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
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
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
Maria. So it felt right that this would be my first feature.
(Other) sources of inspiration when writing
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.
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
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.
directing a feature film compare to making a short, actually?
you keep the cast and crew small and easy to manage, not much different.
Just more days.
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.
$64-question of course, when and where will Trinity
be released onto the general public?
have just started the festival submission process. We'll see where that
takes us and we'll take it from there.
Anything you can
tell us about critical and audience reception of Trinity
So far the reception has been quite positive.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
have some things pre-production. Nothing definitive yet.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
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.
for the interview!