Zcash Introduction Video [Zcash Foundation Awarded Grant]


#1

Hello Zcash community!

Andrew here - As the recent recipient of a Zcash Foundation grant, we at Public Image Productions are honored to produce two videos for both the newcomers and current Zcash community.

The focus of the first video is to provide an introduction to Zcash. Explaining the overview, how Zcash works, the power of zero knowledge cryptography, as well as the differences from Bitcoin. We want to expand our ZCash community!

The focus of the second video is to illustrate the underlying mechanisms driving Zcash’s security-centric functionality. Zero Knowledge proofs gives us the choice between direct and private transactions without revealing payment origin or amount. The video will elucidate, through intuitive animations and plain language, the technical framework behind zk-SNARKS.

We’re looking for your thoughts comments and suggestions. We’ll be posting updates every step of the way including outlines, scripts, rough cuts and subsequent drafts, submitted for your review.

We want the community to work with us to get fullest potential from these videos.

Please comment your thoughts, key points and highlights you’d like to see illustrated in these videos!

Looking forward to working with you!

P.S.
You can read our proposal to the foundation and the discussion that took place here, look for Video Production & Animation:


Why is there no ZCash "Explainer" Video?
Why is there no ZCash "Explainer" Video?
#2

Hello Andrew,

Congratulations to you as one of the recipients of the Zcash Grants.

For myself and and I sure countless others, I am sure once you post an outline of what you have in mind doing, scripts, and talking / viewpoints we’ll be glad to chime in and offer additional thoughts and suggestions.


#3

Welcome to the Forums @public_image

Congratulations on your Award! You can find lots of useful information about Zcash and it’s History that you can use for sketching rough outlines on pages like:

https://z.cash/technology/index.html

https://www.zcashcommunity.com/technology/

Let me know if you need anything set up here like a Poll or survey. In the meantime I have bumped your account to “member” so you can post more links and videos.

Looking forward to seeing your work!


#4

Hi Zcash community!

We are excited to submit for your consideration the first iteration of our Zcash general adoption video script!

We are eager to incorporate ideas, thoughts, comments from the community. Please keep in mind this video is designed for both the crypto-savvy as well as newcomers, so our objective is to strike a balance in the language and concepts presented. Keeping it simple and relatable, so to say.

The script currently reads around 1 minute and 40 seconds, so we have room to add… or subtract . We are looking to be under the 2 minute mark.

We are concurrently developing graphics, compositions and animations as well as finalizing the second zk-Snarks centric scipt (video #2). We will be posting updates soon - samples of our graphics concepts, etc.

Again, let us know if we are covering/conveying the introduction of Zcash in the right light.

Z Cash_General_2.docx.pdf (50.8 KB)


#5

Thanks Shawn, those resources proved handy.


#6

Hi CitricAcid,

We’ve posted our first draft script! Please see our post below.

Thanks!


#7

Just my thoughts and opinion as I read the pdf

The beginning reminds me of the HBO feature presentation on Saturday night, not a bad thing, sometimes it was better than the movie!
Hasn’t apple and samsung shown people buying things with their phones, if you are going to do that why not make it yours/Zcash?
How about, a college person calls/sends a text his parents and says they need money for food or they have a cold and need funds for over the counter meds. Mom says sure, picks up her phone or goes to the computer and you see a Zcash wallet where they transfer funds to their child. Now you see the child going out and it’s obvious they are in another country and go to the store to buy whatever is needed using their phone that now has Zcash in it that mom sent just minutes ago. No western union, no banks, no fee for money conversation, just there and useable!
You’ve shown two generations using digital cash, not as something that is the future but that is here now, with the funds usable from across the globe in a matter of minutes.

Bitcoin - yes people can see what your doing, but marketing/sales 101, If you can’t sell the positives of your product without bashing the others by name to make your product seem better, then its not.

The line about hiding, no…, protect, safeguard, defend, secure. Tell the truth, 99% of the people have no reason to hide, Zcash is protecting your anonymity because you deserve it, it’s your right.

essentially allows / essentially shielding - I hate to sound like Yoda, but it does or it does not

Again just my thoughts and opinion, I do like the overall theme/ message/ but as you said, you want to make it relatable to both newcomers as well as the crypto-savvy.


