Meet ‘Wild Wild Web3’ directors Lucy Steel & Cameron Doig
Lucy Steel and Cameron Doig have their fingers on the pulse of NFTs. The professional duo, who are also dating, are currently at work on the documentary Wild Wild Web3, which explores the early stages of Web3 and NFTs within the culture at large.
Both Lucy and Cameron bring plenty of experience to the table– the former has a history of working on film and TV documentaries, while the latter has spent years on commercial productions. Together, they started a film production business and Wild Wild Web3 will be the inaugural release.
Film Daily was fortunate enough to sit down with the duo and discuss the upcoming documentary, as well as their stylistic approach and what they hope to achieve with its release. Here’s what they had to say:
Lucy: Tell us about your history as a filmmaker. How did you get started?
My interest in filmmaking started right from school when friends and I would make little films for fun. I went on to study film at university and then got a job as a documentary researcher afterwards… and it all progressed from there! Documentary making in particular was something that always captured my interest. I love getting to meet all different kinds of people and immersing myself in different worlds.
Cameron: You’ve worked on a number of commercial productions in the past. What did you learn from these productions?
I’ve loved dipping my toes into random topics and getting to speak to experts who are really knowledgeable about their subject. Getting immersed in niche topics for short periods has helped me to know how to ask the right questions to delve deeper.
L: How did the idea for Wild Wild Web3 come about?
Cameron and I attended an NFT event back in 2021 during a tech festival, without knowing much at all about NFTs. Immediately we felt there was a story to be told; there were so many different and interesting people who had discovered a new and hopeful world (web3). The atmosphere felt charged with excitement and our filmmaking brains kicked into gear. I went to another event shortly afterwards and approached some of the NFT artists who are now a core part of the film.
C: You two started a production company together. What was the impetus behind starting your own company versus pitching your film to others?
For Wild Wild Web3, the stories and tech we have been capturing were moving so fast that we would have missed filming them if we waited and pitched to others. It was integral for us to be there and see the stories unfold in real-time, as opposed to doing a more retrospective piece. It’s for this reason that so far, the whole film has been self-funded. We’re now reaching out and crowdfunding the film to help us finish production and help us travel to some further afield places to finish the story.
L: What was the most difficult part of shooting Wild Wild Web3?
I think keeping up with the NFT and Web3 space can has been particularly challenging because it moves so fast! The market can go up or down, new projects start, and people leave – on what feels like an hourly basis. It’s a lot to keep up with, but then it’s also been great to learn so much about something totally new.
C: Did you learn anything about the subject matter during production that surprised you?
Something that surprised us was how some artists have been banned from selling their work on different NFT platforms to keep in line with U.S sanctions. Part of the appeal of web3 (the new internet) is this idea of decentralization and opportunity for people anywhere in the world to sell their work.
The term “decentralization” isn’t something you hear people talk about as much anymore, but when we first started filming it was an idea that the web3 community was built around.
L: Given the role that NFTs play in the world, would you consider making a follow up or a companion documentary to Wild Wild Web3?
We’ve been filming since the end of 2021 and plan to continue for another year so we can tell a complete story of the beginning of the technology. That’s where our documentary will end, but it’s certainly not a technology that’s going to go away any time soon. We think it’ll be in the background of a lot of things without people even noticing it. Some big names like eBay, Reddit, and Starbucks are involved, with Amazon rumored to be getting involved too.
L: Can you tell us what it’s like to produce and direct a documentary with your romantic partner? Is it easy to balance the personal and the professional?
Luckily, we work really well together. It can always be difficult to maintain a work/life balance with something creative like this because something might inspire you at any moment. We might be on a walk having some time away from work, but you just have an idea you’ve just got to share. We try to have dedicated time away from the project, but we’re both so passionate about the film that it has been a large part of our lives.
C: What is the main thing you want audiences to take away from Wild Wild Web3?
As total outsiders, we learned that behind all the news headlines and monkey jpegs, there’s a huge community of fascinating people who are passionately trying to make a new internet that’s more open and inclusive. Artists have been able to make careers from anywhere in the world, in spite of factors that might usually hold them back.
L: Were there any documentaries or documentarians that influenced the style of Wild Wild Web3?
We love the feature film, Catfish. It was one of those docs where they just picked up their camera, followed a story that they were passionate about and created something that makes you feel as though you’re on the journey with them. We also loved Honeyland, directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov. It’s been really inspiring for us to see brilliant films that were made by small teams like ours.
C: What has been your greatest professional success?
Our first shoot aboard for this documentary was a great moment for me. We were over in Amsterdam, it was the first time we’d met some people we were filming with, and it was the point where I looked at us and saw that we were doing it, supporting ourselves and making something of our own. This is our feature length, documentary directorial debut!
L: What has been a professional setback? What did you learn from it?
It’s difficult to call things a set back if you learn from it. But I guess there have been some storylines or opportunities that at first seemed more promising than they ended up being. Then again, this usually leads us to something else or we make a new connection that pushes the film forward in a new way.
C: Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
We’re all in on Wild Wild Web3 at the moment. We’re still in production and have launched a crowdfunder for a limited time (www.fundsurfer.com/crowdfund/wild-wild-web3) where people can support the film and get involved!