How to get better at networking
How to get better at networking
Within this article is a few things I know about networking. When I started making films, I was pretty bad at it. Now I'm a bit better at networking on film sets, and happy to share a little of what I've learnt.
Be early/stay late
Turn up early. Half hour an hour early, be ready to help with the beginning of getting kit out. You make your bosses job early, and have time to chat to them in the morning - once your actually filming it may be harder to find time for a discussion.
I don't mean turn up in a suit, but make sure your clothes are clean, tidy and inappropriate. Look messy and no one will consider you for work that would need you to wear a suit.
Bring whatever that isn't disposable you need to do your job properly. If you are a gaffer, a decent knife, and some heat proof gloves. If you're a focus puller, focus pens, tape, a focus chart, and a good measuring tape. Vary this list depending on your role, check with the person above you what is appropriate.
A good handshake helps. Not too firm but not too weak either. If someone has a massive leaning over you hand shake, if you can turn there hand around to your level. Practice your handshake from time to time, shake peoples hands when you meet them.
Remembering names is hard. Try repeating them when you meet someone. For example 'I'm phil'/'Hi phil nice to meet you'. Just try your best as it is important and makes people feel important. A quick flick through the call sheet can help with this a bit.
Listen to everyone on shoot. It helps people feel respected, and it increases how much you learn from the shoot. Talk an appropriate amount. I'm a chatterbox given the chance, but on set during filming I don't talk much.
Learn as much as you can
Most people on shoot probably know things that would help you. Discuss there area of expertise/yours with people, taste in films, and projects working on. Encourage them to do the same. Don't be pushy though, its having a chat in breaks not forcing them to tell you stuff. People like to talk about there own lives, let them. They also have lives outside of film (or some of them do) if you have commonality in your hobbies maybe you can become friends.
Phone Numbers/email addresses
Get peoples phone numbers/email addresses if you think its likely you'll work together again. Follow them up with an email within a few days of the film shoot finishing, or people will forget. Facebook can be good for keeping in contact with cast/crew, most people have it and use it regularly.
Business cards can help, or they can be annoying. Iv previously been given 3 of the same design vista print business card at one event. Decent business cards are better, give them to people who you think you will work with again not just out to anyone who'll take them. Without having already connected most people wont follow up on business cards
The most important thing
Do a brilliant job, people remember the best and worst people on set. Knuckle down and get on with your job. Be friendly and easy to talk to, build relationships with people. Doing a good job is the most important thing - if people want to work with you again they will, so make everyone want you to work with them.