Network or Not work

3 02 2010

Network verb –verb (used without object)
to cultivate people who can be helpful to one professionally, esp. in finding employment or moving to a higher position: His business lunches were taken up with networking.

Crewing up verb movie slang

To find and recuit members for a film crew.

I’m sure you all have heard the expression network or not work. I bet someone in the entertainment industry came up with it.

Getting your foot in the door comes about in two ways 1) you have an “in” someone you know works in the “Industry”  and hires you or 2) this is the most common working as a PA (Production Assistant). PA’s work in all departments from Camera to Production. It’s a great way to find your niche in on a set (Set applies to Film or TV, in a soundstage or on location).  Take note your first gig maybe unpaid.

Check out these rules to make the post of your gig

Rule #1  WORK. Keep in mind if you are recommended , you are putting your friend cred on the line. Don’t screw over your friend. If takes a long time to build a good repuation in the business and it takes only one bad report can destroy it.

Rule #2  Look around. You may find ways to make yourself valuble on set.

Rule #3 Don’t bad mouth anyone. No matter what, you never know who’s listening.

Rule #4 Save the drama for your mama. Shit happens on set. Don’t let it get to you. People may yell at you, you may be insulted and you may have a “what the hell was I thinking” moment. Take 5 minutes and pull yourself together. PA’s are a dime a dozen in NYC and LA. People who can handle pressure will go far in the industry.

Rule #5 Bring integity to every job. All jobs are important on set. If can ace being a Door PA. You will gain respect and more work.

Rule #6 Be friendly. You will be around the crew for long hours and many day. Being a bitch or an asshole is the fastest way to not be called back.

Rule #7  Network!!! Never leave home without business cards. When you make a connection give them your card and get theirs.

A good card has

Your Name

Your Phone #

Email

Online Demo Reel

Your Abilies or what you want to be in the industry.

Also use the Alumi Services or Career Center of your university if applicable.  Create a profile in Linkedin, check out job boards, look at the companies that you want to work for just as MTV, Turner, Sony…etc.  Last of not least roll call your friends and connections to learn about leads.

Rule #8  Have fun- This is filmmaking, the good, the bad and the ugly

Rule #9 Take care of yourself. The long hours, hard work and messed up sleep schedule will wreck your immune system. Plan out time to rest, relax and recover.

Good Luck and see you in the credits

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The care and feeding of Clients or How to give great customer service

2 02 2010

I was talking to a freelancer I hired to work on my website. After writing a few emails voicing on concerns on the project, lack of updates I went off. To be honest not one of my prouder moments… here is a bit of the email I wrote.

Me  8:44 PM
ok…so there’s no prob? in the future you may want to make a client/project calendar

Name Protected  8:45 PM
yeah…guess as long as it doesnt happen again

Me 8:46 PM
that’s up to you

But as I think again….I did offer you access my calendar and ask you to add appointments for time at we’re both free to prevent back and forth emailing or im’ing. You did nothing so I took in control. I didn’t know you didn’t have your own calendar (wtf not?)  So I don’t feel least bit bad about happened @ work. Plus why it take so long to finally set up times to work together???  In case you have forgot I’m a client. Please do me a favor nut up or shut up.

Not good…not effective…not professional. We both failed. I let my emotions take over and failed to state communications needs and means.

Name Protected failed to communicate available times and means of scheduling and did not return emails.

Doom on both of us. Please don’t end up writing an email like mine.

Freelancers

Setup communications times and means.  Work with what you’re comfortable with and what your clients needs. Like Tues 10am skype + weekly process reports. You get the idea.  People get nervous once they pay for a service and don’t see anything being done.

Setup deadlines

Manage expectations. If you said you can make the world in 7 days you better done by day 6 hr 23 and minute 59.

If you can’t make it happen, please say so.  That clears your schedule and lets people know that you are busy.

Clients

Do your research.

Ask for recommendations.

Define your needs.

Then if satisfied let them do their job. Emailing your freelancer a million times does you both no good.  It wastes your time and their goodwill.

If you are not satisfied state your problems in a constructive way. If you do not find that works for you ….FIRE THEM.  Life is short to suffer idiots.

I hope this helps