Alex Buono was educated at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he double-majored in Film Production and Still Photography. His early post-collegiate years were spent on the camera crews of studio films including Twister, Conspiracy Theory, and Armageddon, learning from top cinematographers and personal mentors including Conrad Hall, Dean Cundey, and John Schwartzman.
Alex is best known for his work as Director of Photography for the Saturday Night Live film unit from 1999-2016, where he shot hundreds of short films, including “Farewell Mr. Bunting,” “The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders,” “The Beygency,” and the “40th Anniversary Season.”
Since his time on the long-running NBC show concluded, Alex continues to collaborate with his fellow SNL alumni as the director and showrunner of the Emmy-nominated comedy Documentary Now!, an acclaimed mockumentary series starring Fred Armisen and Bill Hader. Documentary Now! received a 2019 Emmy nomination in the “Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series” category for the episode “Waiting for the Artist.” The show, which Alex also executive produces, was nominated for three other Emmy categories that same year.
A filmmaker of many talents, Alex’s earlier years often involved donning multiple creative hats. He acted as writer/producer of Bigger Stronger Faster*, a sport documentary that premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. In 2003, Alex received an Oscar nomination for the short film Johnny Flynton, which he produced and also shot. Alex repeated this dual role of producer and cinematographer on Green Street Hooligans, which won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the 2005 SXSW Film Festival.
Today, Alex lives in Los Angeles and is a member of the Director’s Guild of America, the Writer’s Guild of America, the International Documentary Association, and the International Cinematographer’s Guild.