The Making of The Year of the Rabbit

June 9, 2011

On May 16, the BFA Advertising and Graphic Design Department hosted “The Year of the Rabbit Short Film Festival,” a screening of original works by 15 students completing a year-long course with award-winning director and longtime faculty member Bob Giraldi, who also chairs the MPS Live Action Short Film Department. Taking on subjects from Internet dating and sexual abuse to the immigrant experience and adoption, the films played to a full auditorium at the SVA Theatre. Nina LoSchiavo, whose film “La Mia Famiglia” is a coming out drama that unfolds over dinner with a suburban Italian-American family, filed this dispatch about the experience of making it.

Bob Giraldi’s “The Project” course gives advertising and graphic design students the opportunity to create a live action short film, exposing students to, what is for them, an entirely new method of visual storytelling. Bob swore at the beginning of the semester that with the proper dedication to our film, it would change our lives. On behalf of myself and my classmates, I can say that that turned out to be quite the understatement.

“The Project” gave me the opportunity not only to write a screenplay, but to work with highly experienced professionals to execute that vision. In fact, the most overwhelming and most rewarding part of the experience was working with the actors and crew. Hiring a group of talented individuals who are pursuing careers in the film business gave me a brief look into the lives of people I would never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. Standing on set, I was surrounded by 20 people who were passionate about their work, and who took a moment out of their lives to help me do my ‘homework.’ At times like that, the value of the experience exceeded the goal.

Image: Nina LoSchiavo, still from La Mia Famiglia.

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