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Coinrunners – the making of a crypto movie

Coinrunners is about to start filming. It’s an epic tale of the ups and downs of the cryptocurrency world.

And while there’ll be Champagne all round when the final scene is in the can, it will be a moment of mixed emotions for its creator, who is also taking a leading role in the star-studded cast.

Despite the massive success of penning a script, finding a way to fund a film, and getting Hollywood producers to give it all the green light, there still hangs a twinge of sadness and anger over some of the events that conspired to create the story.

Coinrunners chronicles a time in the life of Lisa N Edwards – a hugely successful crypto trader with a global following.

What should have been celebrated as one of the triumphant periods of her life, though, was overshadowed by domestic violence. Abuse from her addict partner who not only shattered her confidence in life, but also brought their business – ‘Coinrunners’ – to its knees.

“Coinrunners was a trading business I had with my then partner,” she explains.

“Some business deals went wrong and he went back to using drugs. That kind of affected our business – he was siphoning money from the business for that purpose.”

Despite the warning signs, and her partner’s return to substance abuse, Lisa’s heart was beating with good intentions and a misguided belief that things were worth salvaging.

“Life became about trying to save the business and pull him back from the brink,” she said.

“I went back, and was living in Denmark with him. He was clean, but then a friend pulled him back into drugs, so I left.

“Covid was just starting then, and was like the universe’s way of saying ‘come on Lisa, that’s it – let it go’.”

Life lessons

Drawing on the experience, and forcefully unearthing positives from the darkened corners of despair, the Australian entrepreneur decided she had a story worth telling, with life lessons for anyone who wanted to hear it.

From the embers of a torched relationship and burnt-out business, she forged a screenplay of the Coinrunners story.

“I started writing it in 2019, and the first draft was written that July. It was a very rough draft with a little bit of storyline behind it.

“I was meeting with so many different executives in Hollywood and getting their advice. This one’s close to my heart, because it’s something I’ve lived.”

The premise of the film is, essentially, ‘how crypto can change your life, or even ruin your life’.

“That was the general feeling – especially at that time,” Lisa recalls.

“The market was still very new and we were just coming out of that first part of the Wild West. There were few laws and no ramifications for doing anything.

Lisa N Edwards

“Crypto has the power to change people’s lives, and I want to show that in the film.”

The original Coinrunners business model was about teaching people how to trade digital assets, and about how to work with the volatility of crypto.

“Back in 2017, ICOs were all the rage,” she says with a gentle shake of the head and a hint of rolling eyes.

“If you didn’t have ICOs to offer your clients, you were nothing.”

It shows just how far cryptocurrency has evolved when even the most seasoned of traders look back at ‘initial coin offerings’ with an obvious air of disdain.

Some naysayers would argue that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are the new ICOs. The irony of this twist in the plot isn’t lost on Edwards, as she embarks on a funding model for the movie based around NFTs.

“I’ve got a production company ready to go. Filming will depend on the actors we want. A couple of A-listers,” she beams.

“We’ve also got 15,000 NFTs on sale to fund the project. Depending on what Ethereum’s worth, we could have $5m to put into the film.”

Shooting will take Lisa and her fellow actors to Thailand and Australia before the film wraps around the Wall Street cheat sheet and the emotions that go through it.

Blood, sweat and tears

In all, it took 18 months to bring it to the point where filming became a reality. It may sound like a quick turnaround for Hollywood, but the Herculean effort that went into the seemingly endless script rewrites demonstrates just how much blood sweat and tears were poured into the pages.

“I would structure the story, write it, then get two or three Hollywood executives to review it,” she says.

“Version 44 is the one I’m happy with, and we’ve had a lot of great feedback.”

While brimming with pride over her achievement, the brightness of this talented Australian’s smile quickly dulls when she remembers the circumstances that conspired to lay the foundations of her story.

“It’s still hard to talk about what happened in Denmark,” she sighs.

“It’s kind of like he’s died, but he’s not dead. When he went back to the drugs, he just wasn’t a good person. There’s a scene in the movie where he’s violent towards me, on drugs, and breaks my ribs.

“He’s an addict. I hope that he’s got himself clean now. It’s not meant to hurt him or bring him down – it’s a story about saving a business and getting out of a bad relationship alive.”

Composing herself once more, Edwards reflects in the mental process of writing a film about what happened to her, and its ‘hugely cathartic’ effect.

“There’s always a positive side to everything,” she says as a smile returns.

“There are some dark moments in the film, but from those situations where emotions are at an all-time high, it’s hard to see clearly, but we bring out some humour.

“For anyone who’s been through anything traumatic, I’m sure they will be able to relate to this. And for women who have been in this situation too – it shows them they can get away from these bad situations.”

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