Whether at your next film festival or you happen to meet someone while shopping at your local market keep in mind the influence of networking. The next time you find yourself face-to-face with someone that’s interested in what you do, be sure to offer them the courtesy of your time. Talk about your project. Let them know your projects back-story and some of the things that you’re currently working to resolve or props you may be looking for that will complete a scene.
Most people don’t make films but most people are interested in knowing how they are made. Offer up some details on the production process. Talk about the elements involved that bring an entire crew together. Mention your film locations and why they were selected. Talk about some of the props that were used. Talk about your film with the same enthusiasm you would when you first found out you were going to make a film.
There are a lot of people that love film but are not filmmakers. When networking, consider everyone you meet a potential investment in your project. Some people just love film and can’t get enough of watching good movies. There are also people that love film and would do anything to lend their resources to a budding filmmaker. You never know where your next project may take you. Someone you meet may offer up a farm house that happens to be the ideal setting for your next film. Someone may offer to lend an old classic car that’s perfect for your next scene.
When you’re at your next film festival, remember the best networking opportunities are found by meeting people you don’t know. Don’t spend your entire time at a film festival hanging out with your cast/crew and friends. There will be plenty of time for that later… You do need to make it a point to network with appropriate contacts in the industry. However, the next time you meet someone that is interested in what you do, consider their time and resources as invaluable to your next film. They could turn out to be your biggest fan.
The greatest return on your investment will come from what you invest in your relationships.
– David L. Spies