a good case study or example of this is, you know, sometimes things are just so obvious that, you know, had you just asked the audience first or did something that’s directly community, you would have saved a lot of money. So, let’s take, I don’t know if you’ve ever, if you remember, the Sonic the Hedgehog movie that came out a few years ago. When it first came out, I think the first trailer or something, the way that Sonic was designed was honestly horrendous. so terribly ugly, and I think, I don’t know who at what level studio actually decided to make it look like that, but you know, obviously, when the trailer came out, the audience were like, what is this design? This is terrible, we hate this. And then so, they actually literally took the audience’s opinion and then went back and redesigned Sonic Hedgehog and then when the second trailer came out, he looked completely different from the first trailer and money from the studio that made this and you know, all of this could have been avoided. Because I feel like currently in the traditional Hollywood system, movies are made in sort of like a black box within Hollywood. And then after everything is done, then they bring it out to the audience. They’re like, what do you guys think? And so, we’re kinda like challenging that form of thinking and you know, what would happen if even early on you’re able to already engage viewers and sort of see what they think? I mean, they kind of do this on a smaller scale Hollywood, they have test screenings for small audiences, but you know, what if you could do this at scale, you know, what is actually the downside of just opening up the creation process, even if just transparently and not, you know, on a governance level to the audience, I feel like it would change a lot.
Challenges in Running an Operation Like Shibuya
Part of challenging the status quo using NFTs, I feel like comes with a lot of challenges, right? It’s a very play on words over there. And I’m trying to understand from a Storyteller’s point of view, from someone with your level of background, what are the various challenges that come with running an operation, like you and your partner are running? And because I feel like it’s just not normal, like you said to traditional Hollywood, and it’s a new concept, it’s a new primitive. We’ve been talking about integrating our, integrating our collectors in our creative endeavors for the longest time, and I think you’re doing it in a very, like well-respected and cohesive manner. What are the challenges that come with doing that?
Pplpleasr: I think the first challenge always is trying to get people to understand the concept in general, I think explaining Shibuya has never been sort of and we’re working towards it being something that we can explain within 30 seconds and have people understand it immediately. Thankfully, though, I think the product itself is pretty self-explanatory. So, letting people use it as often a more clearer and faster path of understanding as opposed to, you know, sort of explaining it and worth, let’s say. But other challenges, I think there’s always going to be challenges when you’re challenging so many people, when you’re challenging anything of status quo. And there’s going to be a lot of, you know, sort of raised eyebrows and skepticism that goes with it. And so, I think, to overcome that, you just have to really believe in what you’re building, and I do believe in what we’re building. And honestly, if it’s not us, who’s building it, somebody else is going to go into and people are going to realize sort of why this is important. Especially somebody from like myself who’s coming from a creative background. You understand how many, honestly how many creative decisions, especially working in Hollywood as well. How many creative decisions literally die in the hands of producers or people are not creative people making decisions on a creative project? Or how many, you know, sort of decisions are decided by sponsorships, you know, with like a financial incentive in mind and, you know, sort of. And I think that’s why instead of getting a lot of really new and novel original IPs, nowadays, we’re just seeing Ant Man 42 or, you know, Black Panther 13. This is kind of what happens when you sort of get into the cycle of monopolized gatekeeping, Hollywood big budget sponsorship cycle. And yeah, I think, you know, it’s that can always exist and there’s always gonna be a market for it, but I also feel like caliber just more and more lacking for resources for independent creators who have good ideas and want to be able to not wait three years for somebody to greenlight their idea to be able to put it out. And that’s really what Shibuya is all about, you know, we’re starting with that to show people that it is possible and it is happening and people who watch it, genuinely enjoy it. So yeah, we’ll see where it goes.
Impact of NFTs and Long-Form Animation on Visual Content
I think it’s going and headed in the right direction. And part of the reason, Emily, I wanted to have you part of season seven is because, the theme or the tagline is all about creating content that’s worth collecting. And a big part of that is understanding storytelling. And you seem to have a great knack at storytelling. And I’m curious, my next question for you is like how do you think the use of NFTs, and long form animation will change the way we consume and interact with visual content? So, you brought one example of being able to vote on specific scenes. Are there any other examples that make it enticing for a viewer to collect a part of White Rabbit for example?
