Monday, 7 March 2011

Shooting the shit

If there’s one word guaranteed to make my blood curdle, it’s “networking”.

Maybe it’s something to do with how disproportionately important it is in determining how successful you will be; maybe it’s because I’m usually the person with the questions (“the Sponge”) rather than the one with the answers (“the Rock”), with no real hope of a reach-around; maybe it’s because these kind of events allow the UK Film Industry to kid themselves that they’re doing enough to support independent film-making.

Or maybe it’s just because it seems so very un-British. You can’t just go up and talk to someone – surely you need to wait until you’ve been introduced.

“Networking” means two hours of advanced charming, arse-kissing and being interested in what other people doing. Not something that comes naturally to me.

In case you hadn’t figured it out, my route into this whole Resurrection thing is as a frustrated writer. Frustrated because no one was ever going to make my films unless I did it myself. Give me a laptop, a copy of Final Draft and a new box of tea-bags and I’ll happily disappear up my own arsehole for weeks on end (or should that be “in end”?). If you’re a people person, you go become a Producer; it’s a whole load less work and you may even get paid at some point.

So when Jake and I popped along to tonight’s Shooting People networking event in Southampton, you will appreciate that it’s a massive understatement when I say that I did it with a sense of obligation rather than eager anticipation. A feeling exacerbated by my role as the designated driver; if there’s one thing worse than networking it’s networking sober.

It turns out I needn’t have worried.

This is Southampton, after all. Around the country I’m sure that similar Shooting People events drew vast crowds of eager film-makers with diverse skills and talents; a heady mix of enthusiastic neophytes and experienced mentors; all the necessary ingredients for a film, just waiting for someone to step up and appoint themselves chef.

In Southampton, we were five. And two of them were Jake and me.

In any case, to Phil et al. (if you’re reading), thanks for an entertaining evening, and see you in April.

And another bizarre thing happened today. Jake and I were working so hard on getting all the bits together to kick-start our investor marketing campaign, that I failed to go into the ex-office to hand in my security pass, router, SIM card, etc. And that bizarre thing was... nothing. Nothing happened. I can still make phone calls on the company phone-bill; I can still get corporation-sponsored porn on my computer; I may still being paid for all I know. I’m tempted to see how long I can tough this one out for, before I have to move into the catchment area of Winchester’s only free wi-fi service. Cheeky.

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