Meet the producer bringing Hallmark romance to Tampa Bay movie sets

Paul Guzzo, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Entertainment News

The Queens, New York, native was 20 years old and attending Florida International University in Miami for a theater and psychology double major when a friend asked for a favor. She was a production assistant on a commercial featuring Reggie Jackson and needed Schmidt to bring wardrobe from the dry cleaner to set.

“While there, they offered me $50 to stay and work for the day as a production assistant,” Schmidt said. “They liked me, kept calling me for more work, and that led to work on "Miami Vice" as assistant to Michael Mann,” the executive producer. “That led to other things, and here I am.”

Those “other things,” according to IMDB.com include production manager on sci-fi movie "I Am Number Four" and production coordinator on ’90s hit "The Bird Cage."

“It takes hard work” to make it in the film industry, she said.

Work days can run 16 hours for those on the production side, she said, and there are weeks when she works all seven days.

That hectic schedule once had Schmidt wondering if she’d find love.

“It is hard for someone who works nine to five to understand the lifestyle,” she said.

Schmidt was production supervisor for the George Clooney-led drama "Up In The Air" in 2009 when she met her husband, Ron Schmidt.

“Online dating was perfect,” she said. “I didn’t know how to flirt, so I’d have a day to come up with suave answers.”


They chatted online for weeks, she said, before their first date, “so, by then we already knew we liked each other. When we met, the chemistry was strong.”

She took his first-date marriage proposal as a joke, but he kept at it.

Six weeks later, she said yes, and they married two weeks after that.

“He understands and accepts what my job demands,” she said. “He has one of the best senses of humor and keeps me laughing through all the trials and tribulations.”

It sounds like a Hallmark plot: Hardworking movie producer who has given up on love finds romance online.

Schmidt laughed at the notion.

“I believe in happy endings,” she said. “My life is all about happy moments.”


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