Career networking?

How I hate the sound of career networking! I'm a compulsively shy networker, truth be told. I've witnessed some pretty interesting careers over my quarter century helming Raindance. The Raindance Toronto office has talked me into sharing a few before I head over to TIFF and Toronto's exclusive and inaugural Independent Filmmaker's Ball on September 12th.

My top 5 tips for career networking

1. Prepare for your event

Before every single event I go to I check google searches on every single person I expect to meet. If you are meeting someone in a few days or a couple of weeks, then get acquainted with your internet friend. Learn how to use Google as your own personal research assistant. Set up alerts about people you are interested in. While you are at it, why not set up alerts for topics you find interesting? Who knows when you can spring the: What do you think about today's news about such-and-such?

Before you know it you'll be looking like a really smooth operator.

2. Learn the lingo

Every industry has it's own lingo, it's own keywords and catch phrases. Don't get caught out. We've got a nifty index of independent filmmaking terms A-Z here. Want to get some more phrases straight from the horses mouth? Then come on down to the Raindance signature class: Saturday Film School. It's fun. It's inexpensive. It's always on a Saturday from 10am - 5pm. Over 15,000 filmmaking wannabees have taken this class in Europe.

3. Understand the power of the tuxedo

Handling youyrself at a film industry event like the Oscars, the TIFF opening night gala, or indeed like Independent Filmmaker's Ball means you need to understand the basics of presenting yourself in public.

Why do you think movie stars look and sound so good on the red carpet? It's because they're coached in the etiquette of the red carpet. It's a learned skill. You can learn Red Carpet Etiquette at Raindance.

Before you know it you'll know how to handle interviews and red carpet - two things successful people need to know how to do.

4. Master the art of the icebreaker

I have really good friends who anyone might wrongly label as introverted and shy. Reality is however, they are brilliant at walking up to a complete stranger and get them talking. They do that so well becasue they have perfected the art of the icebreaker.

Read this brilliant 'how to break the ice' post and before you know it you too can become a master of the icebreaker.

5. The power of the introvert

It would be wrong to assume that the only way you can power to the top of a career in the film industry is to be a brash and bold. Quite the opposite in fact. Many of the industry's top talents are introverts. Introverts bring a lot of special qualities to the movies. The trick is learning how to use the exceptional advantages introverts have. Once mastered you too can avoid networking faux pas.

Before you know it you'll be powering to the top!

Elliot Grove
Elliot Grove founded Raindance a quarter century ago as a thought experiment: Can you make a film with no money, no training and no experience, he asked? When people like his first intern Edgar Wright started making movies he founded the Raindance Film Festival to celebrate their work in 1993, the British Independent Film Awards in 1998.

He founded the Independent Filmmakers' Ball in 2014

Elliot has produced over 700 short films, and 5 feature films. He has written eight scripts, one of which is currently in pre-production. His first feature film, TABLE 5 (1997) was shot on 35mm and completed for a total of £278.38. He teaches writers and producers in the UK, Europe, Japan and America. In 2006 he produced the multiple-award winning The Living and the Dead.
In 2013 he relaunched the production arm: Raw Talent with the cult film director Ate de Jong. Their first venture was the psychological thriller Deadly Virtues: Love.Honour.Obey. finished late 2013.

He has written three books which have become industry standards: RAINDANCE WRITERS LAB 2nd Edition (Focal Press 2008), Raindance Producers' Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking (Focal Press 2013) and 130 PROJECTS TO GET YOU INTO FILMMAKING (Barrons 2009). He was awarded a PhD in 2009 for services to film education. His first novel THE BANDIT QUEEN is scheduled for publication next year.

Elliot teaches several courses at Raindance including Lo To No Budget Filmmaking and Writer's Foundation Certificate.

Read articles by Elliot Grove.