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Celluloid Action Hero

By Anthony D’Angelico

He once dreamed of becoming a movie hero and running into a burning building to save lives. Now cinema stuntman Danny Schoch ’09 has become that guy.

Schoch came to Seton Hall because it was a second home to him, growing up with stories of his godparents falling in love on the Green and his older cousins cheering for the basketball team. He flourished when he joined Pirate TV, delving into his passion at the only school that allowed him hands-on experience with film equipment. It was a getaway from coursework and an opportunity to bring his dreams to life.

Schoch was also active in theater at Seton Hall, becoming known for directing one play and acting in dozens of them. He learned how to run productions, which carried over into how to make a film set work, becoming familiar with the many little parts that make a show run well.

But from an early age, Schoch was drawn to movie stunt professionals who engaged in fight scenes, car chases and running through burning buildings. So he took a break from campus studies, moving to Los Angeles to gain more experience on film sets. He got a job as a production assistant, where he connected with other crew members behind the scenes and was able to try everything.

After two years, Schoch found that Seton Hall was still calling to him, and he returned to campus to finish his undergraduate degree. His love for action and production finally took form when he began doing stunts after obtaining his degree.

Now, he continues his passion for filmmaking and stunts. Schoch, along with his team, has been nominated twice for Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture awards, for his work on the 2020 films The Joker and The Irishman.

Before the strike by the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists — which began in July 2023 — put a halt to movie production, Schoch was working on projects such as AMC’s hit zombie thriller Fear the Walking Dead and Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building.

Despite the strike, Schoch has remained positive, saying he cares about the people he works with and the art they create. He describes his career as helping to provide an escape for movie viewers.

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