January 2015 volunteer in the spotlight: Dominic Bedrossian
Occupation: Dominic works three jobs throughout the year while studying winemaking full-time at Fresno State, where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in enology. He works as a substitute instructional aide in special education for Clovis Unified School District, he works security for Fresno State football, and he is a wine server on the side.
Why study winemaking? “I love the whole process of it, how it’s a blend of art and science, not one or the other but a mixture of the two. I haven’t done too much with pairings yet, but I do love to cook. Wine being paired with meals, that’s a pretty elegant art, I think. The idea sprouted up out of nowhere, but I knew Fresno State has a great program. Also, I love to work outside, use my hands, love science and art. … The history is fascinating; it’s an ancient and beautiful art, really.”
You mentioned pairings. What is your favorite food? “My dad is from Lebanon, but we are also Armenian, so I really enjoy barbeque chicken cooked Arabic style. We cook Arab and Armenian food all the time–beef kebob, hummus, and bread.” (Dominic says he also loves eating pizza like everyone else, but enjoys spending time and eating meals with his family as well.)
What do you like to do outside of work? “I’m really into film and music. I played the guitar for more than 10 years, and I record music and release it on my SoundCloud, specifically ambient or experimental music. I started out playing blues and rock. Music is my main passion, but I also like writing and reading, specifically historical or scientific nonfiction, poetry, and fiction, but I never have enough time to dedicate to everything. I also like to try new restaurants, beers and wines.”
How did you get started with Filmworks? Dominic remembers his first day at Filmworks, back in November 2013 with the Saudi Arabian film “Wadjda.” A friend recommended it to him, then he spoke with volunteer coordinator Gloria Burrola, and the rest, as they say, was history. He says: “I volunteer every couple of months. My girlfriend’s grandfather is a board member, so that’s another reason why I try and volunteer a lot.”
What’s your favorite thing about Fresno Filmworks? “I like how they bring films that otherwise wouldn’t be seen anywhere near Fresno. International films. It opens up people’s minds a lot, I think.”
What other types of films or genres would you enjoy seeing at Fimworks? “Experimental works by Paul Clipson, who is an active filmmaker in San Francisco currently. He does sound and film installations with Super 8 films and various types of celluloids. Clipson makes really dreamlike films, using light, shadows, colors, and handmade editing by means of film splicing and multi-layering, with the ends results as spectacular, kaleidoscopic collages. His films are a visceral experience that coalesce memory, time, and the subconscious, with experimental ambient electronic music to accompany it.”
What is your typical volunteer job, and what do you like most about it? “I do various things for Filmworks, whatever they need me to do. I remember I went with Stan Poss and some other board members to Cru winery in Madera. I helped them select the wines that they are serving at Filmworks right now, which was gratifying. Cru gave us ten wines to try and they asked my opinion of them. I helped them pick the best ones, I think.”
What’s your favorite film that you’ve seen with us at The Tower Theatre? “‘Museum Hours,’ ‘Wadjda,’ or ‘The Great Beauty.’ Most certainly ‘The Great Beauty.’ The cinematography of Rome was quite exquisite, the characters were done well, and it was really funny.”
What do you enjoy most about Filmworks? “I like the interaction between the community and the people, how filmmakers sometimes come and talk about the film. I like the community involvement. It’s a dialogue, a social thing between one another. It’s not just going into a theater and coming out, but having an actual interactive experience.”
What was the last movie you saw in the theater? “‘Interstellar.’ I really loved ‘Inception,’ and I’ve always loved most films by Christopher Nolan.”
What’s in your Netflix queue right now? ‘Mainly independent films, or films by Christopher Nolan. I love anything done by the Cohen Brothers, Michel Gondry, Nicolas Winding Refn, Paul Thomas Anderson, Andrew Dominik, Terry Gilliam, Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Terrence Malick, Sergio Leone, and Alejandro Jodorowsky. I’m into all types of film.”
What’s one of your favorite movies of all time, and why? “‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ by Sergio Leone. There’s such profound intensity within characters and the events that take place. The film moves at such a glacial pace. It really captures the essence of the desert, where time moves incredibly slowly. The first scene is them sitting at a train station, a bandit who sits for five minutes trying to get a fly off of his face–that wasn’t even planned for in the screenplay. The air, you hear the wind moving through the desert, you see the huge vistas of the mountains, everything moves slowly. Very few films have the ability to actually put you there, and the story was equally immense too. It’s one of those ultimate tragedies with a satisfying ending, like an ancient Greek epic. It’s certainly an epic in its own right, a massive film, really. Close runner-ups would include ‘No Country for Old Men,’ ‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,’ ‘Spirit of the Beehive,’ ‘The Belly of an Architect,’ and ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.'”
Filmworks thanks all of our January 2015 volunteers: Dominic Bedrossian, Leslie Bjerke, Richard Flores, Megan Ginise (intern), Rebecca Horwitz, Carl Johnsen, Kathryn Johnsen, Julie Linxwiler, Sarah Nixon, Sara Poss, Gene Richards, Susan Rogers, Richard Stone, Lorraine Tomerlin, Kristin Torres, Michael Travels, Olga Verkhotina.