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BOB GIRALDI

 

 

About Bob

BOB GIRALDI HAS ALWAYS STRIVED TO BRING AN INDEPENDENT HAND TO EVERYTHING HE TOUCHES

Working with music luminaries such as Pat Benatar, Paul McCartney, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Ricky Martin, Hall & Oates and Will Smith, he continued to win acclaim and define the future of the medium with videos like "Say, Say, Say," "Love is a Battlefield,“Hello” "Running with the Night," “Don’t Drive Drunk,” and Just The Two of Us.

In addition to directing Jon Cryer's teen cult film, "Hiding Out" (1987)Bob Giraldi’s feature film, Dinner Rush” (2000), with Danny Aiello, John Corbett and Sandra Bernhard, appeared on a number of 2001’s Top 10 Lists and was selected for the prestigious New Directors/New Films Series at MoMA.  This film clearly has influenced the many reality and fictional food shows that crowd TV and media today.  

Among its many awards, “Dinner Rush” was also listed by Roger Ebert as "One of the Best 100 Films in the Last 10 Years."  As Giraldi reminds, "one of the most satisfying distinctions for me is that the film is required viewing in most of the curriculum at the Culinary Institute of America."

Whether it’s music videos, films, commercials, education or restaurants, his sense of style and design is immediately felt in all his projects.

One of the original "Mad Men" in the early 1960s, Giraldi was a creative director at the legendary Y&R ad agency, winning numerous awards for a distinctive list of clients.  Caught up in the middle of the early advertising creative revolution, he spent over 10 years on Madison Avenue and has since earned the distinction of being named as one of "101 Stars Behind 100 Years of Advertising." In 2014, Giraldi was the first commercial director ever to be elected to the Advertising Hall of Fame.

With a run of over 40 years as one of America’s leading commercial directors, Giraldi has produced and directed over 4000 unique visual marketing and advertising pieces.  He has been inducted into the NY Art Director’s Hall of Fame, one of the few film directors to be honored. His work resides in the permanent collection of Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in NYC. He directed one of the longest advertising campaigns in history "Tastes Great, Less Filling" for Miller Lite.

Giraldi set the tone for music videos in the early MTV days.  His narrative and musical storytelling abilities were first seen in Michael Jackson's "Beat It" as the video swept the country and won numerous awards including that year’s coveted American Music Award, the Billboard Music Award and the People’s Choice Award

Advertising Hall of Fame Tribute Video

 

These days, Giraldi's medium of choice is short filmmaking, and he's proved both prolific and acclaimed with the array of short stories he's brought to the screen over the past two decades.  His short film, "The Routine" premiered at Sundance and won Best Drama at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival.  Another short, "My Hometown" is now in the Baseball Hall of Fame’s permanent collection and two short films; "Dream Begins" and "A Peculiar City" both integral parts of New York’s national Olympic bid, are now part of MoMA's permanent collection.  

His 2008 film "Second Guessing Grandma" with Kathleen Chalfant, examining the coming out of a twenty-something to his 83 year-old grandmother, received the Jury Award for Short Narrative at the 27th Annual Chicago International Film Festival and won the Audience Award for Best Short at the Fresno Reel Pride Festival, one of the largest US gender film festivals. It was also hand-selected to be in the new Google YouTube Screening Room, after it was the #3 most viewed video of the 2008 holiday season.  

More recently, Giraldi has directed three short films which have been successful at various festivals across the country; "A Poet Long Ago," (2014), based on a short story by the legendary Pete Hamill and starring Steve Schirripa, and Boris McGiver. "A Conversational Place" (2015), starring Emmy winner Marilyn Sokol and written by Jason Cici, who also wrote "New Year's Eve @ Sunny's" (2016) are currently making the rounds in several film festivals across the nation.

His latest short, "Superfriends" (2017) which is currently in post production and is slated to release this Spring.

Bob Giraldi: Director

His new Media Division has created the Out of Hand Festival, an International contest and partnership with the School of Visual Arts for content created by students around the world devoted to the art and technology of mobile phones.  Students from 80 countries responded to the call.  Its most recent project is a new mobile phone app; Rush Hour Meals and Cocktail Dog.

