February 13, 2020

Instructor Spotlight: Tim Owens | Film & Video

Meet Tim Owens, an instructor in the Digital Filmmaking & Video Production program at F.I.R.S.T. Institute.

Tim realized his love for the film industry at an early age being around such creative family members. His dad, for example, dabbled in many different industries, including public relations, music and radio.

Tim was handed a video camera as a kid, and the rest is history. Now he takes this passion into the classroom to inspire the many students that walk the halls of F.I.R.S.T. Institute.

Tim Owens is one of the most celebrated instructors at F.I.R.S.T. Institute – watch the video below to see how he got his start in the film industry, and how his students inspire him!


It Runs in the Family

Tim comes from a family of artists – his father was a DJ and radio personality, and his sister also works in a creative industry. He was surrounded by music and movies in his childhood, and took inspiration from sci-fi classics like Alien and Star Wars. Everything clicked when he picked up a video camera for the first time.

Humble Beginnings

Tim decided to study Radio & TV Communications in school. He learned the inner workings of television production, and the possibilities of working in a controlled environment designed for shooting video.

While in college, Tim had his own radio show, produced many student TV shows, and soon after college went on to become a Television Producer/Director at Time Warner Media.


Tim recalls his time at Time Warner starting as a field technician installing cable, but later moving up to work in production making television commercials as well as short-form and long-form video content for the company. Tim has always appreciated the flexibility of this industry. In his spare time Tim would act as a freelance videographer, allowing him the freedom to work for and with reputable companies and organizations such as NCAA college sports, ESPN, The Catholic Diocese, various Ivy league women’s sporting events, and even weddings.

Tim moved to Orlando looking for steady work. He found F.I.R.S.T. Institute, and discovered his love for teaching.


Tim Owens has many accomplishments under his belt that range from his camerawork to his time as an actor! Tim has created music videos and even works as an electronic musician making electronic dance music for many record labels. He is proud to say that he wrote, directed, and starred in multiple television commercials as well. Tim gives thanks to his biggest role model, his father, who has a big name in the entertainment industry. He also pays tribute to some well-known role models such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Quentin Tarantino, and Danny Boyle.


Tim Owens found a love for teaching when he assumed the role of Production Manager for a church. Each week, Tim spent countless hours leading the audio-visual team through live broadcasts and various productions. While teaching the team, Tim fostered this love and wanted to continue educating, so he moved his talents to F.I.R.S.T. Institute where he is an instructor in the Digital Filmmaking & Video Production program. Tim says that his favorite part of teaching in this program is watching students “make stuff.” “I get to instruct them for a time, and then I get to watch them make stuff. It truly is fulfilling.”

Creating the Learning Environment

“The curriculum is just the starting point.” Tim asserts that there’s only so much you can learn in the classroom – at some point you have to work on a set to understand what it takes to produce films. Part of that is learning how to work as a team. Tim states that from day one, F.I.R.S.T. teaches students how to work together and gives them opportunities to shine.

At larger schools, students are oftentimes expected to learn things on their own. But at F.I.R.S.T. Institute, the smaller class sizes mean more time with the instructors, and more chances for others to help you find your path.


Tim admits that his favorite subject to teach in the program is the history of film with its early challenges and common knowledge terms that are still used today. He says, “They had to think on their feet. Most of the time creating makeshift gear to accomplish certain shots. Gear that commonly exists in the industry today.” Tim explains that his favorite project in the program is the Music Video Project because it combines his two loves of music and film and gives the students full creativity freedom to express their musical interests as well as filming talent.

Taking Inspiration

“These students inspire me… They are the reason I do what I do.” Tim has a meaningful connection with the students he works with – and seeing them take the concepts he teaches and improve on them fills him with inspiration.

Tim keeps in contact with students after they graduate, sometimes even recommending them for jobs – he truly believes in their abilities as graduates of F.I.R.S.T.  “They’ve learned enough to get their foot in the door… There’s no words to describe it. It’s pretty amazing.”

Tim details that he loves the intimate environment that F.I.R.S.T. Institute presents. The hands-on class atmosphere makes the school feel like a family. He loves that he gets one-on-one time with each and every student to give more personalized instruction to his classes. Tim explains that the accessibility of the gear makes all of the students excited to get their hands on the industry equipment and dive into their projects head first.


Tim Owens offers advice for anyone interested in film, looking to make a career out of it: prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Always aim high in your life but be realistic about your career choices. And being smart in your career doesn’t stop once you’ve landed a job! Always focus on creating achievable goals for yourself; don’t overpromise and underdeliver or you won’t gain the trust that is needed in the industry. Tim explains that coming face-to-face with failure, learning to accept his mistakes, and then moving forward afterwards has helped him in his teaching at F.I.R.S.T. Institute.


Tim details how incredibly intimate, rewarding, and hands-on the Digital Filmmaking & Video Production program is at F.I.R.S.T. Institute. He explains that everything you need is inside the walls of F.I.R.S.T. From camera techniques, editing software, industry-standard equipment to career development, networking opportunities, and internship opportunities, F.I.R.S.T Institute is the best place for students to learn the basics and get their foot in the door in the industry.