James Domroe, ’02

James Domroe, ’02 conducts an interview during a video shoot in the Whitney Applied Technology Center. Domroe’s “325 Productions” is a growing and successful content creation and social media marketing company in Central New York.

James Domroe’s career inspiration came while he was watching a classic action and drama-filled movie. “I was 15 when I watched Braveheart. I cried my eyes out. The movie made me feel something. From that moment I knew I wanted to do something with videos and movies.”

Domroe’s father worked at Ra-Lin’s, an appliance store on Burnet Avenue in Syracuse. He seized upon his son’s sudden interest and bought him a digital camcorder. “I went in my backyard every day and filmed ants, bees, trees, grass and put it to music. I started creating.”

In 2000 Domroe graduated from Liverpool High School. He came to OCC with the intention of taking his core classes and stumbled upon the Electronic Media Communications program. He transferred into the major after his first semester on campus and found a home. “I learned so much about making videos and was surrounded by people doing the same. In between classes, we loved grabbing cameras, going outside and being creative. Being able to take advantage of all of the facilities here made such a difference. We really challenged each other. The teachers were great and they really pushed me forward.”

Domroe earned his degree and transferred to SUNY Fredonia. “I was so ahead of the game when I got there. What they teach here at OCC is essentially a four-year program. I needed a challenge and started a film club there.” The club was allotted $325 by the Student Activities board which it would use to make an hour-long movie. “That $325 seemed like a million dollars!”

After graduating Domroe and a friend moved to North Carolina to work on movies. His job didn’t have anything to do with shooting or editing video and he didn’t enjoy it. He kept shooting and editing video on his own and eventually moved back to Central New York.

Domroe was at a crossroads. He needed to make money and told his mother he wanted to return to OCC and earn a Nursing degree so he would have a steady income. “My mom told me what I really wanted to do was to make videos. She told me to live at home for one year and make videos every day. After a year if I wasn’t going anywhere, I could go into nursing.”

He took his mother’s advice. Some days he would shoot and edit videos. Some days he would network and get his name out there. Eventually Domroe started shooting and editing rap videos for friends. Over the course of a year he made 200. In 2012 one of his videos made its way to an administrator at an Ivy League school. “Someone knew someone who knew someone who knew someone at Cornell University who saw one of my videos. Suddenly I went from making rap videos to making videos for Cornell!”

It was the break Domroe needed for his company, 325 Productions, which he named after the $325 his film club at SUNY Fredonia was awarded. His list of clients now includes some of the area’s most high-profile institutions: Syracuse University, St. Joseph’s Health, Le Moyne College and most recently Onondaga Community College where he’s returned to campus to produce videos related to the “Believe In Where You Are Going” campaign. “It’s been surreal being back and exciting to work on this project. I really credit OCC with all of my education.”

Domroe’s success story took about a decade to materialize. He’s now 34-years-old and his business is growing every year. His advice to anyone interested in making their dreams come true is to work hard and keep putting yourself out there. “You need to allow yourself to fail to succeed. It’s okay to fail as long as you learn from it.”

You can view a video log, or “vlog” of his shoot on the OCC campus here.

You can learn more about OCC’s Electronic Media Communications major here.