"I document life in the present, but the goal is always to create something timeless."
- Damon L. Thomas
(Director / Editor / Photographer)
It's never JUST a photo or JUST a video. This is the case when a talent like Damon L. Thomas is behind the lens. Acclaimed for his gritty, yet stylish visuals, Damon is a connoisseur of imagery - he's a skilled video director, photographer, and video editor who injects passion into everything he touches. His vivid imagination and renegade visuals has been sought by corporations and celebrities earning accolades from audiences, critics, and industry peers.
The son of working-class parents, Thomas was born in Detroit, Michigan. He inherited his mother's fascination with visual art and his father's adoration for music at an early age. During this time the art of the music video was just being introduced on a global scale and the marriage of the two intrigued him. Receiving a video camera as a Christmas gift changed his life forever.
After graduating from Cass Technical High School as a student in their renowned Performing Arts curriculum, Damon headed south to study film and television at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia. Honing his skills and developing relationships with a cornucopia of creative minds, he sat in the same classrooms once led by distinguished scholars such as W.E.B. Dubois and taught by icons such as Ralph Abernathy and one of Damon's influences, Spike Lee. Thomas partnered with fellow student, Dorian Forbes, and began directing videos for many of Atlanta's emerging artists under the moniker President Thomas Forbes.
Garnering a street buzz among independent artists in a fledging market, Thomas and Forbes were sought out and taken under the wings of Fat Cats, a directorial duo who had connections throughout Atlanta's music scene. It was through this relationship that led to a chance meeting with a young T.I. and his manager, Jason Geter. Frustrated with label red tape, T.I. hired President Thomas Forbes to direct the video to the second single from his debut album, the street classic, "Dope Boyz".
Following "Dope Boyz", Damon and Dorian went on to craft music videos for some of hip hop's hottest and most prominent superstars. Everyone from T.I. and the P.$.C., Young Jeezy, Ludacris and DTP, Yung Joc, Pastor Troy, D4L, Shawty Lo, Jody Breeze, Young Dro, Crime Mob, Lil' Boosie, Bun B, Chuck Brown, Rasheeda, R. Kelly, and Do Or Die have been in the crosshairs of Damon's viewfinder. President Thomas Forbes also ventured into the realm of feature films with the nationally distributed spiritual film "The Walk" starring Eva Pigford (America's Next Top Model), Teck Holmes (MTV's "Real World"), and R&B legend Regina Bell. The motion picture was recognized at the American Black Film Festival as well as being aired on Black Entertainment Television (BET).
Diversifying his portfolio, Damon Thomas launched Eleven16 Media expanding his reach into independent documentaries, digital content for various brands, and independent media projects. With clients including ATL Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, Ford Motor Company, ASCAP, Morehouse School of Medicine, Clark Atlanta University, and an array of foundations and organizations, Eleven16 Media visuals have effectively provided messaging and results.
Currently, Eleven16 Media is in production for a spectrum of intriguing projects that span across various genres. Thomas has also launched WE ARE THE MEDIA, a renegade digital media outlet that gives a counter cultural perspective of what one would encounter in mainstream media.
Throughout industry adversities, Damon maintains a grounded, grassroots objective in reaching out to small businesses, corporations, and independent clientele to provide them with the astounding visuals major firms create. His visuals are a product of integrity, unmatched creativity, and pure passion. With a pallette of flavors suitable for any project, Damon L. Thomas is the eye that will transform your image into a bold statement.