How To Find A Film Industry Mentor

Film producing is a business. And if you want to have a career making movies, you’ll need all the help you can get. One way to accelerate your career is by finding a film industry mentor.

With that said, I can’t overstate just how vital a mentor can be to you. Whether you’re working on your first project or your fifteenth, the guidance that a good mentor can provide will be instrumental in helping you take the following steps in your career.

Craig Spector Was My First Film Industry Mentor

Simply put, a mentor is someone who has already achieved the goals you want to accomplish for yourself. But a mentor is different than a partner because they will not have direct involvement in your projects. Instead, a mentor offers things like:

  • Advice on your project or your career.
  • Help understanding what pitfalls to avoid.
  • Advice on how to succeed.
  • An open ear to discuss issues with and get feedback.

Craig Spector is a screenwriter and New York Times best-selling author. He was also my first Hollywood mentor. I met him because he was friends with my aunt. And he was nice enough to return my calls. More importantly, he continually reinforced the importance of a strong work ethic and helped me overcome some early career obstacles.

A little while back, I interviewed Craig for an epic podcast series where he shares the ups and downs of breaking into the BIG TIME. If you haven’t listened to it, I think you’ll enjoy it:

While a film industry mentor may not be directly involved with your projects, having someone who has “been there and done that” can help you navigate the industry landscape.

How To Find A Mentor (Like A Boss)

Even if your aunt doesn’t know a Hollywood heavyweight, there are plenty of people involved in the industry worldwide. And meeting up with these professionals is often the first step towards finding a mentor that can help you. Here are some steps you can take to find a mentor:

  1. Make up a basic list of the people that you think may be great mentors.
  2. Take that list and write each person a letter or email. You can then follow with a phone call.
  3. You’ll likely talk to an assistant. Be professional. Make a reference to your letter and then request a meeting.
  4. Repeat the process with each person on your list.

You may land a dozen meetings, and you may land none. The key is to keep trying until you eventually land some meetings and spark a relationship. Once you have a mentor, it’s essential to show them that you’re serious. A film industry mentor is likely very busy. They’re donating their time to you, so do not take advantage. Here are some things to remember:

  • Always accept responsibility for your own mistakes.
  • Be willing to work hard and do whatever is needed to succeed at each project.
  • Always show up early and work with enthusiasm.

Go into each relationship with professionalism and seriousness. And remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

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ARTICLE BY Jason Brubaker

If you'd like more tactics like the article you just read, make sure to grab a copy of the filmmaker checklist. You'll get 65 useful steps you can employ to produce your next feature film.
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