Dec 12, 2018
Behind the lens: Meet Riley McGarrity, Multimedia Lead
TD is proud to employ more than 85,000 individuals across North America and around the world, many of them in unique roles that aren't often associated with financial institutions.
In the latest iteration of our 'Meet TD' series, we introduce you to some of the people working at TD in creative roles that add new depths and dimensions to our culture.
Back in high school, Riley McGarrity spent most days doing two things he never thought would lead to a career: extreme sports and videography.
"My friends took more risks than I did, so naturally I gravitated toward being the dedicated cameraman," said McGarrity. "I also really enjoyed capturing the artistic side to what they were doing. Every spin, flip and trick."
Even more unlikely is that all those years of experience capturing his friends grinding (and falling) down staircases, railings and slopes on film eventually led to his current job as the multimedia team lead for TD Securities, helping the organization tell unique stories through new digital channels.
Despite his love for videography and storytelling, McGarrity almost embarked on a very different career path. Initially, McGarrity considered enrolling in business after high school, but he soon found he didn't enjoy it, so he transitioned into television production thinking he could get work at MuchMusic, or work in broadcast television for a sports network.
After graduating McGarrity found a job at a production agency. But it wasn't long before a friend of his (who worked at TD) encouraged McGarrity to join the bank.
At first, he wasn't interested. He turned the opportunity down.
"I didn’t really see that there could be this opportunity at TD to work creatively," said McGarrity. "At the time, I just didn't think it existed."
Eventually though, his friend persuaded him to join.
In 2013, McGarrity began supporting the technology department at TD Securities for a six-month contract working in Multimedia. And now, five years later, McGarrity leads a multimedia team within Creative Services that supports TD Securities with its marketing initiatives by doing anything from developing and executing video campaigns about the bank's renewable energy programs to taking event or executive photos.
On any given day, McGarrity's role gives him the opportunity to use different multimedia platforms including video, motion graphics and photography to tell TD Securities' stories.
"Most people tend to be amazed when they learn that I do what I do working at a bank," said McGarrity, adding that he was surprised to learn that TD hired creative teams internally over solely sourcing from external agencies. He was also surprised that another passion of his—travel—was also part of the job and points to work producing a video for TD Securities New York office and filming the bank's grand opening of its office in Tokyo, as highlights.
"No matter where you are or what you have been asked to shoot, you want to tell a story that is engaging, powerful—one that your audience connects with in some way," he said. "It's fun trying to figure out how to do that."
Beyond campaigns and marketing projects, McGarrity said it's the ability to use visual storytelling to create awareness on topics that mean a lot to him, including spreading mental health awareness or telling stories about colleagues, like one video he helped produce about a colleague with a rare sensory condition known as synesthesia, that keeps his days interesting.
"We were able to capture how this artist paints music by translating sound into colour, drawings, paintings and fine illustrations. It was fascinating work for me," said McGarrity, who is still drawn to extreme sports video campaigns by brands like Red Bull, or the fast-cuts that BMX uses that capture athletes in action.
"What makes shooting extreme sports so challenging is how fast paced and high pressure it can be," he said. "If someone lands an amazing trick and your camera settings are wrong, people aren’t very forgiving and being exposed to this at a young age has helped me in my career as a creative professional."