Pplpleasr: Yeah, I mean, something else that we built, which we already published between chapter two and chapter three was, for example, we did the azuki casting, so anybody who had an azuki could submit their azuki for casting and then you know, anybody who’s a participant in White Rabbit, or azuki, can use on chain governance voting to vote for their favorite contestant. And then the winning one got a cameo character in chapter three and so other things that we are actively building and experimenting with is sort of this idea of customized viewing experience. So, you know, when and sort of like an on-chain world when you connect your wallet, your everything. That’s the whole point of the blockchain is that there is providence and this sort of collection of data of everything that’s like happened. So when you’re thinking about what are the possibilities in the future when you know, just by connecting your wallet, you can see this person’s viewership history or you know, what films they participated in, and it’s super useful for case making, for example, and you know, it’s like, I only want people who like, you know, movies that are good or you know, I only want people who like a certain type of movie. This is all something that could be useful. And then I think, you know, sort of like that things that are coming are for example, using AI can now create the same animation at different visual style. And then so imagine a future where based on your sort of past history, and then you’re connecting your wallet, then you’re seeing the same animation but in a different style than another person. These are sort of all concepts that, you know, haven’t been explored before, weren’t possible in a pre-sort of on chain interactive experience.
Impact of Blockchain on Funding and Distributing Independent Animation
That makes a lot of sense. So, on the topic of, I guess, funding, and being able to provide capital to early ideas and in fund a team, you know, to help produce whatever creative endeavors they want to go on. I’m curious how you think blockchain tech will sort of impact the way we fund and distribute independent animation projects in the future. I feel like we’re at the very beginning of that question, where does that, what does that look like down the line?
Pplpleasr: I mean, I wish I had a crystal ball, and I could tell you.
Where’s your crystal ball, Emily? Bring it out.
Pplpleasr: Everybody is trying to figure out in tandem right, and it can only come with experimentation and trial and error. But the most obvious point being the efficiency of just raising capital on the blockchain versus going you know, a traditional route from signing documents to legal wires to our bank transfers, etc. And so, using that as a starting point, I think it’s, you know, similar to the maybe a kick starter model, but why I personally found the kick starter model. less interesting is because I feel like what happens is people just sort of put in contribute some money, and they get a water bottle on three years to see if something happens or not. But so, this is kind of why should be exists because I was like, what if you can actually make it more interactive? And so, people will feel sort of more invested. And, you know, just have a higher relationship with the actual media itself. And you are finding that people are doing that. And then, you know, on top of that, you can do things like token gate discussions, or, you know, I always talk about this concept of, you know, let’s say hypothetically, and an idealized fully on chain future. Let’s say you’re a Star Wars fan. And, you know, there’s currently in a web two, there’s, let’s say, discussions going on Reddit, and then there’s 4chan or other forums, but they’re all completely separate sites, right. But in the future, you have some kind of system where there’s like engagement tokens are something that exist on chain, then you can you know, sort of already just with the click of a button source all of the biggest Star Wars fans were, you know, and then as a Star Wars fan, I can go on any different website and immediately they know that I am a Star Wars fan and what I have sort of commented or contributed in the past, and I feel like these are super important. And you know, then you can extend this same idea to sites like rotten tomatoes or IMDB, and all that you’re here on imagining of what that kind of future looks like.
The Potential of Financial Legos and OnChain Provenance in the Film Industry
It’s just endless. It’s just everything’s building, everything is building on top of one another. It’s like very much to the defi setting of like a defi Legos, right or financial Legos, of every protocol application, sort of like building on top of each other and what they built prior. It feels very much like that. And we’ve never really seen that at scale just yet, let alone like I’ve never really been able to contribute to let’s say, like a movie like Avatar, after it’s been in MIT for like, seven, 7, 10 years, something like that, you know, until when the first one came out. Second one just came out. I loved it. I went to go see it. And I feel like my experience with a project that actually contributed to it, had a saying in its creative direction, and also had some sort of financial upside in it to but completely alter the way I feel about the brand and feel about the creative animation and everything in between. I’m curious to understand what that looks like down the line at scale. Like we will be going to AMC and are the early contributors having exclusive showings for the first week or two weeks you know, before the rest of the public can kind of view it. And at what scale do you need to get for franchise to be at that level of operation? You can tell I’m thinking very big picture here.
