Upon entering Hed Hi Media, the first thing you’ll notice is the immense collection of street art on the walls. Tim McManus, owner + founder of Hed Hi, says of the pop art collection, “Yeah, it’s kind of an obsession at this point, we’re running out of wall space.” Bold colors + industrial decorations – like the proverbial dart board – jump out as you enter Hed Hi’s hip garage lounge. Located next to eye-catching murals + a chic coffee shop, Hed Hi’s office fully embodies their brand: A media production company inspired by art, rooted in storytelling, and dedicated to growth + modernity.
Inside Tim’s office there is a long, rectangular bulletin board where he pins family photos, travel photography, and action shots of surfing; aqua + navy waves crash idyllically in his photographs. Sitting in his bright, contemporary space, Tim is cool and laid back. He sits back with a relaxed demeanor, laughing as he explains his “rad” and “awesome” experiences with Charleston Wine + Food. It’s not hard to picture Tim in the early nineties as a fun loving College of Charleston student, catching waves and exploring his beloved city with friends for the “best six years of my life.” Tim says of his time at the college, “I never wanted to finish.”
Tim shows an unmasked appreciation for his experiences. He isn’t the slightest bit jaded as he explains his ten years spent working with the Charleston Wine + Food estival. “It’s been really neat to rub elbows and produce content for the biggest names in the culinary world, it’s pretty rad,” Tim says. He goes on to explain that since he began working with the festival a decade ago his experience shifted from filming the entire festival alone, working with only a single editor, to working alongside six cameramen, three editors, and his entire Hed Hi team. This growth is not lost on Tim, who founded the company in 2014, just a month shy of his 40th birthday. Tim explains, “I always had a goal to start my own business by the time I turned 40, so about a month before my 40th birthday I went to my boss and basically worked out a deal for me to buy the video department from his company.”
Partnering with the Charleston Wine + Food festival is a great experience for Tim, who is a self-described “foodie.” Tim worked throughout college at the iconic restaurant, Slightly North of Broad as a food runner, bar back, and bartender. Tim is unwavering in his love for S.N.O.B. chef, Frank Lee, referring to him as a legend + mentor. Tim lights up as he speaks of his “full circle” moment, when Charleston Wine + Food afforded him the opportunity to produce a film for Frank in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Slightly North of Broad restaurant. Tim describes playing the video for Frank, wherein a “never-ending list” of people express their appreciation of the chef and his influence on Charleston’s culinary landscape. “Chef was blown away by it,” Tim says. “To present that film to chef on such an iconic occasion, was pretty awesome.”
Hed Hi is an integral part of Charleston Wine + Food. Their way of capturing the cuisine, the people, and the atmosphere is invaluable to the festival’s story. Tim’s appreciation for the festival is evident in both Hed Hi’s content and the way he describes it. Tim says of the festival, “It’s insanely difficult to keep an event like that fresh every year, you have to provide great value, not only to the locals, but to the people who come and visit and I think the festival does a really exceptional job of keeping itself fresh and creating memorable experiences that are a testament to all people involved.”
For those planning to attend the festival, Tim recommends a Signature Dinner, where local chefs pair with visiting chefs to create a special menu for a small dinner party. Tim says this is one of the “coolest” offerings at the festival and describes past Signature Dinners as “legendary opportunities.”
This year will mark Tim McManus’ 10th anniversary working with Charleston Wine + Food; ten years of tireless work (#Sleepwhenweredead is Hed Hi’s motto), ten years spent accumulating countless hours of footage and ten years of great wine + food.