Film Industry Networking Events 6 places to Find your local filmmaking networking events

 
Film Industry Networking Events
 

Film Industry networking events. As filmmakers we have been told that networking is an integral part of a film career, yet we are often not told just how to network nor how to find these events to attend.

I have attended a handful of film networking events in the UK. These events where organised by job sites such as Shooting People and Ideas tap (no longer active). I didn’t find these events useful straight from the get go. The film industry does work on a who knows who basis, and although attending networking events may not lead directly to work, there is no saying how these connections will benefit you in the long run.

In short film industry networking events are often free and worth exploring within your local industry

What to Expect

Networking events will be held in a hired out room, likely you will have to book a place online before attending. At the event there will be a mix of film industry professionals and newcomers more likely the latter. These events sometimes come with the perk of free food and drink (arguably one of the reasons I kept attending as a student).

There are no rules on who you talk to, you will need to build up confidence to introduce yourself to as many people as you feel comfortable with.

What do you say?

The first question people begin with is always ‘What do you do?’ this can be the hardest question to answer and it would be helpful to have an answer at hand. Some example answers could be ‘ I am a film student’, ‘I am an editor’ or less specially ‘I am interested in working in film’. Not being specific with your job role might make you less  memorable and not help if there are people hiring at the event.

These events last a couple of hours and it would be useful to have a business card at hand. Especially if you have a specific job you want to be remembered for. I have created a list of places that are worth checking out to see if events are being held near you. Local filmmaking networking events  like these are worth starting out with.

 

6 Places to Find Film Industry Networking Events

1. Local Cinemas – Your Odeon or independent cinema may hold filmmaking events and meet ups. Find these on their online events pages or ask at the office.

2. Film Festivals – Local film festivals no matter how small will be filled with filmmakers attending to showcase their own films. Bookmark your local film festivals. You may need to buy a ticket to larger festival events.

3. Social Media – Such as Facebook / Reddit Groups. Small communities are growing online. Use the Facebook search bar to look up filmmaking groups (Use keywords such as your city and filmmaker to do this – e.g. – Chicago Filmmakers). The same with Reddit and other social medias, use the search bar to find groups near you.

Meetup events are held world-wide.

4. Region / State Film Councils – Councils want filmmakers to use their locations and resources. A film crew can generate a lot of money for a local city. In the UK we have Creative England, find out what your local film council is called and check their events section.

5. Film job sites & Magazines – Film job sites occasionally have off line events for filmmakers. Magazines such as Filmmaker Magazine also list networking events on their site. For More film job sites -

Check out my list of film industry job sites here

6. Film Schools Open Events – Your local film school may hold events for filmmakers. These film schools often have workshops and small courses which although might have a price of entry, could act as a great place to network.

My Experience

In my own experience these Film Industry Networking Events events are hit and miss, sometimes you might get nothing of value out of an event, but I have known people who do well with small talk conversation enough to make good friends at events like this. If you do make a good relationship an easy non intrusive way of keeping in touch is to add them as a friend on social media you never know when contacts may be useful in film or whether this will lead to future work.

A word of warning, film is very competitive and some people may see you as a threat to them finding work. If people are rude feel free to leave an event. For example despite working full-time as a script supervisor likely because I look young, people  have been very rude and dismissive of my experience at events like these.

If you are a director (or working in another competitive job role), people might be very judgemental or discriminatory. Unfortunately not everyone wants to be cooperative in film, the best approach is to be friendly at these events, and don’t let differences get in the way of this. Being friendly and positive will only make you look good in the long run. You never know who you might bump into again later on down the career line.

Have you had any personal experience of Film Industry Networking Events?

Do you have any networking tips you would like to share with those just starting out?

Filmmaking and getting better with practice

 
Filmmaking and getting better with practice.
 

I have been a filmmaker for over ten years now. In that time my feelings towards filmmaking has been very up and down. I started out enthusiastic, with a love of filmmaking it was new and different. In time I have had my doubts at my lows convinced that filmmaking was not for me.

When I first started out my films where not very good. This is expected of course but I was partially amateur. The films I made at 15-17 where very rough.  I showered one of my first films at a  local film festival for under 18s. Clearly my film was the worse film shown there in terms of quality. However looking back it was likely the other teenagers had help making their films from their parents or school teachers. For myself I felt there was a definite definition between their films and mine. 

My lack of early skills (coupled with the desire to work within an unreliable industry) lead to cynicism. I found it hard to be taken seriously that film was the profession I wished to pursue. I remember being told from one adult ‘I have saw better sh*t on YouTube’ after they watched one of my early short films in attempt of discouragement.

The truth is my films where not good when I started out, and I have been falsely taught that some people are born with talent and others are not. That if your not good at something straight away you should stop. This is an incorrect belief, my films have got better with practice . When I look back at my old short films I can clearly see that there have been major improvements. I am not a very talented filmmaker as I stand here now but I know I have improved in time and will continue to do so.

I have just launched a YouTube channel, already I feel that the films I am making are not good enough - but I know in time with practice I will improve. This is something to keep in mind you will get better with practice, everyone does. I haven’t been an avid filmmaker instead I've spent a few years working on other peoples films, staying well away from the camera and creative side. Not being good enough is something that always holds me back but I know ‘ in time’ ‘with practice’ I will continue to improve.

