Film in New Hampshire, How To Get Involved
Because I'm in media circles in my hometown of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, I am asked a lot about the film "scene" in this beautiful state. So recently I asked Matt Newton, the Director of NH Department of Television & Film how to best answer that query.
How to approach the NH film industry
Start by connecting on Facebook and Twitter and Twitter again. If you're looking to make a movie in NH, contact Matt Newton directly using the information at the bottom of this page or via his Twitter.
Here are other points of interest:
- Cast and crew opportunities, along with other news, screenings and upcoming events are posted at http://filmnh.com.
- There are industry meet-ups listed here, lower half of page. The next big meet-up will be sometime late summer (2015). Meet-ups pick up again in the fall.
- There's also a monthly Film Office discussion series at New England College in Concord. Smaller group, pretty much a free-for-all in conversation. Again, these will pick up again in late August / September. Info about these events will also be posted on social media sites and http://filmnh.com.
- Like on Facebook: http://facebook.com/filmnh
- Follow on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nhfilmoffice
- Follow Matt Newton on Twitter: @mattnewton
Matt's always looking to connect with other filmmakers, so don't be shy.
How to introduce yourself
Aside from attending events, if you're looking to network with other film types, specifically professionals, take a look at the directory at http://nhfilmdirectory.com.
Here's what I would do. Make a list from that directory of entities that spark your interest. Send each a short note. Create a boilerplate message but definitely personalize it for each recipient.
Do it methodically and keep track, on a spreadsheet or even handwritten list, of who you've sent notes to, who wrote back, and dates of contact of gist of conversation. Landing a gig is a numbers game, so keep trying. Also, the spreadsheet helps you later in developing your network. "Oh hi, John, I'm Sue, we corresponded about the ___ awhile back."
People get involved at every age. If someone is still in high school, you may want to participate in the annual high school short film festival. This year’s was a HUGE success. More at http://nhstudentfilm.com.
Of course, all hands are on deck for the New Hampshire Film Festival in Portsmouth in October. It's kind of a big deal in this part of the country. Anyone looking to get involved should start there. Volunteer here, starting in August. Volunteer to usher, or to do anything. The jobs are easy - they need bodies, not genius. You'll make contacts and hear about upcoming projects just by being there.
Matt Newton (Director of the NH Film & Television Office) usually holds one panel discussion there; you can meet him, for instance.
What not to do
The first tier of advice is to read Craigslist ads with skepticism... there are modeling scams too numerous to mention. And probably everyone should see the documentary Hot Girls Wanted, there are short term jobs in illicit film that do a career (and a person) more harm than good, best to avoid those.
Some legitimate film opportunities are posted on Craigslist, however. Usually these are unpaid. But it can be a good way to get started. If you have some free time this summer, why not sign up to be an extra? Or run errands for a film set as Production Assistant? Or driver? It's a good experience, and you'll find out if you love it or... not. Be sure to check for opportunities in neighboring states on Craigslist, too (especially Boston, but again, look out for scams and x-rated solicitations).
Hope this helps. Comment below to add or amend anything I've written. Contact the NH TV & Film office for more information.
State of New Hampshire
Film & Television Office
19 Pillsbury Street, Concord, NH 03301
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://nh.gov/film