300 writers, producers, directors, actors, investors and creatives descended on Ealing Studios where Judy and her extraordinary team of BBQ Wranglers (thanks Pete, Roy, Murray, Jak and Chris) slaved tirelessly over the coals to deliver fabulous burgers and beers all day.
The event was conceived onstage a few months back at The Guerilla Film Makers Masterclass in an attempt to continue to foster community among emerging and indie film makers.
Honestly, that made my day. In my experience, some networking events are more like meat markets and platforms for people to self indulgently wax lyrical about how amazing they are. Also, I have found some networking events to be so intimidating, I simply disengage. I was determined ours would NOT be like that.
And so to hear the positive feedback from our group was very rewarding.
One thing I also kept hearing was ‘Hi, this is Jim, I met him on Twitter…’
It appears that many relationships were created BEFORE physically meeting, Twitter being the networking tool of choice.
While it’s easy to ‘network’ from a computer or mobile phone with Facebook, Twitter and other tools, the relationship is fully cemented when meeting in the flesh. In that moment, the relationship grows enormously. So the importance of physical events like our BBQ cannot be underestimated.
Fellow film maker Graham Inman (clowningaroundfilm) showed me his business card which had the same photo as he uses on his Twitter feed. This really illustrates the importance of having a recent and decent headshot as your Twitter pic, and not some esoteric image you may think is clever or funny. You NEED people to recognise you in a crowded room. Having the same photo on the business card makes that connection even stronger.
All day I have been getting texts and emails from film makers who got to hang out with old buddies, strengthen existing relationships and forge partnerships with new allies. Game on!
Thanks to everyone who came and made the event sooooo special!
Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author