The Sins of My Father

"The Sins of My Father" is a drama about an estranged middle-aged only son, who after learning of the death of his alcoholic, mentally ill father, embarks upon a physical and spiritual journey to discover and understand the multifaceted, afflicted father he never knew.

  • Michael Schilf
    The Fixer (Short), Sworn, The Rat, Float
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    United States
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Writer Biography - Michael Schilf

Michael Schilf is an award-winning writer, director, and producer. He is also a co-founder and producer at LUNAR DOOR (, an independent production company.

A graduate of the USC’s School of Cinematic Arts (MFA in Screenwriting), Schilf has penned ten features, eight TV pilots, numerous shorts, a webisode series, and over 100 advertising campaigns (including Nike, American Express, Volvo, Walmart, Ford, Target, Chrysler, Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes Benz), working with directors such as Jesse Dylan (American Wedding, Kicking & Screaming), James Frost (Radiohead’s “House of Cards”, OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass”), and Steven Tsuchida (Community, New Girl, Sirens).

In 2010, Schilf co-founded The Script Lab, a screenwriting resource and entertainment news outlet, designed for writers, filmmakers, and creators. As President and Editorial Director, he developed content that helped The Script Lab gain brand recognition as an industry leader, providing high-quality E-learning and industry education to millions worldwide. In 2014, The Script Lab was acquired by TSL Media, Inc., and Schilf stayed on as an Educational Consultant.

Schilf is co-creator/writer of "Light," a sci-fi, action crime graphic novel and TV series; co- creator/writer of "Sworn," a fantasy, action, adventure TV series; and writer, director, producer of the award-winning short "The Fixer," co-staring Danny Trejo.

Currently, Schilf is pitching the pilot script for the "The Fixer" TV series while in pre-production on his directorial feature film debut, based on his memoir "The Sins of My Father," which takes an introspective look at growing up with an absentee, alcoholic, mentally ill father.

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Writer Statement

Creating stories has been my foundation ever since I bought my first VHS camera in the fifth grade. Of course, at the tender age of ten, I was more interested in filming G.I. Joe action figures engulfed in gasoline fueled fires within my backyard sand box. I imagine still today if you dug deep enough to the spot where my childhood imagination seemed limitless, you’d find the mangled remains of battle tested toys pitted against each other like gladiators among fortified sand castles and garden hose moats.

Although the stories behind those epic battles may have been void of complex internal character flaws, powerful plot point twists, and juxtaposing story lines, those battles still encapsulated the most fundamental foundation of a good story.

A character, let’s say the ultimate bad guy Skeletor from Masters of the Universe, is forced to face off against Optimus Prime from Transformers. Both characters have a want: to win the battle. Both face an obstacle: each other. Each goal propels the story forward while obstacles create conflict and tension.

Now I’m older: married, three kids, a mortgage. I’m a writer, director, producer, and a professor, who teaches writing. Yet despite all I’ve learned, the story equation remains the same: S = (C + W) x O.

A good story (S) is about an interesting character (C) who wants (W) something badly and faces obstacles (O) while struggling to achieve that goal.

I’m always looking for good stories. At times the plot presents itself before the character, and at other times, the character evolves before the story, and sometimes your absentee, alcoholic, mentally ill father dies, but the clues he leaves behind helps you to understand the afflicted man you never knew.

“You know Dad loves you all the time, not just one day a year,” he wrote in a letter he never sent on my 11th birthday, a letter I wouldn’t discover until my 38th birthday, and only after cancer blew out his light.

My entire life I searched to find my father, but he rarely allowed me beyond the surface, that is until I discovered that letter and the rest of his files in a urine infused filing cabinet in the depths of his basement. There was a file on me, one on my mother, one on every important person in his life, and I knew immediately these files were a gift. He couldn’t be the father I needed in life, but in death, the clues he left behind helped me to understand and forgive the sins of my father.