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Gonzaga student pursues dream, to study film in college

Seniors+Will+Buffaloe+and+Jesse+Dolojan+work+together+to+film+Gonzaga+Fest+Part+III.+Photo+from+Mr.+Dominick+Pugliese.+
Seniors Will Buffaloe and Jesse Dolojan work together to film Gonzaga Fest Part III. Photo from Mr. Dominick Pugliese.
By Jesse Dolojan—

When senior Will Buffaloe was a nine-year-old kid, he sat in the back of the car watching Lord of the Rings for literally the millionth time. It’s pretty boring watching the same thing over and over, so he switched to the menu to see if there was anything else to see related to Lord of the Rings. He realized that there is a section with the director Peter Jackson talking about his creative process and how he puts together the movie. He was inspired by what he saw and envisioned himself directing a movie of his own, telling stories through film. Will Buffaloe quickly realized that this is what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. 

 Buffaloe has had the dream of being a director in the film industry since he was nine years old, and he has been working towards making this dream a reality ever since. 

I’ve been telling stories since I was a kid … [when] I was playing with action figures, I would be humming along and my dad’s like you’re creating a soundtrack,” Buffaloe said. “So like, just like the way I sort of interacted when I was like, you know, making up stories as a kid, I always like viewing them through a very cinematic lens.”

WZAG has given Buffaloe the opportunity to create his own short films and gain more insight on how to create a script and what it’s like managing a cast of people. 

“It has taught me some of the fundamentals of filmmaking like cinematography, stuff like that, and then I’ve learned how to do a lot of it on my own, and through learning, I’ve realized that these fundamentals are kind of rediscovered,” Buffaloe said.

Buffaloe’s involvement with Gonzaga Fest has helped him a lot in his development as a director and in his understanding of film. 

I’m able to tell the stories I want to tell and I don’t feel like there’s anything standing in the way of me telling that, telling them in any sort of like limitations,” Buffaloe said. 

At the start of his Gonzaga Fest work, Buffaloe admitted to not being the greatest director and that it took him a while to develop his talents. 

“I was a terrible director [when I started filming Gonzaga Fest], I was fumbling around in the dark,” Buffaloe said. 

He made a lot of mistakes in the early stages of directing, such as making scripts too long and being very poor at handling his cast members. Thankfully, he learned from his mistakes and managed to fix his various shortcomings. 

What Buffaloe is most thankful for is his ability to go to a school like Gonzaga. 

“I’ve been very privileged to have gone to this school where I can present teachers and students alike with this crazy vision for like 40 teachers on the field in a dodgeball game against the St John’s student, and they’ll just be like yeah sure sounds fun; no other school in the world would allow me to do that,” Buffaloe said. 

He thinks that this speaks to the type of people here at Gonzaga, and how they have helped him on his path towards working in the film industry.  

“[I]t’s really a testament to the community that we have here, and just how weird, unique and committed they are to this place, and the opportunities that the school provides to you to make something; [s]o in the end I’m just grateful to have gone here, I don’t think any other school would have given me the opportunity to essentially make two movies back to back,” Buffaloe said. 

Buffaloe is attending Chapman University next year and plans to study screenwriting. 

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    Leslie KeiserMay 17, 2021 at 11:07 am

    What an interesting article. I taught Will as a freshman and am so happy to hear about his plans. I believe we’ll hear great things about him in the future. Thanks for writing this.
    Sra. Keiser

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