Maybe you’ve already moved to a city and you need to start getting film work. Or perhaps you’re living outside of a city and want to find collaborators. Finding film work requires patience, hard work, and dedication. Here are some quick pointers to get you started:
Network, Network, Network
If you’re a freelance filmmaker, you never know where your next job may come from. In fact, it will often come from where you least expect it. I once worked with an actress who brought in a friend to work opposite her for a scene. I never expected to hear from her friend again. Several months later, I got an email out of the blue from her friend referring me for a job.
When you’re starting out, you never know who might be a great connection down the road so make sure to treat everyone with respect. Don’t trash talk someone who hired you or someone you work with. When they need someone for a job, you want them to think of you first and want to work with you again.
Carve Out Your Niche
Do as much work as you can and begin carving a niche for yourself in a certain profession. For people to know what you do, you need to be specific about the projects that you create or take on. If you really want to be a director, you won’t find yourself working on directing gigs 100% of the time but you should try to create as many opportunities for yourself as possible to direct your own work.
Regardless of whether you have collaborators or not, you can still pursue deeper education on your particular niche. If you want to work as a cinematographer, spend time studying cinematography. Over time, people will come to know you as “that guy who’s really good with a camera” or “that girl who’s a phenomenal director.”
Get A Website
Most filmmakers don’t have a fancy website that includes a contact form for booking but almost all filmmakers have some kind of website. Depending on the kind of work you want to do, your website may not need to be very complicated.
Take foresterwin.com for example. Forest is a friend of mine and an awesome director of photography. His website is literally just one page with some select projects, his demo reel, and contact information.
The importance of having a website is not necessarily in having something fancy that shows off your website design skills, it’s in having a virtual, online storefront just so that people can find you and see some of your work. Most people will hire their personal connections but they’ll still want to verify that you know how to do the work.