June 16, 2022
A few words with our friend Purple Toaster
Interview by Grey Lockwood
What do you call a random guy from Delaware who walks into a surf shop? While this might sound like the beginning of a bad joke, that’s exactly how I met one of the most talented filmmakers that Bing has ever had the chance to work with. After an initial invite to shoot with some of the team last fall, Joe has proven to be an indispensable part of our creative team and immediately cemented his place as a part of the Bing family. His work has a cinematic quality that we’ve yet to see from any creator on the scene these days and working with him has changed the trajectory of the visual assets we use to showcase the Bing brand. With Joe now living in north county San Diego and the Bing team on speed dial we can only imagine the visual gold he’ll be able to create. We sat down with our toothless friend Joe to learn a little more about how he makes the magic happen.
- Who are you and where did you grow up?
My name is Joe McGettigan. I’m 28 and I’m From Wilmington Delaware
- Tell us about your life around the ocean.
I grew up in a small suburban town outside of Wilmington, Delaware. I didn’t grow up with much exposure to the ocean, but I spent every hour of every day in the summer skating to the neighborhood pool, River Road Swim Club. I would wake up every morning, grab my little brother, and head down to the pool at 7am for swim practice. We’d stay all day until it was time to head home for dinner. Even though a pool and the ocean are very different I know that that’s where I found my passion and love for water.
- When/How/Why did you start shooting and filming?
When I was in college my dad told me about his passion for photography when he was younger and he gave me his old Pentax K1000, a camera I still own and love to use. After being shown how it worked I had some idea that I wanted to further my knowledge of photography. I enrolled in a photography course my freshman year (like most freshman everywhere). My teacher was a guy named Ben Sahib, A very talented ski photographer out in Colorado and I got a glimpse into the life that photography could lead to and I was hooked. I carried that Pentax K1000 around with me almost everywhere for the next few years. I think learning how to manipulate the few variables that exist when exposing light to film showed me the closest thing I ever knew to expressing myself artistically. After a few years of messing around with film and going broke getting all of my rolls developed, I was working as a lifeguard in Australia and I made the decision to buy a digital camera and the cheapest water housing I could find. I took my camera out into the water for the first time at a breathtaking beach in northern Queensland and I knew immediately that this could be a path to live the life I still dream of. I stuck to photography until the Covid lockdown hit. I knew at the beginning of the lockdown that I would feel horrible if I came out of this time of isolation without accomplishing something. So, I dedicated the entire time to learning how to shoot video. I spent countless hours watching YouTube videos and making every mistake in the book. There were dozens of times where my laptop almost got thrown across the room out of frustration, but it was all so worth it.
4- Do you just shoot surfing?
I don’t just shoot surf photography. I work most of the year shooting motorsports for a few different drivers. I work for a race series called IMSA. Working in the race industry is very different than the surf industry but I love it. It is a much more intense and competitive shooting atmosphere. The expectations are high for every shoot because each team and driver has so much on the line. The atmosphere can be stressful, but I found that it lights a fire under my ass. I think I thrive when the pressure is on. I have always been a fan of a little bit of chaos and competition. I’m so grateful for the work I’ve been able to get within the motorsports industry because it has pushed me so much further than I ever knew I could go with filming. The nature of the beast with racing is constant improvement and that spills over into every aspect of the industry, including my work.
5- Tell us about working with the BING team.
Working with Bing is so much more than I ever expected out of “work”. The entire Bing team has not only pushed me to be as creative as I can be, but it’s given me a sense of family in a new place. I have moved all over the world in my life and I’ve never felt such a warm welcome before. Their collective positivity and warmness has brought me so much inspiration in the few months that I’ve had the pleasure to work with them. I can’t wait to see where these friendships will take us all. I’d like to give a special shout out to a guy who’s inspiring positive attitude and willingness to give a random toothless guy from Delaware a chance, Grey Lockwood aka “Team Dad”.
6- What was it like shooting Mexilogfest and would you do it again?
It’s 100% fair to say that event was the most fun, inspiring and wild work trip I’ve ever been on. The people I met during the whole event were some of the most talented and humble people I’ve ever come across. The Bing team being the core of my experience was a dream. Every single member of the team seems to fit this perfect puzzle piece. It was a lot of our first times ever meeting each other but you couldn’t tell at all. The friendships were immediate and feel like they will last a lifetime. I couldn’t think of anything better than cruising on a boat over warm crystal clear water with a crew of overly talented and fun loving people which is what we did every single day. I was especially excited to have 2 members of the team be representing Bing on their home turf. Miguel Sinclair and Johnathan “Gordo” Melendres embody the humble and welcoming spirit of the Mexican people and I was honored to film them. I’m currently marking my calendar daily until the next Mexilogfest. So, absolutely yes I would love to go back!
7- Do you think its possible that you and Bing team rider Dean Petty were separated at birth?
When I first met Dean I had my suspicions that there may be some sort of blood relation between us. But during our choreographed dance performance at Tukari Bar I knew I better take matters into my own hands and get to the bottom of this question. So, I stole a few pieces of his hair (sorry dean) and I’m currently waiting on some DNA lab results. I expect the answer within the next few weeks. Fingers crossed.
8- You recently moved to North County SD. What is your daily routine? Any favorite surf, food, coffee, beer spots yet?
Since we live in San Diego and it’s about 73 degrees and sunny everyday I like to wake up at the crack of dawn, steal my roommate Summers’ bike, and ride down to road to Claire’s Bakery to grab a black coffee and a different pastry. So far, the Blueberry Turnover has been the go-to. As far as beers go, I thoroughly enjoy going next door to the Bing shop to the conveniently located Kings & Convicts and grab a beer. I’m a bit of a wimp with the beers but I’ve recently been conditioning myself to enjoy an IPA with Grey. The company makes the beer much crisper.
9- What are you working on at the moment and any fun projects coming up?
I’m working on a few exciting projects right now. I’ve just started to get the ball rolling on a story that highlights athletes who have suffered from head trauma as well as athletes with certain cognitive complications and the effects of alternative medicine on their lives. I’m also very excited to work with Grey Lockwood on a movie highlighting the Bing teams experience down in Mexico earlier this year. We have plans to do a premiere and party at the shop sometime in August!
10- Where can people see more of your work and reach out if they’re interested in working with you?
I’ve positioned my Instagram account, @purpletoaster, to act as my portfolio. I post a ton of my surfing and motorsports work! I’m always open to shooting new things and meeting new people! My email is email@example.com and I’d love to hear about new projects and collaborate with new people!
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This winter was hard. Was it for you? Did you get good waves? Did you have big, life-shifting moments? Even if you were in Southern California it was really wintery. The weight of the cold months weighed on me like the snow itself. The deep, heavy puddles didn’t empty until just recently.
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