Professional Occupations in Multimedia
Currently, there is no agreement on a standard definition of the term "multi-media." Although technically, multimedia is the convergence of two or more forms of media, the popular usage of the term implies using computers to create multimedia products which are then distributed not just on computers, but on any electronic medium including television, kiosk, the Internet and the World Wide Web. Likewise, "multimedia industry" is a general term often used to identify businesses and people who create, promote, or distribute multimedia products. However, it should be understood that this definition is not really accurate since multimedia is not a discrete industry, but rather a form of communication that can be applied to any industry. Since no standard definitions exist, this Guide relies upon the general or popularly understood meanings of these two terms.
The next step beyond the presentation of information is the ability to interact with it. The user can stop and rerun a video or animated sequence, jump to some detailed information reference, see a simulation of something, or jump to a completely different area of the presentation. The computer changes from a sequential player of information to a tool for exploring all of the information through many different paths.
Interactive multimedia products are created to provide the user with autonomy in selecting their own path to the information they want. Developers of such products must understand and be sensitive and responsive to the various ways that users will want to access information.
The term "multimedia specialist" is sometimes used to describe a person working in the multimedia industry. The term itself, however, does not describe the work a person does but only the environment or industry in which he or she works. The final multimedia product might be an electronic book or magazine, a kiosk, a corporate training program, an interactive game, or educational program. To create such a product requires contributions from experts in many specialized areas. Therefore a multimedia specialist might be someone who creates the program's content (such as a graphic designer, an animator, or a videographer), or someone who processes the content into a final product (such as a sound, video or text editor, or a computer programmer), or someone who manages these people and processes (such as a producer, director, or a project manager). Each of these people becomes a member of the multimedia project team, combining his or her special talents and experience with those of other experts to produce
the final product.
The book Careers in Multimedia (a Ziff-Davis Press publication by Vivid Studios) lists the following 32 roles or occupations:
Executive Producer Scriptwriter Video Producer
Producer Editor/Moderator Videographer
Lawyer Content Expert Performer/Actor
Financial Consultant Visual Designer Lighting, Props, Sets
Agent 2D Animator Technical Lead
Recruiter 3D Animator Programmer
Marketing Roles Sound Producer Test Manager
Creative Director Voice Artist/Vocalist Tester
Art Director Sales Roles Interface Designer
Effects Specialist Customer Support Game Designer
Sound Engineer/Editor Composer/Musician/Sound
INFORMATION COMMON TO ALL MULTIMEDIA JOBS :
Job Skills Needed:
-- Ability to work as a member of a team.
-- Ability to clearly communicate ideas.
-- Ability to quickly and accurately understand the goals and Objectives of the project.
-- Ability to be organized.
-- Ability to use the computer tools required to complete the project.
Other Helpful Skills or Characteristics:
-- Willingness and ability to frequently seek employment on new projects.
-- Willingness and ability to join projects without much advanced notice.
-- Willingness and ability to continually update skills by learning new tools and techniques.
-- Passion for the work.
-- A good sense of humor.
-- Be an expert in one or a few areas, but have a general understanding of as many areas as possible.
How to Find a Job:
-- Create a portfolio of your work that demonstrates your versatility, creativity and technical abilities
as well as your capacity to work within time and budget constraints.
-- Customize your portfolio to highlight work you have done that is similar to that of the new project.
-- Become an active member of professional organizations in order to Keep current and to make contacts
that may lead to employment opportunities.
-- Attend multimedia and professional conferences and meetings to Generate job leads and to acquire
current information about trends, tools and techniques.
-- Update and acquire new skills through enrollment in continuing education classes and through reading
magazines in the field.
-- Network with other students and faculty.
-- Those without experience or training should consider interning or volunteering on a project to gain
experience and build marketable skills.
-- Those with experience and/or training can use contacts from Previous projects or professional
Many multimedia specialists do not work as salaried employees for a single company over a long period of time. It is more typical to work freelance as an independent contractor, moving from one project to the next, and being paid hourly, daily, or per project.