Name: Torin Simpson
Name/Nickname at SMC: T-Simp
Year of Graduation: 2003
Hometown: Lompoc, CA
What is one of your fondest memories of SMC?
My fondest memories at Saint Mary’s are all football related. The bonds and friendships that were created while I was there are still strong today.
In the Communication Department, there wasn’t a class I didn’t enjoy. Ed Tywoniak was my mentor and was incredibly helpful. He helped me design an independent study where he loaned me a giant electronic keyboard for a semester and I had to learn how to use it, create music and make a CD for him to listen to. So I took it home and every night I played it. By the end of the semester I had actually created about 10 songs that I was actually quite proud of. It was one of the most rewarding classes I ever had.
What do you miss about SMC/college?
I miss sleeping in. I never scheduled classes before 10. Now I wake up almost every morning at 5:45.
What was the biggest transformation you experienced at SMC?
"My biggest transformation at SMC occurred the day I learned how to think. It was at Saint Mary’s that I learned to question everything, every fact, every idea. As Descartes put it 'I think, therefore I am.' That about sums it up."
All-time favorite class? Why?
This is tough. I think I am going to have to go with Seminar. Sitting in a room with 15 other kids arguing about books written ages ago is awesome. You learn how to argue a point, how to listen, how to analyze and take criticism. There are so many aspects of Seminar that translate to the real world it’s ridiculous. My brother was an Integral major at Saint Mary’s, which is like Seminar on steroids. We argue all the time and often times he is yelling at me to “prove it” and I am saying, “your argument doesn’t make any sense.” We go back and forth and I feel like I am in a seminar class.
What was your first job out of college?
My first job out of college was an odd one. When I graduated, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I thought maybe I would get into high school football as a coach. Around the same time I began working for a company that installed data cable in hospital environments. It was physically laborious job and after about six months, I had an epiphany: I went to college so I wouldn’t have to do this type of work. I finally figured out what I wanted to do. I wanted to get into filmmaking.
I began taking classes at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. I was lacking real world experience and I needed to change that fast. When I was at Saint Mary’s, I had taken a sports journalism class that was co-taught by Father Michael Russo and Gael alumnus Chris Gargano. I had heard that Chris was now Executive Producer for the Oakland Raiders. I called him up and asked if he had any internships. He told me to come and we could talk about it. He hired me on, no pay of course. This is a year and a half after I graduated. So now I am working for the Raiders during the day and a part time gig at night to pay the bills. I worked very hard and took every opportunity given to me and eventually I was hired on and I didn’t have to work a part time job anymore.
During my time with the Raiders, I learned a ton. I learned how to shoot, produce, write and edit. A few years later, I took a job with the Golden State Warriors doing similar work. While I was there, Chris left the Raiders and took a job with the Giants. Not too long after that, he called me up and asked me if I would like to come work with him in San Francisco. Two years later, we were standing on the field in Texas after the Giants won the World Series taking pictures. Where I am today is only possible because of SMC.
What's your title now? What's the best part of your current job? What's the worst part?
I am currently Senior Video Editor/Producer for the San Francisco Giants’ in-house production team, SFG Productions. I work on the Emmy Award-winning monthly HD television show “Inside the Clubhouse.” I also work closely with a team of several editors, producers, and day-of-game staff to create and execute television features, branded online content, video board features, and various internal and external projects.
The best part of my job is the creative freedom. We actually have a lot of creative freedom that allows us to come up with unique ideas and concepts. This helps us push the boundaries of storytelling. Ultimately what we are doing is brand marketing, but we are able to find and tell unique and interesting stories that are Giants-related and that ability in the end becomes a rewarding experience, creatively speaking. In 2010, we were able to document the 2010 World Series championship capturing over 90 hours of footage. We turned that into an hour-long documentary that won SFG Productions our first Emmy.
The only downside to my job is the hours. The baseball season is long and arduous. I am at just about every home game and I work a lot of weekends as well.
Other than work, what is your life about?
I am married and I have a baby boy who is about to turn one. So other than work, I spend a fair amount of time doing family stuff. I try to get together with my old teammates from Saint Mary’s as much as I can. I also do a fair amount of freelance work. Music videos and short films are just some of the things I do in my free time.
What's your advice for current SMC students?
Network! Create and maintain relationships with other students and professors. If you can, never burn bridges. It’s all about who you know.
Enjoy your time in college because when you’re done, real life will punch you in the face.
If you want to get into my line of work, you will have to intern somewhere for little or no money. That is just the way it is and it will never change. I have seen a bunch of kids go through internships and they just don’t get much out of it. If you do get an internship, regardless of where you are, bust your ass. It will pay off. If you have to do grunt work all day, stick around for a few more hours and get some computer time or pick up a camera and shoot. Take every opportunity and run with it. You will make mistakes. I did and still do. Learn from them and get better.