How to network in the film industry: 5 tips
We know you’ve heard the saying before: In Hollywood — and in life, really — “it’s all about who you know.” We agree that, in addition to training at a top acting studio in Los Angeles, it is very important to know how to network in the film industry.
Your network is everything! Being surrounded by an uplifting, motivating network of people who believe in you and support you is crucial to your success in the film industry.
Here are 5 tips on how to network in the film industry:
1. Attend events that filmmakers, writers and casting directors attend.
Don’t get us wrong. We love actors. After all, we are one of the top acting schools in Los Angeles for kids, teens and young adults! We think you should definitely fill your life with creative actor friends; however, often actors get so comfortable in their “actor” groups from class that they spend less time connecting with the people who are actually making casting decisions. Seek out events that you know directors, writers, producers and casting directors will attend. Q&As are great. Screenings are also great. Charity events are also wonderful places to meet people! Be strategic. Do your research, and expand your network to include a diverse range of players in the film industry.
2. Engage with industry professionals online.
Social media is such an effective tool for connecting with industry peers. So many casting directors are on Twitter! Follow them, engage with them, and stay on the pulse of what’s happening around you.
We know many actors who have begun significant career relationships — and even directly booked work — through social media.
3. Become genuinely interested in other people.
Dale Carnegie published a book in 1936 called How to Win Friends and Influence People, which is one of the most successful self-help books of all time and has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. One of the central messages of the book: the best way to get people to like you is to become genuinely interested in other people.
Focus out! Ask people questions about themselves. Become genuinely curious about other people’s lives, interests and passions. Make people feel special and appreciated by truly caring about who they are and what they love. Do this, and you’ll making new friends left and right!
4. Add value to people’s lives.
In the vein of focusing out, you always want look for ways to add value to people’s lives. Do you know of an actor that fits a role your casting director friend is looking for? Make an introduction. Is your agent looking for a new nanny for her daughter? Send out a blast on Facebook. Figure out creative ways to support people in your network. You will build a reputation as a stand out, reliable industry professional who makes things happen. Yay!
5. Follow up!
Once you meet and connect with someone, be in touch regularly — and not just when you need something. Be on the pulse of industry publications, and know when people in your network have been promoted, have released a film, or have received any kind of award or accolade. Reach out to congratulate people on their wins!
Schedule coffee meetings, hikes, movie screening dates, karaoke nights out just for the sole purpose of connecting and getting to know people. You can even set up notifications on your calendar to remind you to reach out to certain individuals on a regular basis.
Have a blast!
Have fun creating and expanding your network! Enjoy the process of meeting and getting to know new people. It truly does take a village to move someone up the ranks of this industry. Have fun building yours!