Locals to the Keene area, father John Cucchi and son Alex Cucchi, are both Keene State College alumni who have continued to follow their passions upon graduating. John, a musician, has continued to play his guitar and perform in the local Keene area, where as Alex has continued his passion for film production and has even worked with well-known documentarian Ken Burns.
John Cucchi said he graduated from Keene 1984 and continued with his musical passion, moving to New York City where he played rhythm guitar at the Rainbow Room. He played for Saturday Night Live and even performed during their fifteenth anniversary in 1990.
Alex said, “I had grown up around music and film my entire life and found myself falling in love with both at a very young age. That was mainly brought on me by my father, who is also a Keene State alum[nus].”
Upon graduating, Alex has done work with Ken Burns, a documentarian who recently was on campus for a documentary piece he did in collaboration with Dr. Lawrence Benaquist of Keene State. Alex took a job with Burns as an assistant editor at Florentine Films. Alex said, “Working with Ken Burns has been nothing short of an amazing experience.”
During John’s time at Keene, Benaquist introduced the Film Production Program to Keene State, which John decided to pick up as a minor before graduating. This is where his interest in film production began.
John said he believes some of Alex’s interest in music and film production may have began with John’s instrumental and production based equipment lying around the house when Alex was at a young age. and other. John additionally said, “It helped him. He liked the film and now he’s got an excellent job and he’s assistant editor for a famous documentarian and he really likes the company.”
On his experience at Keene State, Alex said, “The nature of the small classes really helped me develop relationships with professors and classmates alike.”
Dr. Benaquist was a professor at Keene State when both Alex and John attended the college and helped guide them through the Film Studies Program that he introduced to Keene State in 1970.
Alex said Dr. Benaquist was a big help in aiding him with the film program and in classes. “Dr. Benaquist was able to see my flaws, but was able to help me build my skill set around those flaws, giving me the confidence to pursue a career in film,”said Alex.
Dr. Benaquist said, “Alex was great, he wrote so well and I used to tease him and say, ‘Alex you write better than your dad….Once he got involved in the film program and learned how to edit, with his hard work and intelligence he was able to get employed by Ken Burns,” said Dr. Benaquist, “which is absolutely great.”
Alex said the film industry has been great since he has graduated from Keene State and has enjoyed his work, but said, “The best experiences I’ve had while working in film is the relationships I’ve made along the way.”
Fletcher Rice can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org