Narrative Media Team Profiles: Tom Quigley, Director and Director of Photography
Today we’d like to introduce you to Tom Quigley, a talented member of the Narrative Media team for the past several years.
Tom’s experience as Director of Photography, as well as in lighting and gaffing, has proven to be valuable time after time in the often collaborative, “great creative working relationship” that he has with Narrative Media.
Narrative Media’s President and Founder, Andrew Poag, met Tom through another team member, Clay Hereth, who we also recently highlighted. Tom and Clay attended Drexel University together, where Tom now finds himself on the other side of the lectern teaching a lighting course. He said he loves to contribute from the perspective of an alumnus having been “in their shoes not too long ago,” but also as someone who can share his own real-world, on-set experiences from his time in the industry.
When working with Narrative Media, Tom says he enjoys the synergy he shares with the other pros who make up part of this “rotating door of a happy family of shooters” that all complement one another in a “great network of people we trust to do the job well.” It’s this sense of collaboration and collective competency that make Tom happy to work there. When asked what his favorite part is about being a member of the NM crew, he tells me they are always able to have productive conversations about the project’s potential – whether they’re doing scouting or logistics – and can communicate comfortably about achieving goals, in both the visual and directorial aspects. The ease of sharing a growth-focused mindset is a commodity in any profession, and Tom is happy to subscribe to the mantra “a rising tide raises all ships.”
He said it’s been truly exciting to witness the growth of the Narrative Media team, from its scope and quality of work to the level of opportunities coming in and new gear they get to add to their arsenal. He says, “Andrew has been ahead of the curve every step of the way,” citing Poag’s great leadership, creative innovation and the pleasure of working alongside him.
Tom’s own skillset has expanded too, as a result of the partnership – he said he can pleasantly recall a number of times he’s been able to do something he’s never done before while working with the team, and that his personal growth has greatly benefited from the breadth of work he’s become involved in, to the types of lenses he gets to shoot with and the nature of the content he directs.
In fact, Tom’s directed a couple of pieces for Narrative Media, but one that stands out to him is the project they did for Cooper University Healthcare at Rowan School of Medicine. They shot a lot of empty facilities and building interiors during COVID, and it turned into rather unique and profound work. Tom cites working with Clay Hereth on that project as an example of the type of interplay that makes it satisfying to work with a company like Narrative Media.
Another elevated piece from the NM repertoire is the State of NJ Safe Haven PSA that Tom worked on. The team enjoyed particular success with this one, and Tom really enjoyed the creative process. He credits Andrew Poag’s creativity for the idea to match shots over the shoulders of the women in the piece to compile an impactful sequence. He also says they got to work with a higher-end gear package and lenses, which made it even more fun to explore the creation of a narrative-style piece of content.
When Tom’s not teaching at Drexel or working on set with the NM crew, he’s plenty busy with projects of his own —
Currently he’s working on a short fantasy film called Hero, inspired by The Legend of Zelda, that actually began three years ago (pre-pandemic) and had to be paused for a while, but wrapped shooting this past spring. He said it was a chance for him to “cut loose creatively” with a purely fun and indulgent project that has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride.
Tom is also excited for this November’s upcoming release of the Hagerty Drivers Foundation feature-length documentary (which Tom is directing) about the Delorean – yes, the famous automotive time machine from the ever popular Back to the Future series. Tom has had the privilege of flying all over the country to interview those who built and worked on the car, as well as some of the behind-the-scenes collaborators. He’s also gotten to meet Directors and Producers Bob Gale, Robert Zemeckis, and actresses Lea Thompson and Claudia Wells.
Outside of his film and teaching career, Tom enjoys staying active. A fun fact about Tom is that he rode his bicycle cross-country (from Buffalo, NY to New Orleans) in October of 2011.