Documentary Explores Local Entrepreneurs
SDSU business alumnus, David Marchesani ('04, M.S.B.A.), was able to combine his two passions, entrepreneurship and filmmaking, into one complete package with the release of his documentary feature, VentureTown, USA.
"I've always been interested in entrepreneurship in general. I have a passion for learning about successful businesses and what makes successful entrepreneurs tick," he said. "Likewise, I've always been interested in filmmaking. I enjoy storytelling and believe stories can help us learn, grow, laugh and relate to each other as people."
The storytellers in this case are some of the most influential entrepreneurs in the San Diego region including Gene Ray (Titan Corporation), Irwin Jacobs (Qualcomm Inc.), fellow SDSU graduate, Ralph Rubio (Rubio's Restaurants Inc.) and Leonard Lavin (Alberto Culver) for whom SDSU's Lavin Entrepreneurship Center is named.
In choosing who he wanted to appear in his film, Marchesani made "a list of people who are very interesting to talk to and then, simply asked them" for an interview. While a few turned him down, those that said "yes", according to Marchesani, were "very generous with their time".
Once all the interviews and raw footage was completed, an editor was hired to help cut down and assemble the film, but things didn't go as planned. "His computer crashed and damaged the hard drive that contained the movie," said Marchesani. "No problem because we have a back-up hard drive… except for some strange reason, he had both the computer hard drive and the back-up connected to the computer at the same time, wiping out everything I had worked on up to that point."
Eventually, reports Marchesani, they were able to recover their work and finish the documentary which premiered in April, 2013 at a private screening at Qualcomm for The San Diego Venture Group.
While VentureTown, USA is his first major documentary feature, it will probably not be his last. When asked if whether his next step was to set up a new business or to produce a new movie, Marchesani – who studied entrepreneurship while he was an SDSU student – answered "both."