Recently I was asked to write for the good folk at Shooting People about film. So after a small amount of head scratching I thought I’d tackle the thorny issue of networking. I see it as an important part of making your way through film, but people get it so, so wrong.

Shooting People

Here’s what I wrote over on the Shooting People blog.

Shortly afterwards I was happy to receive a few follows on Twitter and some praise from readers. They were either naturally polite, sensible folk or ¬†they’d taken on some of the points I was making in the write up. Either way, all good.

But then I got an email. It is the type of email that not only makes my eye twitch a little, but that prompted my article in the first place. A reader of the Shooters blog got in touch with Louis to say “Great article! Here is my script for a film. Can you make it into an animation please?”

This is annoying on many levels. One, they thanked the wrong person for the blog post. That’s lazy in the extreme. Two, there was no introduction so I still barely know who this person is. Three, they had a fundamental misunderstanding of the system to assume we could just make an animation for them. Four, the manner of the contact, and the content, went against every point I had made in the blog post. Either they didn’t read it, or they didn’t understand it.

Suffice to say, they got a rather short response asking them to re-read the article.

So, what can we learn? The first thing is to read things carefully. The second is to put a bit of effort into researching who you are contacting. The third is to not be ‘that guy’ and make me write a fairly embarrassing blog posts dedicated to you.

And if you are in any doubt about networking and how it should be done, there’s a new post on BBC College of Production about the very thing I was talking about. Read that too. And think before you fire off that email.