No pain, no gain

Coming back to the UK was about getting into the London scene as soon as possible. That was what this evening was about. I went to a networking party at the Rushes Soho Shorts festival.

Although I came up with a new business card design, refreshed my website, burned some more demo DVDs… it was only in the middle of the networking evening that I started to remember some of the principles of such events. Better late than never I suppose. Before you arrive, set some targets. Plan to hand out promotional material (showreel DVDs and business cards and ‘wisdom’). Talk to as many different people as possible.

It’s odd. As I burn the DVDs, label them and make cards for the cases, the effort sometimes makes me think that the resultant packages are precious. That I shouldn’t hand them out to any old person. Silly. I now realise that DVDs and business cards are made for giving out.

I did well in the first few minutes. While talking to the man who runs the Director’s Guild of Great Britain, I helped out a woman who had too much to carry. She was from Satusfaction.com – a freelance edtor’s agency. A good start. Then I met a journalist from AV magazine and a man who has been recently working at MTV in London. I bumped into Henry, a old regular attendee of The London Script Consultancy’s Soho Screenwriters group.

I then talked to three lovely women from the US who are here in London for a few months. I may have shown off a bit, but I felt they were better able to receive a hard sell. This networking situation is most likely to bring out the retiring Englishman in me. However, there’s no point being shy and retiring at a networking party.

One of the best ideas of the evening was the opportunity of any attendee to have their music video shown to the crowd. Once all the DVDs had been played, I took the chance to play my music video animation from 2002 using my iPod.

If you have an iPod that can play video, I strongly recommend the you put elements of your reel on it. Carry some good headphones and a cable to plug into the nearest TV or projector and you’re ready to go.

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