Having worked for the police force in video and audio forensics, Tim then went on to produce music albums and singles for Sony before taking up photography and working for the likes of NME and the Guardian in the UK. He is currently the Senior Multimedia Producer at the British Heart Foundation where he manages the charity's video content.
You graduated in 2001 with a degree in Sound Engineering, and set off travelling. Upon your return, you worked with Hertfordshire Police, enhancing audio and video footage for forensic purposes. What was it like transitioning from being a student to taking the first steps in building your career?
Tim: The music industry is notoriously hard to break into for musicians and producers/engineers - having been in bands, most of my time was spent writing and recording myself and friends. This didn't pay the bills, so I used my sound engineering skills in a slightly different way, one I hadn't originally intended. Working at the police gave me a great insight and an ear/eye for detail.
You subsequently spent a year working in Sydney for Sony producing music albums, before returning to the UK to take up photography freelance. What were some of the highlights and key learning experiences during those years?
Tim: I learnt that Pop Idol is so pieced together, it's not really music, and that my passions came from creating, rather than facilitating things for other people. It's a case of finding that thing you get a buzz from, and exploring it. For me, at the time, it was live music - it brought together both music and photography for me. Now, I enjoy narrative and storytelling more, either through stills or film, and this is where I try to spend most of my time. I also like approaching people I find interesting, and working on projects together, as personal work.
You are currently the Senior Multimedia Producer at the British Heart Foundation, working with both video and photography. What does a typical day look like for you?
Tim: I get in early before most and get a coffee on the go. My role has 3 main strands. Firstly, being the point of contact for most film-related enquiries across the charity. Secondly - commissioning from our roster of production companies or freelancers, overseeing briefs and making arrangements. Finally, shoot producing - hands on, from concept to editing and post, through to amends and delivery. It's fairly hectic and I have multiple active projects on the go at any one time. I also keep a close eye on the main BHF YouTube channel.
Thinking back to your student days, what advice would you give to your younger, student self, or to anyone else looking to build a career in media production?
Tim: There is no better experience than hands-on experience. I would almost, say skip Uni if you really know what you want to do, and get doing it. As a freelancer, all that any commissioner wants to see is a body of work / folio, and know they can trust you to deliver. 'Normal jobs' need normal qualifications, but in this world, what I look for is someone who can nail what I'm asking of them first time, with style and quality.
You can follow Tim on Twitter via @timothycochrane or his website.