Are Streaming Services Causing Filmmakers To Lose Their Hustle? by Mark Harris

Film Courage: So now there is this new term #HustleLife. Who knows? Maybe it’s been around for a little bit. When we hear it we think of influencers but it sounds like you have been doing this for years in terms of just going out there and selling stuff yourself? We’ve seen this [DIY approach] a lot in the music world especially back when CD’s were popular.

Do you think filmmakers today have enough of that hustle life in them or do they view it differently like I’m just going to give this [my film] to a distributor, I‘ve already made my film, I spent whatever time with it (three years or whatever), I’m going to give it to a distributor and they can take care of it? If so, is this a mistake?

Mark Harris, Filmmaker: No, it’s not a mistake. I think it depends on how much the distributor gives you for the film. We also have to keep in mind that most distributors are not going to be honest with us.

Say for instance you make your film for $100,000 and you give your film away for free, you have to be very careful and make sure that an attorney looks over all of your paperwork. You just can’t give away your film for free thinking that a distributor is going to be honest with you and is going to be cutting you a check.

You always have to leave room…say for instance you make your film for $100,000 and you decide I want to give it just to get the film out there. I want to give the distributor the film just to put it out there because I want to see it in Walmart, I want to see it on Netflix. But if you’re not getting an money for it, you have to leave room.

Whereas you can do theatrical or you can do DVD and you can do streaming. You have to leave room because it’s a partnership. If you want to take my film…okay. You can take my film but I have to have the ability where we can do this together. Meaning that I’m going to distribute the film as well. You can take it to whomever you want to take it to but this is a partnership….(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

 

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