A movie about FaceBook? Well it's not exactly about how to spend long hours coding PHP but it is the latest blockbuster to feature geeks who made good.
The Social Network, aka "The FaceBook movie", is a film about the creator and creation of Facebook and is due out in October from director David (Fight Club) Ficher. Written by Aaaron Sorkin, best known for The West Wing, and based on a book by Ben Mezich, The Accidental Billionaires: the Founding of Facebook, the film is described as a comedy-drama. Which given recent events concerning security settings and general availability could be a description of Facebook itself.
Jesse Eisenberg plays Mark Zuckerberg who, as we all know, founded Facebook working in his dorm room at Harvard University. Zuckerberg is sometimes described as the planet's youngest billionaire.
The book that the film is based on is a ribald telling of the tale with absolutely no authorization or official help from FaceBook or Zuckerberg, who dismissed the story as "fanciful gossip". Zukerberg and his friend Eduardo Saverin hacked into the Harvard system and downloaded pictures of all the girl students to create a private "hot or not" style site. This nearly got them expelled from Harvard but it all turned out happily in the end as it was the start of Facebook.
It is unlikely you are going to learn much about the technical side of the creation of FaceBook, programmed using PHP for example, by watching the movie. It seems to be mostly about "hot girls", all-night celeb parties and sex. Probably the most controversial part of the movie will be any resurfacing of the rumour that he stole the idea from fellow students.
The movie's website has just opened http://www.thesocialnetwork-movie.com/
and there you can see a full resolution version of the film poster - see above - and you might want to click the Recommend FaceBook button. Other "share this" buttons are notable by their absence. Presumably the 500 million FaceBook users are seen as prime candidates for seeing the movie!
To make sure that you get the background story here are some facts about FaceBook that you can use to prove that you know stuff when you sit down with the popcorn:
- it has 500 million active users - a tag line being used in the films publicity poster.
- it serves 570 billion pages per month and hosts 20 billion pictures
- it runs on 30,000 Linux servers running Apache and MySQL
- it's a PHP system but compiled to native code with bits of Erlang running its chat facility.
More up-and-coming geek movies
Zooey Deschanel - Enchantress of Numbers