After working on the East Coast for two decades in global capital markets, John Cappetta and his family moved to Rancho Santa Fe, where he invested in small companies and real estate, and in 2013 formed his own investment company, Andesite Capital, of which he is founder and CEO.
The latest chapter of his career fuses both a personal passion - telling stories through movies - and his business skills. Over the past two years, Cappetta has become an executive producer for three films, the first of which, “Day of Days,” starring veteran actor Tom Skerritt, comes out Aug. 15 on DVD and streaming services. A theatrical premiere was held July 27 in La Jolla.
A second film, called “Marshall,” about the early career of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, is completed and set for release in theaters Oct. 17, while a third film, “HeadShop,” is shooting in Los Angeles, said Cappetta, 56.
“Over the past two years, I’ve been investing time and energy into this space out of personal passion and interest,” Cappetta said.
While his role in the first two films is primarily as an investor, Cappetta said, he is taking a more active role in “HeadShop,” which according to the film site IMDb, is “A magical urban tale about a beautiful psychologist from San Francisco” who ends a long-time relationship and opens a private practice in a vacant, street-front office space in Oakland, “turning the predominantly African-American and psychologically ignored neighborhood on its emotional ear.”
Regarding this new aspect to his career, Cappetta said, “Is this business or is it art? For me, the two kind of go together. I don’t think you can do this if you don’t have interest in producing a great product, a beautiful product that you’re proud of.”
At the same time, he said, he still has to consider the financial risks and rewards of a project, and whether it can generate a return on capital.
“My interests and background allow me to balance those two things,” he said.
The film investment arm of Andesite Capital is called Planet 9 Productions.
One of Cappetta’s film-industry partners is Kim Bass, who wrote and directed “Day of Days.” According to Cappetta, the film is inspired by Bass’s grandfather, and involves an intense day spent together by an elderly man and his caregiver, on what the man believes is his final day. The two become both “angel and savior” for each other, Cappetta said.
The movie business has both differences and similarities to his previous work in finance, Cappetta said. For example, envisioning a film is like creating a successful real estate development project from the ground up. But during the production phase of a film, the frenetic pace is unlike his past experiences.
“It’s a unique process that’s a lot of fun in my limited experience so far,” he said.
Cappetta is open to exploring new experiences in his personal as well as his business life. He and his wife, Nancy Jo, have four sons, ranging in age from 15 to 24.
About three years ago, they took a “family gap year,” and lived in an apartment in Paris for a year. The two younger boys attended an American school in Paris, and the older boys also spent about eight months with the family. They also traveled during that year to such destinations as South Africa, Morocco, Turkey and other parts of Europe.
Along with traveling, the family loves to sail, ski and snowboard together, said Cappetta.
Cappetta also volunteers with a number of different groups, such as the Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation, where he serves as co-chairman.