There is a saying in Hollywood that I'm sure you heard of...
"It's not what you know, it's who you know."
I don't believe in that.
Don't get me wrong, knowing "the right person" can be great for your career (in any industry, not just Hollywood), but to me, it's about building genuine relationships where the benefits are equal to both parties, not just one.
I admire creative people, especially filmmakers. I love their passion for life and their art. I love how they think. I love to learn from them. I want to be around them, so I have to make the effort to seek them out and build relationships with them.
And that's what today was all about...seeking out and building genuine relationships with filmmakers without expecting anything in return.
How do I do that? Via my podcast.
I seek out and invite interesting people I want to know more about to my podcast. I do this without wanting anything in return (except for them to be on my podcast). Then I stay in touch with them. I make the effort to follow up with them, have conversations with them and meet up (if they are local) for coffee or dinner.
The thing about relationships, if you treat them right, and without expectations, they all will end up helping you and your career, at one time or another, directly or indirectly. But you have to build that relationship first without wanting anything in return.
I know, I keep repeating "nothing in return". Maybe I consider that to be really important.
I never think "how can this person help me out?" I will either have this person my life because I "connect with them" (in whatever capacity) or I won't.
For example, I interviewed a filmmaker (which I won't name as I didn't ask his permission to talk about him here) on my podcast a long time ago. He was a great guest who shared a wealth of information with the community and we decided to stay in touch. Months later, we re-connected and I told him about my transition to filmmaking, casually in the conversation. He was super excited for me and wanted to stay in touch to see how my transition goes. Today, after another nice chat with him, he offered me the possibility of editing a small project so that I can get my hands on some real world experience. I'm so appreciative for this opportunity.
The thing is, when I first invited him over to my podcast, it wasn't because "in the future, I will want something form him." I invited him to the podcast because I found him interesting, I liked what he was doing and wanted to learn more about him. I also made the effort to stay connected.
When you are looking at building your network, don't decided if you want to add that person to your network based on "what can this person do for me?". Look at them as people that either you like or you don't, that you have something in common with or you don't. Then add them to your network. Interact with them. Build a genuine connection with them. Help them out. Stay in touch.
Just like in any other relationship in your life, building your professional relationships will take a lot of effort, but, it will be completely worth it.
Other things I worked on
Followed up with two filmmakers about having them on my podcast. One of them is an amazing editor and the other is a motion graphics expert.
Introduced myself to Noah from Assistant Editors' Bootcamp. Want to have him on my podcast and want to learn more about his bootcamp.
Booked a meeting with Lawrence Jordan from the Master the Workflow program to introduce myself, have a chat with him and possibly have him on my podcast.
Booked a follow up chat with JM Blay from Blay Studio to chat about motion graphics and to have him on my podcast.
Until the next entry!