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 A guide to networking

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Caley Powell

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Posts : 18
Join date : 2011-06-21
Age : 30
Location : Flitwick, Bedfordshire

PostSubject: A guide to networking   Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:11 am



I love networking, I love meeting new people, chatting about what they do, what they are up to, their likes, hates. Very Happy

Whether you like networking like me or hate it, like Kristian it is an important aspect of the industry and something everyone has to do and it’s a great way to get your name out there, build contacts and get jobs

With that in mind I am firstly going to list networking events I have gone to and recommend and how you can join and then my top tips on networking.

Any comments and feedback is appreciated

1. The Lacuna Works http://www.thelacunaworks.co.uk/tlnw.html/
This networking event is run by Writer, director, producer, photographer Graham Guy, producer and casting director Angela Dee and writer, director and producer Ben Slythe. It’s a great networking event that I’ve been to a few times.

2. Raindance http://www.raindance.co.uk/site/
The next Boozin and Schmoozin event is on August 8th and you don’t have to be a member to get in. I’ve been to a few and their always great.

3. OTT Films http://www.ottfilms.co.uk/
This is one of the first networking events I went to. In all their networking events they run a filming competition and show them at the next meeting. If your new to the industry then it’s a great networking event to go to!

4. Guerilla Films/ Living Spirit Pictures http://www.chrisjonesblog.com/
Yesterday Kristian and I went to the Guerilla Filmakers Summer BBQ at Ealing Studios hosted by Chris Jones. Not only does Chris plan networking events and festivals (the London Screenwriters Festival and The Comedy Writes Festival) but he also hosts a online show called ‘The Production Office’ streamed live from Ealing Studios (link on the chrisjonesblog) where he has guests on, writers, directors, producers, filmmakers in general who have just had their first success or have forged a career in their field and they give great advice and it also has a chat window beneath where you can chat to everyone who has tuned in….the amount of contacts I have made from this and the amount of jobs I have gained is phenomenal so don’t miss out!

5. 529 Club http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=158423177503447/
This is a networking event that happens the first Thursday of every month at Pinewood studios. What else do you need to know!? If you can get to Pinewood there’s no reason why you can go- join the group on Facebook and get in touch with Debra.


6. Tweet up
Tweetup is on the last Wednesday of every month at the Jewel Bar in Piccadily Circus, its hosted by Angela Pang and Jade Alexander. If your on Twitter follow the page on @UkActorsTweetup , its is mainly for actors but there are also a lot of producers, directors and writers and me of course!

7. Off The Page http://www.meetup.com/Offthepage/
This one is mainly for writers and actors, writers submit 10 pages of a script and twice a month (either at Ealing or Soho) actors are giving parts and read through the scripts. There’s normally 6 scripts read out per session and its great for writers to hear what works and what doesn’t in their script and everyone there gives feedback on the scripts. It’s also good for actors, especially ones straight out of drama school, new to acting or returning to acting.

If anyone knows of anymore then let me know.

Tips for networking:

1. Don’t be shy.
For those who know me now you may not believe that I was shy but before I left Wales for England I was only myself to my family and friends and was always shy around new people. When I left Wales I realized that nobody in England know who I am and that I am shy so I can be confident as I’ve always wanted to be, that’s how I also approach networking events. Nobody in the room knows you so you can be as confident as you want and whilst networking you want to strike up a conversation with anyone so being confident is a good quality to have! You never know who you may be talking too….

2. Don’t get to drunk.
Most networking events take place in a pub or bar and the worst thing you can do when networking is get so drunk that you can barely talk and I have seen this happen in networking events and it gives off such a bad reputation and you’re remembered for all the wrong reasons!

3. Get business cards.
Whether from Vistaprint.com, Moo.com or any other place business cards are a must for networking events. If you don’t have business cards its best to take a notepad and pen and take down peoples details- that’s what I did when I went to my first networking event without cards. Whether you are an actor, director, composer, whatever, but obviously it is a must for actors, I find having a picture or logo of your company on your card is important as it’s a visual aid for the person the next day and for the future so they will remember you.
The information you put on your card is important too, if you’re an actor I expect to see a picture of you, this is of vital importance, your agents details (if you have one), your spotlight number (never ever put your star now details on you card- it has a bad reputation and will not work in your favour) and your details if you’d like to be contacted personally by people too, but get an actors email address- you will not believe the times someones address has been something stupid like fairyprincessanne@hotmail.com or drunkenmessjoe@gmail.com – you just need your name, its unprofessional to use the address you set up in high school!
If you have an actors Facebook page or Twitter account or website it’s a good idea to include them on your cards too as people can follow you and keep up to date on you. A lot of casting directors, producers, directors and writers are on Facebook, Twitter, Google + if they befriend you on either it can only be a good thing.

4. When talking to people be interested in what they’ve got to say
It seems an obvious point but don’t talk over people, listen to what they have to say and be just as interested in what they are doing than what you are doing. The point of networking is not to just give people your card and move on, its to actually get to know the other person and chat about what you are both up to.

5. Never underestimate the power of social networking
Even if you’re shy you can still network online. For example, Kristian hates going to networking events but he is now always on Twitter, tweeting, retweeting, getting Flitter Film’s name out there, making contacts, making friends. Social networking is a very important tool, the amount of jobs, theatre invites, contacts, I have made through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is insane, it is a great way to keep up to date with people you have met at a networking event and meet new contacts.
You can use social networking to your benefit by supporting a friend on Twitter by retweeting their news, there are no limits to how many friends you can have, how many people you can follow, you can get your name out there by having your own online prescence, an actors page on Facebook, a Twitter account for your company.
Please do, however, be careful what you write as your statuses or tweet as I had an actor on Facebook tell me that he was ‘chillin’ in his garden and then going to ride his wife!’, lovely but I don’t really want to know that! Another actor had thousands of status’ moaning about being on set, about how he was so tired, had his own trailer but all he wanted to do was sleep in it, how boring it was being on set as they weren’t using him yet, I mean why would I cast this actor in a film when all he seems to do is moan about it on Facebook!? So be careful who your friends are and what you tweet or post.

6. Send an email, message, tweet the day after.
I always try to get through my cards and contacts I have met and send them an emailor add them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter the morning after I’ve met them, saying how nice it was to meet them and to keep in touch and like Colin said above, introduce people to people, actors to agents, producers to directors, writers to directors e.t.c

7. A point I’ve borrowed off Colin Appleby: http://actorvist.blogspot.com/ (great blog – smart man who has great advice!)
Networking, and that's what I'm talking about here, is much more about what you can do for them. Help other people make connections. Put investors and producers together. Listen out for castings that aren't for you and suggest actors for the roles. Either directly to the casting director or producer if you can or failing that then make sure that the casting is brought to the attention of the actor concerned. If you hear of a friend going in to see a casting director and you know something that may help, tell the friend. For example I know of a powerful casting director in London who seems to have a pathological dislike to coffee. And perfume. So, if you're called into see them, never wear perfume or aftershave, and if they offer you a drink, don't ask for coffee. Yes I know it's seemingly ridiculous but it's sometimes the small things that matter.

That’s it really. Hope you find this helpful- I will continue to post here the events I’m going to and hope you do to, let me know if your going to one, or if you know of any events that others can go to.

Any other tips you may have – feel free to share.

Happy networking or social networking! See you at some events and if you haven’t followed me on Facebook its: Caley Powell CastingDirector, Twitter @CaleyPCasting, LinkedIn and Google + : Caley Powell. Flitter Films is on Facebook and Linkedin and Twitter: @FlitterFilms

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A guide to networking
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