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News > Alumni Achievements > From Film Student to Business Owner: Films, Photos and Content that Inspires

From Film Student to Business Owner: Films, Photos and Content that Inspires

Alumnus Tim Duncan shared his journey with our Year 12 students
Alumnus Tim Duncan shared his journey with our Year 12 students

Tim Duncan (Class of 2020) is a passionate content creator, filmmaker, photographer and business owner. He recently returned to Arden to share his time at school and his career journey with our current Year 12 students.

Tim describes his Arden journey as supportive, Christ-centred and friendly. He was heavily involved in Music ensembles, including the Concert Band, Jazz Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Stage Band. Leading the Chapel Band in Year 12 was one of his most memorable experiences. His biggest highlight however was the Secondary CRU Camp, which he attended from Year 9 onwards. He found the camps a “great way to escape from the fast-paced student life and take some time to reflect on what truly matters, which is knowing Jesus.” In Year 10 he became a CRU leader, mentoring and growing a group of Year 7 boys in their faith.  

When it came to choosing electives in Year 9, Tim selected Design and Technology and Information and Software Technology. This appetite for Technological and Applied Studies (TAS) subjects continued through to Year 12, where he undertook Design and Technology for the HSC. He has fond memories of blasting music in Design and Technology classes as he and his peers worked on their major works. It was TAS teacher, Kris Simak, who inspired his love of filmmaking. Tim states, “Seeing his passion for the craft and his dedication to become better at it inspired me and showed me the potential of multi-media in today’s world. I distinctly remember him saying to us after our first assessment marks were returned that whatever mark you got was ok but, ‘if you are not good, get good’. This mantra of no excuses and consistent dedication to improving at the craft has stayed with me and I believe has contributed to making me the filmmaker I am today.”

Image: Tim with his Year 12 Design and Technology class. 

Tim attributes his warrior spirit – a mindset of persistence, adaptability and never quit attitude – to his time at our Secondary Campus. “I look back on all the assignments, projects and exams during my time at Arden and whilst I cannot say I was fond of them, they did help me to build my mindset into what it is today.” As his peers commenced their university studies, it was this warrior spirit that provided him with the confidence to break the mould, strike it out on his own and build his business. Initially making videos for small local clients, Tim now works as a freelance filmmaker, creating films for AirBnB owners, restaurants and wedding studios. More recently, he has entered the world of content creation, assisting clients to make YouTube videos, whilst developing his own YouTube channel focused on intentional living.

Watching movies as a child and aspiring to the values held by protagonists drew Tim into the world of filmmaking. He always looked for ways to share his stories in an immersive way, so that individuals could see themselves and their lives as part of the story. It was whilst working on a filmmaking project in Year 9 that he realised film was the best medium to inspire others and foster a sense of hope. Since this time, his obsession with filmmaking and visual storytelling has only increased and he is excited to see what stories the future holds.  

Tim has experienced both the joys and challenges of managing a business. The nature of freelance work, and the inconsistent income that comes with this, initially proved difficult for him. However, as a business owner, Tim has been provided with some amazing opportunities including high-lining (tight rope walking between two cliffs), staying in magnificent AirBnB houses and watching the Redbull Cliff Diving World Series in Sydney.

None of these experiences would have been possible had he not believed in himself and trusted in God’s plan for his life. Tim states, “For anyone who wants to follow a similar path to me I can share two pieces of advice. Firstly: back yourself. Many people will tell you to get a real job, or that there is no way you could succeed, or you need a degree to do that job. You must be the first person to believe in yourself because if you do not believe in yourself no one else will. But if you do back yourself you will find people will begin to believe in you too. Secondly: trust God. He has a plan for our good and His glory. There are many times when the income is not coming in, when the clients are not presenting themselves and the work is hard. I have thought about throwing in the towel many times but when I remind myself that God is at work and He will provide I feel much more hopeful. It has been three years of following this path and God has looked after me thus far and I believe that if you trust Him with your path He will look after it for you too.”

It is not surprising that outside of being a business owner, Tim enjoys watching movies and learning more about filmmaking and photography. Virtual production, an emerging technology combining 3D imagery with real-time footage, is a current area of interest. He also loves a good adventure, whether that be slacklining in the local park, going rock climbing or exploring one of our many national parks with a hike and overnight camping expedition.

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