Sometimes during your college years, you might have some of those dreadful thoughts that cross your mind; “What am I even going to be able to do with my degree after school? What if I can’t find a job in my field?” While that may be a very real fear for some,
Keene State Alumni Alex Cucchi, has been making strides in his respective industry since graduating from the KSC film production department in 2012. Cucchi began his career within the film industry when he signed on as an intern with Ken Burns and Florentine Films in the winter of 2012.
Through working with the company and Ken Burns, Cucchi has worked his way up from intern, to being offered an assistant editor position on the film The Address, a documentary film based on a small Vermont school for boys with learning disabilities who learned and recited Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address every year.
Cucchi has worked on various projects with Florentine Films, including The Roosevelts, The Vietnam War, The Address and Country Music. The 10 part documentary film series, The Vietnam War series recently premiered on PBS in September of 2017.
Cucchi and the team he worked with were responsible for 2.5 episodes out of the series. “It was just something I was always interested in growing up, you know I was always making movies as a kid,” Cucchi said when asked on why he chose the medium of film.
“I think my dad had a big influence on a lot of things because he is a musician and likes kind of all those media arts and stuff, so I think that played a big part in my decision [to pursue film].”
Cucchi admits to not always being sure that, although wanting to pursue a career in film, that he would be actually able to successfully pursue a career in it.
“It was something I always had a passion for, but I didn’t think it would get to be my job,” Cucchi said.
Cucchi named KSC professor emeritus, Larry Benaquist, as one of the most influential professors in his career at KSC, and in pushing him to attain that pivotal internship with Ken Burns.
Benaquist was a primary figure in starting the KSC film department in the first place.
“Alex, I think, like with all students, I think it took a little while for him to know his own abilities. He wrote beautifully and that was important,” Benaquist said.
“So it was a matter of just opening up a door. Some people you really don’t have to do more than that.”
Both Benaquist and Cucchi agree that film is a collaborative effort.
“With film its totally overwhelming,” Benaquist said. “You just have to trust other people.”
Cucchi’s brother, Max Cucchi, currently attends Keene State College as a Communications/Philosophy major, and holds his brother and his accomplishments in high regard.
“He doesn’t try to brag about any of it [his work],” Max said.
“Also, from Keene State, it’s kind of exciting to see somebody be successful in an industry like that.”
“I am super proud of him”, Max said. “A lot of my friends are history majors or they just know of Ken Burns so I brag, probably way more than my older brother does.”
Alex also offered the advice for current film students: to not get caught up in their own egos.
“Just stay with it and be flexible,” Alex said.
“If you stay with it, and you’re flexible, you have the passion for it and you have the talent, you should be able to make it work.”
Alex is currently working as an Assistant Editor on an eight part series on the History of Country Music, which will take him to the spring of 2019, with Florentine Films.
Meridith King can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org