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Managing Multimedia

What they said about the First Edition ...


... it provides a very good logic sequence of events which enables the user to plan and organise a multimedia project ... lots of useful information on copyright which is always a contentious issue in any country! Using a browser for the CD is very innovative and the CD complements the text very well.

Richard Elliott
Head of Learning Technologies
UNITEC Institute of Technology Auckland New Zealand
April 1997


A rare combination of breadth and depth of information, all in one book, and written in English!! ... a balance of enough technical information to answer a wide range of queries yet punchy enough to retain your interest ... a must for budding and existing multimedia team members alike.

Alison Read
Multimedia Project Manager - Omega Performance
November 1996


To me books are like people. Some you meet at a party and after five minutes you have discovered the total extent of your conversation is how you both don't know how to get to Sidcup (east of Java, west of Des Moines - Ed) and in rising panic you start checking your watch and muttering about making a move.

But sometimes, if you get really lucky you meet someone whose warmth and sincerity makes you realise that they will become a real friend. Someone who you know will be generous with their knowledge, who you can turn to for good advice and wisdom but most importantly who will boost your confidence and is fun to be with.

Well I got lucky, the book 'Managing Multimedia' by Elaine England and Andy Finney is my new best friend. It is a sheer delight to find such a well written, well designed book. It now lives on my shelf within arms reach and I know it will get very dog eared through use.

This is obviously the book to read if you are thinking of getting involved with producing Multimedia. However, I would recommend it for a much wider audience and in particular for us FOCAL folk. Although Multimedia publishing has been going through troubled times, no one should doubt that it will become an important source of income for us. To understand your customers you not only need to know the production process they are going through but also their organisation and mind set.

This book explains every aspect of planning staffing and producing a multimedia product. It does it without jargon with humour and draws on situations from the Authors' extensive experience of how the real world works. While we, as film and video people, often only think in terms of those elements of a production, this book describes all the other ingredients that have to be considered or created and how they are fused together and it does this in simple, clear language.

I think it is particularly strong on how a team is drawn together from different backgrounds and how its members can find ways to work together. As the world shifts and there is more convergence between media this is a situation in which we will all find ourselves. Suddenly we will find ourselves employing or working with computer programmers, digital artists and learning new skills we can still only dream about.

I could go on pointing out this book's excellent features but really the bottom line is that if you want an instant and accurate insight into multimedia production this is for you and you may even find yourselves feeling sympathetic when your client tells you about their problematic bug fixes. ( ... sounds painful to me!)

Maggi Cook
Freelance archival film researcher writing in FOCAL INTERNATIONAL, the journal of the Federation of Commercial Audio-Visual Libraries.
April 1997


Elaine England and Andy Finney have produced an absolutely splendid tome for the multimedia professional. Called Managing Multimedia, this 340-page book is an absolute must for the multimedia developer/project manager. Beautifully published by Addison Wesley Longman and complete with the obligatory CD-ROM inside the back cover, it leads the reader through complete practical tasks to convert the theory of multimedia management into practice.

The authors are well qualified: Elaine England is a multimedia consultant with wide project management and production experience. Andy Finney has been producing interactive video and multimedia since the early '80s. He goes back to the ill-fated BBC Domesday Project and was a senior producer for the MultiMedia Corporation. He left them in February 1995 and ... is now running The Independent Multimedia Company Ltd, a multimedia consultancy and development company he has set up in conjunction with colleagues from the television facilities business.

The authors are also offering one, two and three-day training courses based on the book. These can be tailor-made from modules for in-company use if necessary. Further information related to the book and courses can be found at or from the authors at ATSF on 01483 427982 (phone and fax).

John Barker
Editor 'Inside Multimedia'
December 1996


If you're producing multimedia training products, you get best results by using open learning methods, so that learners put theory into practice by working on real tasks as they learn. If you're learning how to manage the process of producing multimedia training products, this book works in the same way. It is based on open learning principles, with a strong emphasis on converting theory into practice. It follows the life cycle of a product, but is highly modular.

The authors take the supplier's viewpoint - that of the company which has been commissioned by a corporate client to produce a multimedia product on their client's behalf. But you would also learn much if you came from the client's point of view - it is increasingly important to educate those who manage the client-supplier role when buying in services. Thought must be given to defining the roles of client, project managers, suppliers and other key players - projects which fail often do so because of confused communications between people.

The book includes models for agreeing how the client and supplier will work together. I was pleased to see the emphasis given to copyright issues, costing of rights and clearances, and testing of the product during all it's phases - all areas which need to have a higher place on the agenda when planning a multimedia project. Managing Multimedia is actually a course employing multimedia itself.

It comes with a CD-Rom containing:

  • audio files (how the subtleties of diction in voiceovers influence recipients' perceptions)
  • text files (templates and proformas)
  • graphics (design of icons is discussed)
  • and many examples in multimedia format illustrating concepts from the book.

Additionally, the authors offer one, two and three-day training courses based on the book, which can be tailored for in-company use. Aimed at managers of multimedia contracts, some parts are suitable for experienced practioners, even Directors would benefit from reading parts of the book. Anyone not involved at practioner level would especially benefit from appreciating how small, last-minute changes have enormous impact on timescales and/or budgets.

Multimedia projects are notoriously difficult to keep within time and budget, because there are so many variables. This book analyses all the variables within multimedia projects, from clients to techniques, team members to applying project management principles

Managing Multimedia is extremely well-written, comprehensive, thought-provoking and offers sensible advice. Managers on either side of the client-supplier relationship will find it valuable.

Anne Marples
Learning Design Unit UK Department of Education and Employment
September 1996

These reviews are copyright of their authors and are used with permission.

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