“It doesn’t matter that you have a 4 a.m. start tomorrow, if the crew is going drinking you’re going drinking. It’s that simple!”
The very no-nonsense advise one well established sound op passed on to the youngling PAs the other day. There’s quite a bit of truth in it, granted. Nothing is as important as networking when it comes to forwarding a career where who you know is close (but not equal) to what you know.
Now don’t get me wrong, on top of that you have to be damn good at what you do. But you also need to sip coffee/beer/split Mars bars with the right people. There are a number of problems with that of course.
In the case of the 4 a.m. start, will your work suffer? Have a pint or two and make a graceful exit (after sharing all the remaining business cards in your bag (bar three, you never know what the taxi drivers kid works with!).
But aside from that there’s another issue here. Where to draw the line. When the slightly creepy but well connected Director/Producer/Reporter/Runner/Engineer phones you up at random for a drink, and then has a detailed discussion of why the girl crew t shirts are not more figure-hugging, all the while talking to your boobs. Best bit of advise, an even earlier (graceful) exit.
There’s far too much crap going on in the business with a big B, but there are also a lot of folk who will genuinely help boost your future. And one day you’ll return the favour by mentioning their name for a nice high profile job. That’s what good networking is about. But don’t be afraid to avoid the sleeze traps, you’ll still be fine. Too many girls seem to forget that… And give them your business card, not your Facebook link!!