Creating Working Relationships in the Film Industry

The nature of filmmaking tends to create instantly close relationships. You share the drama, the trauma, the madness and the magic of creating images and stories that move people. It isn’t hard to keep the relationships up once “that’s a wrap,” but it does take simple effort. Projects change, companies move, people freelance around. You can quickly get forgotten if you don’t keep yourself in touch.


Pamela Jaye Smith has collaborated over 20 years in the film business as a consultant, producer, writer and director of features, TV, commercials, documentaries and corporate films. Pamela’s MYTHWORKS is a consultation and information service featuring “Applied Mythology” and the “Physics of Metaphysics.” MYTHWORKS offers seminars, lectures and classes for filmmakers, including the UCLA Writers Extension Program. She consults with organizations and individuals re-designing themselves, their images and/or careers.


She had this to say about building relationships in the film business. “When I moved to Hollywood I got a job the first day I went looking and spent six weeks at a script-typing service, which was great to learn format and see who was doing what in stories.”


Then, Pamela tracked down some contacts she made while she worked on a film for Paramount Pictures back in her home state of Texas. “I had the good fortune of getting a job with a new production company headed by someone I’d met there on location. So networking was everything there.


And by the way, I’d gotten the job as Location Casting Director for Paramount through the Texas Film Commission in Austin. If you’re not quite ready to move to Hollywood, at least start working on productions in your area so you begin to build your network.


“On my own I applied for and got work at Universal Studios where I was in production for four years on TV series, “Movies of the Week,” and features. Contacts from those years have lasted for a very long time and I still do business with some of the same people as we’ve all moved along in our careers. Some are among my very best friends and we consider each other family.” One of the best ways to develop lasting relationships is to work on a project by joining an industry or professional trade association, such as Women In Film (WIF), Northern California Writers and Artists, Independent Feature Producer’s West, International Documentary Association (IDA) and College Alumni Associations. It’s a good networking device, plus there’s an inherent tendency to hire “one’s own” when it comes to the film schools or state loyalties. According to Pamela Jaye Smith, her educational institution, the University of Texas at Austin, has great alumni. Probably so do other schools.

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