For who doesn’t know what is it, Networking are mostly reunions of people discussing about topic related to their profession, which in my case, I will be events related to all kind of visual video (film, TV, commercial,etc.) and their roles (filmmakers, writers, DOP, etc.).
My intention here is not teaching you how to network and neither to judge who goes there. Maybe I’ll quote something based on my personal networking experience and few tips I learnt during some courses, of course, I’ll make sure at the end of this post, to share links from websites who might be more useful to you. And just to let you know, I will mention events I followed, which it might not be big events like Cannes Film Festival or Party Gala with celebrities, which is for me another kind of network.
You can network everywhere, rather you go to a watch a premiere of a film, a festival, some Q&A occasions or in many case, events involving only networking.
The reason who push me and other to network is simple, we all want to make connections, which one day can bring us some job opportunities, or we have projects we want to develop, discuss and share to our community.
Someone can find those events useful, others instead think that is just a waste of time; is it really convenient going to those events?
Of course it can be really useful, especially if you are a beginner and need information, but it all depends on what you are really looking for. When I went first went at an event, I thought in my mind that it can be a good way to find more jobs, but of course I was wrong. Just to do an example, do you really expect to find luck in just one day and meet someone ready to give you opportunities? Maybe you get the chance to find him/her, but with many ambitious people who get there and for how busy the person of interest can be, how many chances do you have to be the lucky one?
When you go to these events, be sure to find: someone looking for a crew person but not always offering you paid job, beginner looking for a first step, actors looking for a role and the majority (with all my due respect to who is doing this position) Directors/Writers who wants to make their own film but they do not have a budget.
If you are reading please do not get me wrong for what I said, is good be ambitious and we all need to be creative and make connections and one day find opportunities and we all need to support each other. During the time I learnt that if I go to network, I need to know who I am going to meet and that I am not the only one needed for help, be sure that many other are looking for solution to get their goal.
Sometimes you might be invole on people looking for a particular role, and in my case as PA/Runner I might not be really useful, but I found many other way to be helpful, what’s more helpful than sharing your experience and passing information? Discussing and giving each other advice is a small step that could help many other, that’s the reason why I like write this post where I support my community with list of websites and Facebook group (like Where I find jobs & Do you want to be Supporting Artist/Extra?).
As they thought me into some production courses: “Do not go to a networking event and expect to find job tomorrow”, make connections and find the good people, and one day you will have what you deserved.
If for example you are into an event involving someone famous, just to make an example Steven Spielberg, do not be focus on Mr Spielberg, he might be busy and unable to talk to everyone, especially answering your request. But is in events like this that you can try to connect with who’s around you, maybe the person sitting next to you who might share same interests and developing a good relationship.
Networking is not only about yourself and your plans, it’s also about the opportunity to meet people who shared the same interests you have for films or your jobs involving productions, it’s about listening other and try to be helpful in any way and is about connection that one day it might be friendship or more.
For now I have nothing more to say, as mention, I am not the expert on telling you how to network and be good on connecting. So please find also attached some useful link, which gives you tips and some lists of events: