Sound Designer, Freelance / Self-employed -Media/Entertaiment

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How has modern society affected the way people get hired in the film industry?

Particularly in the Sound aspect of the film industry (ie. Composers, Sound Designers etc), I would like know how modern society has changed the way people get found and hired in the film industry?

As a budding Sound Designer/Composer at University, I'm finding it increasingly frustrating to get a foothold in a career I would like to do. Whilst keeping my options open to any new and different ventures such as programming, acoustical engineering and performance, Sound Design is my passion. I have had a couple of gigs doing what I want, but it seems to me its definitely becoming a case of not what you know, it's who you know. I quote a previous potential collaborator in a Student film "Sorry mate, I've got this friend who knows how to record stuff so I'll just get him." Highly annoying.

I would like to know based on a PEST basis (Political, Economical, Social and Technological factors) how all this has either changed the process for better or for worse in regards to getting a job.

Also, if there are new entrants, or business models that have come into place that would affect this? i.e maybe new formats beyond Blu-Ray and DVD, how the internet has affected this, in regards to piracy and SOPA and how people even begin to get a job in a vastly more intense and competitive market as the job search has reached out to the internet and companies are now looking for new or different employees rather than in-house ones, previous clients or even friends of clients.

Even if you aren't in any related industry I would to love hear your opinion and ny information on this matter would be most helpful!