Signature: Tommy Talley

Photo by Collin Richie

Age: 33
Hometown: Baton Rouge
Occupation: Founder, owner and producer of production company tommysTV

Tommy Talley has a sharp eye.

Hours of research, careful planning, framing shots, directing stories, editing clips—producing the typical video on Talley’s slate takes a balance of precision and creative abandon.

The 33-year-old producer’s business came together with a few calculated risks.

At age 21, Talley left Baton Rouge for Los Angeles with a new wife and dreams of breaking into television production. Six years of manning robotics for hidden camera shows and reality TV camerawork later, he took another chance and brought his family home for the next step of his career.

“When you’re creative and ambitious, you’re always going to walk away from what you come from,” Talley says. “When I started out, there was this longing for Baton Rouge to find its place … I came back [because] it was finally coming into its own.”

Since his return to Baton Rouge in 2009, Talley has kept busy shooting commercials, music videos, documentaries and shorts with his own production company, tommysTV. Talley got his first foothold in the local scene by “giving away videos,” doing pro bono work for community nonprofits like Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area to make connections and a name for himself.

The “lean” team of five at tommysTV has since shot campaigns for big names like Raising Cane’s, the New Orleans Pelicans and Wal-Mart.

But Talley’s favorite project is his team’s recent “Comeback Story” series for the state’s Come Home Louisiana initiative, depicting personal and poignant stories of Louisiana natives who have returned to their home state.

Talley’s own comeback story took him from a city with an overwhelming amount of competition to his hometown, where opportunities and connections for film industry creatives are booming.

“Waking up every morning and feeling like you can make a difference is a tangible thing here,” Talley says. “Baton Rouge is on the verge, and it feels like I can actually be a part of that.”