What Nobody Is Going To Tell You About Film Distributors by Mark Harris

Film Courage: Have you ever relicensed one of your films?

Mark Harris, Filmmaker: Yes. We just recently relicensed BLACK COFFEE to Balance TV. It was on BET initially, it had been licensed for three years on BET. Then we re-upped for another year on BET. And then after that license with BET we did another renewal (well not renewal) but we relicensed it to Balance TV.

So yes, we relicense our projects quite often. And again, that’s how filmmakers make real money is by controlling your content, not giving your content away to distributors for over three years. And that’s therefore every time you license your project, you make money off of it.

Film Courage: In the front-end of the deal?

Mark: Oh yes. Most companies what they do is they either give you something on the front end or they pay in increments. Say for instance if they license for a year, they definitely give you something up front and then they may do something every three months until it’s all paid off.

Film Courage: Interesting. Did companies ever try to bully you into certain terms and steer you into “Well it would be better if we just wait until the end of this contract term and we will give you a big lump sum then.”

Mark: Yes…don’t ever believe that! Unfortunately…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


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