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#1 Lindsay Mann

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 03:00 PM

So Law & Order literally came to my house and knocked on my door, asking if it'd be OK to change my window blinds to match the exterior of my Brooklyn apartment building for the interior of one down the block. See Mom? It does pay to sit at home on a weekday.

They've been shooting outside all day and I've been watching, but I don't know if I'm shy or socially awkward or what. But I can't seem to talk to these guys. My old Italian loud mouthed neighbor did manage to steal the DP William Klayer away for a second and make me talk to him. So I do have that one contact, which seems like a good one. But I also worked with Haskell Wexler and have still never utilized that to my advantage.

I don't know what I'm afraid of. Part of it is my personality. I'm humble and shy and haven't really done a whole lot. Part of me thinks, stay out of their way, they're working. I know I don't want to be a PA. I know I don't particularly want to be a grip either and lug around sandbags. But all these guys have a regular TV show that pays big bucks, and then they work on other stuff for 3 months.

I guess my question is: what are people's strategies when trying to network? How do you approach someone you've never talked to when you have an obvious agenda: to get a job. How can I promote myself without being obnoxious? And most importantly, what the hell am I afraid of?
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#2 Mike Washlesky

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 04:33 PM

So Law & Order literally came to my house and knocked on my door, asking if it'd be OK to change my window blinds to match the exterior of my Brooklyn apartment building for the interior of one down the block. See Mom? It does pay to sit at home on a weekday.

They've been shooting outside all day and I've been watching, but I don't know if I'm shy or socially awkward or what. But I can't seem to talk to these guys. My old Italian loud mouthed neighbor did manage to steal the DP William Klayer away for a second and make me talk to him. So I do have that one contact, which seems like a good one. But I also worked with Haskell Wexler and have still never utilized that to my advantage.

I don't know what I'm afraid of. Part of it is my personality. I'm humble and shy and haven't really done a whole lot. Part of me thinks, stay out of their way, they're working. I know I don't want to be a PA. I know I don't particularly want to be a grip either and lug around sandbags. But all these guys have a regular TV show that pays big bucks, and then they work on other stuff for 3 months.

I guess my question is: what are people's strategies when trying to network? How do you approach someone you've never talked to when you have an obvious agenda: to get a job. How can I promote myself without being obnoxious? And most importantly, what the hell am I afraid of?



Just be honest and upfront. Who cares if you might be obnoxious. Most people are very approachable that I have found, and the few who do find you bothersome will still ultimately know your name. Embarassment doesnt kill, poverty does.
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#3 Jim Keller

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 04:48 PM

No one is going to think you're pushy or obnoxious if you say, "by the way, I'm in the industry, too," and tell them what you do, as long as you're courteous enough to stay out of their way and let them do their jobs.
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#4 Tim Pipher

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 07:06 PM

I get this feeling every time I pick up the phone to make my first sales call of the day. I worry that maybe I'm bugging the prospect too much.

Then I remember that I've got nothing to lose. Maybe there's a 1% chance that the prospect is going to get ticked off and decide that he won't do business with a guy that's trying so hard. But if I don't call, I'm not going to get the sale anyway, so I might as well call.

Besides, it's just as likely he'll actually want to do business with a guy who hustles.

It's the same thing with your situation. If you don't approach him, you're not going to get a job with him anyway, so you may as well go after him. He might even be impressed with your go-get-him attitude -- he's probably been in your shoes.

And even if you turn him off, he's not going to remember that the next time you cross paths.
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#5 K Borowski

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 08:37 PM

Yeah, it is all about being confident, and learning to deal with (often irrational) rejection.

Try to remember that you can do everything right and still piss someone off/not get a chance to work.

Just remember that that is part of the process, and some people are just stupid pricks.


If it were me, I'd try to be really clever, and use their request to change the blinds as some sort of leverage. "Well, yeah, you can change the blinds if you. . ."
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#6 Chris Millar

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 10:03 PM

The likelihood is that no job will come of it so just get out there and approach them out of real interest for interests sake - funny in that I bet an approach like this would yield more results than the obvious push to get work out of them in the first place :rolleyes:

I am in the lucky position to have work lined up for sometime in the future, so in my current short term job I have been pretending to be quite naive (but %100 positive) about the whole industry (non-film but similar enough) and its amazing how differently people are responding to me than the usual 'seen it all before' attitude I usually project ...

I'll come clean someday soon, but boy do I wish I had figured this out earlier.

Edited by Chris Millar, 26 March 2009 - 10:08 PM.

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#7 Ryan Thomas

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 10:34 PM

If it were me, I'd try to be really clever, and use their request to change the blinds as some sort of leverage. "Well, yeah, you can change the blinds if you. . ."


Haha, that's what I was thinking. You want to change the blinds, eh?

Embarassment doesnt kill, poverty does.


This though, is key. I've made so many awkward phone calls the past year or so, and it's finally paying off. Throughout that whole time as well, I've only had one negative experience, and it turns out that's the one guy I really don't want to work with.

Just go for it! You've really got nothing to lose.
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#8 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 10:43 PM

When I was in film school I had a cinematography teacher substitute who operated on Law & Order. He said I should drop by the set one day and he'd show me around. So when I randomly bumped into their production on BWay one afternoon I dropped his name and some guys in the camera department gave me a tour. I finally ended up in the camera truck and spent some time talking to a guy who was watching TV. It turned out to be the DP. I mentioned my teachers name and he asked me about school. I told him I went to Purchase. He said "What are you doing here then? You should be over at the Shooting Gallery. You don't want to get into this." He then proceeded to scan through video dailies. This was back when The Shooting Gallery was big and had just produced You Can Count on Me. Now they're long gone. But Law & Order is still going strong. Still, he seemed kinda bored. lol. Maybe it was just a bad day.

I took that as a cautionary tale though. I know that there's lots of money in episodic television but I guess if you do the same thing day after day, it can be a grind like anything else.
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#9 Andronico Gonzalez

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 12:42 AM

Hi Lindsay,
Don't worry about being shy; personality is something you most worry when you work in front of the camera, behind is more about talent and dedication.
There are a lot of humble people in this business, probably because almost all of us started the same way, someone gave us an opportunity.
The best icebreaker is to tell someone that you like his/her work, talk about why you like this business and of course the fact that your window blinds didn’t match the exterior of your building.
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#10 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 04:41 AM

... I have been pretending to be quite naive (but %100 positive) about the whole industry (non-film but similar enough) and its amazing how differently people are responding to me than the usual 'seen it all before' attitude I usually project ...

This is so true. It takes a pretty humble person to take this approach, but it does work amazingly well. You may find that even though you started out "pretending" to be naive, you actually did learn a lot during this time. I know I did, especially about the business side of things.
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