Brush High School graduate Tom Ball hasn’t strayed far from home – except for when he’s producing documentaries for Telos Productions, the company he founded in the mid-'80s.
He’s worked extensively in Italy, China, France and England, as well as many U.S. cities, producing more than a thousand programs for a range of clients, including major corporations, nonprofit organizations, universities, museums, advertising and public relations agencies and national sports franchises.
"The best part is meeting people at the height of their powers," he said. He’s interviewed businessmen Peter B. Lewis, George Soros, Frederick C. Crawford, and Thomas Watson Jr.; contemporary architects Frank O. Gehry and Philip Johnson; Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner; NBA Basketball stars Brad Dougherty and Mark Price; and activist Ralph Nader, to name a few.
Ball also works close to home. He’s told the stories of the Cleveland Clinic, and Mt. Sinai Foundation’s work with Helen Keller International to fit 10,000 pairs of eyeglasses for Cleveland Public School students.
Some of his films may very well be art.
A Constructive Madness, exploring the creative process of architect Frank Gehry, won Best Documentary at the 2004 Montreal Fine Art Film Festival. Another, Theatre de la Mode, exploring social history through fashion, has been shown at the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Fashion Foundation in Tokyo, and at museums in Portland, Baltimore and Miami.
Ball writes, produces and directs his work, but he’s not a one-man band.
"Nobody makes films by themselves. You need a team," he said.
He has local crew of a dozen or so, but he picks up staff when necessary, such as in China where he worked on a collection of films for Jones Day’s law offices there.
Ball’s home office is at 199 Alpha Dr., Highland Heights, but his films are mastered and produced in true high definition with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound at Commercial Recording Studios in Cleveland.
"It’s been an amazing career," he said.
Telos’ website is telos.tv.