Coming from a small town in northern Italy, Vigarano Mainarda (Ferrara), Professor Rambaldi was born into a cinema family and naturally developed a passion for the seventh art.
Rambaldi studied screenwriting and film production at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he took his first steps in filmmaking, working at MGM studios in various positions, before getting the chance to direct his first motion picture in 1987. Many projects followed, from three more features, commercials, stage work, shorts, musicals, and more.
In 2001, Rambaldi started writing children and young adult literature and has since published twenty-four books for several publishing houses.
Rambaldi joined AUR in 2015, where he teaches all aspects of cinema, from screenwriting, film pre-production, film theory, directing for the screen, film distribution, and documentary workshops.
Professor Rambaldi has an intimate connection with one of cinema's most iconic individuals... his father, Carlo Rambaldi, designed ET, the Extra-Terrestrial.
Q. When were you happiest?
When I signed my very first contract to direct a film with an American production company in Los Angeles. What a feeling that was!
Q. What is your computer and/or phone wallpaper?
Being an old-timer and lover of progressive rock, my phone wallpaper is the cover of one of my favorite albums from the band Genesis from the 70’s, “Selling England by the pound”.
Q. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I first wanted to become a veterinarian, but then emigrating to Hollywood in the early ‘70’s I was totally captured and mesmerized by the film industry there. So, I switched directions and decided to become a writer/director instead.
Q. What is the worst job you've ever done?
Waiting tables. As a waiter I lasted only three days.
Q. Which word or phrase do you most overuse?
There are many, but the one I seem to use a lot is, “watch this madness”, which I’ve learned at MGM studios. It was a sort of “trademark” by directors there, just before calling “camera” and “action”. Considering the circumstances, the origin of this saying I think it’s self-explanatory.
Q. If you weren’t a screenwriter/director, what would you be?
I love producing a lot. It’s a very stressful job which carries a lot of responsibilities, but I like to be in charge of things.
Q. How do you relax?
Naturally, watching films but also reading history, art, and a lot of prog-rock of course.
Q. What trait do you most dislike in yourself?
It’s probably anxiety, something that comes with the job of filmmaking, I guess.
Q. What trait do you most dislike in others?
I suppose, not being punctual.
Q. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Hamburger and a chocolate milk shake. Cannot handle them anymore [sigh].
Q. If you could bring something extinct or a deceased historic figure back to life, what or who would it be?
I am in total awe with Dante Alighieri. I can’t get enough of him, both as the genius who wrote the Divine Comedy, and as an example of political integrity, passion, and duty.
Q. If you could travel back in time just once, where and when would you go?
I am fascinated by the Middle Ages. Florence in the 1200’s would be the place to go for me, though extremely dangerous.
Q. What is the most important lesson that life has taught you?
Decisions made purely on emotions could be dangerous and straining in the long run.
Q. Tell us a secret…
I still can’t figure out the squaring of a circle.
Still curious about Professor Rambaldi? Read his official academic biography here.