Gerald was born and raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1940. Following his service in WWII as a 2nd Lieutenant, attached to a French Cadet Air Crew Training Unit, he began his professional career as a writer and director in Hollywood. He retained his membership in Writers Guild of America and Directors Guild of America and continued his writing, publishing short stories in national magazines.
Gerald’s Polaroid art work was exhibited internationally. He owned and operated Gerald Schnitzer Productions for twenty years and was awarded several Gran Prix for his commercials for Kodak, Chevrolet, and Clairol. Feature film credits: Sail to Glory, The Naked Sea, Doomtown, Kid Dynamite, Bowery Boys, Jinx Money, The Corpse Vanishes, and TV segments of Lassie and National Velvet. He gained notoriety in the world of TV advertising in the late 1950s by his humanizing commercial, creating the so-called “Kodak Moment.”