Multimedia Producer x 6 – Part 2

This the second batch of interviews I made for my Enterprise assignment. The first ones can be seen here.

Richard Koci Hernandez

http://www.multimediashooter.com/

Richard Koci Hernandez

RICHARD KOCI HERNANDEZ is a national Emmy award winning video and multimedia producer and worked as a photographer at the San Jose Mercury News for 15 years. His work for the Mercury News has earned him two Pulitzer Prize nominations. His photography and multimedia work has won numerous awards on the national and regional level, including two Emmy nominations. Koci Hernandez is currently a visiting Fellow at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

What is a Multimedia Producer?

A storyteller skilled in producing and editing in multiple formats. Someone who can take assets like photos, video, audio, text, data/numbers and create a compelling, interactive story that can be viewed on multiple platforms (web/mobile).

What is the need for this type of skilled professionals?

The quick answer is that the only openings in *journalism* are in this field. Despite layoffs, multimedia producers on the whole are still very marketable.


Where can MmP’s work? What are their business opportunities?

The great thing IMHO is that the skills of a multimedia producer crossover from traditional media/journalism into other fields like film/entertainment companies, non-profits, corporate, etc.

Which are the main problems that a MmP might find in the current situation of the news industry?

The pressure to learn and *know* everything.

Parts of the journalism industry aren’t seeing the monetary benefits of online departments, due to a lack of projected revenue from the web and are starting to cut positions.

A very competitive marketplace.

Colin Mulvany

Mastering Multimedia

Colin Mulvany is a multimedia producer at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington. A still photographer for the first 18 years of his career, Mulvany transitioned to shooting video and audio slide shows for his newspaper’s online site Spokesman.com in 2005. He doesn’t claim to be an expert on multimedia.

Colin Mulvany
Colin Mulvany

What is a Multimedia Producer? A multimedia producer is a jack-of-all-trades in the newspaper business. Skills include being able to shoot and edit a video story, shoot meaningful still photos, gather and edit audio for audio slideshows and have a basic understanding how a newsroom online content management system works. HTML skills are a plus. In many organizations, the multimedia producer is also a teacher and digital mentor. He or she is expected to help train others in the newsroom in basic multimedia gathering and production.

What is the need for this type of skilled professionals? Most print publications have seen their online Web sites grow rapidly this last decade. Broadband, and wireless delivery help push demand for not only text, but for video, audio and photography. As advertising dollars are diverted to the web, there will be more demand for multimedia producers to create and manage this content.

Where can MmP’s work? What are their business opportunities? At the moment, job opportunities are tight at newspapers. Downsizing has hit all editorial employees, particularly online and photo staffs. I still see a growing demand for multimedia producers in the future as more publications begin to enhance their digital content with video and other visual content. New platforms such as mobile and touch tablets are showing great potential for future multimedia content. There is growth in other sectors as many businesses discover that multimedia content adds value to their Web sites. I think many laid off multimedia producers will form new ventures that will assist other businesses with integrating multimedia on to their Web sites.

Which are the main problems that a MmP might find in the current situation of the news industry? Many in upper management at publications lack the knowledge of what it takes (time and cost) to do quality multimedia. Because they do not understand the technical processes of multimedia production, they at times discount its true value. The news industry is in retrench mode right now. Most of the resources are going to their traditional print products as they try and save what’s left after so many rounds of layoffs. Many former newspaper multimedia producers are now working for Web start-ups or freelancing for corporate or commercial enterprises.

Read also this interview by Tracy Boyer. Speaking of which…

Tracy Boyer

http://www.innovativeinteractivity.com/

Tracy Boyer

Tracy Boyer is an award-winning multimedia producer, specializing in interactive Web development and multimedia production. Currently, she is a dual master’s candidate (MBA/MSIS) at UNC-Chapel Hill where she is studying Human-Computer Interaction in the School’s Information Science program and Entrepreneurship at Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Previously, she was a multimedia producer at Roanoke.com, served as the UNC correspondent for CNN.com and interned with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In 2007, she was selected to participate in the Poynter Summer Fellowship. Boyer graduated with a multimedia degree from UNC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Her passions lie in travel and multimedia production with a focus on video, audio and interactive graphics. See more of her work at www.tracynboyer.com.

What is a Multimedia Producer?

A multimedia producer is someone who utilizes multiple media to convey a message. Media is traditionally thought of as video, audio, text, photos, and graphics, but I also think it includes the medium used to tell the message and the broader scope of technology, such as mobile applications, gaming systems and other interactive consoles. Therefore, multimedia producers are not only concerned with combining media to tell their story, but utilizing different, and possibly multiple, avenues to present it.

What is the need for this type of skilled professionals?

Multimedia brings a sense of transparency and personalization so that professionals can more directly connect with their consumers. Thus, it can be utilized in numerous professions. The journalism industry is continually trying to attract the attention of its users by incorporating multimedia storytelling into their traditional print business model. Advertisers and marketers use multimedia on a daily basis to promote different products. Furthermore, businesses and non-profit organizations also utilize multimedia to connect with their consumers.

Where can MmP’s work? What are their business opportunities?

Multimedia producers can work within an organization, such as a media outlet, or as a freelancer. Depending on the size of the company, there may be options for multimedia producers to work directly within certain teams, such as marketing or public relations. There is also a growing number of companies that are solely focused on the creation of multimedia and integration of social media, such as MediaStorm, Bombay Flying Club, Duckrabbit, Horizon Productions, Story4, Weyo, etc. Some of those companies focus solely on producing content for non-profit organizations, while others cater toward media outlets and other companies. Personally, I believe there will be an increasingly larger need for both freelancers and outside multimedia companies as businesses and budgets downsize. For example, if a newspaper realized that they could hire an outside firm to produce a multimedia story for them on a contract basis, I think they should, and will, be much more likely to do so rather than pay a full-time worker with benefits.

Which are the main problems that a MmP might find in the current situation of the news industry?

This corresponds to my earlier answer in that I believe multimedia producers today should look to do one of three things: a) join an outside company specializing in multimedia production, b) freelance, or c) start their own company. The news industry will continue to downsize and since their major profits are still in their print product, they have been, and will continue to be, slow to invest in the resources necessary to provide an innovative and proactive community for multimedia and online production. So, rather than working for one news outlet, I would suggest finding a solution where you could work with multiple companies on a variety of projects.

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Another amazing resource I found for this assignment was this grid, created by the Multimedia Standards team.  This type of content seemed to me to be difficult to be available, so I hope you found it useful. Thanks again to the interviewees, they were awesome. In fact, they are.

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