Robert P. Schneider, who spent nearly 50 years in the entertainment business as a production manager and assistant director, died in Los Angeles June 6 of complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 70.
After graduating from Scarsdale High School in New York (’51) and Dartmouth College in New Hampshire (’55), Schneider began his career by becoming a production assistant in commercials. After working on projects for American Express, Chase Manhattan Bank, United Airlines and others, he moved into film and television, serving as production manager on such features as “An Officer and a Gentleman,” “It’s My Turn” and “White Fang” as well as a variety of made-for-TV movies such as “Dallas: The Early Years” and “Thursday’s Child.”
In 1977 while on the set of telepic “See How She Runs,” he met his future wife, Yudi Bennett, at the time a DGA trainee and now a DGA Frank Capra award-winning assistant director herself. In 1995, the couple pooled their talent and experience to found Budgets by Design, a Los Angeles-based company providing schedules and budgets for production of feature films and telepics. Clients have included Tim Robbins, Spike Lee, David Fincher, Sidney Lumet, and Oliver Stone and for such pics as “Dead Man Walking,” “Fight Club,” “American Beauty,” “The Nutty Professor,” and “The 25th Hour.”
Schneider was a long-standing member of the DGA and served on the AD/UPM Council. He also founded the Foothill Autism Alliance for parents of children with autism, after his son Noah was diagnosed with it.
In addition to his wife and son, he is survived by his four other children, Benjamin Schneider, Jennifer Ahrens, Debra LaBruzzo, and David Schneider; his daughter-in-law, Cindra Schneider; five grandchildren; his father and stepmother; and his two sisters.