#9

I’m really disappointed.

This is a very cold, old fashioned, “on the nose” infomercial.

I have been working in the entertainment/movie/commercial/advertising industry for the last 18 years.

If we, the Zcash community, want to be adopted by making a video, we need to aim higher than this.

You can be comedic, you can be dramatic, you can be sentimental, but you need to touch people and be relatable.

You need to find an angle to approach this subject.

What you have provided doesn’t speak to me as a consumer, it doesn’t speak to my friends, it doesn’t speak to my parents, it doesn’t speak to the youth.

Can you make a video that will amaze or touch me on a human level? So when I finish watching it, I should think “Damn, this is what I need to be using right now!” or “This is the coolest thing I’ve seen lately!”.

Here is an example of a commercial I worked on a couple of years ago -> https://vimeo.com/149424047

Now, who doesn’t think Nissan is the coolest company after having seen this? :slight_smile:


#10

You have to explain ZK snarks, the time constraints you have are challenging, the easiest way I could think of it is-
Imagine Shielded addresses as Post Office boxes. Let’s say Post Office workers have no way of finding out the owners of the post boxes. You write the letter, encrypt it, then produce a math problem based on the encrypted letter information. You write that on the front along with the destination shielded address (imagine it as a QR code stamp that you print prior to mailing). When the post office worker receives it, they do the math. If they solve it, the information inside the letter is valid and it gets sent. No one knows what its was or to who and from whom its sent.
That could be explained in a minute or less.


#11

I like a lot of the ideas some of the others have, and think that Autotunafish has a great idea explaining it via the post office example, and I think overall it could be approached in a wholesome manner, and needs to be positioned in a light where we are enabling you to be free and protected via a figure people can trust:

Explain in a non-theatrical voice with a trusyworthy person, the future we see:
“Here at Zcash (or use the zero coin company name, but probably should just call it Zcash to avoid confusion for the public since we are promoting zcash) we see an ever changing future on the horizon, where robots are simplifying tasks, where we dont have food shortages around the world, where everyone in the world has access to the internet via public wifi initiatives, and where you own and control your money and assets” (Lots of people should be able to relate to the other ideas, helping them accept our idea) Go into brief explanations of some projects around the world for world wide Wi-Fi, and then pivot immediately to the money system and advantages blockchain brings. Explain that we know zero knowledge cryptography is complicated, and then explain that we hope to help simplify the concept later in this video, but that it also needs to be complicated to ensure it’s security. Pivot from there into how cryptography, historically, has changed civilization as we know it. It has won wars, protected consumers, allowed for secure communication systems to he built, is the backbone to the internet, and is why people trust online payments. Then explain where it’s going, that we believe it will bring monetary freedom to the entire world, empower those in locations without trusted banking systems and currencies to unshackle themselves from the broken system (Or not become part of it), and that we will do this with low fee, scalable, secure, and decentralized solutions, with a PoW algorithm that remains ASIC resistant, enabling more people to participate in the system if they so choose. (Mention that if those don’t make sense, there are some awesome instructional videos, and have those available), all while keeping your information private and secure. (Maybe discuss smart contract work focused on ensuring those who own the assets can recover them if needed, so there are fewer stories of people losing everything by mistake or a crashed computer system - this will help build trust for the general public).

Then cut to the post office example, and help walk people through a high level simplified understanding of zero knowledge cryptography. Follow that up with the advantages Zcash provides over other crypto, and then end it with a catchy slogan like “Zcash, the future of zero cash is here” or something along those lines - obviously spend more time thinking about something for that.

Could then show numerous other examples of its easy application, like the student to parents example, and so forth, something everyday people can relate to and get frustrated with.

That’s just my thought on the whole thing, I think that’s the best way to position Zcash for success in a video series.


#12

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your responses, they are indeed helpful. I will address each post in response to the script we posted 11 days ago. Before that, I will give you some thoughts and ask some questions that might help us move this project along a bit quicker. We’ll see.

