While the deffinition of multimedia may be wide and elaborate, the end result is always the same-a happy client. Whether you’re creating a linear instructional DVD or a multifaceted website, it’s important to understand the needed tools, and how to plan a project through correctly.
There are many people in the field of video production who have simply had a vision and gone for it-buying the equipment and learning the hard way how to white balance the camera and what the difference is between a codec and a format. It’s easy to see someone coming from, say, a theater background to help with lighting or sound, and picking up on interview tips or learning about ballast boxes. But the people who have had the best run with us, be they interns or employees, have had some sort of schooling under their belt. Now, when I say school, I don’t mean a film academy or an instructional course. In fact, these types of places can hinder someone trying to get in with a big production house. Many top producers and industry pros will testify to being fed up with cocky attitudes and know-it-alls who come in at the bottom and want to operate cameras and direct scenes. Anyway, a good, all around knowledge of the industry and a desire to constantly improve will take a person far. It’s also a good idea to have more than just an A/V education if you’re thinking of making a living in the field-or even making money at all. A small business class or a bit of marketing under your belt can change the way you view a video project, because often it really does come down to how much money you can afford to spend. People who can think creatively and get the most for the dollar will go far in any occupation-as will people with a firm grasp on the realities of business and their capital.
A good school will push a student to try new things and take chances, not just give them lectures. Hands on experience with a variety of interests means when you need your audio guy to set up a 15×15 silk, he’ll say “Sure.” and not “Huh?”. It’s also invaluable in post production, when a night can be spent simply burning DVDs or time-mapping an audio file to match beats per minute. Sometimes it’s better to be decent in several areas than proficient in one. Most schools worth their weight have an A/V program and should at the least offer a principles or theory class. If you have the time and the money, it’s a great way to learn what’s new and what’s on the horizon.