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Ben Yennie: 6 Ways to Expand your Filmmaking Network

We all know that that being a successful filmmaker is just as much about who you know as what you know.  But if you’re just starting out, how do you grow your network of filmmakers so you can grow your independent film career?  Well fear not, we’re here to share 6 ways you can get out there and meet more people!

1. Get on Set more.  

This might seem a little like it’s a chicken and an egg thing, but the best place to meet other filmmakers is on set.  The connections you forge on set are more likely to pan out and create real, lasting professional relationships than those you meet in other places.  If you don’t know anyone in the industry, you can either look at the tips below or you can look for low-level film jobs on places like craigslist or other job boards.  

After you’ve taken a few jobs from craigslist, you might be starting to establish your network so you don’t have to look as hard for the next jobs. 

2. Attend Networking Events/parties

If you’re looking to meet filmmakers, you have to put yourself in a place where there are already a bunch of filmmakers to meet.  This can mean attending local, in person networking events.  while the best place to meet other filmmakers is still on set, networking events and parties can be very productive at expanding your network as well.  

3.  Host Networking Events/parties

If you can’t find a good networking event, it might be time for you to start your own!  the easiest way to do that is to sign up for meetup.com, and start your own group.  Make sure you create a good description, since it’s going to go out to a whole lot of relevant people in your community very quickly.  When the even comes, make sure that you knock it out of the park, and provide a lot of value to your participants.  

Check back in a few weeks and I’ll have some advice on how to go about doing that!

4.  Start a Podcast

Not everyone has a huge network of filmmakers where they live.  As such, you may want to consider starting a podcast to reach out to influencers and grow your network.  

You’d be surprised what doors open when you knock on them while you’re the press.  A lot of filmmakers and influencers have books, films, or other products they’re looking to post, so they’re happy to jump on a podcast to help grow their brand and expand their reach on social media. 

I know that if you do take this advice and ask me to appear, there’s a good chance I will.

5.  Get active on LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups are surprisingly active with filmmakers looking to learn and discuss the process of making independent film.  I know I’m pretty active on there, sharing articles just like the one you’re reading now.  In fact, you might have gotten here from LinkedIn.  The big thing about successful networking using linked is making sure to participate in comment threads, and respond to any messages you might get.  

Don’t just post irrelevant information to groups.  Post things that help the community, and engage in a meaningful way, not just on your posts.  

6.  Join your local regional group on ProductionNext!

If you’re a member of your local regional group on ProductionNext, you can start discussions, see local events, ask questions, and a whole lot more.  It’s a great way for you to not only build you filmmaking network, but to also become part of a global filmmaking community.  Once you’ve connected with your community, it will be easier to find work.  Perhaps even through our targeted classifieds system.  

There are other sorts of groups too, including organizational for people like film support organizations, film schools, alumni groups, and film festivals, and smaller private groups for any number of uses.  

But we’re not just a filmmaking community, we also have lots of tools to help make your film happen.  These tools cover everything you need to manage your independent film production.  These are things like film budgeting software, film scheduling software, shotlisting software, call sheet generation, breakdown tools, and so much more.  

The best part is that it’s all completely collaborative, and starts with a 7-day trial!  Click the banner below to join. 

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