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Posted on: March 9th, 2010 by Steve Sievers

Hello everyone,

My name is Steve Sievers and I have my own animated series called Supa Pirate Booty Hunt where I am the co-creator, writer, animator, and voice of Daniel the Turtle in the show. It’s not easy having your own animated series but I have found that, as with any project or when looking a job, it is all about networking. So, I wanted to take a moment and talk about some great networking events and give some tips about networking.  I’m in the Los Angeles area, so those are the events I’m most familiar with, but you can find networking events in just about any major city or on the internet.  These are just a few that I have found useful in working on projects and in maintaining my career…

Jill Gilbert runs the One Hub Plus networking events. They take place at different bars, restaurants, and even studios like Titmouse Animation Studio throughout the Los Angeles area. At every event you can find a wide range of entertainment professionals, from agents to studio executives that you can talk to one on one. One Plus Hub also puts together panels from head executives of animation studios, which is a really great way to get inside information that can further your career or help you headway on your latest project.

The Screen Play Lab networking event is usually held in Beverly Hills at Sharky’s or the sidebar at the Regency Beverly Wilshire where the film Pretty Woman was shot. Each event is really great for mingling with all types of peeps in the industry including writers, producers, entertainment lawyers, agents, actors, cinematographers, composers, & more. The Screen Play Lab also does panels where you can hear and talk to head executives from Disney, Comedy Central, Warner Bros, and more.

Animation Army is a networking group that meets at different bars & studios throughout the Los Angeles area. Mingle with fellow animators and also hear panel discussions with agents, studio executives, and job recruiters.

Women in Animation puts on networking events at the Animation Guild and at Cartoon Network Studio in Burbank. At the events you can hear panels with everyone from voice actors working in the animation field to up and coming animators. Women in Animation also do practice pitch night every month at the Animation Guild. There you can practice pitching your animation project and get a lot of great feedback! Don’t worry guys, Women in Animation is also open to guys. I attend a lot of them and its always very helpful and informative.

The Get Lit Meet Up group is held at the Lit Post – post production studio in West Hollywood. It’s a small and intermit group where you can hear panel discussions made up of executives from the major film studios.  They also do demo reel night. Everyone is welcome to bring in their current demo reel and get feedback on it. Of course your demo reel is best way of landed you next gig!

Tubefilter’s Hollywood Web Television Meetup is held every other month at Busby’s East in Los Angeles on Wilshire Blvd. The event brings together the top creators, producers, studio executives, agents, mangers, distributors, actors, & more. Each event they have a panel of top producers & creators in the web TV world. Most events are sponsored by HP & Intel and raffle off Best Buy Gift Cards to HO laptops. Tubefilter’s also puts on the Streamy Awards which is the web TV version of the Oscars.

Createasphere Networking Events has panel with executives from top film studios, postproduction houses, to mobile content.  They also put on their own conventions such as the HD Expo held at the Hilton convention center in Burbank and just a couple of weeks ago the Entertainment Technology Expo at the Hilton in Studio City which had a panel with the animators from Avatar.

Of course, these are events in the Los Angeles area, but you can find similar networking events in any entertainment hub.  If can’t make the events or you live in an area that its so entertainment based, its all good to network on the social networking sites such as Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I personally have about over 20 different social network accounts on different sites. It’s a lot of work, but if you can keep updating your blog on all of these to tie in with your project or what you have going on in your career. It could really benefit you a lot. Also add your social networking sites addresses to your business card. A great way to keep in touch with anyone you meet at all these networking events is on Facebook and Twitter. You can see who they are talking to and what they are up to in their careers, too. It helps a lot to build a personally relationship with the people you meet and the more they like you the better your chances of getting hired!

So, my point is to networking.  Put yourself out there and find ways to reach other peeps in the industry.  Not only will it help you to feel more connected to the industry, but it very likely could lead to your next job, or to making your that project you’ve been pitching finally happen! 

Hope to see you at the next networking event.

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Question: I've been out of work for a while. Do I take a job offer if the pay is awful?

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