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Hey all -

This post is in regards to relationships with other post facilities and post-production operators/creatives in your community.

I'm a part of a mid-sized post production facility. We (our department as well as the facility) often get requests from both freelancers and staff at other post facilities for tours, informational meetings, etc. We're always eager to meet with creatives in our market (even if they're comptetitors) and show off our facility.

On the other end, I also make a point of visiting other local post facilities and meeting with some of my peers in the local community.

I have a couple of questions here -

  1. Do you make the time to socialize with your peers, who in many cases are also your direct competitors?

  2. Do you specifically keep certain peers/competitors out of your facility?

  3. Have you ever been specifically denied a tour at a facility in your community?

Just curious of the general vibe of other post-production communities worldwide.

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Nice question, it's something I've been thinking about for a while now. I do like the irony of a social group of competitors. Having spent a lot of time socialising online (there's pretty much zero socialising within the industry where I live) in the last year I've fallen in with a really nice bunch of people (on Twitter). There's people who are well into their careers and those just starting out or even still at Uni. We all have a grand old time though and I've not come across any unpleasantness at all. We all congratulate each other's successes and give support to anyone with problems.

This site too is like that too. Where else can one go to ask questions and not be patronised or beaten down for asking such a "stupid" question?

We are all competitors but that doesn't stop the notion of healthy competition. It's like we've all realised it makes for a nicer world with added benefits (such as tech support or feedback on ones work).

Long may it continue.

Ian

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It's my general feeling that the audio community at large is much more open and keen on sharing experience/insights/techniques/tips to colleagues - or competitors, depending on how you want to see them. From people I know who work as video editors and graphic designers, there seems to be more of a safeguarding one's own little island going on, especially amongst more senior people. Of course that is a generalising statement, but these people tell me they're amazed that 'us audio guys' talk so openly to each other.

Which I think is a great aspect of being 'in audio' :)

  • I concur! Since I've started working, the sound guys have always been most keen to share and help. The guys dealing with visuals tend to bunch up and stay within their cliques. – user6513 Mar 23 '11 at 15:00
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I'm generally happy to show someone around our place. No one's ever specifically refused to show me their place. To the first question...I wish I did spend more time socializing. In the facility I work at it's all too easy to just stay in and do the work, and not find the time to get to know other folks and what they're doing. Which to me is crazy and frustrating. I'm in a major city, I've been a sound guy for almost twenty years here, and I feel like I know less than a handful of other engineers/designers in the community.

  • I haven't been working all that long but I do get that I don't know as many people as I ought to. I've actually never thought about going down to a studio for a tour and chat. Always felt like I'm more of a hindrance if I'm not there to work. – user6513 Mar 23 '11 at 0:39
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I've found that people in the post-production community who give advice and share techniques.

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I personally love the opportunity to talk shop and am quite assertive when I find a name or person who I think would be interesting to chat with. I have made many a professional contact by taking the time to write some fan mail to a hard working mixer or designer.

And while I have never been turned down for a tour, I have been asked to come back when things aren't so busy or had trouble finding a contact who is appropriate to approach. In fact, I am still trying to find someone who would give me some insight on working for Warner Bros TV and possibly a tour. But, I am sure it is just a matter of time (Big fan of those guys, but they do stay busy.). While some people are closed off and are not so open when their knowledge or facilities, this is easy to determine within a moment or two of shaking their hands and most audio guys seem to delight in a good nerdy conversation and show and tell.

I always suggest a tour of my facility and I don't worry so much about competition. I married a competitor after all. The knowledge and contacts one can gather through a friendly chat and studio walk through have always outweighed the fear of competition in my book. I have taken many calls from professional buddies who are stuck technically with an issue and I have made many calls asking for help myself.

Besides we tend to be a transitory group. You never know who you may work for or with one day. Some of the proudest moments in my career are when I can pair a good gig with a great audio guy or a great client with a solid professional talent. These things have only ever happened by forging relationships with new folks everywhere I go.

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Whether online (twitter, blogs etc.) or in the physical sense, it's all about networking! I'd say that most of my initial networking contacts are made through the Internet, either via my personal blog, sites like social sound design or through LinkedIn. If I get to know someone online who lives and works in my area (Paris), I'll generally suggest meeting up. As others have already said, audio peeps are usually quite up for meeting up and talking shop!

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I don't know if I'm just being naive, but I've always felt uncomfortable thinking about other audio industry peeps as "competitors." Maybe it's just that I'm new to the game and haven't fully realized how cutthroat it can be, but it doesn't feel that way to me.

I worked in the financial industry for a while, and those guys are monsters. Just evil, selfish people, with very little regard for others, unless the other has a bunch of money to spend. With the exception of a very, very few, I've never met any speaker lovers who were through and through jerks like that.

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