This post may be a bit lengthy, so apologizes in advance.

I’d like to explain our thought process as we wrote the first draft script.

When writing a script, especially on a specific budget, you have to be realistic about a few things.

  1. Audience; As much as this video is for our community, (which constitutes of individuals who are light years ahead of individuals with zero knowledge of cryptocurrency) this video is more importantly for newcomers. i.e. blockchain enthusiasts who need a quick, clear, to the point understanding of what Zcash is and a vision they can get behind and believe in because everything our beloved developers are working on will be the future. And, the hundreds of thousands of people who are signing up on coinbase, exchanging their fiat for crypto; these people don’t know much or anything at all about the technology or the fundamentals, but they are coming/already here because a friend, a brother, a sister, a co-worker, CNBC, social media, etc can’t stop talking about crypto and the massive gains associated with it.

  2. Run time; An excellent video that is 7 minutes long is truly a waste because the last 5 excellent minutes of the video statistically won’t be watched. 2 minutes, +/- 30 seconds, is the sweet spot and yields a high finish rate. So our target is to fit pertinent information that connects with viewers within that time frame.

  3. Does it fit the budget; Filming on location in 3-5 locations using 4k cameras with actors and a full on crew over multiple days is a dream. So instead we have to be realistic about what the visual representation of the script will be. That is completely taken into consideration 100% of the time when writing, which is why we write visual accompaniments along with the script. In our proposal to the foundation, we proposed “Through dynamic motion graphics and innovative animations, we will avail the general public of Zcash’s innumerable advantages.” Filming is really out of the budget. We have allocated $4,750 to make this video. For a proper production with locations, equipment, actors, crew and post production crew, we would need a lot more money. And that is entirely possible in the future! But for now, we are going to make a video that is sharp, kinetic, smart and tight all through an excellent script, voice-over, animations and graphics that we are going to spend a whole ton of hours on.

The First Draft Script

As I said in the beginning of the post, I’m excited the script produced some feedback and criticisms. Typically, a starting point gets the ball rolling… and we’re off!

The opening statement:

“Digital cash is the future. And just because it’s digital doesn’t mean it can’t be as anonymous as cash.”

We wanted to get straight to the fundamentals of Zcash that would make sense to a non-crypto individual. Letting our viewer know that digital currency can be just like the fiat in their pocket.

Next line, “Bitcoin allows anyone to see your spending”

This line came next because most likely, if you are completely new to crypto or not, you might not know the basics. We’re not bashing Bitcoin, that would be like calling our grandmother a horrible person. Grandmothers are usually great, old, but great and we’re thankful for them. Same with Bitcoin. But a fact is a fact, you can see transactions. All we want to do is show laypeople there is a difference. And thats the big one.

The rest of the script is pretty straight forward. Simple and not over complicated. We are open to a change if that’s what the community wants, more referenced based material instead of direct. But we have a lot to cover in a short amount of time.

Responses!

CitricAcid:

Thanks for taking the time to write your thoughts!

I love HBO and the feature presentation on Saturday nights.

Your suggestion is a fine example. When Zcash is widely accepted, i’d very much like to make a commercial that shows a Zcash transaction that would look/seem similar to Venmo or QuickPay but with all the goodies of Zcash tech. Every point you made is right on, perhaps we could run with that idea if we started with “Imagine the future…”

I love a video that shows real world application, especially a video that doesn’t need too much explaining, just feature showing and utilization. I wouldn’t want to mislead anyone thinking they can go to their local pharmacy and spend their Zcash. As far as I know, right now you can spend your Zcash at OpenBazaar.org

Bitcoin, yes we mentioned Bitcoin in the script. This was debated. Of course we don’t want to be taboo by saying a competitors name, but the dominance is real and the masses have heard of Bitcoin probably more than they have heard of Zcash. So it might help to mention Bitcoin for the fact that people understand its a currency and we need them to understand Zcash is a currency as well, and a better one at that! We definitely didn’t mean to come off as bashing.

