10 Ways to Building Film Connections and Network in Film

Posted on January 23, 2024Comments Off on 10 Ways to Building Film Connections and Network in Film

10 Ways to Building Film Connections and Network in Film

As you know the connections you make in film are going to be vital to your film career, and if you didn’t know… well, you know now. Surprise! Building film connections takes time. It’s not instant. Building those film connections that mean something takes effort on your part and requires you to get your face out there. It just doesn’t magically happen. As I’m sure we’d all like that to be the case.  I get this question all the time: “You say to network, but where exactly do I even network? Where do I show my face?” Here is a list of where to build your film connections if you don’t know where to start.

 

Attend Film Events and Festivals:

Start by attending local film events, festivals, and networking mixers. These gatherings provide excellent opportunities to meet people in the industry. Also this counts if you worked on a one day short film that is playing at the small film festivals. This gives you a chance to reinforce some of the relationships you started on that project. So, when you’re invited to the screening – GO!

Take a stab at Eventbrite and see what’s out there for film networking events. And again – actually GO to them!

 

Volunteer for Productions:

Offer your services as a volunteer on film productions. This allows you to work alongside industry professionals and build connections organically. And this option does take some research and work to accomplish. You need to make sure people know you’re willing to help because you want to learn. If you do this right you won’t be doing too many freebies. Go into facebook. Search the groups for “film production” and wait till someone posts they’re making their project and private message them say you’re willing to be a PA so you can learn. So many opportunities will pop up from those small sets.

 

Create an Online Presence:

Establish a strong online presence by creating a professional LinkedIn profile and joining film-related groups. Connect with professionals and participate in discussions. LinkedIn is very useful when it comes to building film connections. Please make sure you have a profile pic. If there’s one thing that that will make sure no one engages with you online – it’s not having a real photo of you. It doesn’t have to be a professional headshot, but also make sure it’s not super laidback. One to reach out to people is doing it online. If you dm someone they will look at your profile and see if you’re worth responding back to. So keep that in mind.

And if do in fact schedule a call with someone – make sure to keep that appointment. If you no-show, that is the best to show someone you don’t care, or that you don’t know how to stay organized. Make sure to communicate beforehand if you need to reschedule. If you no-show and don’t communicate until after the fact it’s too late they already wrote you off and will not want to invest anymore time in you. You burned a bridge before you even got to it.

 

Join Film Workshops and Classes:

Enroll in film workshops or classes to enhance your skills and meet like-minded individuals. These settings foster a collaborative environment and often lead to valuable connections. And I think this one goes highly underrated as well. This is an amazing way to building film connections. Being around people that want the same thing you want is priceless. You can create things together and grow your career together. This happen way more than you think it might.

Beyond film school Industry guest speakers

 

Utilize Social Media:

Leverage social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram to follow and engage with film industry professionals. Reach out to them to pick their brain – maybe not the super famous folk, but they will have a conversation with you. Some won’t, that’s to be expected, but just move on to another person who might be willing to chat with you. Try to learn as much as you can from the folks that came before you.

 

Build a Portfolio:

Develop a portfolio showcasing your work, even if it’s just personal projects. Yes – personal projects count! Having a tangible representation of your skills makes it easier to share your work with potential contacts.

To put it simply – have a website. I have one as an AD. I don’t have a reel on their because for my position I don’t need one. I have my bio, resume, and a link to my IMDb page, with a few pictures on myself. It’s nothing crazy extravagant, but it’s there for people to gauge my level of skill. If you have a reel you’d have it here. My editors, DPs, Actors, Production Designers, Directors, Producers – definitely should have a reel on your website.

 

Informational Interviews:

Reach out to professionals in the industry for informational interviews. Ask questions about their career paths, seek advice, and express your interest in building connections. Don’t be afraid to ask people to have a chat with you, or grab a coffee if you live in the same area. This is a chance to gain some knowledge, but also for them to get a feel for who you are as well. You never know what common ground you have and where you will make a deep connection.  Also, don’t forget to reach out to Alumni from your school. I’ll always have a chat with students who went to my college.

Film Industry Networking Websites:

Explore websites specifically designed for networking in the film industry, such as Stage 32 or Mandy. These platforms connect professionals, allowing you to expand your network. There’s so many websites that you can be on. New ones are popping up all the time. I encourage you to google “film job websites” so many will pop up and a lot of them have a community attached.

 

Cold Emails and Introductions:

Everyone gets real uneasy when I mention this one. Craft concise and personalized emails introducing yourself to professionals in the industry. Express your admiration for their work and politely inquire about the possibility of connecting for a conversation.

Many people are afraid of what they might get back in response. Here are the 3 options: they ignore you, they tell you no, or they say YES and help you out! All you need is a few yes’. This was actually the one way for me that changed the trajectory of my film career. Below was my actual email. I think now I would have worded it differently, but it did the job! It can be better, but hey, I sent that email and reaped the benefits!

Building Film Connections

Persistence and Patience:

Building connections takes time, so be patient and persistent. Don’t be discouraged by initial rejections or lack of responses. Keep refining your approach and staying active in the industry community. None of these are the fast track method, and I hate to break it to you, there is no fast track. Any overnight success story you’ve heard of had years and years of building them to that moment. Most of the ones that don’t make it- gave up. It took me several years to get where I wanted to go and there were moments in there where I definitely wanted to quit, and just give up on all things film. It’s hard. It’s absolutely a challenge – be prepared for that, but it’s entirely possible to build film connections that you need to get ahead.

And most of the time its fear of the unknown, and fear of judgment that hold people back. Just go for it. What do you have to lose? When I was first starting out – I didn’t really have anything to lose. I sent hundreds…HUNDREDS! of emails to get that one worthwhile response. So, it’ll take time. Be patient, and keep plugging away.

 

Need help launching your film career? Join my Film Career Launch Pad Workshop.

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