Locals Only: From Made Men to Mad Men: Steve Schofield’s A Colorful Arrangement

 

By thelaegotist / / Steve Schofield, Partner/EP of ModOp Films discusses Schofield’s Flowers, then and now, and a life steeped in storytelling from the streets of Chicago to the boulevards of Hollywood. WHAT IS SCHOFIELD”S FLOWERS? My grandfather “Big” Bill Schofield owned Schofield’s Flowers, which supplied all flowers for O’Banion’s funeral, the funeral flower wreaths for the victims of The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. If you’ve watched Boardwalk Empire, you know it. I grew up in the shop, delivering flowers to Sam Giancana better known as Sammy G by me and my dad. He was like an uncle…a fearsome uncle, but he was great to me. The flower shop wasn’t just a place that catered to the crime families — politicians, sportscasters, and newscasters, all came to our shop. The place was right around the corner from a police station and when things got busy, my dad would call the desk sergeant at the station and the cops would drive over and help deliver flowers. Later, my dad was convicted of bookmaking but I was told he went to “Flower School” for a year. It was Sandstone, the same place the Watergate guys ended up. As a kid, that seemed like a reasonable explanation. It wasn’t until we were going to his funeral, that my mom confessed the truth…because she knew that there would be people from all walks of life there (two thousand or so!) and she wanted to beat them to the information! So, my life has been filled with crazy stories of some of the most infamous characters in Chicago’s history, and I’ve been working on writing them down for many years. Today, Schofield’s Flowers is a place for many forms of storytelling, a recently published book, a podcast, merch and more. This is a greenhouse lab that develops things I’ve seen and done. https://www.schofieldsflowers.com HOW DID YOU END UP IN THE AD INDUSTRY? I was a cop with the Chicago force for seven years and during that time I made a film for banks in the greater Chicago area about how to act during a robbery. I was always a huge fan of television and loved directing and acting in this film. My sister, whose boyfriend lived with John Belushi, encouraged me to act. She said I had been doing it my whole life, so why not do it officially? I studied improv under the late, great Del Close at the Improv Olympics. There I met people in the advertising industry who encouraged me to become a rep. I did that by day, and did my police shifts at night…eventually, I left the force to become a fulltime rep, then Executive Producer, eventually helping to start and run many companies including ModOp Films where I am currently Founder and Partner. HOW DID THAT INFLUENCE WHAT SCHOFIELD’S FLOWERS HAS BECOME? Well I’ve been involved in many forms of media – commercials, film, TV, branding – for some time, so the current-day Schofield’s Flowers is the culmination of my history and professional experience. Now that storytelling can be found in so many forms and places, this just seemed like the perfect moment to bring it all together. Working on these stories over the years has always gotten me through rough patches – and I am having a blast now that I can finally share them and expand on the idea of a place that was once the cornerstone of a community. And, yes, I do know how to arrange flowers. WHAT’S THE PODCAST ALL ABOUT? It’s a video podcast where I talk to people I know about the things they love to do. People like Jeffery Plansker – legendary director and creative director – who has taken his appreciation of bespoke clothing and opened The Bloke in Pasadena, which is absolutely stunning. He’s an example of someone who is always doing, always creating, a renaissance man who has a fucking massive understanding and passion for a bygone era of style. Well, not bygone because he’s a major force in bringing it back! IN ADDITION TO THE PODCAST, YOU RECENTLY LAUNCHED A BOOK – AND HAD A SIGNING AT THE MOB MUSEUM. WHAT’S IN THE BOOK AND WHAT WAS THE EVENT LIKE? Scof on Scof: A Colorful Arrangement of True Crime Stories is a collaboration with Joe Chilco, a features three stories and illustrations, with a cover made from cocktail coasters…a nod to prohibition. We released the book officially at an event in Hollywood where we transformed part of the bar Sassafras into a flower shop, with a police line-up and a speakeasy in the back. Then, we went to Vegas to the Mob Museum. This place is incredible – amazing history, and interactive exhibits about crime and crime families. I was there for a book signing and also a Facebook live event on the 89th anniversary of the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and the sixth anniversary of the Museum. If you are ever in Vegas, this place is a must visit. WHAT ELSE IS ON THE HORIZON? We have a comedic episodic script “Gunn’s And Rose’s” which is a current day story about two gay Schofield cousins that have to beat feet out of Chicago to Miami after someone burned down their shop, that we are in development conversations about right now. And ModOp Films, soon to be MOR (“We Are MOR”) is super busy producing advertising and brand sponsored projects of all kinds, with amazing talent and awesome clients. So, I hardly sleep but I am having the time of my life. In the end, I credit my dad for my creativity because he was an amazing designer/florist and one of the funniest guys ever! That’s where I got my personality from for sure; from my dad and from the characters that hung out in our shop.