The line is " Bitcoin allows anyone to see your spending" … its true, its not negative, that has its place. We just want to differentiate, Zcash does it on their homepage. We don’t mention Bitcoin again. If the consensus is to not mention Bitcoin, we can just say “other digital currencies” . Maybe we can vote!

“The line about hiding…” Good catch! We definitely aren’t trying to in any way shape or form seem like we are “hiding” We can and will easily change that word to ‘protect’…

The could read: “With shielded transactions that PROTECT the sender, recipient and the
value on the blockchain, Zcash essentially allows you to spend money with as much privacy as a cash transaction, only with security that cash can’t provide.”

Master Yoda! we will take your wisdom and rid the word “essentially” … and it should be clarified. DONE. Thanks for that suggestion.

rex4539:

Thanks for your criticisms. I’m sorry we disappointed you! That Nissan video must have cost a pretty penny. We’ll try to find a way to touch you on a human level.

Autotunafish:

Excellent response! You gave us a more simplified way to explain zk-SNARKS. Its got real world use on a mass scale and everyone knows about Post Offices.

We were granted to do two videos. 1st video is the introduction to Zcash video and the 2nd video is explaining zk-SNARKS. We will revisit this idea for the second video and try to make a concept like yours work. I definitely have a few questions for you in the future. I hope you’ll be around to help us work it all out.

Hairdawg:

Thanks for your write up and composed response.

Our first version of the script we (internally) came up with (we did about 3 before the one we released here), we had a concept similar to yours, but felt it was a little too general and complicated. It felt like were talking about blockchain tech as a whole rather than keeping it on the ground and more Zcash specific.

As you mentioned, a series of videos would be excellent, especially since there are so many use cases for blockchain technology - world changing. We used a lot of hotkey words that would make sense to blockheads in the unreleased first draft, but didn’t relate to newcomers as much. More simple we went.

I believe your sentiment is great though, and a video describing the many advantages of blockchain tech, cryptography, getting away from the broken systems, etc. is very needed in a way that speaks to the masses.

Next Step

I hope my responses have helped explain our process a bit and show you where we are coming from. We definitely spent time putting that script together, although it seems simple and short - often times those are the hardest things to write!

We love the suggestions and totally feel the community on making sure the video speaks from the heart of Zcash. If you have not read our original proposal (link in the first post), please read it! The proposal is very direct about what we can do with the funds we requested. However, the need for a full production (cameras, lights, crew, locations, post production - the whole nine yards) is my take away and something we will work towards in the future. This is all great because this is evidence from the community! Hopefully on the next round we can get funding for the works.

For now, our first draft script was as realistic as we could be for our budget and time. We are very open to change and we are taking into consideration the responses we received.

Here is how we can move forward:

Read our initial proposal to the foundation. Re-read the script, keep in mind a 2 minute timeline, keep in mind graphics and animations. If you have opinions for line changes. Please post them.

We may conduct a poll or a vote very soon - maybe even with some of the responses from this post and prior responses. We’re also going to release some graphics we are working on, so you have an understanding of the visuals we mention in the script - it helps a lot to see these things. And they look pretty sweet.

The Goal

Finalize a script so we can put these ideas into action and release a video for Zcash … this way you can give us notes on the actual video we are creating. We’d like to start showing you graphics within a week or two. We also want to source our voice-over talent, we’ll do that immediately once we have a script. Then this becomes fun and you will get to see clips with a voice, real personality for Zcash.

Thanks again! You all have been great.

Andrew


#13

Can’t agree more.

Anyways great work and wonderful community approach!

Quick input (personal feedback):

protection > privacy

I personally prefer the term “confidential” than “private”. I feel like confidential is more personal and precious, private on the other hand gives me a sense of insecurity and it’s over abused in the crypto realm.

for me zcash is much more than private transactions (many have nothing to hide), it’s more about a very dedicated team working the magics of cryptography building the most reliable and hopefully secure network
even remotely imaginable. I wouldn’t be surprised if algorythms, starks or what ever they end up implementing spread to other fields of use (other than currency).

GL for the clips and keep us updated!


