Why Bill Murray Makes Ethereum NFTs On His Life

In short

  • Actor Bill Murray will launch an Ethereum NFT project in July.
  • NFTs include artwork, stories from his life and career, and access to events and a Discord community.

Bill Murray has a lot of stories – and there are a lot of stories about Bill Murray.

Some stem from the actor’s nearly five-decade entertainment career, from “Saturday Night Live” to movies like “Ghostbusters” and “Caddyshack,” and his relationships with other comedic legends. Others are stories about the 71-year-old man and his propensity to, for example, plant random marriages Where steal people’s fries.

Come July 15, some of these stories and more will be available for purchase like NFT via The Bill Murray 1,000, an Ethereum project from the comedy and entertainment website Chives and start of the blockchain Venkman Project. The project will feature up to 1,000 NFT collectibles based on 100 stories from Murray’s career.

Each NFT is based on a single original painting of Murray by David Grizzle, then given unique backgrounds and flourishes to set them apart from each other. But beyond the art itself, each NFT tells one of the stories with text and images.

Ahead of a panel at the NFT NYC convention today, Bill’s son Jackson Murray, The Chive co-founder and chairman John Resig and Project Venkman co-founder and CEO Gavin Gillas spoke with Decrypt on how the project came about, Bill’s interest in NFTs, and the benefits that come with collecting.

Murray is a longtime supporter of The Chive, which was founded in 2008, and the company has produced Murray-themed t-shirts, as well as its William Murray Golf clothing line.

“We got into this ‘what’s next’ period of Bill Murray’s imaging license, and I said, ‘It’s definitely NFTs,'” Resig said. Decrypt. “And Bill said, ‘It’s definitely not NFTs. “”

One of the NFT stories in The Bill Murray 1,000. Image: Chives

Jackson Murray said his father called shortly after that first NFT conversation with Resig, asking about cryptocurrency and NFTs. According to Jackson, the concept didn’t initially stick with his father, but the actor saw the potential of immutable digital objects.

“Once he had that idea, it kind of piqued his interest,” Jackson said.

However, Bill Murray didn’t like generative artwork – things like the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks, which mix and match traits to create thousands of unique profile pictures. An NFT is a blockchain token that serves as proof of ownership and can represent works of art, collectibles, access to communities, etc.

Instead, Jackson said Decrypt, his dad liked the idea of ​​a pass that provides access and incentives, including future in-person events where NFT holders can meet and interact with him. On top of that, a blockchain allows Murray and his family to verify these urban legend tales by pointing to NFTs.

“I get asked all the time, ‘Is this story real? Is this a real thing that happened? Jackson explained. “[The NFTs are] a vehicle for me, then [Bill] also, I am sure, to answer these questions without having to repeat the same story nine times in a row.

From left to right: John Resig, Jackson Murray and Gavin Gillas. Image: Decrypt

However, NFTs are not live yet. Jackson therefore verified one of the most famous stories about his father, namely that Bill Murray uses a 1-800 number to screen calls. The actor, who has no agent or manager, apparently also used the number for his family.

“The 1-800 number is totally real,” Jackson explained to Decrypt. “When I was a kid, my dad is out of the country, you call the 1-800 number, you leave a voicemail and he calls you back within a few business days. And then you go from there.

“I hope you answer this call,” he added. “Otherwise it’s a secondary call to the 1-800 number.”

Focused on fun

We haven’t seen a shortage of celebrity NFT projects as the market surged to $25 billion in trading volume last year. However, Bill Murray is no conventional celebrity, and this is no conventional NFT drop. Resig wanted to share the actor’s story, but Murray didn’t want to write a book.

“Writing an autobiography kind of confirms that you’re done creating new parts of the story,” Jackson said of his father. “It’s just not on the table.”

With NFTs, collaborators saw a way to tap into curiosity around Murray’s life, career, and unique interactions with fans, which has already spawned an unofficial documentary film– while creating a community of collectors who can participate in future events and activities with Murray himself.

According to Resig, The Chive will host at least two events per year for NFT holders. He wouldn’t share many details about the events, but said people will be able to meet and interact with Murray at the events, and the events will continue for years to come. NFT holders also have access to a private Discord community.

Additionally, the original purchaser of each NFT will receive an engraved silver coin that features the same edition number and serves as a pass to The Chive’s annual Gold, Silver and Black Dinner in Austin, TX. Buyers can sell the NFTs through secondary markets but keep the coin, if they wish, as the token and the coin offer distinct ongoing benefits.

The 100 total stories represented in the NFT Collection were culled from conversations with Murray as well as existing material, and each was ultimately reviewed and approved by Murray himself. The team shared video footage of Murray discussing stories and adding notes to written text, and Decrypt saw the physical drafts that Murray annotated and reviewed.

A page with handwritten annotations by Bill Murray. Image: Decrypt

Murray added various details to a story about meeting gonzo reporter Hunter S. Thompson after the actor’s first season of “Saturday Night Live,” for example, and discussed his rocky relationship with the late actor and director. Harold Ramis. Additionally, Murray is apparently a fan of farm-fresh eggs and provided the NFT with information about his local egg dealer.

Ethereum NFTs will be launched on NFT Coinbase on July 15 and sell for 1.5 ETH each, or around $1,620 currently. The first 100 NFTs will roll out on that date, with the rest to be released in installments later this year. Even though Coinbase NFT apparently has had a slow start since launchGillas said they “wanted to bet long term” on Coinbase’s outlook.

In addition, there are several charitable components. David Grizzle’s original artwork will be auctioned after the launch of NFT, with all proceeds going to The Chive’s “Chive Charities”. On top of that, Resig said a “very healthy portion” of the proceeds from Project NFT’s community incentive pool will go to several charities chosen by Murray.

Every first NFT buyer will receive an engraved silver coin. Image: Decrypt

The Bill Murray 1,000 Project stems in part from Project Venkman, a startup that Murray co-owns and spun off from The Chive, and is named after his “Ghostbusters” character, Peter Venkman.

The Venkman Project is primarily aimed at helping companies adopt blockchain networks for rewards and membership programs, and uses Spotted for these initiatives rather than Ethereum. It could be a drier or more technical application of the technology, as the creators say Project Murray is all about entertainment and community.

“Bill had a mandate: everything we do should be fun,” Resig said. “If it’s not fun, he’ll sound the alarm. He says, ‘By the way, that’s cool, maybe. But it’s not fun. So he doesn’t want to do it. If it’s not fun, it’s not for him.

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