How to make a professional network otherwise

Comment se faire un réseau professionnel autrement

Tom Weil and Niels Arestrup

6 degrees of separation

 The article of last week, on the latest projects on which I worked, has not stirred the crowds at the level of comments…yet it would have had to prick your curiosity ! How a self-taught, who has always wanted to make movies, who knew nobody when he started, was able to work on short, long, and the next series of Channel+ ???

You who read me at this moment, you who have projects, desires, to cinema or TV, how can you do that for too ?


  • First of all, stop thinking that this is not possible
  • Secondly, put this into perspective for your situation
  • Thirdly, stop whining and take action


For these 3 points you must put into practice : The 6 degrees of separation

I know that the summer is the perfect time to turn. A lot of’apprentices filmmakers turn to this period : The days are long, the light shows and then it was a little less crowded in the streets…for the little that it is not on the coast or in a tourist spot. Anyway, all that to say that you surely have shot or been in preparation, you’ve probably pestered by lack of means, staff or actor.

But this article can still serve you, or you will soon.


I know that many of you are telling me that they do not have a network, they do not know to contact such-and-such actor, director, owner, technician etc…Personally when I think of a project and that I have a little bit of soft I’m having fun counting the number of people that separates me from the actor, the producer or the director who I want to talk about or that I would like to meet.

Then, it is true that I have a little more ease now that you are in the trade. But I would remind you also thata few years ago I was like you…I didn’t know anyone, I knew nothing about it…in short I was all alone. But these 6 degrees of separation work also to find a filming location, a team, co-authors etc…


The 6 degrees of separation KÉSACO ?

It is a theory developed by a Hungarian named Figyes Karinthy, in 1929. This gentleman said that, according to this theory, that all the people in the world can be connected in 6 handshakes. So, there is only 5 people between us and the person we would like to meet.

I let you also take a look at this wikipedia article, not that bad at all.

This article tells us, in substance, that, thanks to social networks, this theory or this degree of separation would come down to 4,74 people

I’d like also to put into perspective one thing on this figure of 4.74 persons. Certainly Facebook, linkedin, etc. allow us to “connect the dots” between people, to reduce the interlocutors, but at the bottom of the 6 degrees of separation are a little more complicated than that especially for the medium and the people that concern us : The movie, the actors, directors, producers…etc…


It is important to understand that if your brother, mother, father or spouse is a fact of figuration with Tarantino, it’s great, but it can’t be part of the 6 degrees of separation because he does not know Tarantino ;o)


For the 6 degrees of separation work, by that I mean, to successfully go up the chain it is necessary that the person above you know the person above and so on. You come back this way in the circle of trust and can reach the person referred to.

To be taken seriously it must be ” dubbed “ by the person who introduces you or gives you the number of the person at the top.

Let’s take an example : I have a colleague that I know very well, who worked on the French part of Red 2 with Bruce Willis. He had seen him, talked to him etc…one could believe thatthere are only two handshakes between Bruce Willis and me…but this is wrong. This colleague does not have the number of Bruce Willis and do not personally know.


Let’s get back to Tarantino. Last week I told you about the shooting and the next original creation of Canal+ : The black Baron. When I heard of this series, I inquired about the director : Ziad Douéri to see what he had done before. There I learn that it is the former wizard camera of Tarantino, he made almost all his movies ! I meet the 1er wizard, obviously this guy knows Ziad and Ziad knows Tarantino. So, I come to the conclusion that I’m three handshakes of Tarantino.

Now that I’m on the series, I know Ziad,…I won a handshake. If tomorrow I win the trust of Ziad and that he gives me the laptop of Tarantino I will have won. Will I be able to call in, saying to Tarantino by that I had his phone. There will be more chance that he is listening to me because I was ” Dubbed “!

This is an example, I really don’t have interest to call Tarantino, I don’t know, at the bottom, not what to say to him lol. But the possibility exists.


Let’s go back to Bruce Willis ! With the example of my colleague, I had no possibility of achieving it. But through the connection of Ziad, of Tarantino, I can contact Bruce Willis. I’m 3 handshakes of this actor ! QED


6 degrees of separation, you and me

We come to you now. You know me…without being in my circle of trust you’re only 4 handshakes of Tarantino and 5 of Bruce Willis. From there on, the choice of possibilities is incredible, imagine the number of people, of stars that lies in the knowledge of these 3 people and that would be ready to listen to you if you call their hand !!!

Tomorrow if you manage to have that 1 or 2 hand grips to get to Quentin Tarantino and the difficulty that this represents, imagine the number of handshakes that you have between the director who made a short film to the side of your home (or a long) and the difficulty that this represents. Ditto for a producer…This difficulty is much less complicated to have the contact of star !

All this to say that the network is of paramount importance ! The more you meet people, the more you enter into their circle of trust, and the more you reduce the degrees of separation.


Exercise to do to test the 6 degrees of separation immediately

You are going to do a simple exercise. Take a random person : player, political, producer , etc… and count the number of people you have to meet to achieve your goal and go back up the trail back to him. ;o)

You are always a brother, a cousin or the boyfriend of a cousin who knows someone who knows your target.

ATTENTION : Don’t start without having prepared in advance a question to ask to this person ;o) It is always easier to have something to say ;o) You are not obliged to choose someone from the cinema, this can be a sports of your region, a politician, a journalist, etc…


The first tests will be intriguing, you will have sweaty hands, but you will see that the results are incredible.

The next time you have a project, and you’ll have a shot of soft, think of this article ;o)

That’s it for this article on the 6 degrees of separation.


Let me have your comments at the bottom of the article.

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Thank you to those who will make it ;o) and that are already doing that ;o).

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Has next Sunday. In the meantime, live your passion to the fullest and don’t be too paranoid ;o)


Tom Weil

Category: Uncategorized

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