I finally had an experience that reinforced the importance of your filmmakers network. Over the past six months, I’ve been working to put together a pretty big deal. When successful, what I am building will add significant value to independent filmmakers. And last week I met with two people who could decide my fate.
While building rapport, I found out that the gentleman was not only from my home state, but he was friends with the producer I worked with in New York over a decade ago. And if that wasn’t coincidence enough, the woman in the meeting had worked with one of my college buddies. In Hollywood, there is a saying that you should never burn a bridge and that your network is your net-worth. And it wasn’t until this meeting that I fully understood the power of these statements.
The meeting went well and I believe we will take the next steps. But as I was getting in my car to leave, I couldn’t help but wonder how the meeting would’ve gone if I’d screwed up my relationship with the producer in New York. Or what if I burnt a bridge with my buddy from college? But I did not.
Should either of these two prospective business partners call our mutual contacts (and they will), I am confident that whatever is said about me will be complementary. The reason for my confidence is simple: In every job that I ever accepted, I have worked hard to go beyond what was expected. I did good work. And I maintained good relationships.
Nobody in this business makes it alone. The people you meet today and the impression that you make will stay with you forever. While you do not know when and there is no way of predicting how – the people in your filmmaker’s network will impact your success.