West Hartford Native Captures Family Histories through ‘Spotlight Legacy’

As featured in We-Ha.com

Tom Ferdman interviews a client in his home as he creates a Spotlight Legacy video. Courtesy photo

West Hartford native Tom Ferdman has launched a video production firm focused on preserving family histories in a modern way.

By Mackenzie McDonald

To veteran producer and EMMY award-winning editor Tom Ferdman, nothing is as precious as family. Now a resident of East Granby, the West Hartford native is a proud father of four and doting grandfather of three.

This month, after 35 years in the multimedia industry, he adds a new title to an already impressive résumé. With the launch of his video production firm Spotlight Legacy, Ferdman is diving headfirst into the world of entrepreneurship.

Although the inspiration behind his production firm is multifaceted, Ferdman says the death of his father in 1989 sparked his desire to preserve family memories in a meaningful way. Spotlight Legacy aims to capture the stories and traditions that make each family unique through personalized videos that Ferdman refers to as “modern heirlooms.”

“Like a lot of World War II veterans, [my father] didn’t have much to talk about as far as stories from over there,” said Ferdman. “He just never wanted to talk about it. When he finally aged into loosening up and he did start telling stories, it was too late. He died three months later from pancreatic cancer.”

At the time of his father’s passing, Ferdman was just 28, but he still recalls the deep sadness he felt at losing the opportunity to better know the man who raised him. “You know, that puts a gut-wrenching feeling in your stomach,” he said. “Because now all those stories that I never knew are gone forever. I thought to myself, ‘Man. I wish I had those stories.’”

Over the years, this sentiment stuck with Ferdman, but the demands of his professional life didn’t leave much time for further exploration. Ferdman spent the majority of his career employed by Aetna in Hartford, working first as a cameraman, then as an editor and producer before eventually going into management.

“Every stage of it was really fun and I enjoyed it,” he said. “Wherever I walk, I’m fine with it. I like all aspects of video production.”

When Aetna offered him an early retirement package, however, Ferdman decided it was time to take his work in a new direction – one that felt more meaningful.

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