Contacts mean a lot in life, or so I am told.
The film industry is over saturated, competitive and art is conceptual – as such talent is only part of success. We all need to know the right people to get to where we want to be in life. In film this means if you are not from a famous Hollywood family getting noticed in the film industry will take a lot of time and effort. Here are some ways you can begin to find contacts/network with people in the film industry.
I created a video on this subject here
1. Film Education
If you are just starting out meeting people with the same interests as yourself might be the easiest way. Study media at school, film at university or attend a local filmmaking club. Meet people with similar interests as yourself and make low budget short films. Some people get lucky and make lasting friendships and partnerships from these early stages of filmmaking. If you are good enough you could always attend a prestigious film school and meet more serious film students. Attending a good film school can help you get a foot-in-the-door to the film industry.
2. Film Sets
Working on film sets lets you meet a large group of filmmakers all at once. Of course you won’t get along with everyone (or maybe you will), but you can easily keep in touch with film crew members and actors through social media. Often directors and producers will work with the same people time and again.
3. Film Crew meetups
Depending on where you live (region/state) there may be local film crew met ups. These are usually run by local film councils and advertised online. I have been to two before in the UK which were run by IdeasTap and another by Shooting People (which run shooters in the pub meet ups for filmmakers all over the UK) sometimes there is even free drink and nibbles at these events too ,) It can be good but I doubt I will be attending any again soon, I found it to be a room full of people self praising and less than a place to make useful contacts. Worth a go once or twice to see if there is a filmmakers community near you.
4. Film Festivals
Be it a huge film festival or small local film festivals. I know people who have formed long standing friendships and even started companies together who first met whilst competing at a local 48 hr film competition. I am going to be making an effort with film festivals from next year, even if I don’t get my own film into any it would be good for me to attend some festivals. Some film festivals have filmmaker labs, workshops and networking events.
Since blogging I have talked to many filmmakers this year from all around the world. There are forums, online video competitions to enter, community’s such as Vimeo, twitter chats, skype met ups, all happening online. Whatever the future of filmmaking if going to be, whatever the next arts movement is I strongly believe that it will materialize from online. So make sure you are part of it, make social media profiles, write who you are clearly in the description, make it easy for people to find you online.
Just starting out ideas – Search for film clubs, groups and local meetups. Enter local film festivals, attend film festivals and such events to meet like minded people. Study film at a college/university level. Work on local film sets and keep in contact with people you met by following them online.
Later on in your career ideas– Enter and attend more well known film festivals, create business cards which link to a show reel website, Attend a top film school, hire more professional crew and actors to work with on your films, perhaps, write articles and appear in the press, get yourself known for what you doing online and be a speaker at events.
Links to meetups happening in 2016
How did you go about finding the best contacts you know in the film industry? Know of anything else I should add to the list above let me know below