Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Courtney Meznarich

5 Ways to Network as a Screenwriter, with Writer Bryan Young

Networking, if you treat it like a task to be checked off on your way to the top, can be challenging and unpleasant. But if you follow this advice from a seasoned screenwriting pro, you may find that it’s not the chore you once thought.

Hey screenwriter! Want to be one of the first to try SoCreate Screenwriting Software? , without leaving this page.

We asked screenwriter, podcaster, author, and journalist Bryan Young how he’s built his network over time, and he had five excellent pointers.

“You know … a lot of people say, “How do I network? How do I get an agent?” he began.

And he’d be right. It’s probably the most-asked question we get from aspiring writers here at SoCreate. Because without a strong network, and an eventual agent, screenwriters feel like their work may never see the light of day. And we don’t want that for you, but we also want to make sure you’re not burning any bridges when it does come time to send out your script. So, take this advice from Bryan.

5 Ways to Network as a Screenwriter

1. Go where the people are.

“You know, with an agent, the path is pretty much sending query letters, or you go to places where agents are, where producers are. I think film festivals are a great place to network for those things.”

Pros have mixed feelings on query letters, but it can be hard to connect with agents otherwise if you’re not in one of the screenwriting hubs. If you’re not trying to get a screenwriting agent but simply make connections with other creatives, the advice is still valid. Go where other filmmakers will be, and film festivals are a great place to start because no matter where you live, there’s probably one near you.

2. Have something to show.

“Don’t hesitate to put your own film together. Have work to show,” Bryan said. “That’s a very viable way of getting into the industry.”

One of the biggest mistakes screenwriters make is submitting or sharing their work before it’s ready or before they’re ready. It would help if you had a backlog of outstanding work before you start reaching out to agents or even before you start making other industry connections. Put in the work first, and it will show. Don’t give industry professionals a reason to write you off.  

3. Get to work.

“Go start working on film sets,” he said. “Meet people.”

There are so many alternative jobs for screenwriters to take while you build up your portfolio. Plus, you will learn a ton by partaking in tasks related to TV and film that will help your writing tremendously.

4. Go to school.

“What you’re going to film school to do is to build that network of people,” he said. “You want to build a genuine human connection and relationship to these people when you’re interacting with them.”

While it can be expensive, many filmmakers go to university undergrad or masters in screenwriting programs because of the network they know they will build. It’s almost guaranteed.  

5. Build connections before you need them.

“The problem is most people when they think of networking, they think, “I need to go and pitch my screenplay, or my movie idea, to everyone in the room. And that’s not the case,” Bryan concluded.

As other filmmakers have advised, networking should be thought of as friend-making and never as a means to an end. People who have successfully built strong networks have done it over time. Make friends when you don’t need them. Proactively think about your network of contacts and how you might be able to help them, with no expectation of anything in return. When the time comes, they’ll be there for you, too.

Let’s take the work out of networking,

You may also be interested in...

Ross Brown - How to Network With Other Screenwriters

How to Develop Relationships in the Entertainment Industry, With Veteran Producer Ross Brown

As an adult, I’ve learned it gets harder to make friends. And in Hollywood? Even harder. Without a playground and forced recess, where do you go to develop relationships, especially in a place as cliquey as the entertainment industry? The good news is that it’s getting easier. Hear me out … You no longer have to be in Los Angeles. Sure, it would make things easier for you on the relationship-building front, but it’s not a requirement in this remote era we’re now living in. And what’s more is that the entertainment industry has spread, and new screenwriting hubs are emerging around the world . You just need to know where to ...
Danny Manus - How to Connect with the Film Industry  Preview Image

How to Stay Connected to the Film Industry, No Matter Where You Live

You don't have to live in Los Angeles to stay connected to the film industry, screenwriter. There are plenty of ways to keep yourself informed on all-things entertainment and use that knowledge to shape your screenwriting craft because the craft of screenwriting, after all, is more than just the skill of writing. In the film business, it's all about who and what you know! We've interviewed screenwriting consultant Danny Manus on more than a dozen screenwriting topics, but his answer to this script writing question is perhaps the most simple, and any writer can and should do it. How does a screenwriter stay connected to what's ...
Ricky Roxburgh - Networking Mistakes Writers Make Preview Image

Don’t Ask This One Question When Networking, Screenwriter

Oh, the urge to ask this question is real! In fact, I bet you have already made this major networking mistake, screenwriter. But, what do we writers do? Try, try, try again. And, after reading this, you can’t say you didn’t know. We asked Disney screenwriter Ricky Roxburgh what he thinks is the biggest networking mistake that screenwriters make, and he was eager to answer because he says he’s seen the same goofs repeatedly. “This might be the best [question],” he said ...