Partner Feature:

Our herd members are creative bunch, and at Fat Llama HQ we’re never not stoked to see what you’ve been filming, snapping, recording and making with your rentals. We want to support our artistic community in any way we can, which is why we’ve been working with Mandy — the LinkedIn for creative professionals — to bring you talented lot together at networking events.

We spoke to two New York-based cinematographers, and Mandy users, about the importance of hobnobbing as a creative, and how the site works for them:

Name: Stephen Marino


Profession: Freelance director, producer, cinematographer and editor

What’s your best networking advice?

If you know of anyone who’s doing something that you want to do, getting any sort of response from them — whether that be through cold calling, emailing, or whatever — is key.

It’s not bad or wrong to do that — it’s just that some people are receptive to it, and some aren’t. But ultimately, you’ll find someone who’s respectful of what you’re trying to do and will help you out.

Is schmoozing something that comes naturally to you, or is it something you’ve had to learn?

Everything I’ve learnt, I’ve learnt the hard way – my method is usually trial by fire. I try things, and if I fall on my face, I learn from it and just keep going. I think you have to have that mentality if you’re going to be freelance and do it your way instead of someone else’s way.

I just try and be good at what I do, and be respectful and reliable, instead of, well, not being those things. You don’t even have to have amazing skills — if you’re dependable, that goes a long way.

So what is Mandy, and how do you use it?

It’s a platform for networking online; you put an ad for yourself up on the site, and get work. Even if you don’t land a job, it’s easier to meet people through that than in real life, and it’s especially good for people who aren’t in a major city.

Name: Josef Orlandi


Profession: Owner of a production and equipment sales company, cinematographer and gaffer

How did you end up with fingers in so many pies?

I got a lucky break and started on feature films right away, and it kind of just spiralled from there. For me, a career has always been more about learning than about work; more about creating than a job. So I learnt to use different editing software, to play different instruments, to do web design — and just started applying that, really.

Over the past few years I’ve been gaffing more, which opened up doorways into productions that I wouldn’t otherwise have gotten on (because they already had a cinematographer), and that got me into TV as well as features.

How does Mandy work for you?

Fairly early on I started using websites to find work in the industry, as one has to  you can’t know everybody, and that’s the perfect way for people to find me, even when I’m not looking for work.

I also use Mandy when I need to hire crew, to put out that bat signal; I use it as much as I can for that because it’s so quick and easy, the least legwork for me.

Is there one job you scored through Mandy that sticks out for you?

I was contacted and asked to film a series of interviews with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, which turned into a recurring gig — and it’s a well-paid, professional gig. You’re working around these high-end CEOs who have very busy lives, so you have to be very on point and know what you’re doing, to make them look as good as possible!

Actor? Director? Producer? Just nosy? Check out Mandy for yourself here; we’ve wangled 20% off annual premium membership for verified Fat Llama users.

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