The Power of Your Sphere: Building a Filmmaking Network
Your filmmaking success depends on more than just your talent. A healthy “Sphere of Influence” takes work but always pays dividends.
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Your filmmaking success depends on more than just your talent. A healthy “Sphere of Influence” takes work but always pays dividends. Simply put, a “sphere of influence” is distilled down to the set of people you know. This includes family, friends, community acquaintances, industry colleagues, and more.
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WHY IT MATTERS…
In the competitive world of independent filmmaking, having a strong network can be the difference between getting your project off the ground or not. It’s important to understand how to build and maintain relationships in your sphere of influence to maximize your chances of success.
Sphere of Influence is like playing the game, the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Take yourself, and your goal, and find the best connections that you can leverage. So when you’re facing the question of “how do I get my project off the ground”, or “how do I get on that film’s set”, the answer lies with the people you know. Even if the people you know aren’t in the film industry, they will know someone who can help your objective
THE BIG PICTURE…
Building a network is essential for filmmakers to gain access to resources, make connections, and promote their work. Your sphere of influence includes anyone who can help you achieve your goals, such as investors, actors, crew members, distributors, and industry professionals.
The film "Whiplash" (2014), directed by Damien Chazelle with a budget of $3.3 million, is a great example of a film that benefited from a strong network. Chazelle's short film version of "Whiplash" helped him attract top talent like J.K. Simmons and secure funding for the feature film. Additionally, Chazelle's relationship with his producers helped him navigate the industry and gain critical acclaim, resulting in five Oscar nominations and three wins.
One key detail that showcases the importance of networking in "Whiplash" is the director's ability to leverage his relationships with producers. Chazelle's collaboration with producers like Jason Blum and Helen Estabrook allowed him to navigate the industry and make the necessary connections to ensure the film's success. Their support helped him secure funding and provided guidance throughout the production process. Without a strong network of supporters, Chazelle may not have been able to create the critically acclaimed film that earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
👉 Attend networking events and industry conferences to meet new contacts.
👉 Use social media to connect with industry professionals and showcase your work.
👉 Build relationships by offering to help others with their projects and staying in touch.
SEE IT IN PRACTICE…
🎬 "The Florida Project" (2017), directed by Sean Baker, with a budget of $2 million.
🎬 "Whiplash" (2014), directed by Damien Chazelle, with a budget of $3.3 million.
🎬 "Little Miss Sunshine" (2006), directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, with a budget of $8 million