Always hungry for something new, Giraldi, threw his hat into the New York restaurant ring, by opening Jo-Jo with little-known chef, Jean Georges Vongerichten in the early ‘90’s.  Giraldi then helped start the Jean-Georges 4-star namesake restaurant as well as the Thai masterpiece, Vong, and its London and Hong Kong outposts.  Giraldi was also co-owner in Patria and Mercer Kitchen, both of which received 3-Stars from The New York Times.  


In 1995, Giraldi and his executive producer, Patti Greaney, created the original website, StarChefs.com, featuring celebrity chefs and cookbook authors. StarChefs.com continues to be the foremost website used by professionals and food aficionados.

Giraldi's Tuscan fare eatery BREADTribeca earned 2-Stars from The New York Times and his Diablo Royale has become a popular taqueria among millennials in the West Village.  

Both Gigino Trattoria and Gigino at Wagner Park have remained Italian favorites in Tribeca for 22 years.

Mr. Giraldi has been on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts for over thirty years.  He is currently Chair of SVA's ‘Masters in Directing’ program.  The graduate program celebrates the truly independent art of filmmaking, honoring first-time filmmakers, instructing them about the history of film, and outfitting them with the creative, technical, and critical tools needed to impart their artistic visions.

Giraldi is currently in the planning stages of opening a new casual spot with his wife, Patti, near their home in Montauk, NY.


"TO TRANSFER INTO FILM A HUMAN EMOTION THAT COULD BE

TRANSFERRED TO THE AUDIENCE. THAT'S HIS GENIUS." 

-Marshall Arisman


These days, Giraldi's medium of choice is short filmmaking, and he's proved both prolific and acclaimed with the array of short stories he's brought to the screen over the past two decades.  His short film, The Routine, premiered at Sundance and won Best Drama at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival.  Another short, My Hometown, is now in the Baseball Hall of Fame’s permanent collection and two short films; Dream Begins” and "A Peculiar City," both integral parts of New York’s national Olympic bid, are now part of MoMA's permanent collection.  

His 2008 film Second Guessing Grandma” with Kathleen Chalfant, examining the coming out of a twenty-something to his 83 year-old grandmother received the Jury Award for Short Narrative at the 27th Annual Chicago International Film Festival and won the Audience Award for Best Short at the Fresno Reel Pride Festival, one of the largest US gender film festivals. It was also hand-selected to be in the new Google YouTube Screening Room, after it was the #3 most viewed video of the 2008 holiday season.  

More recently, Giraldi has directed two short films which have been successful at various festivals across the country; "A Poet Long Ago," (2014), written by the legendary Pete Hamill and starring Steve Schirripa, and Boris McGiver, and "A Conversational Place" (2015), starring Marilyn Sokol. 

His latest short, (2016) "New Year's Eve @ Sunny's" -  “set on the last night of 1972, in Red Hook, Bklyn, it follows a young man who has just returned from the Vietnam War. Unable to rid his mind of the part he played in the bombing of Hanoi, he chooses to commit suicide, only barely saved by the mysterious woman he meets on the waterfront.”  The short film is currently in post-production, and scheduled for a release this spring.

INSIDE: A Poet Long Ago

FEATURE FILMS:

Before his recent success with short filmmaking, Bob made three feature films in the 1980s, directing Jon Cryer's teen cult film, "Hiding Out" (1987), as well as "National Lampoon's Movie Madness" (1983) and "Club Med" (1985), before directing his fourth, and most critically acclaimed feature film a decade later.

Dinner Rush” (2000), with Danny Aiello, John Corbett and Sandra Bernhard, appeared on a number of 2001’s Top 10 Lists and was selected for the prestigious New Directors/New Films Series at MoMA.  This film clearly has influenced the many reality and fictional food shows that crowd TV and media today.  “Dinner Rush” was also listed by Roger Ebert as "One of the Best 100 Films in the Last 10 Years."  

As Giraldi reminds, "one of the most satisfying distinctions for me is that the film is required viewing in most of the curriculum at the Culinary Institute of America."

Dinner Rush (2000)

"There are enough plots here to challenge Robert Altman, specialist in interlocking stories, but the director, Bob Giraldi, masters the complexities as if he knows the territory. He does."

- Roger Ebert

Hiding Out   (1987)

New Years Eve @ Sunny's (2016)

A Conversational Place (2015)

A Poet Long Ago (2014)

The Routine (2002)

The Grey Coat (2008)

Second Guessing Grandma (2008)

Honey Trap (2005)

COMING SOON:

SUPERFRIENDS (2017)


"He ALWAYS had a true understanding of advertising,

and he brought that knowledge along with his artistry

better than any TV director that ever lived."

