My Media Studies Textbook ‘Managing a Video Production Company’ Is Available NOW!
Today’s the day! July 20, 2021. I am officially a PUBLISHED AUTHOR! A proper author! My book is available now at Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, Waterstones; and even at my childhood stomping ground… WHSmith, which feels a big deal to me because I bought comics there as a kid.
Anyway— ‘Managing a Video Production Company’ is a real legit paper book, with a hardcover version too! My high school English teacher would be proper chuffed that all her painstaking notes in the margins of my essays didn’t fall on deaf ears.
So, how did a guy who failed both his A-Level Media Studies and A-Level Communications Studies courses come to write a book about management, video production, and corporate communications almost twenty-five years later?
Nearly a decade ago I was at a loose end during a long rail commute home from the office. I had experienced a ‘teachable moment’ earlier that day; an irritating screw-up I felt should be recorded for posterity. I opened my laptop and created a new document; ‘Useful Lessons Learned’. I wrote a couple of paragraphs outlining the scenario and detailing how it was resolved. I believe that committed to paper is also committed to memory; the document was intended as no more than a personal aide-mémoire.
Over the course of many future commutes and idle moments I continued to add noteworthy observations about the corporate video production sector, corporate communications, and client management. Eventually, my bullet point anecdotes needed to be broken into sections. Sections then needed to be sorted into chapters. The growing document kicked around on my laptop for several years. I eventually spotted the wordcount and realized I had inadvertently written almost half a book about starting and managing a video production company.
We all know the trope of the frustrated author who spends decades repeatedly posting a thick manuscript of their magnum opus to hundreds of publishers, only to have it rejected and returned by every one of them. Nonetheless, I pitched the outline of the book in an email to Taylor & Francis—parent of the highly regarded Focal Press lineup of professional media studies textbooks—with no expectation of a response. A couple of days later I got an email from an Editor at their New York office, ‘I would like to set up a call to discuss your proposal further. Do you have some time next Monday?’
WTF? YES! Of course! Monday’s good for me!
I sent over what I had written to that point. The document was peer-reviewed by a handful of academics, and it was deemed to be both helpful and entertaining—a few areas in need of improvement—but otherwise packed with valuable information that would make it not only a useful book for aspiring video producers, but also well suited as a film and media studies textbook. One reviewer even wrote that they would teach some of my work in their class. I felt rather honored.
Teaching myself 3D Studio Max, circa 2001. I became a better author than I did a CGI artist! For the eagle-eyed readers, yes those are Betacam SP cassettes on the shelves.
So, with an agreement that I had enough additional useful insight to double the wordcount, Taylor & Francis signed me up to finish what I had started and add another title to the superb Focal Press lineup. The ‘sort of book’ I had inadvertently set about creating now had to become a genuine ‘media studies textbook’ with a complementing package of additional downloadable support materials.
This was February 2020, shortly before a perfect storm of global events conspired to result in me being mandated by government to stay at home with a packet of Jaffa Cakes and sit at my computer all day long. Lockdown was surely a gift to writers the world over.
By Autumn of 2020 I had a manuscript ready to head into production, and TODAY it has shipped out as a real physical book!
I am delighted my work will be joining a canon of other awesome textbooks about the media from fellow Focal Press authors. This is an appropriate moment to thank the many contributors who took the time to provide me with their own business insights during a turbulent time when everyone in the industry had many other worrying developments to manage.
The media studies textbook ‘Managing a Video Production Company’ by Tom Vaughan-Mountford is published by Routledge/Focal Press in Europe, the USA, and Australia. You can purchase a copy from Routledge, Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, Foyles, Waterstones, Walmart, and even WHSmith! The book also features additional online support material.