Fall 2018

Gerard DiNardi

From East Harlem to the Universal Backlot


First AD Gerard DiNardi knew he wanted to work in the biz since he was 9. "I came out to California on vacation with my folks and took the Universal [Studios] tour," he reminisces. "I was that kid, looking at it all, thinking, 'How do you get into that?'"

DiNardi thought it impossible: "I grew up in East Harlem, and as a poor Puerto Rican kid, the whole goal was to get out of there."

He got out of there, moved to L.A., and eventually made a name for himself as a go-to horror AD. Recently, DiNardi worked on Jordan Peele's DGA Award-winning Get Out, which filmed in Alabama on a 22-day shooting schedule. "You get used to L.A., but other states actually have weather," laughs DiNardi. "We made sure we had some cover sets that we could jump into."

They ended up having a little more rain than cover sets. "All the party scenes were spread out over several days," says DiNardi. "You can't tell, but it was drizzling for some of the auction scene. We put up tarps and lights and just kept rolling."

DiNardi is reuniting with Peele on his second feature, Us. "It's crazy because our offices are on the Universal backlot, and the tour goes right outside our door," says DiNardi. "I look at all the kids that go by and think, 'You know, it wasn't that many years ago.'"

(Photo: Dale Berman)

At Work With

Short profiles of Guild members in all categories sharing their experiences at work.

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