Haute Secrets Boston: Tom Ball of Telos TV 2017


Haute Secrets Boston: Tom Ball of Telos Productions

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Telos Productions, founded by Emmy award-winning producer and director Tom Ball, recently relocated to Boston after more than 30 years in Cleveland, Ohio. Best known for its artistically driven, expert storytelling in documentary and commercial film projects, Telos has received the Best Documentary Award at the Montreal Fine Art Film Festival, an International Monitor Award and two National MUSE Awards from the American Alliance of Museums along with numerous Emmy and Telly awards.

From a comprehensive analysis of Frank Gehry’s creative process to a brief history of the modern political campaign to award-winning corporate histories, Telos produces programs like his Emmy award winning movie Enduring Trust, which challenged Ball to find a way to portray the 100-year history of the oldest Community Foundation in the country in 26 minutes. The production company has created more than 1,000 programs for an extraordinarily diverse clientele, including major corporations, nonprofit organizations, cultural institutions, universities, advertising and public relations agencies and national sports franchises. 

Tom BallPhoto Credit: Gillian Gordon

We caught up recently with Ball to find out what he loves most about Boston.

Where were you born: Cleveland Ohio

How long in Boston: Two years, (wife – native Bostonian)

Neighborhood: Financial District

Occupation: Filmmaker

Favorite restaurant: (Special Occasion) No. 9 Park – elegant, sophisticated, creatively attuned to picky vegetarians. (Any Occasion) Oleana – boundlessly imaginative, always delicious variations on traditional Mediterranean mezze. Astonishing ingenuity.

Best sushi: I hear Douzo is brilliant at vegetarian sushi

Best Italian: (Tie) Sportello – artisanally-inspired like the best osterias in Italy. SRV (Supreme Republic of Venice) – superb hand-crafted pasta steps from Symphony Hall.

Best dessert: The highly cultivated, constantly updated cheese cart at No. 9 Park

Best place for a romantic date: The window table at No. 9 Park overlooking Boston Common

Best Sunday brunch: South End Buttery followed by a stroll through the neighborhood.

Best place for a power business meeting: Harvard Art Museum courtyard with giant porcelain cups of café au lait

If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? XV Beacon with its marvelous white marble bathrooms and working fireplaces.

Favorite shopping venue/boutique: All Too Human & Barneys

Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches: Firestone Parsons and the European Watch Company on Newbury Street

Best Spa: The Mandarin Oriental

Favorite charity event: The Shining Star Gala to benefit Boston’s Victim Rights Law Center

Favorite cultural event: The Save Venice lectures held at the Chilton Club

Favorite cultural institution: Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Best steakhouse: As a non-judgmental happy vegetarian for 40+ years, I would suggest Barbara Lynch’s Butcher Shop. Not really a steakhouse but bound to satisfy any meat lover

Best pizza: Babbo – incredible that such a big mass-market restaurant can do Italian food and pizza this well. If you order pizza, also get some of their phenomenal vegetable side dishes.

Best lunch: Marliave. Historic atmosphere, delightfully European sensibility. They understand the French miracle of the fresh green salad.

Best gym/athletic facility: Equinox – Franklin for design and atmosphere. Avery, (the Ritz) for the supremely talented torturess, Kelly Clark.

Best massage: Be Well Boston

Best limousine/driving service: Uber

Best museum/exhibit: For Renaissance art, the Veronese Tintoretto Titian show at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. For contemporary art, the Doris Salcedo exhibition at the Harvard Art Museums.

Describe Boston and three words: Smart, sophisticated, European

Favorite historical/legendary place to see or explore: The incomparable Boston Athenaeum at 10 1/2 Beacon Street, I feel smarter every time I walk through the studded red leather doors.

All – around favorite spot in Boston: I must double down here on the Boston Athenaeum. Perhaps the most beautiful private library in America.

Best aspect of Boston: The intellectual life. Like London, Paris and Venice, Boston offers a rich intellectual tradition fueled by arts and culture. Boston bends over backwards to welcome you if you are intellectually curious. It’s not unusual to see panhandlers reading. It is also, like so many European cities, a great walking city. My wife and I enjoy the freedom of not having a car. We love walking, or taking the “T”, to culture. Maybe this is one of the reasons we feel every day, in Boston, as if we are on vacation.

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