Steve Schwartz

Steve Schwartz (along with his wife Paula Mae) are principals of the production company, Chockstone Pictures. 

They are producers on THE COUNSELOR (directed by Ridley Scott, starring Javier Bardem, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt); THE ROAD (starring Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron); and KILLING THEM SOFTLY (starring Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini), among other feature films. THE ROAD was nominated for a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and KILLING THEM SOFTLY was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Steve and Paula Mae were co-executive producers of THE TREE OF LIFE (directed by Terrence Malick), which won the Palme d’Or and was nominated for Best Picture, Academy Awards. 

They were producers on Deaf West Theatre’s musical revival of SPRING AWAKENING on Broadway, which garnered three Tony and four Drama Desk nominations. Their documentary short—HOMELESS: THE SOUNDTRACK—had its world premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, where it received Special Jury Mention.

Among current film projects, Steve is developing a climbing movie—WHITE OUT--based on a story by mountaineering legend Reinhold Messner.

In 1990, Steve and his wife Paula Mae co-founded a technology marketing agency, Schwartz Communications, which was named to the Inc 500 List of the fastest-growing private companies three times, and was acquired by Publicis.

Previously, he had been CEO Jack Welch’s speechwriter at GE.

An avid hiker, climber and kayaker, Steve has served on the boards of the American Alpine Club, the Appalachian Mountain Club and Bowdoin College. 

3 words to describe Nature?

Fun. Majestic. Fulfilling.

3 things Nature taught you?



Reverence for all life

3 most treasured Nature spots?

White Mountains of New Hampshire

New England coastal waters

The Alps

Santa Monica Mountains (Southern California). I couldn’t leave those out!! 

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

For decades, I’ve been fortunate to live in places where I could look out at either the Atlantic or the Pacific, connecting me to nature, rather than the creations of humanity. I feel good about that.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Happy, but sometimes wish for a bigger view.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

When I hiked up Haleakala, I experienced its otherworldly beauty and power.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

I’m usually happier to see the sunrise—the dawn of a new day—rather than the setting sun. But maybe that’s a function of age.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

If I’m in the mountains…anxious.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Again, depends on where I am. If I’m home in Malibu, high winds create fire concerns. In a kayak, you know you’re in for more exercise. If I’m walking in a city, howling winds are a welcome connection to nature.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

I’m a split personality: mountains and ocean.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10, for sure.

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I grew up in a big city and my earliest nature memory was walking alongside Wissahickon Creek in northwest Philadelphia. I had remarkably few encounters with nature until I started hiking and camping with a girlfriend in my twenties and, as “reformed rakes often make the best husbands,” I went on to become a nature freak. Since we started our own companies, and thus had more control over our lives, I spent as much time outdoors as possible. And today, when I’m inside, I want to be outside. When I’m in nature, I’m happy. Even in a cave.