Cover Story

Nino Del Padre

Age 36. Owner, Del Padre Visual Productions

Nino Del Padre hasn’t answered a casting call in a while. That’s because most of his time these days is devoted to his business, East Longmeadow-based Del Padre Visual Productions, and the bulk of the rest goes to his family.

But years ago, Del Padre managed to get his name in the credits for several movies, some more memorable than others. He played a witness in Before and After, filmed in Springfield, and could be seen getting in and out of a buggie with his ‘wife’ in Amistad. In Whipped (that’s one of the more forgettable ones), he played both a waiter and an Italian bicyclist.

The bit parts came with perks — he met Steven Spielberg, who directed Amistad — and Del Padre is now the proud owner of a “Bacon number of 2.” Roughly translated, there are but two links between himself and the actor immortalized in the parlor game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

But Del Padre is much better-known for his work behind the camera and at the computer, for a company he started in the walk-in closet of his mother’s apartment when he was 20. The early work was in videotaping and editing weddings, but these days, the client list includes NASA and LEGO, and the work ranges from marketing and presentation items to documentary projects.

Speaking of time, Del Padre says he keeps strange hours — he starts around noon or 1, works till 7 or 8 p.m., naps for an hour, and then works some more until 3 or 4 in the morning — and works almost exclusively at home. “The first time, it was an accident; my wife was sick, so I worked from home. I was so hugely productive that I kept doing it, and now I’m addicted to that productivity.”

He’s making the most of that time, with his business — which is gaining a national and international reputation for cutting-edge work — and within the community, where Del Padre has donated energy and imagination to groups and efforts ranging from the East Longmeadow Chamber of Commerce to the town’s time capsule project.

Looking ahead, he says he wants to do more work on both sides of the camera. Who knows? Maybe someday his Bacon number will be 1.