Networking in the film industry allows you to meet people in leadership roles and other peers who may be able to assist you in moving forward in your film career. Your social circle will grow as a result of networking, as will the number of possibilities available to you. Additionally, it will introduce you to new individuals and assist you in forming solid connections with them. Getting freelance jobs is common in the entertainment world; therefore, cultivating these links is essential since it puts you in the ideal position to secure your upcoming job opportunity.
Advice on How to Build Your Professional Network in the Film Business
There are a variety of methods to network and get oneself on the watchlist of other individuals, ranging from formal get-togethers to more informal emails. Check out the following for some suggestions on how to construct your professional circle through networking:
Practice Your Speech for the Elevator
You will need to get ready in advance of attending your first networking event to be successful. Even though networking occasions are as structured as job interviews, the purpose of attending one is to demonstrate your expertise to another person in the hopes of establishing a long-term connection. Ensure that you have contact details, a few questions that can be used to introduce yourself when meeting new individuals, and an elevator pitch that describes the project that you are working on.
A convincing speech that is intended to generate enthusiasm for a project is referred to as an “elevator pitch.” This presentation is an excellent method for providing a sneak preview into your venture without trying to capitalize on the dialogue. Master the art of crafting the ideal pitch to give in an elevator.
Participate in Events That Are Related to Film or Production
Successful networkers make it a habit to attend events specifically designed for networking. Even those who have already carved out a niche for themselves in the film industry must continue to network with their contemporaries, as this ensures they will never stop learning new things and expanding their circle of contacts. Check out the entertainment websites or the postings on social media platforms to see if there are any film or production-related events taking place in your area. Register for advanced screenings of upcoming films, particularly those at which members of the film’s cast or crew will be present to field questions regarding the production.
These kinds of events bring together professionals and aspiring professionals in the industry. Conversation with the individuals around you is a good way to pass the time while waiting in line for the movie. After the movie, stick around the lobby or head to the bar to meet some new people and make some new connections. As noted by YLO, an established film and stills production company in Cape Town, ” Who is standing next to you? Who is having difficulty? Who else is going to be fighting beside you? Who else is hungry in the same way that you are? Those are the kinds of folks you ought to be networking with.”
Make Meaningful Connections
Networking isn’t about collecting cards from everybody you come in contact with but rather about making meaningful connections with other people. Create a hierarchy of significance for your connections, and then choose a handful of the most significant professional contacts to position at the very top of the hierarchy. These are the individuals with whom you should maintain the most frequent communication.
All through the course of the year, make it a point to check in with them via social media, treat them to a cup of coffee every once in a while, and talk to them on the phone when you get the chance. Maintain an upbeat and meaningful tone in the dialogue. Because of the one-sided nature of your relationship, which has become unbalanced as a result of your repeated requests for assistance, the other party may choose to ignore your emails and phone calls.
Become More Well-rounded Socially
When you network, you are trying to make links with a wide variety of people, not only those who are in authoritative positions. You can meet other aspiring actors, writers, film producers, and editors if you participate in networking events. When you’re trying to build your professional network, you should look for potential contacts that you exchange with other professionals in fields other than entertainment. During the networking phase, nurturing a friendship with another individual can have a significant impact on both your career and personal growth.
Assist Your Connections
It is essential to provide assistance to your connections in any way that you can because networking is a two-way street. Use whatever resources you have available to you in a generous manner to demonstrate to your contacts that you are invested in their success.
For instance, if you are an excellent proofreader and one of your connections is a screenwriter, you could offer to proofread a proposal of the work that they have been working on. Even though it’s impolite to aid others for the exclusive goal of gaining one’s benefit, doing so in exchange for assistance increases the likelihood that the recipient will assist you in your time of need. It takes give and take to develop relationships, and it’s crucial to remember that there are times when you should give before you take.
At a social gathering, it is crucial to pay attention to what other people have to say, even though it may be enticing to run off a list of everything you’re operating on and all of your film expertise. Participating in engaged listening not only demonstrates to your new contact that you value their time but also allows you to discover whether or not you share any interests, which can assist you in further develop your work relationship with them.
A Further Note
Within the first twenty-four hours after meeting a filmmaker or producer at a networking event, it is important to follow up with that person. Write them an email in which you introduce yourself, thank them for their time, and offer to assist them in any manner you can. This will help to strengthen your connection with them and keep you on their watchlist. Maintain a lighthearted tone throughout the email, and steer clear of requesting a favor from the recipient. Keep in mind that your objective is to develop relationships, not to receive favors from other people.
Utilize Digital Platforms
The use of social media can facilitate connections between you and influential individuals in your field. You can keep in touch with someone and track their career progression by connecting with them through their LinkedIn profile or via other social media sites. Maintain a cordial and polite demeanor, like their posts, and show enthusiasm for the activities they are involved in. When looking for a job, you should resist inundating or pestering a new connection.
Building a reliable network of film industry professionals and contemporaries can take some time. Always maintain consistency, politeness, and respect for others, and put yourself in the minds of others. It may take a long time for certain film projects to be produced, whereas others are rapidly given the go-ahead. Because of this, you should be prepared to cultivate your contacts for the long run.