Love them or loathe them, online databases are a way to promote yourself, increase your professional exposure, make connections and get jobs.
Every time you go for a new job, a prospective hirer is going to go online and look you up. You might have a website, or you might not — but either way, being in the places that hirers are likely to search is a way to increase your chances of getting their attention.
Not everyone can afford paid subscriptions to popular cast and crew databases, but everyone can afford the free services. (And if it’s free...why not?)
Whilst we don’t endorse any particular site, here are the free platforms that you might consider joining to help hirers find you. And, once you’ve looked at those, why not check out our database dos and don’s.
Here at Directors UK, hirers ask us weekly for lists of directors, and we always send them to Find a Director. As well as automatically displaying all the credits we have for you on our database, you can also go in and highlight other credits, particular skills, specialisms and awards, and tell visitors about the headlines of your career so far. Don’t forget to add a great picture and terrific biography — this is your free storefront. If you’re a Directors UK member, then log into our site, add your info and add your profile to Find a Director today.
A database for black filmmakers – although it’s currently being updated. British Blacklist is a place for black talent to list their credits and skills, and be found. Keep an eye on the site for the relaunch.
If you’re London-based, then registering with the Film London Directory might be for you, as it not only covers location and facilities, but also local crew. This is another site currently being updated. Keep an eye on the site for the relaunch.
It might seem a bit corporate but BBC Studios, ITV studios, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky, Netflix, Hulu, Disney (along with hundreds of production companies, financiers and festival organisations), all have LinkedIn accounts listing their staff. Connect with those you know and approach the people you want to know. They also advertise jobs here too.
You can set up a free basic profile on Mandy and make yourself searchable in various categories.
Prime Time is a women-only database (which includes trans, intersex, and cisgender women) that requires a particular level of credits to join. Profiles are customisable. Full members of an industry union qualify for Full membership.
Previously known as HIVE, the Screenskills Community database is helpful for emerging directors. Their diversity form only takes a few minutes to compete and you can upload your CV.
TalentBases declare that they are ‘free forever for freelancers’, and they offer job listings. Over 40 UK production companies are said to access the system and review CVs, so it might be worth uploading yours.
The free area of The Talent Manager allows members to set up a profile and make themselves visible to employers, as well as apply for jobs.
Database dos and dont’s
So, you know which databases you can go for — now you need to make the most of them. Read our list of database dos and dont’s below:
|Use a high-resolution profile picture that ideally shows you working as a director.||Don’t use pictures that hide your identity – e.g. a picture of your cat.|
|Treat every database like you’re paying for it. Be as detailed and as visual as you can, link to any other external online resources that it allows.||Don’t expect a profile to just bring in work – leverage the database, and where there’s access to a community proactively engage with it.|
|Keep your CV up to date, neat and concise. Link to it and your showreel if you can.||Unless it’s relevant for your work, don’t include details of your politics.|
|If someone has written you a testimonial, use it.||Don’t let your profiles get out of date — regularly update them with new projects, awards and skills.|
|Check your spelling – you need to show that you care about the details.||Don’t be half-hearted when compiling your profile. Take the time to craft your content. If you don’t care about your substance, why should a reader?|
|Make sure phone numbers and email addresses are correct and visible.||Don’t ignore opportunities to upload extra content. Add photos and reviews.|
|Give prominence to what you’re most proud of.||Don’t forget to include everything that’s relevant including driving licence and CRB check.|
|Show the reader you’re an ally, collaborator and an asset.||Don’t assume people know you and your work — create a meaningful statement or summary.|
|Show what only you can bring to their project.||Don’t forget: once you post something on the internet, its difficult to get rid of, so be judicious about what you share and comment on.|