From the July 2000 issue of Startups

So what does it take? Who are they? How do they do it? And what exactly is going on in the piping hot, brain-powered fury of our beloved Silicon Valley, where a slew of start-ups emerge and play their pivotal role in the technological revolution? Precisely the questions 35-year-old filmmaker Jay Capela seeks to answer through the medium of film. Wild At Start-High Technology Adventures and the American Dream is a three-part documentary featuring a fascinating amalgam of entrepreneurs who are bound and determined to bring their visions to fruition in this fertile California trough.

The ever-escalating hype surrounding Silicon Valley start-ups that has permeated the culture is only partially responsible for Capela's endeavor. The San Francisco State film student also watched his friends build a software company, sell it to Adobe and strike it rich before his eyes. "My friends became millionaires, and I saw myself not becoming one," Capela recalls. "That was the impetus for this project."

That, and the desire to create a behind-the-scenes look for the public, one that would portray the zeal of today's entrepreneurs. "That was really the goal of this project-to give people both inside and outside the Valley a real idea of what it's like to be an entrepreneur," Capela says.

The Wild At Start crew contacted close to 300 companies, eventually narrowing the film down to a bank of 14. Following founders around with a camera-eavesdropping on conversations, questioning their motivations and picking their high-tech brains-was Capela's job for the past three years. He's scrutinized everyone from the three twentysomethings of software start-up Imana to eBay's Pierre Omidyar. Ingeniously arranging industry experts to provide a cohesive narrative, Capela tactfully incorporates VCs, angels and columnists to divulge their predictions for the future of high-tech start-ups.

At press time, Capela had 220 hours of material shot, and, with support from PBS and a strong distribution model, he was well-equipped to approach corporations for underwriting sponsorship. Look for the release of Wild At Start in a few months, and prepare yourself for a documentary that will share the ambitions of the latest players in the world of the high-tech start-up.

Contact Source

Wild At Start LLC, (415)648-8351, www.wildatstart.com.