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Dominic Luongo: Buffalonian & Cinematic Jack of All Trades

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.

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  • MrGreenJeans

    This is in aid of what? Dom’s gawd-awful “singing” on YouTube? Just promoting your buddy? There’s little discernible talent, here. Sorry to be blunt, but Dominic should find himself a non-performing career. Studying what other people have done with movies does not equate with talent.

  • TheStatusWhoa

    I, too, will leave a comment without reading.
    I think this is shit. In fact everything you’ve ever done is shit. Shit marinated shit, with a side of shit.
    If you were half the director as Bill Cowell, or Scott Pearson, you wouldn’t be making such shitty music videos.

  • TheBuffaloFilmBuff

    More like cinematic jackass, amirite? It’s pretty obvious he doesn’t know what he’s doing behind the camera. I haven’t seen any of his acting, but if his presents in front of the camera is anything like his work behind it, then I’m sure I’m not missing aynthing special.
    There’s bigger and better talent in Buffalo!


    Right on! Another fluff piece on BR.
    I was an extra in the Maize, so I know a little about film making. What little I do know, tells me that this guy couldn’t scratch Robert Redford’s balls, let alone act that well. Hacks like Dom are what keep stars like Keanu Reeves from making film in this town. One look at any of those videos And we wonder why Studio Arena closed: no talent left in Buffalo! What a useless hack you are Dom. Shame on you for wasting our time.

  • DerikErick

    What the hell was that? I’ve never heard of this guy. His imdb page is bullshit No way he worked with Troma he’d be somewhere. Good job making the gayest video I’ve seen in a while.

  • PrettyPonderer

    So, UB isn’t a good school for film? Is that what you’re trying to tell us? I enjoyed the Dumb and Dumber car cameo.

  • Pertybird

    Seems to me Mr. Luongo is at the dawn of a very bright career as a filmmaker. If you actually take the time to watch the music videos he directed you’ll see complex and intelligent narratives. Who does that these days?? Most take the easy way out with cheesy performance cuts. I think Dom is probably worth keepin an eye on in the years to come.

  • TheMantheMyththeLegend

    The first 5 of you don’t know what you are talking about. You are just angry, no talent assclowns. Not liking the music in the video is one thing, but if you focused on the photography and editing you would see this guy has a lot of talent. I agree with Pertybird that Dom has a bright future ahead of him. Keep up the good work!


    Anonymous haters are SO funny. Please leave more comments. Your ignorance and jealousy amuse me.

  • TheStatusWhoa

    I agree, Dom is worth keeping an eye on for a while. We can get a generally good idea of what not to do.
    So if we set up a table, and put two columns: Dom, and Good. We can start to check off some things that could be improved upon. Also, I love the word assclown, so i’m going to use it often.
    Point one: Dom
    Dom is in general, an Assclown™. I have seen this guy scale half naked up the side of a building for “art’s sake.” To me, moving on to music videos after trying to be an “artist” is just as bad as shooting weddings.
    I can list off a whole range of fantastic Buffalo based directors that could have handled this better. Cowell, Imbs, Ekkebus would have destroyed this video and would have left a spot where you were standing resulting of having your mind blown and your body obliterated. But instead you’re left curled in a fetal position regretting have experienced the musings of some Assclown™.
    Point two: Ripoff
    There’s not enough originailty in this video. It’s as if someone spent 90% of their time watching shitty Japanese import shows, and not enough time actually plotting out clean shots. The freshman efforts of the director make it obvious that he had no control over the cast during the entirety of the shoot. For all we know, he was just some Assclown™ lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time with a 7D.
    I think if the plot had been a little more cogent and controlled, it would have made for an interesting video. I mean, we can all see what you were going for here. Where is the Tokusatsu explosion to match your quick paced cuts and zooms? Where are the giant robots? More Tokusatsu, less Bollywood dance number. If you were less of an Assclown™
    Point three: Anachronism
    Seriously? What’s with that hair? Why does the singer have a heart carved into the side of her head? I would have preferred a James Dean doo. Also, what time period are they coming from? Will giant bunny cars be available in the year 2011? Also, you can clearly see one of the greasers wearing a digital watch around 2:03. I forwarded this video on to Michio Kaku so that he can respond to the 40,000 flaws in the time travel aspect of this video. Assclown™.
    There’s nothing good about anachronism. There is no way to offset creation paradoxes. Simply by travelling back to the past, God-des and She would doom themselves to remain trapped in the past unable to return to the place they came from. This Assclown™ obviously just watched Back to the Future as a reference, and has no understanding of Quantam mechanics.

