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Departed Apes' NFTs bring Hong Kong cinema into Web3

The creators behind Departed Apes share how inspiration from Hong Kong’s golden era of cinema resulted in a new NFT collection.

*This story was published in partnership with Departed Apes.


As NFTs continue to gain mainstream adoption, the technology continues to find real world use cases outside of digital collectibles and the speculative euphoria of items like virtual real estate. For creative industries like music and film, projects can leverage the decentralized crowdfunding aspect for financing as an alternative to record labels and film studios.


Specifically for the film industry, studios like Warner Bros. are using NFTs to sell limited edition copies of films or to offer exclusive behind-the-scenes content and experiences. Some projects are even aiming to create interactive and immersive film experiences, such as allowing viewers to choose different storylines or perspectives.

One such project is Departed Apes, a Hong Kong based project that aims to create a Web3 cinematic universe powered by classic film IPs, The Departed and Internal Affairs. Artazine caught up with the team to delve deep on the team’s details and their plans for the collection. 


Artazine: What was the intention when coming up with the idea for Departed Apes?


DA: The inspiration for Departed Apes stems from the idea of creating a good IP product with a strong, empowering narrative. The creator of Departed Apes, Stephen Fung, who is also an international filmmaker, understands that the core to a good story is about eliciting emotions in the audience. 

This is why Departed Apes is designed as a dynamic narrative with evolving character development and interactive elements in which our community can take part. It is a journey where our community will not just be a passive audience, but will be able to experience the characters’ perspectives first-hand. 

Behind Departed Apes, Grid6 Studios is a web3 content provider founded by Stephen Fung, Media Asia Group and Everest Ventures Group. We see the opportunities in the convergence of web3 and filmmaking and seek to bridge cinematic storytelling and blockchain technologies.

Artazine: Can you explain more about how the artist Logan Lubera came on to be a part of the project?


DA: Our lead artist, Logan Lubera, is a Marvel cover artist whose work can be seen in comics such as Spider Man, X-Men and Iron Man series. Stephen was impressed by the level of details in Logan’s artwork. Logan takes influences from cinema, comics and popular culture and brings Departed Apes to life through his drawings. He has also buried many clues in the character attributes that are key to our story – see if you can spot and decode any of them!


Artazine: What sort of initiatives can fans expect to see used with the treasury funds?


DA: Our community will enjoy and participate in interactive elements and missions with their Departed Apes, experiencing the perspectives of an undercover agent first-hand. While Departed Apes is a project with a web3 origin, we will introduce products that are tangible in the real world and for the masses, so that everyone can be immersed in a true cinematic experience.


Artazine: How do you plan to manage expectations between NFT holders and investors and stakeholders? 


DA: Our community is essential to us here in Departed Apes. We listen to our community, and we work very hard to deliver a product of high quality to our community. While we understand that there are many expectations from others, we strive to stay true to our community who has supported us through the journey.

Artazine: How does Hong Kong’s identity come into play with Departed Apes? How is it represented through this work?


DA: Infernal Affairs is one of the greatest crime thrillers in Hong Kong cinema. The fact that this legendary IP from Hong Kong was successfully remade for the international audience with The Departed tells us that the IP is not bound by culture or language. We see Departed Apes as a continuation and transformation of the blockbuster IP, expanding the cinematic universe to the eternal world of blockchain. 

While Departed Apes lives in a spin-off universe from Infernal Affairs, they share the same DNAs. Our community can expect the same level of character development in our cinematic universe, digging deep into the underground crime world – except this time, our holders are not only just a passive audience, but participate in the journey as a player.


Artazine: Will Hong Kong cinema and other creative industries see a resurgence? How can we better foster this? What can be done to boost HK’s creative scene?


DA: We are excited about the recent resurgence in Hong Kong cinema. We hope the movie industry in Hong Kong can grow into a more mature ecosystem where the next generation of film talents can be nurtured systematically, just like in Hollywood.  More importantly, the web3 space has created new possibilities for creators, production companies and consumers. We see Hong Kong being well-positioned as a hub to channel its strengths in the creative industries to the web3 world.


Departed Apes' G collection reveals on December 22nd. To find out more, check out their OpenSea link here.