With over 2 billion monthly active users (as of June 2017), Facebook is by far and away the largest social network. With this in mind, it seems only logical that there is a lot of useful information to be found there, if you look in the right places. The term ‘information’ on a social network may not all be accurate (ahem, fake news), but one of the joys of social networks is the matter of opinion through experience, which is crucial in this industry. With more than a billion of those users active daily on mobile, it’s all at your fingertips too.
Facebook Groups is a section of the social network that focuses on a bringing people together who are interested in a specific topic, allowing content to be posted without it popping up on your own profile. These groups can be open (anyone can join and post, visible from outside the group), closed (request to join, private posts), or secret (by invitation only, private posts); this ensures a certain amount of control when it comes to visibility (or lack of). There are countless groups on Facebook catered to the visual media industry; from general discussion, to job posting, through to small, region-specific groups, there is something for everyone here!
We Need To Go Deeper
As a freelance location sound recordist, there are many groups I frequently browse to keep up to date with the latest job offerings, technology, tips, tricks, and advice.
An example of one of the more general groups is “Working in TV“, whose description is “For all those working in TV to share stories, job opportunities and advice”. There are plenty of jobs posted here from around the world in just about every department. There are some quite specific groups aimed at advertising jobs, one called “CREW ME NOW” (yes, all in caps!), that offers a shameless self-promotion Monday, where you can advertise your own services without your post being deleted.
To get jobs, you need to know what you’re doing and maybe have some kit to use, right? Good job there are groups out there dedicated to buying/selling gear (Second hand, used film, TV and audio broadcast equipment in the UK), as well as groups made for talking about specific brands and models, take the Zoom F8/F4 owners group for example. Got a question about the Sennheiser Wireless product range? There’s a group for that. Not sure if you should get a new Sound Devices MixPre? There’s a group for helping you decide. You get the idea.
Not only are these sorts of groups useful for finding work and equipment, but they are also great for picking up tips and advice from industry pros, sometimes even from experts, and legendary members of the industry that we all aspire to and respect. Want to know how it’s done at the very top, and how you might go about getting there? Keep your eyes peeled on groups such as Foley Artist, where John Roesch (Fight Club, E.T., The Dark Knight) and Vanessa Theme Ament (Edward Scissorhands, Die Hard, Predator) often post links to useful information and chime in on the comments with advice from time to time. For something a little less specialist, look at BOOM Operator, there are always handy tidbits that can help you become more proficient on set. There are groups relating to acting, camera, and every other department too, all you have to do is explore the endless chasm of Facebook!
I have personally benefitted from all of these types of groups; from finding work, to getting a deal on used equipment, to having a chat with some of the pros! I definitely recommend scouring the groups to find the right one for you, no matter how experienced you are.
If you haven’t already, you will find some great nuggets of information, as well as networking opportunities, and maybe some cheap kit you’ve been looking to buy! Go and discover something new: https://www.facebook.com/groups (oh, and of course, there’s an app for that).