…and How To Do It When You Don’t Know Anybody

How do you get a foothold in this business when you don’t know anybody?

You’ve probably heard that it’s not what you know but whom you know. Yup, that’s mostly true. You’ve probably been told that there are several “mafias” in this town coming from the same alma maters and supporting each other. Yup, also correct. And you already know that being someone’s son, daughter, niece, nephew, or sibling is often all you need to get your foot in the door.

Now here you are. You don’t know anyone. You’ve gone to a regular college, your parents are dentists in the Midwest and your roommate works in IT – not CAA. What do you do?

Yes, you’ve learned your craft, you’ve done the work, you’ve even gotten very good feedback. So now what? You’re alone, screaming into a void.

Time to get out there. Go to film festivals, panel discussions, classes, retreats, networking events, writing groups — whatever happenings you can find where your kind congregates (like a zebra approaching a watering hole). Meet people.

Now most of those people will be in the same boat you’re in; namely, trying to break in. And many of those relationships will never go anywhere or be of any career value to you. It doesn’t matter! You might still make friends or find someone you can bond or commiserate with.

You might end up helping someone on their short film and meet even more people in this business. An unexpected opportunity or partnership may arise. You might gain collaborators. And, yes, you might get much-needed information and referrals – and doors that might eventually open because you know a certain someone.

Get out there and be friendly.

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