An Interview with Michael Domangue

Michael Domangue is the newest addition to the Hell Yes team. Everyone is real excited about the work he’s been doing on the film portion of the festival. So we had Mike Breese catch up with him for a brief interview.


What are you putting together for Hell Yes Fest this year?

My official title is basically Film Coordinator for the HYF comedy film festival. My job responsibility this year is putting on the film screening that’s taking place this year.

How did you come up with the idea for a film portion for HYF?

It really came to me around January I had applied for a job at a film festival in Austin and I ended up not getting that job basically due to experience. And I had worked with a number of festivals at the time I had started one at the UT and so I thought the best way to get that necessary experience and take the next step was to go ahead and start one. Knowing that I had already been part of the TNM family their comedy festivals, I thought the best way to create something would be to add on to that existing greatness that was HYF and see if we can’t add film to that live festival.

What previous projects in the same vein have you worked on?

I’ve launched the Texas Union Festival in 2010 and it’s now entering it’s fourth year in the spring. I’ve also worked with SXSW in a number of roles for four years.

What can we look forward to for this year’s Hell Yes Film Festival?

The really big thing I’m excited to talk about is Time Raptor. That’s a short written and directed by Jonathan Evans co-written by Jared Gore, both New Movement performers. It’s in that dark comedy vein and we’re just really excited to be able to have it’s world premiere at HYF.

We’re also excited because one of the things we’re starting this year and hope to continue in future years is taking a retrospective look at great comedy teams or groups or institutions. In this case the first year we’ll be taking a look back at Studio 8 who helped found TNM/HYF. The these amazing part of this is looking at this partnership and see how it developed over the years.

What are you looking for in terms of contributions to this film festival?

Comedy, unlike drama comes in many different formats from 5-15 minute shorts or pilots all the way up to features. Comedy doesn’t fit into the shorts or features at a lot of film festivals. We’re going to make sure all the different styles of comedy can co-exist in this film festival.

What goals do you have for the future?

My ultimate goal for HYF is to have a major live component and major film component and have these two things work to the benefit of each other. If you look at SXSW the film/music/interactive all work to support eachother. HYF shouldn’t be overwhelming one or the other, but should be two extensions so that a filmmaker who brings a film could potentially meet a comedian who does a standup set and end up doing a movie together. I want us to be the great festival where great comedy is born there and you see it on the big screen next year.

What events are you looking forward to for this year’s HYF?

Christian Finnegan, really looking forward to him. I believe we’re doing a live podcast or two. There’s a lot of standups I have gotten to develop relationships over the years that are performing and I’m really excited about that.

What are some of your favorite comedy films?

Definitely an old school fan of Mel Brooks. Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles such an amazing comedy. Some of the more innovative ones I’ve seen recently like Lena Dunham’s Tiny Furniture. I do think comedy is so versatile you can put it in other genres. Look at a movie like Ghostbusters which is has so many different elements other than just being a comedy.

You can follow Michael at @MDomangue on Twitter.