10 tips of Networking
for "new-born" filmmakers
in London

By Victoria Russo

I guess no one is simply born a filmmaker, one day we are just bitten by film-contagious beasts and become "new-born" filmmakers, suckers for films and inspiration. But filmmaking is a team-sport so we need other people to make our dreams come true. One of the essential skills for new filmmakers is networking as in any other business - we make our own luck. So, here are some of my tips on how to network in London:

1. Memento

Remember the power of little notes that Leonard Shelby used in Chris Nolan's film. Use his tips even if you have not "this condition" - use the power of business cards. Take and collect them from anyone who gives them to you: you might not know when you need a help of make-up artist or a professional florist. Make your own business cards especially for your filmmaking "you". If you are a student you can use some cheap resources - like free business cards templates or www.vistaprint.co.uk

2. Extras

Take part in other film project's - you never know how many people you can meet on set - your potential actors, writers, cameramen, technicians, make-up artists. Make friends with them, talk in coffee-breaks, exchange business cards. You can start as an extra in various student or short films shootings. Use resources like http://www.starnow.co.uk/ to find these opportunities. Remember you'll never meet as many people interested in films as you meet on set.

3. Twitter

Join twitter and follow actors, film production companies, PR companies, film journalists and film enthusiasts. There is always a huge amount of news, ideas and information on twitter. That is how personally I met wonderful people from heyuguys and started writing reviews for them. You can also learn a bunch of great stuff from great directors like Jason Reitman and Duncan Jones who use twitter a lot. For the start you can follow my film list on twitter here film list

4. Small talk

Talk to different people about your film project or just about your interest in films. Use small talk not just to discuss weather but mention your passion for films. If a person is somehow interested or related to film-industry they will probably want to tell you about it. The other day I had a chat with a shop-assistant at Westfield and just mentioned a recent film that I watched. She told me that her friends run a small film production company. I know some people who were writing script for TV series and they met a film producer when they were walking their dog in the morning.

5. BFI

Become a member of British Film Institute (for £40 a year) or just simply subscribe to their email newsletter and go to special previews and screenings with Q&As (they are at the affordable price range of £6-15). Not only you can watch a film before its release in cinemas and listen to directors/actors - you can also meet a lot of interesting people there. Stay after the screening and hang out in the bar.


We all know BAFTA for its awards, which have just taken place in London, but BAFTA operates all year round. So subscribe the to BAFTA newsletter and look out for events master-classes that are open to public - always try to purchase ticket immediately (it's around £10-15) as they sell out quickly. This will allow you to enter the BAFTA home in Piccadilly, hang out in the bar and enjoy the event. Sometimes BAFTA holds special master-classes for film students for free. Last year I went to the screenwriting master-class by the writers of LOST.

7. Raindance

If you don't know about Raindance yet, well you should, as they have a variety of interesting and useful courses for you. Subscribe to their newsletter and look out for "Boozin'n'Schmoozin' networking events in Toronto, New York and London or just go to one of their courses and stay after the course to hang out with other crazy filmmakers. They also hold interesting events at the Berlin and Cannes film festivals.

8. Meet-ups

Go and hang out with movie geeks - most of them are just nice people to hang out with anyway, besides they are passionate about films. Check http://geeksoflondon.com/ and subscribe to their newsletter for upcoming geek events. My fellow guys from www.heyuguysblog.co.uk organize meet-ups for film lovers as well so stay tuned.

9. Ask questions

Don't be afraid to ask questions. I learnt it myself: being a shy person I would prefer just to sit there and let the others talk. But if it's a movie geek event, or Viggo Mortensen's Q&A - there is your opportunity to stand out from the crowd by asking a smart or a silly question. Q&As are a really great chance to address a famous filmmaker or actor and ask them whatever you want. Go first - most of the time people are afraid to ask the first question so everyone will give you credit for being brave and hopefully remember your face.

10. Stay in touch

It's as easy as it is - to send email Christmas cards to your film networking or birthday greetings. You will be amazed how some people get excited and surprised that you actully remembered it's Christmas and sent them some good wishes. And think about yourself – who would you rather help - an old classmate who never even sent you a message on facebook in 10 years or someone who always sent you little birthday wishes? Let me know what you think of this... : )

And check out Victoria's blog

Your Comments Please

great ideas.
one tip
as far as biz cards, write notes on them as to where you met, type of interests, mutual contacts and anything else you can think of soon after getting it. A week later with a stack of cards you will forget those details.

John Yaworsky
, Executive Producer, Two plus One, Wilmette, Illinois


Thank you for such an excellent article.
Every aspiring film-maker and many successful ones would do well to heed your advice.
I hope I can be of some assistance to you in the future.
Best wishes,
Paul Brett paulb@presciencefilmfinance.co.uk


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 Boozin' n' Schmoozin' Monday 12 November

Boozin' N' Schmoozin'


For the past 2 years we have been running an informal monthly meet-up called 'Boozin' & Schmoozin'.

Still free to members, and £5 for guests, come and join us! Doors open at 6.30 and the bar is open till 11pm; however, we can't let anyone in after 8.30, so come early

We're operating a GUEST LIST ONLY from now on, so email us at: party@raindance.co.uk

Free to members, guests pay £5 on the door. There will be a cash bar.

November 12th from 6:30pm
Archer Street
3-4 Archer Street • South Soho • W1D 7AP (minutes from Piccadilly Tube)

Who Should Attend

Anyone interested in filmmaking!!

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For course details and updates, please see our training calendar

Boozin' n' Schmoozin'


To book, call Raindance on 0207 287 3833

For course details and updates, please see our training calendar

Office Use Only
Boozin' N' Schmoozin'

Casting Your Film

Learn about the casting process and the best ways to get the right actors for your production.

Tutors: Rory O'Donnell Venue: Raindance Film Centre
10 Craven Street, WC2N 5PE
Date: April 9 Duration: Single Eveninng
Time: 6:30pm - 9:30pm Price: £48

For Raindance Premium Members Discounts log into the Members Area

About The Author

Victoria RussoVictoria Russo writes film reviews and features for UK film blog heyuguys.co.uk and is an inspired short-stories writer.

Born in Russia and lived in several European counties Victoria is an MBA graduate but has always had passion for films and literature. Her short stories appeared in Russian literature magazine and she is currently working on screenplays.





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10 Tips Of Networking