The Robert Morris University faculty is joined this fall semester by an accomplished filmmaker.
This fall’s Rooney Scholar from Italy, Luca Guardabascio, is a filmmaker, a writer, an actor and a producer.
Guardabascio, from Eboli and Campagna, Italy, started writing at a very early age.
“Writing is my passion,” he said.
He was six years old when he was first published. His school teacher edited 70 short stories that he wrote in a matter of six day, and published 300 copies of them.
“My imagination was full of things,” he explained.
At 13 years old, Guardabascio received a video camera from his father.
“With the video camera, I filmed … [a lot of] of movies,” he said.
Guardabascio made a lot parodies, such as The Godmother and Natural Pork Killer.
When he was 15, he filmed a parody TV show named Eboli Vice, which became very successful and sold all over Italy.
Guardabascio attended a university in Rome.
“My first idea was to be [an] actor and [a] writer,” he said. However, his parents encouraged him to study something more.
“I discovered [that my] level of filmmaking was very good,” Guardabascio said. For this reason, Guardabascio decided to pursue a career in film.
15 years ago, Guardabascio filmed two successful independent movies, and a successful TV show.
Task Force, the show, which is about a task force that helps people in natural disasters, was filmed in many countries in the world, such as Brasil, South Africa and Malta. Guardabascio will film the third season in June 2012.
When it comes to his semester at RMU, Guardabscio hopes to help students have a better understanding of the culture of Italians.
“Our culture is not just pizza… [and] spaghetti,” he said.
Guardabascio explained that Italians have a different way of life.
“The Italian people can overcome situations,” he said.
He will concentrate in teaching Italian movies to students.
“In this full semester, I’ll try to explain the important point of view of our cinema,” he said.
He talked about the fact that even tragic movies contain some sort of comedy.
“They forgive the tragedy very soon,” he explained.
Guardabscio also talked about his way of teaching at RMU.
“Students teach you a lot of different things,” he said.
He explained that in each class, there are different brains and personalities found in each student.
“You have to understand what they feel…[and] their history…” he said. “You have to build a connection with them.”
For this reason, Guardabascio does not prepare a fixed schedule for classes to allow a more flexible environment.
“Teaching for me is like a hobby,” he explained. “I want to break the rules.”
He also wants students to have good memories of him.
“I take my personality to each class,” he added.
To Guardabascio, the difference between the school atmosphere in the United States and the one in Italy is the students’ characters. He describes RMU students as shy and respectful toward their professors compared to the ones in Italy.
“Students are happy to be on campus,” he added.
Although it is Guardabascio’s first time in the United States, he explained that he grew knowing a lot about the country.
“I grew up with Hollywood… [and] New York,” he said.
He described the city of Pittsburgh as a clean and friendly city with beautiful people and good food.
Guardabascio will film a tragic comedy on campus with Michael DiLauro, the director of the Academic Media Center, and famous actor, Ron Palillo, from Oct. 16 to Nov. 5. He welcomes student to watch the filming and see the finished work, which should be available next year.