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An Interview with Skip Shea, Director of Trinity

by Mike Haberfelner

July 2016

Films directed by Skip Shea on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Trinity - in a few words, what is it about?


I wanted to try to show what the mind can do while in a dissociative state.


With Trinity being your first feature as a director, how did the project fall together, why did you choose exactly this story, and is any of it based on personal experiences?


For my first feature I wanted to make the film that I wanted to make. I wanted complete artistic control. And I want to make a personal film. I'm a survivor of clergy sexual abuse and one day I went into a local bookstore and the priest who abused me was working there. It was a surreal out-of-body experience. I took that and other aspects from my life and the life of others in the same position and wrote the bones of the script. Trinity is also a continuation of the themes I explored in the shorts Microcinema and Ave Maria. So it felt right that this would be my first feature.


(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Trinity?


There are a lot of people who have lived through this abuse. A lot more than people want to acknowledge. And a lot of them didn't make it. There is a line in Spotlight when the Mitchell Garabedian character says about the Patrick McSorely character "He's one of the lucky ones. He's still alive." The sad thing is, Patrick didn't make it. That wasn't part of the film. I just want them to know that they aren't alone. That they can survive this and come out on the other side. That's always part of my drive. The Catholic Church isn't worth dying for. They don't deserve your life.


Trinity is very non-linear and associative when it comes to its storytelling - so what was the idea behind that, and did you ever run the risk of losing your story in the process?


I love non-linear films. The films that inspired me stylistically have been made by giants so I'm a little reluctant to name them because they are in a league of their own. Alain Resnais' Last Year at Marienbad, Fellini's 8 1/2, David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now, Bob Fosse's All That Jazz. Even Woody Allen's Annie Hall.

I don't think I risked losing the story, I pretty much had it edited in my head as we went along. I knew what I wanted.


How would you describe your directorial approach to your story at hand?


My style is the same with all of my films. I've already met with the lead actors so they know what I'm looking for. I have the shot list ready to go. And Nolan Yee and I work really well together, to the point where he is either setting up a shot that he knew I would want next before I say anything, or he's setting up something better. We work really well and fast together.


How does directing a feature film compare to making a short, actually?


If you keep the cast and crew small and easy to manage, not much different. Just more days.


What can you tell us about Trinity's cast, and why exactly these people?


Sean Carmichael is the best actor I know. He can play anything and has--his range is huge. Add to that his level of preparedness and professionalism and there was absolutely no one else to play Michael. David Graziano [David Graziano interview - click here] is one of the bravest actors I know. He will push himself to the limits to give the best performance possible. Beatrice di Giovanni was visiting from Italy at the time so I was unbelievably lucky to get her. Aurora has been with me since the beginning. I'll work with her on anything. What can I say about working with Lynn Lowry? We've been friends for a while so her working on the film was a huge favor to me. I'm so grateful for that. The rest of the large cast I think shows how much incredible talent there is in the Northeast of the USA. Everyone involved elevated the quality of the movie.


Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere!


As I said we move fast, but for the most part I think it was important to keep the mood light. The subject is dark enough and everyone needs a break from it for sanity’s sake.


The $64-question of course, when and where will Trinity be released onto the general public?


We have just started the festival submission process. We'll see where that takes us and we'll take it from there.


Feeling lucky ?
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Germany (East AND West)

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Anything you can tell us about critical and audience reception of Trinity yet?


So far the reception has been quite positive.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I have some things pre-production. Nothing definitive yet.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


Thank you for your support. It's really important that folks like you support the indie scene as we all attempt to make a mark in the business. I'm grateful for that.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
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Michael Haberfelner


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