#14

Hi @public_image as I’m reading through your script I can see the animations playing out in my head, it will be really cool to see when it’s done!

The voice overs are very important so I sat down with a friend and we read them aloud to each other, and we came up with some suggestions for each Voice Over section:

  • Current: Digital cash is the future. And just because it’s digital doesn’t mean it
    can’t be as anonymous as cash.
    Revision: None

  • Current: Bitcoin allows anyone to see your spending.
    Revision: When you use Bitcoin your transaction is stored in public for anyone to see, forever.

  • Current: but Zcash gives you the freedom of choice. The freedom of privacy.
    Revision: Zcash is different, it gives you the freedom of choice. The freedom of privacy

  • Current: Zcash is a one of a kind, decentralized and open source digital
    currency providing unparalleled protection.
    Revision: Zcash is a unique decentralized and open source digital
    currency providing unparalleled privacy for its users.

  • Current: With shielded transactions that hide the sender, recipient and the
    value on the blockchain, Zcash essentially allows you to spend
    money with as much privacy as a cash transaction, only with security
    that cash can’t provide.
    Revision: With shielded transactions that hide the sender, recipient and the
    value of your transaction, Zcash allows you to spend
    money with as much privacy as a cash transaction over the internet.

  • Current: Created by a team of industry leading cryptographers, Zcash
    encrypts shielded transactions and verifies their validity through an
    innovative form of zero knowledge cryptography known as
    Zk-SNARKS.
    Revision: None

  • Current: The most secure way to send and receive your digital cash.
    Zcash is completely secure and incredibly fast; verifying your
    transactions in less than a second.
    Revision: Zcash is a breakthrough in cryptography allowing you to transact securely with anyone anywhere in the world in a matter of minutes. (more accurate time)

  • Current: Zcash technologies have set the foundation for a whole new class of
    blockchain projects.
    Revision: Zcashs innovations are laying the foundation for a whole new class of
    blockchain projects, this is just the beginning

  • Current: Protect your identity and preserve your data through a more evolved
    cryptography
    Revision: Protect your identity and preserve your data through advanced
    cryptography.

  • Current: Where other digital currencies reveal your entire history to the public,
    Zcash fully safe guards the privacy of your transactions.
    Revision: Your personal information is important and you can’t trust just any crypto-currency to keep that information secure. Zcash gives you the power to safeguard your digital cash transactions

  • Current: Zcash: The freedom of privacy on the blockchain.
    Revision: None

Whew, :sweat_smile: I hope that isn’t too many tweaks. These are just our 2 ¢ please feel free to use or don’t use any of these suggestions. Thanks for your work so far!


#15

I came across this video from nano coin today, looks very polished and similar to what you are doing @public_image https://vimeo.com/253563861


#16

after 38 seconds of that D@mn piano I had to stop.

someone made a Transcription:

Banks have been our “trusted” intermediary for financial transactions throughout history. They offer a relatively safe place to transact your money. However, with bank fees and slow transaction, this comes at a cost. But what if buyers and sellers could make transactions between them securely and directly? Without a trusted intermediary. That was the reason for the creation of digital coins. Complex algorithms combined with encryption and a public registry, made banks no longer needed to verify transactions. However, these digital fashions are far from perfect. Transactions require a process called mining, where computers compete to solve complex equations to gain a portion of the coin. But as the transaction log grows, this process becomes gradually slow, inefficient, and expensive. Introducing NANO! NANO uses a technological innovation called block-lattice, which works with an “auto-mining” process, resulting in the ability of transactions of any size to be processed instantly, without fees. There are no limits on the number of transactions that can occur simultaneously. NANO is the digital currency designed to work on a global scale! Nano’s mission is to bring digital currency into the mass. We are focused on creating innovative applications that put NANO at the heart of people’s everyday lives. AND THAT IS ONLY THE BEGINNING !!! NANO uses a technological innovation called block-lattice, which works with an “auto-mining” process, resulting in the ability of transactions of any size to be processed instantly, without fees. There are no limits on the number of transactions that can occur simultaneously. NANO is the digital currency designed to work on a global scale! Nano’s mission is to bring digital currency into the mass. We are focused on creating innovative applications that put NANO at the heart of people’s everyday lives. AND THAT IS ONLY THE BEGINNING !!! NANO uses a technological innovation called block-lattice, which works with an “auto-mining” process, resulting in the ability of transactions of any size to be processed instantly, without fees. There are no limits on the number of transactions that can occur simultaneously. NANO is the digital currency designed to work on a global scale! Nano’s mission is to bring digital currency into the mass. We are focused on creating innovative applications that put NANO at the heart of people’s everyday lives. AND THAT IS ONLY THE BEGINNING !!! NANO is the digital currency designed to work on a global scale! Nano’s mission is to bring digital currency into the mass. We are focused on creating innovative applications that put NANO at the heart of people’s everyday lives. AND THAT IS ONLY THE BEGINNING !!! NANO is the digital currency designed to work on a global scale! Nano’s mission is to bring digital currency into the mass. We are focused on creating innovative applications that put NANO at the heart of people’s everyday lives. AND THAT IS ONLY THE BEGINNING !!!


