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Interview with Ted Forbes, Multimedia Producer

March 5, 2010
Ted Forbes, Multimedia Producer

Ted Forbes, Multimedia Producer

It’s been a busy week here at the Dallas Museum of Art. Ted Forbes kindly took time to answer questions related to his job to give us insight into projects this spring.

1. Name and Title: Ted Forbes, Multimedia Producer

2. Years Employed at the Dallas Museum of Art: 2.5

3. Describe your job here at the Museum: My duties include overseeing and producing all multimedia projects for the museum. I don’t work on the main Web site, but I produce the satellite Web sites – DallasMuseumofArt.tv and DallasMuseumofArt.mobi. In addition to these two, I produce in-gallery projects, podcasts, and exhibition films. These projects run the gamut from audio and film production to interactive design for kiosks, touchscreens, and computers in the galleries.

4. What is the favorite part of your job? I think its a tie between two things: First, I get to do what I love to do for a living. I think my favorite part of this is the variety – it keeps things fresh. My job tends to work like a pendulum. I’ll go through periods of creative work making films, producing podcasts, or getting to do lots of interface and visual design. Then it will swing to a period of coding and more math-oriented types of work. I’m one of those weird personalities who enjoys both right- and left-brained activities, so this suits me. Second, I really love when I get to see visitors enjoying or using the projects I create. I am always surprised and excited when I see real people experiencing the work that’s been done.  It’s exciting to see what people experience when they’re seeing something for the first time and enjoy it.

5. What is a challenge you face in your job? Shifting gears. This is a bit of a catch-22, since I just said this is what I love about the job. Sometimes I spend all morning preparing a video shoot and preparing the set /equipment. The afternoon might include the shoot and some editing, then the next morning requires coding on the web server to deliver the video. Other days might include a training session with the gallery attendants on how the iPod Touch players work so they can help visitors. It seems like every week is different, but keeping up with this to meet deadlines can be challenging.

6. How did you decide you wanted to work in a museum? I didn’t really seek it out. A friend knew about the job and thought I might be a good fit. I grew up in Dallas and my father is an artist, so it was the type of opportunity I’d always wanted to do. I spent the previous seven years running my own studio, and I had worked for museums and arts institutions as a consultant and freelance designer. I did projects for the Dallas Opera and the Science Place, and the DMA seemed like a natural fit. What I’ve loved is that its a lot different than commercial work which I spent the 10 previous years doing. The bottom line is not to get a consumer to purchase something. This allows me to be much more creative and hopefully innovative with the work that I do.

7. If you weren’t working here at the Museum, what is something else you would be doing? Enjoying time off – I don’t get much of that these days 😉

8. What are some exciting projects that you are working on this spring? I just recently completed the smart phone project for the Lens of Impressionism exhibition. It can be found at: http://dallasmuseumofart.org/View/smARTphoneTours/dma_smartphone_tours. This spring we are launching the Coastlines project which is an interactive “behind the scenes” piece on the partnership between the French and American students who’ve been working on the soundscapes that will be part of the exhibit. When this launches we’ll be busy working on the next Center for Creative Connections exhibition and both an interactive and video set for the Luc Tuymans exhibition that will launch this summer. Its a busy year.

Amy Wolf
Teaching Programs Coordinator…

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