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An Interview with Skip Shea, Writer of Clean Up Duty

by Mike Haberfelner

August 2023

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


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Your new movie Clean Up Duty - in a few words, what is it about?


Well according to IMDb it says, "Henry is in witness protection. As he goes through his daily routines, Lou, an old friend drops by looking for payback - but what stands between them may not be the barrel of a gun." That's accurate! I'll let director Christopher Di Nunzio [Christopher Di Nunzio interview - click here] answer that. It's his movie.


What were your sources of inspiration when writing Clean Up Duty?


I've had this comedic bit about handwashing in the back of my head for years. I've always wanted to add it to a script but it never quite fit. It was more like a Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David cringe humor type scene. But it definitely changed with this script.


How did the project fall together in the first place?


Chris asked me if I had a short film script. He wanted to shoot something. I didn't but I took the opportunity to finally put the bit to paper.


Do talk about Clean Up Duty's director Christopher Di Nunzio, and what was your collaboration like?


We talked a little about the cast, which is when I knew I needed to make it more of a mob hit comedy as well.


Clean Up Duty isn't the first time you've worked with Christopher Di Nunzio - so what can you tell us about your previous collaborations, and how did the both of you first meet even?


I went to a screening of Chris's first feature Livestock, which is called The Unholy Order now, at the Coolidge Corner Cinema. I was friends with a cast member Robert Hines. So we met there. I sent him a rough cut of my first horror short Microcinema and he gave me great advice and we really hit it off. And we've been working together since either on movies or running film festivals.


At least to me, Clean Up Duty came across as wickedly funny - so what can you tell us about your movie's brand of humour?


Well I wrote it as a comedy so I'm glad you found it funny! It took a turn away from the cringe humor when I wrote it for this particular cast and made it more absurdist. With Fiore [Fiore Leo interview - click here] and David [David Graziano interview - click here], I wanted to make it a mob spoof as well. I knew they would nail that. So that's where it falls more into Monty Python absurdist territory for me. Just an absurd conversation that doesn't quite fit the circumstances.


To what extent were you involved in the actual making of Clean Up Duty, and if applicable, what can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


My involvement was the absolute best. I handed off the script and was done. I enjoyed a cup of espresso at home while they were working.


The $64-question of course, where can Clean Up Duty be seen?


Who pays the $64 here, is that you or me? The answer may depend on that. I know it is just starting the festival submission process. But I suspect a festival that is near and dear to me might have a slot for it.


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Clean Up Duty?


You liked it!


Any future projects you'd like to share?


My short experimental doc The House will have its world premiere at the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival on August 19th. It is about the clergy sexual abuse at the notorious House of Affirmation, which was a treatment center for pedophile priests. Kind of ironic. And even though this is where some of my abuse took place, the short has comedic elements as well.


I'm also in post for what looks to be my final horror feature Florence, which has elements of The House in it. In fact some of it was shot in the former House of Affirmation. And Chris Di Nunzio was my DP


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I'm Skip Shea everywhere.


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


I just want to thank you for your support of indie cinema. We need more people like you in order for those of us who work at this level can continue. I truly apprecate that you are here for us.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




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