Networking can open doors in the industry that may have otherwise seemed impossible beforehand. Back in the early 2000s, I began offering my services on a volunteer basis for the Sundance Film Festival–the largest independent film festival in the U.S. It has granted me the opportunity to interact with and introduce my students to notable names and professionals in the industry.
Today, as a result of my willingness to network, I am the Production Supervisor for the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Directors Workshop. This invite-only summer workshop is for filmmakers at varying levels in their careers. I’ve been volunteering at the workshops for over fifteen years. In my role as Production Supervisor, I volunteer my time and talents to provide in-depth support for the next generation of filmmakers.
Additionally, I have been able to create an intersection between my work as an educator and my work at the workshops every summer. For example, throughout the years, I have been able to bring over a dozen students and graduates with me to participate in the workshop on a volunteer basis. As a result, some of the graduates who attended have been able to secure paid employment opportunities through connections they have made. This networking opportunity with high-ranking industry professionals has allowed my students to showcase their knowledge and willingness to learn.
Here are some of my key networking tips to help you create film industry opportunities:
- Be willing to explore additional opportunities that allow you to network with industry professionals.
- Seek out and attend events that professionals in the industry go to.
- Offer valuable input, but also be willing to learn from those around you.