#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – Moving Up the Ladder

How do you meet people with money or influence or power in the industry ? Everyone I know is broke and everyone I meet at networking events and parties is at my same level. I feel like I can’t move past the stair level I’m on right now no matter how many events I attend or how many classes I try to take. – Rayne

I think this is a really good question that we don’t ask enough because it feels a little skeezy to ask.  All the more reason to get some straight talk! And the answer here is:

You (probably) don’t meet people with more influence. You meet people where you are and you work with them. You offer your collaboration and expertise and do the work. Someone in that group will get staffed on a show. Someone will win an indie film fest award. Someone will book a huge editing job and need an assistant. Someone…

You get the idea. Build your tribe. Work hard, work smart, and be kind; those people will remember you and will reach out to you as they (and you) move up these stair levels. 

Don’t worry about meeting the “right” people because that’s an absolutely impossible battle. You will never position yourself correctly to meet everyone you think is “right”. Also… you never know who is right. You never know who will blow up. So I think it’s a much better return on your time to simply find who  you like, cultivate those relationships, and continue to do good work.

I personally find no value in “networking events”. There are way too many people all trying to make better contacts and that’s not the kind of relationship I find sustainable in this industry; I want to meet people I love working with. Think about it: you’re on set for 16, 18 hours a day. Who do you want with you in those trenches? Someone you enjoy or someone you think can propel your career? For me, 100%, it’s the former; if nothing else, because people are way more interested in THEIR careers than yours. 

So to sum up: don’t worry about your stair level. Keep doing good work, keep asking questions, and you will move forward. 

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