-George Lois 


Bob Giraldi has produced and directed over 4,000 unique visual marketing and advertising pieces. 

Directing his first commercials at the ad agency Della Femina in the late 1960s before moving on to form his own company with Phil Suarez in the 1970s, Bob has enjoyed massive success as a commercial director down the years, picking up numerous awards along the way.

Although there have been several feature and short films, music videos, and restaurants to distract Bob from his commercial work down the years, he has never strayed far from the medium and the business that he owes it all to. Still working and producing fine work to this day, Bob runs his own production company, Giraldi Media, out of New York and Los Angeles, with a network of other renowned commercial directors connected through the company. 

Bob has been inducted into the NY Art Director’s Hall of Fame, one of the few film directors to be honored; and, in 2014, was the first commercial director ever to be elected to the Advertising Hall of Fame.


The McDonald’s spot, ‘40,000 Friends’ showcases Burrell’s deftness at creating compelling documentary-style, targeted ads, tapping the considerable talents of iconic director, Bob Giraldi to bring its script to life.

"The wonderful thing about working with Bob is

he can take your lyrics...spread them out,

and can really expand them to another dimension, to another level."

-Lionel Richie


"HE INNOVATED THE MUSIC VIDEO WORLD, HE WAS DOING THINGS PEOPLE HADN'T DONE BEFORE."

-Mike Frankfurt

Giraldi set the tone for music videos in the early MTV days.  His narrative and musical storytelling abilities were first seen in Michael Jackson's "Beat It" as the video swept the country and won numerous awards including that year’s coveted American Music Award, the Billboard Music Award and the People’s Choice Award. Hand-picked by Jackson himself after the singer saw an Eye Witness News commercial directed by Giraldi, about an elderly blind couple holding a block party for their new black and hispanic neighbors, the Beat It video became the stuff of legend partially because of its cast members: real life members of the Bloods and the Crips. The shoot almost turned into a disaster though, as Bob recalls Michael's decision to have the real gang members in the video, and an incident that almost halted the entire production::

"I thought he was crazy. He got the police to go along with it. He got the Crips and the Bloods to go along with it. Everything was fine for half a day. Then after lunch it got hairy. One of the Crips started smacking' one of the Bloods, and there was a little bit of a fight, The police came to me and said 'Bob, we have to shut this down'... I thought 'There goes the music video.' So I said 'Let me try one thing. Just one thing. If it doesn't work we close it down and go home. Let me play the music.' And we picked it up from Eddie Van Halen's guitar solo... Peace. The way they watched those kids dance,,,the look on the faces said: 'We may be the baddest asses in the world, but that's something we'll never be able to do.' It just was brilliant."

Next up was making the first music video to ever feature dialogue, as Bob directed Pat Benetar's "Love is a Battlefield" soon after, before directing Lionel Richie's "Hello." He directed Michael Jackson again, this time with Paul McCartney for company, for their song "Say Say Say." He continued to win acclaim and define the future of the medium, working with even more music luminaries such as Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Ricky Martin, Hall & Oates, Will Smith, and more. 


 

In the early '90's, Bob Giraldi threw his hat into the New York restaurant ring, opening Jo-Jo with his then film partner, Phil Suarez, and a little-known chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten.  Soon Giraldi became part of the team that created the foundation for a food dynasty that is unparalleled, even to this day.  After Jo-Jo, Giraldi became a partner in various eateries, such as  Jean Georges, the NY Times 4-Star restaurant in Trump Towers-- the Asian fusion sensation, Vong, a forerunner of modern Tha cuisine in NYC, with its London and Hong Kong outposts-- Mercer Kitchen in SoHo-- and Prime, the venerable steakhouse at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. Giraldi was also involved in the creation of Patria; at the time in the early 90's, led by chef Douglas Rodriquez, considered the first significant and legitimate nuevo Latino cuisine in NYC.  Patria received the NY Times 3-Stars,  

Gigino Trattoria opened its doors in August of 1994.  Owners once again, Giraldi and Suarez, along with executive chef Luigi Celentano, whom they discovered in Positano on the Amalfi coast of Italy, have kept this amazing resilient and consistent Italian eatery flourishing as the restaurant has become a mainstay in the ever-changing Tribeca neighborhood.  

