What Is Your Film REALLY
WorthTo Love Film?

What is your film REALLY worth to Love Film? You may be shocked…


Following the Sony warehouse fire in the riots last August, when all the DVD stock for two of my past films were destroyed (White Angel and Urban Ghost Story), distributor David Wilkinson at Guerilla Films decided it was time to bite the bullet with online sales. We do have some exciting news about this in due course, but I thought I would share one thing we discovered about Love Film.

I am sure you know who Love Film are, the UK DVD ‘distribution by post DVD rental service’(like NetFix). Well they also have an online service now where you can stream from a huge library of titles.

So my films, Urban Ghost Story and White Angel are both old titles, so I wasn’t expecting much…

So what was the deal?

Love Film wanted unlimited download rights for their customers in the UK. In return, they would pay a one off licence fee of £75 per title. You read that right, seventy five English pounds (about $100). This was a non negotiable flat fee deal that applied to all of Guerilla Films titles in the back catalogue. Unlimited download rights in the UK. UNLIMITED.

After Guerilla Films took their cut for doing the deal, what would come back to us is really no more than the cost of going out for dinner in London.

I am sure that this makes economic sense to the Amazon owned Love Film. It even makes sense to UK distributors who sit on top of old libraries of films (if you have 500 titles, that’s a fair chunk of change in one deal for a distributor).

But it sure as hell makes no sense to me. I would be better off putting the films on YouTube, 100% free, in return for a trickle of advertising.

Happily, David declined the deal (and remember, by doing a deal on his entire catalogue, he could have made a few £thousand easily, but he chose to decline it as it impacted on the film makers so badly).

David and I are now working on a whole new strategy which I will be able to reveal in due course. But I thought you should know what Love Film (owned by Amazon) really think your film is worth to them. Good old mega corporations huh.

I have said it at ALL of my classes, if you want to by something like music, art, books, films… Always try and buy direct from the creator first. Even if you need to pay a little more.

If this story was useful to you, I am running my two day Guerilla Film Makers Masterclass (http://www.guerillamasterclass.com/) in Feb 2012 where I cram TONS of information like this into a couple of inspiring days – the early bird pass runs out this week – right now it’s just £65 for two days. Get your tickets here…

Onwards and upwards!

Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author


e: mail@livingspirit.com

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9 Responses to What is your film REALLY worth to Love Film? You may be shocked…

  1. Ady Hall December 1, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    Love the blog and the amount of info you reveal. And that Lovefilm offer is laughable.

    I’ve been following a company called Prescreen (https://prescreen.com/) that are trying to build a distribution model based on ‘slices of the pie’ for all involved. So the filmmaker gets a fee for each viewing and download. But they also have high hopes to market it through social media (like facebook) and have a commission structure for referring it to your friends. Unfortunately it’s restricted to the US at the moment.

    Oh, for a company that has an effective distribution model for music, books, films, that is fair to the creator and can find its market…

    • Chris December 1, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

      Sounds interesting, do you know any film makers who have used it?

  2. Daniel Johnson December 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    I read one small UK distributor stopped selling their DVDs to LoveFilm as they received no royalties whatsoever from rentals, just the initial price of the DVD.

    • Chris December 1, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

      Yes that is right. Love Film are great for consumers but terrible for producers. Period.

  3. Mike Croston December 1, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    HI Chris,

    Blimey, a staggering and frankly ridiculous amount of money.

    Is £75 the figure they offer to all distribs regardless of the initial box office take?

    • Chris December 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

      Hi Mike, from what I can tell, this is a fee for library pictures – and from what I can tellm this online library is for ‘older’ films.

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      What Your Film Is Really Worth To Love Film?