Geneseo man overcomes obstacles to create business
Dalcon Todd Productions was born out of necessity, founded by Dalcon DeMaranville of rural Geneseo.
When life gave DeMaranville lemons, he really did turn the lemons into lemonade, as the saying goes and took a positive attitude when faced with misfortune.
Ten years after graduating from Geneseo High School in 1996, DeMaranville launched Dalcon Todd Productions, a video production business. That career wasn’t in his original plan, but when a car accident in 2004 left him a paraplegic, DeMaranville had to make some different choices.
After graduating from GHS in 1996, he enrolled at Western Illinois University, Macomb, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in engineering.
“I worked in engineering for a short time at a Quad City firm, and then realized that engineering wasn’t going to be my future,” he said. “I then saw an opportunity in music in Nashville and something in music always was the end goal for me, so I packed everything up in a 14-foot U-Haul and took off for Nashville.”
He loved what he was doing in Nashville, working as a singer-songwriter. That all came to an abrupt halt in June of 2004, and was traveling to a family event in St. Louis, Mo., and suffered a seizure while driving.
“I had been diagnosed with a light case of Epilepsy when I was younger and I had a seizure while driving the car and ended up in the hospital in Paducah, Ky.”
DeMaranville said according to the police report of the accident, his car went over the overpass and onto the pavement below.
He woke up five days after the accident happened and said, “The accident happened on Saturday, and I woke up on Thursday in a hospital in Paducah,” he said. “I looked around, knew I was in the hospital and it was 3 a.m. and at that time I didn’t know what town I was in or what day it was so I turned on the TV it to the weather channel because I knew that would tell me what day it was and what town I was in.”
“Then I tried to sit up and get out of bed and my legs wouldn’t move so I laid back down and said to myself, ‘let’s try this again,’ and my legs still wouldn’t move so I went back to sleep. I don’t recall much after that, things happened so fast, but I know I went through some rehabilitation.”
He was in the hospital in Paducah for two weeks before being transferred to an East Moline nursing facility for a short time and eventually spent two months in Hammond-Henry Hospital in Geneseo.
It was fall when DeMaranville was discharged from the hospital and he returned home to live with his parents, Connie and the late Kendall DeMaranville.
The injury left DeMaranville a paraplegic, although he said the vast majority of sensation has returned to his legs… “I am now able to walk a short time on crutches; I can get in and out of my vehicle although the time on my feet is limited.”
“When I was living with my parents I took a solid year to decide what I was going to do,” DeMaranville said. “I let my body heal and spent a lot of time talking with my Dad, who was a paraplegic from a helicopter accident that happened when he was serving in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot.”
“My Dad could understand what I was going through as he, too, was in a wheelchair and could not walk at all,” he said.
“Around the end of 2006, Dad and I began going around looking for a job for me and everywhere we went, I was told I was over qualified because of my education or I was not able to perform what the job required,” he said.
That left the young man with only one option – to start off on his own career path…”I knew I had to do something creative and music was no longer going to be an option. I am wired creatively and so, without any experience, I asked my Dad for some money and he gave me enough to buy my first two video cameras. I started off and I taught myself from there on – named my business – Dalcon Todd Productions, and that was my beginning.”
He recruited a friend, Nate Johnson of Geneseo, and the two went out and began filming different events.
DeMaranville said the biggest hurdle he had to overcome was “the stereotype. I understood people wouldn’t take someone in a chair seriously. So I knew people wouldn’t deal with me, I would have to deal with them. I would have to be a force.”
The idea for video production really had been in DeMaranville’s mind for many years and he recalled, “A dear friend of mine, Dan Pearson, took me to a Quad City Thunder game when I was 12 or 13 and I got a glimpse of media production and that had a very big impact on a very impressionable person,” he said. (At that time, Pearson worked in sports broadcasting for KWQC-TV, and he is now area director of the Illowa Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes).
In 2007, DeMaranville contacted Travis Mackey, who is Geneseo High School principal, but at that time was GHS athletic director.
“Travis gave me the go ahead to film the highlight reels of the football team for the school,” DeMaranville said. “I knew I would make mistakes along the way and I learned from my mistakes which helped me with other opportunities.”
“Travis (Mackey) has been such a blessing in my life, as a mentor and in helping me get started in video production,” DeMaranville said. “He believes in me.”
Filming the GHS football reels has opened many other doors of work for him at the high school and DeMaranville cited some, including the first video board on the football field with videos of football players.
“Now there is the new video board on the south end of the football field and I am also working on videos for the video board on the soccer field and in the gym,” he said.
He also handles the student recognition videos at the high school throughout the year and does some work for the Geneseo Chamber of Commerce.
“Right now my plate is pretty full and I love what I am doing,” he said, as his family now includes wife, Sarah, and two children, Chase and Anna.
For more information about Dalcon Todd Productions, email DeMaranville at firstname.lastname@example.org.