When you rise to the top of your profession as SoCal Media Pros member Tim Keenan has, it's often due to more than just expertise and longevity. While Tim has over thirty years experience as producer, audio engineer and studio owner at Creative Media Recording in Cypress, CA, his well-earned reputation for top quality work is always accompanied by another equally important characteristic: he's a nice guy! Yep, everybody really likes working with Tim Keenan!
We recently spoke with Tim about his successful business, his career, professional media and the changes he's seen.
Tim and his wife Linda run their award-winning two-studio audio facility which is popular withindependent producers, corporations and ad agencies from all over Southern California (and beyond) as an efficient and friendly place. Tim moves fast when he's on the job. Whether recording, sweetening or mixing, Tim's hands move with confidence among the equipment as he concentrates on delivering hi-quality audio. But he's also a guy who enjoys socializing. "I’m a type A, gregarious, easy to get along with person." He says.
"I learned a lot about people, government and business during an 8 year stint on the City Council of the City of Cypress… and that has served me well."
Yes, Mr. Keenan has been a leader in both business and local government. He says that the common denominator is people:
"Networking – live, face to face – has always been important for me. The contacts I’ve made through So Cal Media Pros and previous iterations of this group (Tim was a member of our legacy org, MCAI as well as its progenitor ITVA) have been very helpful for establishing business relationships. It has also provided great educational opportunities to expand my boundaries. I can’t recommend it enough to people to get out there and make face-to-face connections in order to grow as a person and a business."
When we asked for more he explained that working with people, whether in government or business, the very first thing is to listen: "Listening, that's number one! It is kind of a lost art today and requires concentration and patience. The need to be detail oriented and particular is a good one, too.
Working with clients is a skill that is learned and takes time to develop. It requires some important interpersonal skills – again hard to have in life these days if you been raised in the social media generation."
SoCal: How has technology changed your business over the years?
TIM KEENAN: Well, it's technology driven – especially now. My work is primarily done in the computer but capturing the audio in the studio is much as it was when I first started. It is now even quieter and cleaner. And the tools in the computer make things easier and faster and solve audio problems or issues today that couldn’t be solved 20, 10 or event 5 years ago.
SoCal: How long have you been working in media? Is it your first career?
TIM KEENAN: I’ve been working in audio my entire adult life. Started in radio – high school, college radio — I took Radio/TV/Film/Communications at Cal State Long Beach and then professional radio. I Thought I wanted to work in Professional Broadcast Radio but found right away that those jobs were not stable. I went to work for the Chief Engineer of the last radio station I worked for - who had started Creative Media as a side business. We’re the 3rd owners – my wife Linda and I.The original owner of Creative Media, Greg Carpenter, taught me a lot. But over time I came to realize that my love of audio probably came from having a hearing impaired sister who became deaf as an infant and was not exposed to the sounds we all take for granted.
SoCal: Creative Media Recording really works with a broad range of clients including some notable personalities like Guy Fieri (see Photo on the Right) and a number of national accounts.
TIM KEENAN: When I started at Creative Media they were working with a production company that had a contract doing training for the U.S. Army – hundreds of programs and it introduced me to the whole world of non-broadcast corporate communications. Today that is the bulk of what we do: e-learning, training, explainer videos, meeting audio, audio for video, etc.
SoCal: What do you like best about your job?
TIM KEENAN: Every day is different – different client, diff kind of project, different talent to record, different challenge. Plus I have a love of audio. In addition, I provide voiceover services myself once in a while so when I get a chance to do that I find it is fun to do my own VO.
SoCal: Tim, What was one of the most interesting projects you've worked on?
TIM KEENAN: We were hired to do audio post production on a documentary for the City of Tustin about the construction and history of the twin WWII Blimp Hangars. I knew very little about this important piece of OC history and became fascinated to learn about them. I provided all the audio elements to this video except the on-camera interviews – production music, historical sound effects – 1941 thru today – ambience audio, EQ and clean up of field audio as well as the final mix. It was produced by my client Peter Buffa, a noted PBS documentary producer. We were all very proud of the way it came out. (Editor's Note: you can see the Video/You Tube link posted on Tim's home page: www.CreativeMediaRecording.com )