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John Schnieder better known as the lovable 'Bo Duke' is now in a path of reinventing himself. He now owns his own studio, 'John Schnieder Studios' which offers filmmakers all necessity amenities to shoot their movies. He also directed 'Smothered', a horror comedy movie which was released in 2014. In a recent talk with All Lights Film Magazine, John opened up about his life, aspirations, studio works and future projects.
Question 01: You are forever known as the lovable Bo Duke from ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ among spectators. Have you suffered any kind of ‘image slavery’ ever in your life due to the peculiar characterization of Bo Duke?
Of course, I have. I'm from Westchester county NY and I am really about as Southern as a slice of Pizza. However... what doesn't keep you out of work makes you better.
Question 02: After a long journey as an actor, you turned as a filmmaker in 2013 by directing, ‘Smothered’. Please share some of your memorable film-making experience.
Penning and directing a film is an amazing experience. From clothing, to hair color, to actors’ intent, you are involved in it all. No other single role in the process is so all consuming or rewarding. To be fair though ... I did write and direct the last episode of ‘Dukes’ in ‘85 as well as ‘Collier &Co.’ in 2006.
Question 03: The filming of ‘Smothered’ mostly took place in your John Schneider Studios. What was your feeling while shooting in your own studio?
At the time of filming, I didn't actually own the studio. The plan to purchase the property and develop a film friendly environment evolved during the process. The property lends itself to multiple locations, without the need for costly multiple company moves. Perfect when on a tight budget.
Question 04: Would you mind sharing details of some impeccable amenities and features available in your studio?
The river, lake and swamp, being within an 8 iron of each other, offer filmmakers great latitude with filming what Louisiana has to offer. We have a 220,000-gallon swimming pool equipped for green screen that can be a setting for anywhere in the world, as well as be used as a submersion tank. Two more sound-stages will be constructed in 2015, and the bamboo forest is a dead ringer for South East Asia. Staying on site is also a great way to make a film, and immerse your key players in the process. Editing on-site makes it possible to finish your film or watch dailies and rough cuts, in the 25 seat screening room in the main house.
Question 05: Please tell us something about ‘Children’s Miracle Network’.
CMN Hospitals is a 365/7 effort that I helped birth in 1982. It’s designed to keep money raised locally in the local Children’s hospital. We have raised over 5 billion dollars in 31 years, and many children are alive today, and parents themselves, because of it. Often times ours is the only non discretionary money that these great institutions receive.
Question 06: Do you have any plans to raise funds solely for the treatment of Cancer in Children?
The hospitals we serve, treat all manner of cancer in children throughout the US and Canada.
Question 07: Please share some details about your future projects.
Slated for 2015 are ‘Backwater’ - a story about a hospice nurse's difficulty in dealing with people who are NOT dying, and ‘Like Son’ - a story about the similarities between a lawman and his son, who chose the same profession, but vows to do it differently.