It’s the exchange of ideas, the whirls of conversations: you are surrounded to directors and producers, actors and screen writers. The new Hollywood royalty (all brimming with exciting concepts, new styles) fills a festival. Their films are being shown; their philosophies are being accepted. And you are caught in the middle of it all, listening to all you can, trying to glean industry knowledge. You have even managed to trade quips with the clever cinephiles, offering your own insights into movies.
It seems to be the perfect night — until someone asks for your business card and you have none to give.
Traveling the festival circuit is essential for all up and coming filmmakers. Projects must be promoted; connections must be made. The intention is to gain exposure for your work and yourself. But that can’t be properly accomplished if you are not prepared to network.
Understand that these events offer more than a chance to showcase your film. They instead provide access to the movie industry — with all studios and financial backers watching closely, wanting to discover (and claim) the latest talents. You must therefore be ready to provide more than a smile.
Be certain that you carry copies of your resume, a stack of business cards, packets regarding your work and any other forms of contact information you can provide. Not all of these will be necessary to offer to every single individual; but you must simply be ready for any request. Network as you move throughout the festivals. Forge relationships that could one day earn your film wide exposure. Make sure your name, phone number, web site and email address are always known. This is essential.
Festivals are not merely excuses to receive praise. They instead enable you to seek out help for the future. But such help will be impossible to receive if you can’t provide the appropriate information.
Be aware of others and be prepared to promote yourself.