Mark Damon has ceded his top posts at the Vision entities he founded to helm a new company, Mark Damon Prods.
While Damon formed the new company in February, when he officially resigned from the companies that he founded in 1987, it took him awhile to clear all legal hurdles necessary before he chose to publicly announce the company’s creation this week.
He claims that at both the American Film Market in Santa Monica in February, and at the Cannes Film Festival last month, he was selling titles (including the Jean-Claude Van Damme starrer “The Quest” and the live-action “The Jungle Book”) under the aegis of his new company — although his company was positioned as Vision Intl. at the time.
Sound confusing? Apparently there’s a clause in Damon’s exit agreement that allows him to use the name Vision Intl. instead of MDP, since it is a more recognizable moniker.
“It really was an effort to make the transition smooth, so as not to confuse people,” he said. “In our contract these are listed as MDP titles, but we have the right to use the Vision Intl. name.”
Damon described his current arrangement with his former company as one that works on a fee-sharing basis. “Vision services us, throughhandling paperwork, delivery (of pictures) and so on. And because of that I still supervise the employees. In turn, MDP services them by selling their library, which has about 40 titles that all predate MDP.”
Vision, however, will continue to produce its own pictures separately from MDP.
Aside from the ties to Vision, Damon and his attorney Stephen Chrystie said the company is in the midst of negotiations to tap a new $ 50 million line of credit from a New York-based investment source. Chrystie is spearheading those discussions.
The impetus for Damon’s startup was partly the ongoing legal entanglements between Vision and Credit Lyonnais.
“This gets back to the ongoing dispute the bank has with another company, TWE (which eventually became Epic), that is a shareholder in Vision,” explained Damon. “We were trying to settle some of our own differences with the bank, which had nothing to do with TWE or Epic, but the resolve kept getting delayed until the bank could settle the other matters. “So we felt one way to get around this matter, until these complications were resolved, was to allow Vision to pursue its business and take new business under a new banner that wasn’t encumbered by this,” Damon explained.