Pplpleasr: Yeah. I mean, these are really good questions. And I hope we do get there because I actually feel like it would just make the whole sort of viewing experience that much better. I mean, imagine being. Right now, let’s say. I feel like white lotus for example, when we started getting popular from the second season, but as somebody who started watching it from the first season, I want to be able to flex on that. But currently other than just telling people you know, there was no really actual way to prove it. But obviously with on chain provenance, that all changes. And yeah, so then when you extend further, what does that actually mean? Not only flexing to your friends, but when you’re a movie distributor or something and being able to get that data provide customized experience for that specific therapy ball, as a whole other Pandora’s box that should be opened.
Tailoring Better Experiences for Community
So, I now think about like nouns Dao. And I think about the proposals that community members sort of push to get funding for. And I think about the dynamic when a proposal is very split down the middle of yes and no. And I’m trying to think how would that affect, sort of like the experience of a viewer when they’re trying to put their creative input into a specific like side tunnel, you know, like a side branch of a series, and half of the communities for it and half of the community is against it and ends up getting passed and everybody that wasn’t for it is like bummed out. Like that could probably alter the way they enjoy the film as well. How do you company and tailor a better experience or great experience for those who are sort of like let down by the community? And I don’t want to say let down, but I think you know where I’m going with this.
Pplpleasr: Yeah, I think this is always a tough one. There’s always going to be people who are let down and I think that’s, but that’s, it’s not a bad thing. You know, I think I should take it as constructive criticism, then you can always know where to sort of, you know, steer your ship based on feedback that is coming from the community. And I think just beyond what we’re talking about in life as a general you just have to accept. It’s always going to be people who are let down and I feel like as a creator. I think I’ve started to sort of more embrace like if I feel good about it, and that’s sort of the most. And there are times to where things are initially left out and then way later the value is discovered or things like that. So yeah, to me, at least, this is something that’s elastic and not just, you know, black and white where now and then it’s always going to be that way.
So, in crypto the stakes are high because you have financial upside sort of like the production the success of the film. I wonder if there’s a scenario where those who don’t like it and ended up not going their way, they fork the movie, and they complete their own like rendition of what that chapter could look and feel like and then you publish both versions. You show the world this was the one that wasn’t worked for. This is the one that kind of like went and everybody continued with that line. Could that be a thing?
Pplpleasr: Absolutely. And, you know, I think that’s the beauty of decentralized or, you know, the concept of a community coming together, or community created IP, right? I do think though there usually still always needs to be sort of lead creative persons, kind of guiding the community because if you leave completely up to your community to make something, it’s either just never gonna get done or it’s not nearly that.
I think a lot a, sort of what needs to happen for this big picture vision to prevail, is for more people around the world to become more crypto native and intact with crypto culture, because all these scenarios and what if so, I’m very much throwing it from the perspective of someone who’s been in this space for a long time who understands crypto culture, and typically when you don’t like something, you fork it, you know, and a lot of people are not really wired like that. But I feel like as you come into the crypto community, you start embracing those values. And that’s definitely a plausible solution that a community or sub community could kind of go and pursue on their own.
Pplpleasr: For sure. I will say though, the one caveat is that I’m sure it’s much easier to fork a code or product as opposed to forking media. So, you know, when you look at any specific film, or you know, TV series, it’s actually really fascinating. It’s honestly kind of like, I was reading the Wikipedia page of the film, Joker. And honestly, like I find movies fascinating because every movie is kind of like a mini company that just kind of gets built on the spot and then everybody comes together and you know from different expertise and contribute all these skills, and then they kind of eventually disband and then throw it out into the world and it doesn’t belong to them anymore. And then this company, let’s say sort of dissolves. And I find that super interesting and there’s so many aspects that come into creating a piece of film that it’s so hard to make, right? That it would be extremely difficult, I think for anybody to just fork a piece of IP or film and have it be good. And that’s why you know, I think things like directors and composers are so important and ones that are talented, get so much recognition because without them, that same source material is just not the same watching experience.
Elements of Great Storytelling
I’m curious, Emily, what goes into great storytelling.
