"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 ."