By Arun Fulara. Posted on July 16, 2015
So someone asked this on Quora, which i believe is a fairly standard fantasy that most people interested in breaking into films have. While the specifics of the answer by Ken Miyamoto don't apply to us in India, the response is pretty interesting & meaningful.
Here's what he had to say.
It's not worth the time nor the trouble. That's the sad truth.
First and foremost, QT's agency is his filter and by company policy, agencies do not accept unsolicited material. That translates as material that is not directly requested by the client or the representation. This protects the agency and the client from any frivolous lawsuits and the policy itself ensures that the client and representation do not have stacks and stacks (Or in this day, files and files) of scripts to weed through.
Beyond that, QT is an auteur. He writes and directs his own material. Thus it would be pointless to send him anything.
"But I'm a great writer and he might like my material?"
If it's true, it doesn't matter. Thousands of others can say the same thing, whether it is true or not.
"But perhaps he could mentor me if he sees a little bit of himself in me."
I have one word. It's a tough one. But it is a word that rings true for ALL screenwriters when they first start out, myself included. Naive. It's not a kind word at first, especially when heard by a stranger (me), but it's a necessary one to embrace. And it is best to embrace it early in your screenwriting aspirations as you look into the mirror of your actions.
In this case, you're fantasy is that you would like to send your screenplay to an auteur writer/director that directs his own material and in his career has made only 7.5 feature length films. Of those 7.5 films, he has written and directed all of them. It would be naive to think that such a filmmaker would accept an anonymous, unsolicited screenplay for consideration of directing... or even producing.
This is the type of thought patterns that lead most screenwriters into at least a few years of abyss when they first start out. Fantasy. And I say that only because I did it myself and watched seemingly endless amounts of other screenwriters do the same thing.
So, as opposed to giving you a literal answer (contact his representation), I've decided to take the hard but true stance and give you a loving slap in the face, figuratively speaking of course, because I wish someone would have been there to do it to me those first few years.
Just because you like a certain filmmaker and perhaps that even shows in your own writing doesn't mean that said filmmaker is going to love what you write and want to mentor you or pursue a working relationship with you. It would be naive to think so, would it not?
So what can you do?
Hone your craft. Don't release or market any of your work to anyone until you've done so by writing a couple of terrible scripts, learn from those mistakes, and then write at least three solid scripts. Then get on IMDBPro and look up similar movies to those scripts and find out who writes them, who represents those writers, and query them if possible. Find out who produces such movies and do the same.
Even then, it's naive to think that they'll jump up and down for your work, if they even request the script that is, is it not?
So then what can you do?
Network. Either you do what needs to be done, move to Los Angeles, get any job in the film industry you can (I started in a shitty security guard job for a studio) and work your way up and through as best you can, utilizing any opportunities that arise to learn more about the industry guidelines and expectations (I worked my way up to a development job as a script reader). Network. Network. Network.
All of my opportunities and deals came from networking. All of them. Not one was due to a blind query via email. There's was always a networking connection. Alumni to a college in common lead to a studio referral for representation. That leads to multiple meetings at studios. That lead to a deal at Lionsgate. A native of the same state lead to studio assignments and eventually a produced miniseries that went to #2 on iTunes with a name cast (although produced on a microbudget and not representative of the intended vision).
Network. Network. Network.
If you can't move to Los Angeles, consider another career. That's the hard truth. Sure, my deals happened to occur after I moved back to Wisconsin to raise kids close to home, but I had been entrenched in L.A. for seven years prior.
So, you can't. That's the answer to your direct question. Everything else is the answer to what I found in between the lines of it. But fret not because every screenwriter goes through this phase. Hopefully this, and other information out there, can help you leap past that abyss and get your career going because despite the odds against you, ain't no thing but the universe itself that can deny you that dream. And if the universe says no, it wasn't meant for you in the first place. But damn the universe and prove it wrong if you can.