Bob's feature film, “Dinner Rush,” starring Danny Aiello, John Corbett and Sandra Bernhard, was photographed almost exclusively inside Gigino; it tells the story of New York’s latest hotspot where love, ex, ambling, food, and money are all on the menu.  As Elvis Mitchell, film critic at the NY Times put it; "Dinner Rush is a mouth-watering display of talent, technique and patience.  There are more intrigues here than in the court of Medicis'."  However, Giraldi says, “For me, the most satisfying credit the film‘s ever received has been the Culinary Institute of America requiring it ‘essential viewing’ as part of their extensive program.” 

Bob also started Gigino at Wagner Park with Suarez-- and Celentano, once again, as the Executive Chef.  This popular inside/outside café is located at the southern tip of Manhattan, with the most spectacular views of the New York harbor; a truly unique piece of waterfront dining, especially in the summer months on the outdoor patio.

In 1995, Giraldi and Executive Producer, Patti Greaney, created the original website StarChefs.com, featuring celebrity chefs and cookbook authors. StarChefs.com continues to be the foremost website used by professionals and food aficionados. 

In 2002, Bob joined forces with restaurateur Luigi Comandatore to open the Tuscan fare eatery, BREADTribeca, that earned 2-Stars from The NY Times.  Another establishment, Diablo Royale, has continued as a popular taqueria in the West Village. 

Recently, Bob appeared on the TV series, Celebrity Taste Makers, with Danny Aiello, discussing his long and successful experience in the restaurant business, as well as the making of "Dinner Rush" which has, over the years, earned its reputation as the original inspiration for the galaxy of food shows, both reality and fictional, that crowd the media landscape of today. 

 

Stay tuned, as more eateries are in the works—specifically targeting their vacation spot in Montauk, Giraldi and his wife Patti, are planning on opening a casual dining spot this coming season.

 

Dinner Rush (2000 Feature Film)

StarChefs Website

Gigino Trattoria

Gigino Wagner Park


"At the onset I thought he was taking on something that was impossible. And I was actually fearful.

But when I saw the results at the end of the first year, I was flabbergasted.

I just couldn't believe the level that they had achieved."

-Richard Wilde, Chair of School of Visual Arts


"BOB'S REAL CONTRIBUTION HERE HAS BEEN TO GET PEOPLE TO THINK VERY SERIOUSLY ABOUT MORE THAN PRINT MEDIA." 

-David Rhode, President of the School of Visual Arts

Bob Giraldi has been on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts for over thirty years.  He is currently Chair of SVA's ‘Masters in Directing’ program

Bob's journey at the School of Visual Arts began in the late 1960s, when he was made Chair of the Advertising Department at the school before he had turned 30. In 1969, he hired a man by the name of Richard Wilde, who went on to become the Chair of the entire school. Wilde then returned the favor some 30 years later, when he hired Bob to teach a class called "The Project," an honors class for undergraduate Advertising Majors in which they would make a short film in one year. The class was so successful, that Bob established a Masters Program based on the concept of Live Action Short Film, the program he is the Chair of today. Richard Wilde recalled the beginnings of the program in a recent interview:

"At the onset I thought he was taking on something that was impossible. And I was actually fearful. But when I saw the results at the end of the first year, I was flabbergasted. I just couldn't believe the level that they had achieved...  In a very short period of time, he was able to make each one [of these Advertising students] make a film on a very high level...Most of the students will not become film directors, but working out of one's discipline and hitting a very high achievement in not their area of expertise truly empowers students. And basically that's what Bob does. He empowers students.  

The graduate program celebrates the truly independent art of filmmaking, honoring first-time filmmakers, instructing them about the history of film, and outfitting them with the creative, technical, and critical tools needed to impart their artistic visions. Students learn virtually everything, and, in one year, have to produce a film.

Bob's philosophy is a hands-on one, a breakneck pace, as he explains: "One of the important things about shooting short films is to get on with it. You'll learn more if you do it."

SVA Masters in Directing Website

Baby Steps: The First Year at SVA

Bob On Set With MPS Directing Students


"Every night every director lays in bed and thinks about

what HE didn't get, what HE should've gotten,

and Yet, what could be magical ." 

-Bob Giraldi