Pplpleasr: I actually with age well, I think a lot of it has to do with being a sponge from a young age. So you have to consume a lot of content of all kinds and then I think having sort of a sensitivity to understanding human psychology and why people find things interesting is important and being able to dissect, not only being able to identify that but then being able to dissect that. And then extract the elements that you need, and then put it into your own body of work as another skill set. And then beyond that, I think there’s just a certain level of intuitiveness that I think a lot of people are just either you’re born with it, or you just don’t have it. That I think is sort of has been, I think something that has guided me, and I think, sounds arrogant to say.
Can you give me an example that intuitiveness that you’re talking about?
Pplpleasr: I think it’s like when I, so for example if I’m like, let’s take the Unisaw p3 video, for example. It’s like every artist who’s worked on it, including the composer are super talented and you know, I could never do what they did, you know, at that skill level myself. But I had to be the person to sort of tell them this is the, it’s all about feelings like you just have to be a really feeling person. You have to be like, this is the feeling that people should have when you know and then sort of knowing how to then describe that or, you know, with different, let’s say with arts, music, you have to understand like, I would say okay, well towards the end we need, you know, sort of like an increasing arpeggiator instead of a decreasing one. That will, you know, be the difference of how somebody feels towards this. And then with you know, visual medium, it’s like, understanding that different colors make people feel a certain way. And that still sort of being able to be a composer all these different elements in your head and then being able to articulate that in a vocal manner to the people who have the skill set or working on it.
Emotions Triggered by PplPleasr’s Content
What emotions do you find yourself often triggering in a human and a person when they consume your content? Is there a common theme that comes to mind?
Pplpleasr: I think I mainly have two hacks. So one is, you know, when you dissect a meme, what makes a meme go viral? It’s usually something that has an element of humor, and also a icon like a WTF factor or something, which is what I was talking about when people watch it, they’re like, the fuck did I just watched. I don’t know why I can’t explain it. But that emotion is what makes people watch something and then be like, I want to send it to my friend. I don’t know maybe because they need their friends to validate. I thought this was weird. Can you also validate that it was weird or maybe you can explain to me something I didn’t understand. So those are, that’s like one hack or one path to go about it. The other hacks that I have are usually things that are psychedelic or tricky always gets people. And then things that contribute to that are sort of the synchronization of audio and visual components. Without fail, if you sing something beautifully, you know what the beat that has a visual cue. People will just automatically say cool.
There’s so much depth into really understanding what goes into that.
Pplpleasr: And those are actually just surface levels and then when we’re talking.
Oh, really? Okay, yeah, so wait, let me stretch really quick. Let’s go deeper really quick. Okay.
Pplpleasr: We need deeper ones. I think it comes down ties into things like psychology or understanding human emotions or why people feel a certain way. And so, because, you know, human emotions are so complex that already usually people just, you know they feel something, but they have a hard time even putting words to what they are feeling. So, if you’re already having a hard time putting words. Imagine having to create a piece of media that then regurgitates that or recreate that feeling, but this is the beauty of filmmakers, or I would say even musicians as well, right. So, I remember when I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for the first time in my life, that movie had so much feeling behind it and emotion, especially surrounding heartbreak. And I watched that movie for the first time. I had never even experienced heartbreak before, but because that movie portrayed is so well or so beautifully. It made me curious about heartbreak but be careful what you wish for. That will be not a desirable feeling. I think fantasizing about it as one thing and then actually experiencing it. But I was just thinking that Michel Gondry, the director, he could never have created something like that without really experiencing that himself. And then so for myself, as well, you know, really experiencing and feeling those emotions of heartbreak really changed my outlook on a lot of things and made me have a newfound level of respect. And this is the deeper level that I’m talking about. And you know, so I haven’t gotten there, but my goal or my ultimate, I’d say, maybe my purpose in life is I hope that I can get to a point where these emotions that I felt are not wasted, and that I can somehow repurpose that pain that I went through in an artistic way, so that it becomes useful or relatable for somebody who’s watching it like it was for me.
Weekly Practices to Enhance Creativity
From one creative to another, I’ve been playing the drums for the longest time, and you build skill through repetition and practice. And the next question I want to ask you is like, what does your routine look like for practicing creativity? Is that even a thing? Like create, like practice, like you can practice the skill of animation and using software to create animation but is there anything beyond that that you can consistently do on a daily basis, on a weekly basis to get better at being creative?
