Lumiere has the platform to push for the right things, but its creator acknowledges that there will be a lot of resistance to the revolution. Sifting through raging ICO projects at the TOKEN2049 Conference in Hong Kong last month wasn\u2019t easy. Luckily, there were still a few worth taking a second long look at. Patrice Poujol spent eight years in film finance and capital markets, another eight years in film production, and three years working on his postgraduate research\u2014a peer-reviewed study which will be published as a book with Springer International Publishing this year. The culmination of his PhD project to integrate blockchain into film production has now taken a distinct form: Lumiere. Referring to ICO\u2019s and exchanges\u2014which are the quickest way for getting rich quick in the space\u2014Poujol asserts a big distinction: Lumiere was the result of years of research and was made specifically for a real problem, one that he himself has firsthand knowledge of. \u201cWe\u2019re not trying to speculate, we\u2019re not trying say to people, \u2018we\u2019ll give you the Moon.\u2019 But we\u2019ll give you this\u2014but this is a few billion (in savings),\u201d Poujol laughed. \u201cIt\u2019s three years\u2019 PhD period of research. It\u2019s not just me waking up one morning, having a shower and saying, \u2018hey, .\u2019\u201d Currently, Poujol says that there is a big disconnect between blockchain technology and film, and they\u2019re trying to spearhead that merger. \u201cWe\u2019re trying to bridge these two,\u201d he says. \u201cWe\u2019re trying to bridge blockchain and the crypto world, the tech world, and the film world. I would say they\u2019re not in the dialogue yet. They don\u2019t understand each other, maybe because they haven\u2019t formally met yet.\u201d Poujol adds that film is a \u201cvery human\u201d field, and in that aspect makes it imperfect, whereas \u201ctech and blockchain is something that makes a process, a protocol systematic,\u201d which he says could solve the \u201ctrust issues\u201d in film production processes. Solving the multi-billion dollar fallout According to Poujol, Lumiere will break down inefficiencies in film production\u2014which actually costs investors a serious amount of money. \u201cWhat we\u2019re doing essentially and what we\u2019re planning for the software to do is to bring transparency to the film production process,\u201d he said. \u201cInvestor money is going up in smoke\u2014part of it, maybe 15\u2014sometimes up to 25%.\u201d Considering the overall amount spent by the film industry, this figure is huge. \u201cRight now, it\u2019s a multi-billion US dollar issue. There are films that basically use a few hundred millions essentially for every shoot. There\u2019s about thousands of films being made that way. Now an average budget for a film is around\u2014in Europe would be around five million (USD), in the US it\u2019s way bigger. Now, we\u2019re talking 50-80 million (USD),\u201d Poujol said. \u201cWhat we\u2019re trying to do is bring transparency to an industry that needs it.\u201d To address the issue, Poujol is harnessing the capabilities of blockchain technology and smart contracts for an automated full audit of expenses, as well as streamlining payments for professionals involved. \u201cWhat we want to do is change it even more to the point where investors can actually track the flow of money within the productions and they can see the money\u2014how it\u2019s being used, where it\u2019s going. Also where staff\u2014whether they\u2019re cast or crew\u2014can be paid on time and in full through smart contracts. So it\u2019s an entire system essentially to reshape the way films are being made.\u201d Equality and meritocracy: alleviating the gender pay gap I asked Poujol what the implications were in terms of meritocracy. In the US, several have spoken up particularly about the gender pay gap. This issue has ignited a thousand online debates about whether women are being paid unjustly less than their male counterparts. Will transparency be extended to include everybody\u2019s salary? And will this help the fight for equality and meritocracy in terms of wages? \u201cWe\u2019ve seen over the past few months that the industry is changing. People start speaking out about certain things and I think it\u2019s good.\u201d In some areas, he says, problems don\u2019t usually arise from people knowing upfront what everybody else is getting paid. Compared to the US, transparency in salaries may not be a problem for some. But the platform may help alleviate such gender-related salary injustices for those countries where equality is still an issue. \u201cWe want to push it in the last phase where everybody on the set knows how much everybody else is getting. Now, there are people who are against it and I don\u2019t care. I don\u2019t mind being a producer and putting my salary upfront because I can completely justify how much I get.\u201d Poujol adds that it actually takes more energy to try to keep salaries a secret than it is to be upfront about it and then proceed to focusing on work. \u201cI don\u2019t think it\u2019s actually counter-productive\u2014I think it\u2019s the opposite. It\u2019s just the mindset .\u201d How about corruption? The biggest implication\u2014and the biggest question of all, is Lumiere\u2019s potential impact against corruption in governments. Corruption is one of the biggest issues that can be affected by the transparency blockchain technology offers. All we need is a platform that would enable this use case, and here it is. Obviously, if this could be applied to privately funded projects, it can be applied to a government-run agency. In theory, that is. Of course, things are not as simple as that. Corruption persists precisely because the corrupt are persistent. \u201cOh, there\u2019s gonna be a huge resistance. We will encounter a lot of resistance,\u201d Poujol affirms. In fact, some have even hinted that his project could literally put him in the crosshairs of that resistance. \u201cAs a joke, someone said to me, \u2018You realize that the app that you\u2019re running now can be dangerous for certain people...you better buy a bullet-proof jacket,\u2019\u201d Poujol laughingly said. \u201cI said, \u2018well, you know, if I don\u2019t do it, someone else will. It\u2019s not just me\u2014it\u2019s a movement that\u2019s happening.\u201d Not the cure, but the right step forward Speaking about those who use such advances purely for their own benefit, and at the expense of others, he knows it\u2019s impossible to eradicate such practices. \u201cBlockchain is supposed to be here to make things more just and fair,\u201d Poujol said. \u201cI\u2019m in this actually for the features that can bring more equality. We will never get perfect equality but I\u2019m in here because I believe that this can solve a lot of problems that are here at the moment. And when I see people using and milking the system\u2014there will always be people who do that\u2014but I kinda cringe a little bit.\u201d Poujol acknowledges that what he and a few others are trying to achieve requires far more than what technology can offer. He is positive, however, that the tech can help propel society towards the right direction, particularly in terms of mindset. \u201cIt\u2019s trying to revolutionize the way films are being produced financially. And then I think the technology and the financials can accompany the change of mindset as well. I don\u2019t think it\u2019s just the tech, I think it\u2019s the tech and it\u2019s also the attitudes, the behaviours, and the mindsets that people have about how they do business\u2014how they consider one another, whether it could be gender issues, whether it could be racial issues. I\u2019m not saying the tech will address these issues but it can help. It can bring a certain change. In the words of Laozi\u2019s Daodejing: \u2018a journey of a thousand miles starts with one footstep.\u201d"