Giraldi at his induction to the Advertising Hall of Fame in May, 2013.
|Born||Robert Nicholas Giraldi
January 17, 1939
Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.
|Residence||New York City, New York, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Pratt Institute|
|Occupation||Film director, Television director|
|Years active||1962 -|
|Notable work||Dinner Rush, Beat It|
Bob Giraldi (born January 17, 1939) is an American film and television director known for directing the film Dinner Rush and the music video for Michael Jackson's song "Beat It". His work has garnered many accolades, including several London International Awards, Cannes Advertising Awards, NY International Awards, Addy Awards, Chicago Film Festival Awards and hundreds of Clio Awards. He has also been named one of the "101 Stars Behind 100 Years of Advertising."
Giraldi was born in Paterson, New Jersey, to a working-class Italian-American family. He attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York on a basketball and baseball scholarship, graduating in 1960 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
Upon graduation, in 1960, he worked as a graphic designer at General Motors in Detroit. Shortly thereafter he returned to New York, where he spent the next nine years as an art director and creative supervisor at the advertising agency Young & Rubicam.
1965, he began teaching advertising at The School of Visual Arts in New York, and soon became the Chair of the Advertising Department. In 1968, Silas Rhodes appointed him the Assistant Director of the School. During the Vietnam War, the School was forced to make administrative changes, and Giraldi had to step down. However, he remained on the School's Board of Directors, and in 1981, directed and produced a film, "Burnt Umber", featuring a then-unknown actor Denzel Washington, for SVA's recruitment program.
In 1970, Giraldi became creative director of the advertising agency DellaFemina & Partners, and three years later formed his production company Giraldi Productions, which has to-date produced and directed close to 3000 commercials, music videos and short films.
Giraldi's advertising campaigns include the Pepsi-Cola campaign with Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, memorable for an incident in which Jackson's hair caught on fire in an accident involving pyrotechnics on the set, and commercials for the Miller Brewing Company commercials that featured such celebrities as Rodney Dangerfield, Bob Uecker, Billy Martin, John Madden, Bubba Smith, Tommy Heinsohn, Mickey Spillane, Dick Butkus and Joe Piscopo. He was also responsible for commercials for the Broadway shows A Chorus Line, Evita, Dreamgirls, Sophisticated Ladies, Sunset Boulevard, The Phantom of the Opera and The Full Monty.
Michael Jackson Pepsi commercial
According to Captain Don Donester, the fire safety inspector, who was on the set during filming of the commercial, overheard Giraldi informing Michael Jackson to "Stand there longer [under the sparks]. You'll look more majestic." In a response to TMZ, Giraldi countered that he had no idea putting Michael directly underneath the sparks was dangerous, and furthermore, it was the responsibility of fire safety officials such as Donester to warn him of any risk. He also stated that there were never supposed to be sparks; in fact, the fireworks malfunctioned.
Giraldi's first music video as director was 1983's "Pieces of Ice", by Diana Ross. He would direct several Ross videos during the rest of the decade. Giraldi wrote and directed the music video for "Beat It" starring Michael Jackson. Arguably Giraldi's best-known work, the video won an American Music Award, the Billboard Music Award, a 1984 People's Choice Award, and is included in Rolling Stone's top ten examples of video art at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Other famous videos followed. "Say, Say, Say", with Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney, won the 1984 Le Festival du Clip St. Tropez. "Love Is a Battlefield", with Pat Benatar won a 1984 MTV Video Music Award, and "Hello" with Lionel Richie, won a 1985 American Music Award. Other notable music videos from the 1980s include: "Running with the Night" by Lionel Richie, "Possession Obsession" by Daryl Hall & John Oates. He directed the video for Jean Michel Jarre's Rendez-vous Houston concert. He also directed the video for the Will Smith song, "Just The Two Of Us".
Giraldi made his feature film directing debut with the film Hiding Out (1987), starring Jon Cryer. His next feature film Dinner Rush (2000) appeared on a number of 2001's Top 10 lists, including Salon.com's and Richard Roeper's of Ebert & Roeper and was selected for the New Directors/New Films Festival presented by The Film Society of Lincoln Center at MoMA. Giraldi's independent films have also garnered numerous awards and have found their way into collections as diverse as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. In 1991, Giraldi was inducted into the Art Director's Hall of Fame, one of the few film directors to be honored. His short film The Routine premiered at Sundance Film Festival and won Best Drama at the 6th Annual Los Angeles International Short Film Festival. Another short, My Hometown, is now in the National Baseball Hall of Fame's permanent collection, and Dream Begins, an integral part of New York's national Olympic bid, now resides with the Museum of Modern Art. Giraldi's short film, Honey Trap starring Debbie Harry, won a Gold Remi Award at the 39th Annual WorldFest Houston and screened at Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films, San Diego Film Festival, Raindance in the UK, and Hamptons International Film Festival. on YouTube, his latest short film, has won numerous awards, including the Fresno Reel Pride 2008 Audience Award; 27 Reeling: Chicago Lesbian & Gay Film Festival Jury Award; 14th Annual Palm Springs International Festival of Films Official Selection; 33rd Cleveland International Film Festival, Best LGBT Short Film.
In the early '90's, Giraldi threw his hat into the New York restaurant ring, opening Jo-Jo with Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Giraldi then helped start the Jean Georges 4-star namesake restaurant as well as Vong and its London and Hong Kong outposts. Gerald was also involved in Patria, which received the New York Times 3 Stars, but has since closed.In 2002 Bob joined forces with restaurateur Luigi Comandatore creator of Bread Nolita and, opened the Tuscan fare eatery BREADTribecat that earned 2 Stars from The Times. Another establishment, Diablo Royale, has become a popular taqueria in the West Village and currently is in the process of opening another location in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. In March 2009, Giraldi opened Tonda, a pizzeria whose focus is healthy, casual fare inspired by a Napoli cuisine.
In 1995, Giraldi and Patti Greaney created the original website StarChefs.com, featuring celebrity chefs and cookbook authors. StarChefs continues to be the foremost website used by professionals and food afficiandos. In addition to StarChefs, Giraldi has begun negotiations with several Japanese high profile corporations to create ChefRising.com, a new culinary, food-centric website in that country featuring the latest news and information about Japan's emerging star chefs and food community.
- Elvis Mitchell (March 31, 2001). "A Menu of Plot and Intrigue Where Food Is Just a Show". The New York Times.
- Shott, Chris (2009-03-10). Eat it! Giraldi Tries Pizza (HTML). The New York Observer. The New York Observer, LLC. Retrieved on 2009-03-10
- ""Michael Jackson at a Glance," The Baltimore Sun, June 14, 2005. Retrieved June 2, 2009". Baltimoresun.com. 2005-06-14. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
- "Marcus, Greil, "Real Life Rock Top 10". Retrieved June 2, 2009". Archive.salon.com. 2001-11-12. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
- "Retrieved June 2, 2009". Adcglobal.org. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
- ""New York Magazine: Restaurants." Retrieved June 2, 2009". Nymag.com. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
- ""The New York Times: Dining and Wine." Retrieved June 2, 2009". Events.nytimes.com. 2004-01-14. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
- Maurer, D.  at New York Magazine