Pplpleasr: Aside, I think it’s a combination of just being really observant, because creativity, even though things can be original. It’s always sort of a re iteration or repurposing of something that already exists, and it just combines in a new sort of way. Like a different combination. And then something new was born. And so, I often feel like creativity is like that. So, without the building blocks, which is being observant of the real world, including nature, media, anything that can happen. You can’t have that creativity. So, I would say that’s the only sort of thing that you can practice is just to be really observant and present all the time of what’s actually happening in the world. And also, you know, like studying emotions, sort of really just tuning into how you feel, how the world feels, how everything is feeling, it’s all about feelings.
White Rabbit is Published, What’s Next for Shibuya?
Okay. I would love to just do an experiment myself offline of what that really entails. Maybe we can chat off like because being creative is a very hard skill, especially with AI coming out, right? And you have all these ways to write long form blog posts through just a few sentences, feeding the algorithm something right, and those who can really innovate through creativity. Really feel like have an edge, and they know how to produce really, really compelling content that in the case of Season Seven is worth collecting. Right? So, I’m going to try to practice that offline and I’ll let you know how that goes using what you said. So, throughout this entire conversation, Emily, we talked about Hollywood at large. We talked about your journey. We talked about Shibuya; we talked about White Rabbit. The next thing I want to ask you is sort of like what comes next for Shibuya. So, you published White Rabbit, right? A really, really compelling video. What’s next in the works? You said it’s the next couple chapters that you guys are working on? What can we expect?
Pplpleasr: Well, I won’t spoil too much but White Rabbit will have seven chapters total. So, you know first being to finish my rabbit. There’s going to be AI involved in the Fourth Chapter. And, you know, sort of on a meta general story theme, there’s the story will hit sort of like a climax point, that I think will almost, I want to see like break the fourth wall for you as a viewer, but I can’t say anything more than that. So yeah, that’s to White Rabbit and unfortunately, we are in general, we are in the process of onboarding, new IP. We are going to announce one very soon. I don’t know when this podcast is coming out, but.
It’s coming out Tuesday.
Pplpleasr: Okay. I mean, I can probably just say it but, so we’re launching a new IP for the first time on Shibuya other than the replicant X. Stop motion animation from Steve Aoki and Seth Green studio. And it’s really cool and then so they’re going to have a different way of interactivity with that IP. And it’s going to be kind of like Mad Libs style. So totally different from White Rabbit, and it’s a stop motion animation, different style. So that’s pretty exciting. And that’s the one IP that I can talk about, currently. But yes, we are in the process of onboarding more IPS as well. As in tandem building all of these tools, that prepare future creators to people to easier facilitate their ideas and make them reality.
Above it. I’m excited to watch Shibuya’s work as it progresses over the next year, the next couple of years. Emily, before we wrap up and I let you go, where can we find you? Where can we learn more about Shibuya and everything in between?
Pplpleasr: You can learn about Shibuya on our website. It’s called, it’s Shibuya.XYZ. And I encourage everybody to just go watch White Rabbits. And you know, especially if you’re somebody who is in the crypto space, see how many easter eggs you can spot, where if you can sort of pick up on the messages or you know, sort of subtle themes that are going on here just through the dialogue. And then for myself, you can find me on Instagram, it’s just PplPleasr, it’s spelt really weird. It’s pplpleasr on Twitter because by the time I got Twitter PplPleasr was already taken. So, I am asked on Twitter but funny person who I think was squatting the username before later, I think got tagged in a bunch of because the Unisaw NFT I donated all of it to charity and then they were getting tagged and all the charity tweets. And then so I think I remember bursting with DM, they were saying oh my god I realized that must be really good person because so I’m just gonna give you this handle for free. And then she’s so nice and all sounds but also by the time this was happening, I think everybody had already gotten used to me being a PplPleasr one on Twitter. And so now I have to redirect the PplPleasr one.
Nice. Well, I’m glad we had this discussion. Thank you for sharing your time. We’ll have to do a check in sometime soon, as these next few videos are allowed, but until then wishing you well. And I’ll see you next time.
Pplpleasr: Thank you so much.