I'm asking this question here because I don't really know any other sound designers, or where to meet them in person.
I graduated in Music Technology from Kent, and then started working on short films by going to London film schools and offering to work for free. I did anything they needed - boom op, dialogue editing, sound design, composing. One of the pupils at one of these schools got £100,000 of investment to make a feature. I had worked with him on a couple of shorts and he put me in charge of sound. Yay! I handled the production and post production sound, all except the mix which we did at Pinewood (he secured further investment for the grade and mix). I loved the work, the sound turned out great, the film has done well at festivals and raised £6000 for the Red Cross at a special screening we arranged.
Because I was mostly the only sound guy (occasionally I had a boom operator), I didn't really make any sound contacts. Everybody involved with the film was young like me and are also trying to kickstart their careers, so I didn't make any established contacts at all really. I was hoping the director would make more films and get me on board, but he has got a job in advertising now.
I have since realised to my dismay that there are no sound editing jobs advertised anywhere like normal jobs are. Occasionally one appears on Mandy.com which I apply for, but I guess so do 10,000 other people as I never hear back. I can't really work for free anymore, though I have been doing so occasionally to keep my hand in. I have been to Soho a couple of times with my demo reel on DVDs to ask at post-pro houses there for work experience, but have had no luck so far.
I wonder if anybody can offer me any advice on how to go about getting paid sound work? It doesn't have to be well paid. I am doing web design at the moment to pay the rent, which is thankfully very low, but I don't like this work. After all this I don't want to give up on sound design/editing because I love it, but I'm not sure how to proceed and don't know who to ask. There don't even seem to be any UK sound post production forums to ask on, though maybe I am missing one.