Happy New Years to you and yours!
One of my big gripes about film school at SFSDF was that at no point in the curriculum did they address life post-film school. No classes on film festivals, job searches, networking etc. So I've been fumbling through the process on my own as I've intensified my focus on my film life over the last couple months. Not sure what's working and what's not working as it is still too early to tell but here is what I've been doing:
-This blog. I have made some connections through people finding my blog and it has been really nice to have a dialog with film minded people. The blog also helps me distill my thinking on goals for the future.
-Business Cards. I had a hard time referring to myself as a filmmaker as it felt poseurish and even more so with creating and ordering business cards, but I was starting to network more and I didn't want to be that guy who was ripping pages out of my moleskin with contact info on it.
-LinkedIn Account. This also felt a bit foreign creating a profile exclusively for filmmaking... but I did it anyways.
-Networking/Groups. I've found some groups through meetup.com and facebook and have started to attend those meetings. The groups tend to fall in the screenwriting and filmmaking category and are not only networking events but they do tend to help with feedback for both screenwriting and filmmaking... duh. The other events I've been attending has been... well, events. While there isn't a ton of established screenings/talk in the Bay Area, there is still enough for to me to attend in my what little spare time I have. Last year I saw Ed Burns, John August, and the cast and crew of Young Adult. Each event had a Q&A and "mingle-time" post.
-Film Festivals. This entry should and will have its own blog entry, but I've gotten to the point where I am proud enough of my work to enter it in to festivals and have gotten rejections, acceptance, and even managed to win an award. Lots of great learning and networking at festivals... and honestly they are both fun and exciting. Actually a lot of what I listed above I view as fun and exciting.
-IMDB Page. I have a fancy dancy IMDB page.
Film Society. I joined the San Francisco Film Society as there are benefits for filmmakers both in financial discounts but also in awards/grants and residency and services.
-Watch movies. Read screenplays, film theory, American Cinematographer, and film criticisms. One of my new favorite film theorists/critic has been Hulk. Serious. http://filmcrithulk.wordpress.com/
-Increase my output. I am still working the film festival circuit with my last short and editing another short and writing my next short. This is obviously the most important thing I am doing as I need the most practice here and need to increase the quality of my work. I can have all the networking connections in the world, but it wouldn't matter if I was constantly putting out crap or nothing at all.
So there it is. My plan. It definitely feels like a lot of spitballing to see what works and I will continue to talk about what area I have the most success in. If you have any tips, please send them my way!
What I've been digging as of late: Downton Abbey, Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol, Undun by the Roots, How Do You Do by Mayer Hawthorne, who kill by tune-yards.