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Q&A with Morningside production manager Bo Stegall

Bo Stegall
Bo Stegall
courtesy Bo Stegall

Bo Stegall recently moved back to his native Greenville after spending years in California as a Celebrity Hairdresser and On-Camera Style Expert for Style Network, E! News, TV Guide, and others. He's opened a salon downtown where he's training interns, developing his own line of products, planning to expand to other cities and, of course, styling hair.

But he's also continuing to work in the entertainment industry by acting as a producer and hair stylist for Morningside, a television series under development by OrionStar Productions. Producers Debbie Kelley and Brian Q. Kelley are utilizing the crowd-funding website Indiegogo to seek funding to film a pilot episode here in upstate South Carolina.

Morningside follows two wealthy, powerful and prestigious friends who reunite in their hometown after being away for decades. Each bring their troubles with them while also guarding deep rooted secrets from their past. And things on the surface are not at all as they may seem.

We recently had the change to interview Bo Stegall about his background and his involvement with Morningside.

Examiner: Tell me about your Background.

After many years of working as a Celebrity Hairdresser and On-Camera personality, I was eventually asked to begin working as a casting director for several clothing designers, production companies, television networks, and studios. After successfully writing, creating, casting, and producing a national television show concept, I began to work hand in hand with several production companies to develop new show concepts that were ready for networks and studios. While enjoying a career working in California, my dream was to open a Salon in my home of Greenville, South Carolina that rivaled New York and Los Angeles based salon concepts. On January 29th of this year I officially opened Bo Stegall | The Salon located at 225 East Stone Avenue. After years of knowing my brand and vision, I finally put my vision for the Bo Stegall brand on paper. In less than a year we have a thriving international, national, local, and celebrity based clientele right here in Greenville. Just like I wanted to bring my vision for Haircare to Greenville, the Morningside television series will bring an entirely new industry to our beautiful area. Our goal is to stimulate the economy and offer new jobs to the upstate of South Carolina. I am honored to be an Associate Producer, Production Manager, and the Creative Director for Hair, Makeup and wardrobe on behalf of OrionStar Productions. The idea of bringing such a thriving industry to my home state is truly a dream come true. Lets put people who love the arts to work in South Carolina!

Examiner: How did you become involved?

After a six hour phone conversation with the owner of the production company, Debbie and I quickly realized our passion for the upstate of South Carolina was parallel. We both share the vision of bringing jobs that are related to the arts back to the upstate of South Carolina. I'm not sure we could have a better team in place to begin such an exciting production. Debbie Kelley is a brilliant writer and director and Brian Q. Kelley has established himself as a leader in creative and technical non-linear video editing. Working as the Vice President for OrionStar Productions and for ABC Network, Brian Q. Kelley has an impressive portfolio of blockbuster films and television series under his belt. Debbie Kelly was a technical writer for NASA and has played an intricate part in technical writing for Lockheed Martin and the Fluor Corporation. I'm excited to be a part of their team!

Examiner: What do you see as the main selling points of the project, to networks and viewers?

Networks are constantly looking for something that will have longevity. Character and viewer paranoia is the secret to longevity in a script. The content of the television series Morningside proves to be one of the best scripts I've read in my career. The concept of money, power, and greed in a small town leads each character into positions that compromise their dignity. Watching the characters learn to justify their actions in order to maintain their positions within the community of Morningside creates a deep vulnerability for the viewer.

Governor Nikki Haley recently signed a law that would allow film companies to be reimbursed up to 25 percent for payroll taxes on in-state wages and up to 30 percent for what they purchase from local businesses. The networks and studios are excited for the opportunity to expand productions into South Carolina now that the law is a permanent incentive. Prior to this law, similar incentives existed for South Carolina but it was a part of the states budget that was renewed on a year-to-year basis. When you have a television show or film project that wants to film in South Carolina, the networks and studios need to see what type of rebates will be available permanently. Thanks to Governor Nikki Haley, the law is now permanent!

Examiner: What are you most excited about personally for this project?

Through the entire casting process we selected talent that was close to South Carolina. The lead cast of characters were all originally from the Southeast. My design team at Bo Stegall | The Salon will be in charge of hair, makeup, and wardrobe and for some of my interns, this will be their first entertainment industry project. All clothing will come from the Upstate. The equipment, the production studio, the locations where the series will be filmed, the sponsors, the writer, the director, and the entire project centers around the Upstate! This is groundbreaking to have film makers ready to come to the Upstate. I'm most excited about the opportunity to bring a new industry that will stimulate our local economy.