#17

It is a little grandiose, but I thought the graphics were well done (if a little bare) and I was surprised by how much Voice-over text they were able to get in a less than 2min video.


#18

Hi everyone!

Thank you for your responses so far, they are exactly what we are looking for.

@johnwisdom - First, I appreciate the kind words. I agree, “confidential” has a more personal and professional feel rather than “private” - and yes, “private” is thrown around in crypto talk/video/language way too often. We will try to adapt the sentiment of confidential into the script and feel out how it comes off and sounds.

We also feel Zcash is much more than private transactions. We are trying to work in a line or two that emphasizes those ideals and principals of the Zcash team/community.

Thanks for bringing that aspect to the table.

@Shawn - Want to start working with us full time? :smile: Can’t thank you enough for making those reiterations. Really helps us work out the details in the script. Its a bit of a challenge to translate a specific blockchain ecosystem into a short script that makes sense to a wide range of people. We will definitely fold some of your ideas/wording into the updated script. Thank you again!

@Shawn & @CitricAcid - the nano video is decent, overall. I like their voice-over personality. We are definitely trying to stray away from that style of animation and instead building something custom and more unique.

That animation is called “isometric animation” … you can find it all over shutterstock.

https://www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-22054714-stock-footage-telemedicine-isometric-flowchart-visualization-with-digital-health-and-distant-monitoring-d.html?src=search/Xc0F4EH8q84BJXINSuLINA:1:18/3p

There are programs that let you sort of customize it and I’ve seen that style of stock animation in too many crypto-videos. Even worse, I’ve seen “video production” companies collect good sums of money and just tweak the animations, slap a logo on and call it a day. Its robbery. I can assure you, we build our animations & compositions to ensure we have a completely customized project that is unique for every company we do work for. And yes, that piano makes my head want to explode :exploding_head:

Updates are coming soon. Next post will have an updated script with the suggestions from the past few posts… and maybe a few voice-overs we can pick and choose from to find our personality!

Cheers!

-Andrew


#19

Any update on this project @public_image ?


#20

Yes there is! Sorry for the delay. Gathering a few things and I’ll make a more formal post on Friday. Thanks.


#21

Update:

Sorry for the long pause. We have been working on the project. In the last couple weeks, we have been sourcing our voice over talent. We’ve taken in about 20 auditions so far, and our audition closes officially in 1 week from now. We expect another 10 or so to come in within that time frame.

I will post links (as soon as the audition closes) to the top 5-10 and we’ll take vote to find out who will be our voice talent.

We do have some concept compositions of graphics, we’ll know how they flow once we have a voice over to put over them, we may post some of those once the v/o audition is over, so you can have an idea of what we’re building.

This upcoming Monday we are gathering to start putting together a script for the second Zcash video: The zkSNARKS overviews and concepts video.

This video is purely about zkSNARKS and its mechanisms and features.

We realize this video will probably have a longer run time then the intro video.

Please list some ideas for the script/what should be mentioned, and I will use them in the upcoming meeting.

Thank you!