A keyword search on Facebook using any combination of the words "Utah," "film," "filmmaking," "filmmakers," etc., may result in finding over one-hundred different groups—not to be confused with Pages.
Such a search was conducted in 2018, the results of which were incorporated into a graphic for the purposes of determining which "group for filmmaking in Utah" reaches the most people.
Embedded below is a spreadsheet containing periodically updated information about publicly viewable Facebook groups that can be found using the same search criteria. The data it contains is organized into three separate sheets.
The first lists the groups chronologically by start date—when they were first created.
The second lists groups according to their particular focus—sorted into three types:
- General (Gen) or Select focus—and/or their affiliation with an organization (Org), school (Ed), event, genre, talent/crew (Role), or demographic (Demo), or if it serves a social function (Soc.).
- Groups that have the potential to focus on a select topic (Pot. Select)—based on their names.
- And—finally—which groups appear to be completely redundant (R).
The third lists groups in descending order based on approximate membership (Mem).
As far as we can tell, the Utah Filmmakers™ Facebook Group (FKA "Utah Filmmakers and Actors") was the very first group of its kind, created in June 2007 by Ben Hawker. The group exists to serve all filmmakers in Utah—regardless of their specific discipline—promoting collaboration and networking opportunities. It's also one of the most reliable resources for local filmmakers to hire cast & crew, buy & sell gear, and just talk shop.
Of all the other groups that have been started since 2007, fewer than half were created to engage filmmakers in Utah within a specific context (social, professional, educational, etc.). Some of these groups are also connected in some way to Utah-based film-related businesses, events, or organizations—like the Utah Filmmakers™ Association.
As for the rest—though ostensibly created to benefit filmmakers in Utah—none of them actually serve a unique function that wasn't already being provided. Some of them could potentially be more focused on specific subcategories—which can be inferred by their names—but many of their descriptions are substantially identical, usually referring to "networking," "collaboration," "cast & crew calls," etc.
There's nothing unusual about different people who may have never met having similar ideas and motivations to do something—like creating a social media group to meet others with common interests. Most of the time, this is simply the result of people wanting to be part of a community and setting up a virtual meeting place in an effort to attract those people... without realizing that such a community may already exist—or they just didn’t think of conducting a keyword search.
When looking at these groups, "Organized by Date...," the column labeled "R" (Redundant) refers to a group that already existed at the time that a particular group was created. For example, many of the groups have the number "1" in the Redundant column because—according to the groups' descriptions—their purpose is practically identical to that of the first group on the list. "2," their purpose is already served by the second group, "4," the fourth, etc. Some groups have multiple redundant purposes.
Looking at the groups—listed by Membership—we see that out of all the groups with over 1,000 members, nearly half of them are Redundant.
When joining any forum, potential members should also consider whether or not it's affiliated with a nonprofit organization or a for-profit business that operates separately from the platform on which it's hosted.
Some group names may include terms like "Club," "Association," "Guild," etc. suggesting they might be formally organized. It is not difficult to determine if that is or is not the case. Sometimes, a name is just a name, but for any group activity that suggests otherwise—anything occurring offline, perhaps involving some sort of fee—the law may require that a legal entity needs to be held responsible for any potential liabilities, assuming the absence of relevant disclaimer.
If a group appears to have been set up to serve a particular community, its administrators should NOT be in any sort of position to personally benefit from what the group offers. Such an arrangement describes a classic conflict of interest.
Businesses that use online platforms to communicate with clients and contractors should be transparent about their intentions, making their business affiliation part of the name of the group, forum, or server—and clearly stating their for-profit status in the description.
The desire to connect with others with a shared interest may prompt one to join every group or forum available on the topic. Unfortunately, the downside to this level of "connection" is seeing the same posts from the same people being shared in all the same groups that they all belong to at the same time...over and over and over again.
The solution to this problem is simple:
If one belongs to several groups trying to provide the same service to the same people, limiting one's group memberships to the most beneficial is likely a simple matter of choosing to participate in the one group with the most members—which is an excellent indicator of how much it's valued as a resource:
Current Revision: June 24, 2023