  • bitchesbj

    i personally feel this guy needs to take his career a bit more seriously. this article also describes dominico as “modest” but i get the strong impression that this is not the case. keep up the good w0rk though@!! 🙂


    Are you still commenting without reading? Guess what? Nobody cares what you think. Anyone who associates “fantastic Buffalo based directors” with “Cowell, Imbs, Ekkebus” (who?) is obviously a nobody.
    Better luck to ya in your next life when maybe you’ll learn how to actually be productive.

  • TheBuffaloFilmBuff

    I’ve already said my peace, but I wanted to comment again to clarify that to people have opinions. Actually, every opinion is right because it’s the reaction they had to the artwork, whether it be film, tv, or “semiotics” it’s a reaction that can’t be changed. If people don’t like his work or singing or acting that’s the end of it.
    But if Dominic is still looking for someone to blame he should check a mirror.

  • TheStatusWhoa



    Admitting it is the first step. Congratulations.

  • chae

    Thing is, there is such a thing as trying too hard. Dominic’s work looks too contrived, it feels like he stayed up for nights thinking how not to come across as too commercial. It doesn’t have the effortless ease of a consummate artist.
    It says to me that it’s trying to be indie for the sake of being indie.


    Uh huh. And who has heard of “Derik Erick?”

  • CreativeCommunityInitiative

    I thought this was a very well-written article on one of Buffalo’s aspiring artists. It is well-known that the Buffalo area has been suffering for many years due to a variety of political and economic factors, and that the arts community has felt this strain as well. Still, through it’s trials and setbacks, the arts community continues to thrive and we have up and coming artists and filmmakers like Dominico to thank for keeping our community on the map – when it might otherwise not be known at all!
    Dominico has taken his first, tentative step into the mainstream film arena (and you don’t get much more noted in the mainstream than being showcased on MTV!) and it is natural to meet some stinging and colorful opposition in course. I enjoyed the humorous bits and quips that this artist worked into his interview. The heated emotional passion of the adjoining commentary shows an aptitude for inspiring people – even if it does appear that many of those commenting are inspired to rage.
    While I have not been an extra in Maize (or any other notable film) and am, therefore, not an expert, I do find Dominico’s approach to directing and editing thoughtful, adaptable, and intelligent. As was mentioned in a previous comment, there are many who would choose to take the easy way out and simply make sweeping action cuts rather than include an interior narrative. Many artists in film, I feel, have a very “give the people what they want” attitude and I commend Dominico for his conscientious approach.
    I did not scrutinize the continuity errors very closely with regard to clothing or time-travel, but that wasn’t as important to me in the carefree nature of the music and the atmosphere of cheer that the characters emanated. The video seemed to be going for a fun, feel-good aura, and so other details needn’t be as largely important.
    As a person who has been privy to the ordeals, privileges and many stresses of coordinating and serving (non-filmmaking) communities and organizational groups in the past, I know how difficult it can be to lead a large group of people. With contending egos, opposing viewpoints, unpredictable weather, time-constraints and budget constraints (among other factors) to take into account, I do not judge this artist too harshly at this first big step in his notoriety. All refinements come with time, particularly for the motivated.
    On behalf of the Buffalo Arts Community, I would like to thank you, Dominico, for helping to keep Buffalo in view in the National film specter. You are certainly NOT the Troy Duffy of the Buffalo film scene, as much as your adversarial peers may say otherwise. I am interested to see where the path leads you in the future. In the meantime.. keep it up, Buffalo!

  • GrammerPolice

    “I haven’t seen any of his acting, but if his presents in front of the camera is anything like his work behind it, then I’m sure I’m not missing aynthing special.”
    He usually give out quite amazing gifts while in front of the camera! I’m not sure what he gave you behind the camera that has put the sour taste in your mouth, but Dom has always been very generous with his presents. Oh and by the way his PRESENCE as a young, up and coming director/editor behind the camera is actually quite phenomenal as well.
    But, haters gonna hate.


    Since when is film production and filmmaking a competitive venture, anyway? I want to watch good film/video work. I don’t give a rat’s arse who produces it.
    Dominic’s lesbian rap music video is actually pretty well made and until someone local can point out something comparable that was produced by a local filmmaker, please feel free to STFU or risk embarrassing yourselves further (in that *anonymous* sort of way).
    Until you can qualify all your thoughtful vitriol with *work*, you REALLY don’t have a leg to stand on (sorrrrryyyy).


    So says, “Mr. Greenjeans.” You go get ’em, Greenjeans!

  • QuentinQueen

    Man…if you think his singing’s bad, you should try his sushi. Good thing these are just his hobbies. You should check out his zombie musical number, if you can find it. 😉 Absolutely hysterical!

  • Joe Mahma

    His candied apples are off-putting in their sincerity and if you’ve ever seen his silent tap dancing, you understand the meaning of sublimity. Recommended.