5 Things Distributors Look For In A Movie by Mark Harris

Film Courage: Do you pitch distributors an idea for your screenplay before you begin making the movie?

Mark Harris, Filmmaker: No, never. What I do is if I have an idea for the movie I let it play out over and over again and actually I write the screenplay out. I have a good solid first draft before I even talk to any distribution companies or producers. Once I have a solid first draft which people can read but I know that I’m going to have to make changes to it is when I decide this is when I’m going to pitch to a distribution company or a producer. But I’ve never ever pitched just an idea.

Film Courage: Just to see is this viable? Would you want to take this title on? You’ve never?

Mark: No, I’ve never done it. I’m sure there are filmmakers who have done it before. But I wouldn’t feel comfortable pitching an idea to a producerunless it’s like a comedy show where something is unscripted. I’ve done that before but an actual scripted, narrative, feature film…no. I wouldn’t feel comfortable just pitching it out there like that. I have to have something when they say Yes, I have to have something I can send directly over to them so they can go ahead and read it so we can move forward.

Film Courage: What are five things a distributor wants in a movie?

Mark: Cast…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


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