So yes the channel is new I am unsure just how the blogger / YouTuber route will suit me but in time I will figure my way around this online world and make it work for myself. I created  a Vlog below looking back at my old shorts films. You can clearly how I improve from one film to the next.

5 Great books for Filmmakers 2018 Book Reviews

 
Top books for filmmakers. 5 great books for filmmakers
 

I have probably at some point read every book aimed at filmmakers. I used to collect them, it was an easy go to Christmas gift for me from friends and family. This is an updated post from a list I made 2 years ago.  If you have any suggestions of books I should check out then please let me know in the comment section below it be great to keep this list updated throughout the years. I have also created a video based around this post that you can watch here.

REBEL WITHOUT A CREW

Robert Rodriguez’s famous book on how he made his first feature film ‘El Mariachi’ for $7,000 and found fame at the Sundance film festival. It is a very inspiring book, I bought it when I was 14 and it gave me a buzz to make films. If you want to be reminded how exciting filmmaking can be then this book is worth a read.

The book was written in the early 90s when video filmmaking was still happening and sending film reels to film festivals was still the way to go.  It’s worth noting that at the time of El Mariachi only a few hundred films were entered into The Sundance film festival not near as many as the thirteen thousand that was entered last year (2017 stats including shorts & features of which only 225 which were selected to be shown at the official festival).

Film-making is more competitive today so treat the book as an entertaining and inspirational read other than a definite approach to filmmaking.

SAVE THE CAT

The no frills attached screenwriting book. I love it because it’s so down to earth and treats screenwriting as a realistic business (rather expecting your first feature film script to win an academy award). Although it focuses on how to write successful Hollywood films other than aiming at World cinema and independent film making; it most importantly tells you why the scripts you’ve been writing are not very good.

It has lists of writing formulas and tells you how to make your ideas marketable, how to write a winning log-line and how to draft your script like a pro. Save the Cat is the most well known screenwriting book aimed toward Hollywood screenwriting.

HOLLYWOOD

I thought I would mix up this years list with something a little different. Hollywood is a novel from author Charles Bukowski. It is an account of how he was commissioned to write a screenplay based on his novel and the experiences / struggles he faced doing so in Hollywood.

It's a semi-autobiographical novel based on his real life account of writing the screenplay to the film Barfly starring Mickey Rourke. Although fiction this might be a fun read if you want to get down to the grit and inside workings of Hollywood business. Not necessarily informative but more so an entertaining read.

IF IT'S PURPLE SOMEONE'S GONNA DIE

If you are interested in cinematography, lighting design or production design then this is an alternative book to buy.  This book looks at the power of colour in visual storytelling, how the use of colour influences emotions, characters and the audience. It uses examples from well known films going through how individual colours where used in each scene to further the scene development. It's a professionally designed book with lots of colour images and examples. If you have been making films for a few years and want to learn something new then this would be a good intermediate read.

FILM CRAFT SERIES

Film Craft have created several books that span across many disciplines in film. Including editing, producing, costume design and sound design. The directors edition I own focuses purely on how to direct by giving you examples from 22 successful directors.

The interviews with directors include, how they started making films, getting their first film jobs, how they personally direct actors, the struggles they have had with making films and their own tips for young directors. Film Craft is a well written series, a large book with detailed images that would make a great gift. 

If you have any more filmmaking books you would recommend or would like me to check out then feel free to let me know in the comment section below.

Film Career Course : A New E-Course From Amy Clarke Films

 
Film Career Course
 

In the past few years of blogging I have been listening to the struggles filmmakers are having breaking into the industry. I have worked full-time in the film industry myself and I understand the difficulty of turning this creative, competitive job into a career.

Many of my readers are going through that transition stage from student / beginner filmmaker to carving out a career from the film industry. Mostly we go through it alone, with no clear advice on how to navigate the first few years working in film. I have came up with a solution to that problem with my E-Course 'Film Career Course'.

Starting the last week of February 2018 I will be opening my course geared towards filmmakers hoping to go pro in the film industry. (The course will only be open for enrolment a few times every year) Enrol into the course here

What is Included?

The course is taught through step by step videos as well as including an abundance of workbooks and templates. Everything you need to get started is downloadable. In addition to the videos there will also be live training taking place on the private course Forum and the opportunity to get live feedback 1-1 via Skype.

Who is it for?

Serious Filmmakers who are at the start of their career. This could be that you have recently graduated or perhaps you are changing careers over to film. This course is the fundamentals of how to get set up and start getting paid during your first few years working in the film industry.

This Course will Cover

Work Routes - Various work routes into film | Self Employment & Contracted work | Expectations and Reality of the industry | What job role to pursue | 

Being Hireable - Work Experience | Where to find paid work | CV & Cover Letter design (examples and templates) | How to stand out and get noticed

Finding Work - Finding work system|How to apply to jobs | Day rates and what to charge | Working on major film sets

Dates and Pricing

The course will only be open for a few weeks every year. The first week for enrolment is February 26th - 4th 2018. The first two lectures will be available when you enrol with the final two from March 5th.

From week beginning March 5th on wards Live video chats will be taking place in the course private forum. These Live videos will be based on training through the course material and answering your questions.

The full price of the course is £200 / $280

Full details can be found on the course Sales Page Here. I am looking forward to working 1-1 with you, I hope you can join me within the course.