Paying It Forward to Expose Kids to Television & Film
Don Napoleon is an Emmy & NOTOA Award winning Video Producer, Photographer, Teacher and Mentor who has been telling the story of life in pictures since picking up his first camera as a teen. His expert eye and imaginative approach to his craft has earned Don the title of “creative visionary” amongst his peers.
A graduate of Virginia State University with a BA in Psychology and Minor in Communications, Don quickly sought out industry experience after college with organizations like NBC, Discovery Networks and the DC Office of Cable Television; building a reputation along the way that made him a sought after industry expert. Don’s consummate professionalism and creativity opened doors to additional opportunities on projects with notable media groups and beyond including MTV, TV One, Essence.com, Twentieth Century Fox, the United States Senate and House of Representatives.
Since 2004 Don has expanded his creative reach as a partner with GearShift TV, a Washington DC based Production Company known for memorable commercials and marketing projects with clients such as Eastern Motors and, most recently, the nationally recognized Super bowl commercial featuring Mike Tyson. This partnership increased Don’s profile, enabling him to produce groundbreaking work for an even broader book of clients like covering President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder for the National Action Network's annual convention, Super Bowls 47, 48 and 49 for the NFLPA and NFL Wives Associations, DreamWorks Pictures and GMC trucks featuring former NFL Player Howie Long.
The Napoleon Complex project, Don’s documentary film house, is the most powerful extension of his craft allowing Don to passionately convey the human experience in real environments. The Dorothy Height Foundation honoring Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Capitol File Magazine are among NCP’s list of clients as is Maryland Public Television where Don’s work earned him his first Emmy.
Don has also donated his skills to aid philanthropic organizations like The International Women’s Policy Group for their “Causes that matter to Women” project. Vice President Joe Biden, Robert Redford, the 2013 tribute to Nelson Mandela and the March on Washington’s 50th year Commemoration with Al Sharpton are part of an ever-growing list of clients Don has garnered for his innovative and cutting edge work that also earned him a “Finalist in Film” honor at the 2015 Ivy Innovators Awards (2015 IVY INNOVATOR AWARD FOR FILM).
With each professional success and honor Don, a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., has never forgotten to pass on what he’s learned to the next generation. Exposure, the nonprofit organization Don founded in 2003, offers in-depth, real-world education to college students interested in the Multi-Media and Arts Industries. Focusing special attention on students of HBCU’s, the program utilizes hands on projects, event production opportunities, introductions to industry insiders and tours to world class television studios, stages and film sets to create a rich and immersive experience that adds meaning to the classroom education. This 13 year labor of love now boasts more than 700 students, 95% of whom earn internships, a college professor and Cannes Film Festival winner.
BBC London, The White House Press Corps, Voice of America and performers including TI, Common and the late BB King are a few more of the industry heavyweights touched by the creative eye and philanthropic heart of Don Napoleon and he’s just getting started. With projects for television and film in production, incorporation of birdseye view video through FAA approved drones and artistic works commissioned by clients, Don’s goal is to continue to profoundly influence the industry he loves while giving back to the community he cherishes.