Networking in the film industry is one of the primary reasons that you come to a big city as a young filmmaker. In the city, you can find the connections you need to get ahead.
1) Get Business Cards
Back in August, I was filming with a friend out on 93rd street near Central Park in New York City. A man walked by in a 3-piece suit, stopped, and started to talk to me about filmmaking. He seemed very knowledgeable about cameras and mentioned that he worked in the UN.
Then he asked for my business card.
I was taken by surprise because I had read articles saying that business cards were largely irrelevant in our modern society that’s so well-connected through the Internet. That’s not the case across the board, though. More traditional clientele will still ask for a business card and you need to be ready with one when they ask.
2) Join Other Filmmakers Online
Few of my jobs have come through online platforms like Facebook. But so much of my learning has come from these groups and networking is also a benefit of joining these groups.
I’m part of one online group named “Color Grading Central” where filmmakers and colorists share advice on color grading and get feedback on their work. This group is so important to me because even though I’ll never meet the majority of these people face-to-face, the value of this online network is enormous.
3) Find Meet-ups
Filmmaking meet-ups can help you get plugged in to a community of filmmakers that will help you further your film career. However, you need to realize that they’re a double-edged sword. Most filmmaking meet-ups tend to be full of unestablished creators who aren’t able to give you work (and you can’t give them work either).
The real benefit of going to these meet-ups is that they’ll pay back a dividend over time if you stay involved with the connections you make there. Down the road, one of the friends you make in this group may be getting bigger jobs and will invite you along to be part of the crew.