Executive director of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, 49
/ Why he’s interesting / Before moving here five years ago, Schwarz traveled the world as a location manager for films and shows such as Entourage and My Name is Earl, and co-produced HBO’s Emmy Award-winning miniseries Band of Brothers. Now he’s focused on building a film industry in Cleveland.
/ Summer sizzle / “I remember both on [I,] Alex Cross and The Avengers just watching the people and going, Wow, they’re here to watch this, and they’re having a ball.” Last summer, the movies Schwarz helped attract brought more than $80 million to the local economy. “It’s not just movies here for economic development and job creation. It really created a sense of pride and excitement for the community.”
/ His first big break / In 1987, back when he wanted to be an actor, Schwarz landed a role in Campus Man. “It’s about a beefcake calendar. So I went anyway. ... [The casting director] got the irony of it, thought it was funny and hired me for another part.”
/ His real big break / Two years later, Schwarz called his one industry connection for six months before getting a production assistant job. The film was C.H.U.D. II.
“Cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers part two. Just in case you didn’t see the first one.”
/ On Band of Brothers / “As far as a work experience, nothing will ever replace that.” Schwarz, the first person hired for the series, still tries to make the cast and crew’s annual reunion in LA. “That’s the kind of friendship and camaraderie you just don’t get in this industry. People still talk about the show 12 years out. It’s still relevant.”
/ On not missing LA / The only thing Schwarz misses is sushi. “In Cleveland, we know all of our neighbors, and I feel like I’m living in a Norman Rockwell painting. At first it freaked me out coming from Los Angeles, but now I totally embrace it.”