I had the pleasure of first meeting Dominic Luongo through Buffalo Rising’s own Joseph DiDomizio at a screening for Buffalo Nickel Productions’ Henry’s Future. Here was a gentlemen who knew his cinema and cinematography. In recent years, he’s worked on a number of music videos and film productions – both in front of the camera, behind the camera, and in the editor’s seat.
To say the least, Dominic is modest about his filmmaking background. “Aside from terrible home movies? Actually, making bad home movies was surprisingly beneficial. It gave me a chance to practice, screw up, build a model for filmmaking, and let the more useless parts of the model fall off before refining it all once I got to college.
“I attended UB, majored in Media Study, and spent the entire time reading and watching everything I could about movies, TV, advertising, semiotics, etc. I would especially try to challenge myself by watching anything that bored me or brought me out of my comfort zone.”
The same goes with regard to his film influences and inspirations. “I don’t think my trajectory was inspired by any one person, which is too bad because I’d really like to know who to blame. Like anybody else, I have that cocktail of films and filmmakers I respect and pull inspiration from.”
For a number of projects, Dominic would find a partner in crime with Aaron Doolittle. Their collaborations included the award-winning short Davis, Brevity, and Valentina. Their latest film, Bonfire, Falls, was recently completed.
“Aaron and I first met back when I was still acting. Well, I suppose I do still act from time to time, not as much as I used to, but yeah, Aaron and his cinematographer Chris Santucci were holding auditions for their second feature, Brevity, and I attended one of these auditions.
“I have to give credit to my friend Alison for bringing Aaron’s Craigslist post to my attention, otherwise none of these collaborations would have existed. After that, Aaron and I would be sitting around on set and eventually we got to talking and realized that we had a lot in common.”
In addition to film productions, he’s directed music videos. Maria Peaches’ “Memory Lane” and Billy Drease Williams’ “Just Doin’ It” are among the videos produced through his company, Struck-down Entertainment. On April 1st of this year, God-des & She’s “Love Machine” premiered on MTV Logo NewNowNext Poplab.
On how he landed such opportunities, he stated, “Networking, spending hours of hard work editing, and luck. Love Machine was the result of dumb luck. Somehow two artists from Austin, TX saw the Just Doin’ It video and really liked it. So much so that they tracked me down and approached me about directing a video for them and now it’s on MTV.”
Currently, he’s working on a major project with Airport Plaza Jewelers, The Kiosk Presents… for MYTV, cable channel 8. “The entire thing is for a good cause. Currently, APJ is having their annual Fowler’s Chocolate sale to benefit People, Inc., which is Western New York’s leading non-profit human services agency and the show is essentially the front-runner to gain people’s attention. We spend the show interviewing the folks who work at and have been affected by People, Inc. We also have a prize giveaway portion of the show where Don gives away a ridiculous amount of prizes.
“There’s also a portion of the show called, ‘Auditions’ where, if you come in and donate $20 to People, Inc. APJ gives you thirty seconds of airtime to show off a talent or sing the APJ jingle. The Kiosk Presents… airs Sunday through Friday at seven in the morning, so if you haven’t approached consciousness at that point, set your DVRs.”
Dominic hinted at future projects, but didn’t give much detail. “Currently, I’m working with graphic designer Hayley Meister and creative director MG on a personal project, which I don’t intend on sharing with a wide audience just yet. And when I’m not working on that I’m pouring a lot of time into The Kiosk Presents…, because it’s for a good cause and I’d like to see more people take notice of it.”
For info on the Kiosk Auditions, click here.