In relation to networking with other professionals, “in the entertainment business people often say that one must network or not work.” (Filmconnection.com, 2016) This highlights just how crucial it is to network in the industry in which I am in.
Scriptcat lists some ways in which you can network successfully:
- “Make sure that you are generous with those who deserve your time.” – In the film industry you should be generous with those who would help you in return so you’ll build up helpful contacts.
- “Show your contacts at every level that you are a talented and generous professional.” – Demonstrate your value and that you are a worthwhile contact for them to have in their network.
- “Bulid trust” – All good relationships involve trust, you should be a trustworthy individual that will not let down a contact.
- “Make it easy for people to contact you.” – Be available to your contacts, give/make information available to them that they might find the most useful.
I have gone to put this into practice and targeted 10 industry individuals I feel may be able to help me:
Amy Brookbanks – Showbiz Content Editor, Now + award-winning video franchise GossipCam, Time Inc UK
Alex McCranor – Camera Operator / editor. Available Freelance and for Corporate Video Production in the UK and internationally.
Gordon O’Neill – Freelance Cameraman, editor & Producer/Director.
Joe Weller – YouTuber, video editor and producer.
Theo Baker – YouTuber, video editor and producer.
Jon Randle – Producer, Video Editor & Motion Graphic Animator. Based in Coventry
‘Rookery Mike’ – Sports video editor, co-presenter of a sports podcast.
Marqus Akc’ent – Head of video and creative media @JumpoffTV, Video editor at Radio 1.
I have targeted these individuals as they are all video editors in some capacity and work in a professional context in the industry I want to be involved in. I have found all of their Twitter accounts and through that I found various other methods in which I can contact them, including email addresses, LinkedIn pages and Websites etc. We all follow eachother on the Twitter platform, giving me a way to contact them.
Following these individuals on their contact pages, it gave me the opportunity to see new networking opportunities to get a foot in the door. For example, through tweets such as the one below, which I see often, I am able to offer my creative help. After seeing this tweet I was able to offer my help. Whilst he didn’t take me up on it, he thanked me and now I am on his radar. Actions such as these I try to make often to show myself as helpful and to be generous with my time.
Furthermore, by following these individual’s networks I am able to see job opportunities as soon as they present themselves, thus giving me an advantage on other applicants. Messages like the ones that I see below are on various different networks. I have had frequent contact with Marqus, as can be seen through his evaluation of my portfolio. (Reilly, 2016) So, I can perhaps use him as a professional contact when applying to jobs which he is advertising. I try to remain in contact and offer my value to all professional individuals I believe could be gatekeepers to furthering my future.
Furthermore, I contacted certain individuals offering them my help and asking for the opportunity of shadowing them. One individual that was particularly helpful was Gordon O’Neill, the Freelance Cameraman and video editor. I exchanged emails with him and he whilst he wasn’t able to offer me a shadowing opportunity, something he has offered to do in the future, he gave me a breakdown of his day to day activities/responsibilities.
“Thank you for your good wishes and offers Aidan,
When I am working, specifically editing like you asked, it’s a lot about being flexible and having an open mind. You need to be creative and willing to spill out ideas out of your arse in a moment’s notice! You also need to be technical and have a very, very close eye to attention. I can’t tell you how many times I have made mistakes but all of them have lead to me improving.
There is no day to day schedule, it’s always different. But one thing I can tell you is that you’ll always be sitting behind a computer and working closely with the production team, bringing their creative vision to life.”
Having these types of interaction with an industry professional are invaluable to me and something I aim to do much more in the future. I will continue to put myself out there to industry professionals and take up opportunities to demonstrate my value and learn more.
When speaking about the contacts I have targeted and contacted, I was pleased in the contacts I have acquired and I didn’t realise beforehand how helpful they would be in creating work and a professional environment to thrive in. However, I now realise how imperative this process is and how I must “network or not work.” (Filmconnection.com, 2016)
Filmconnection.com, (2016) The Importance Of Networking [online] available from <http://www.filmconnection.com/reference-library/film-entrepreneurs/the-importance-of-networking/> [12 April 2016]
Reilly, A. (2016) Evaluation Of My Portfolio [online] available from <https://aidanreillyyr3.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/evaluation-of-my-portfolio/> [12 May 2016]
Scriptcat.wordpress.com, (2012) The Importance Of Building A Strong Network Of Contacts…[online] available from <https://scriptcat.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/the-importance-of-building-a-strong-network-of-contacts/> [12 April 2016]