Shaya Mulcahy

ZT: Zero Tolerance

Shaya Mulcahy


1) What was your first professionally directed work and when was it?
I have independently developed and financed all my creative work for the screen. I am currently seeking professional directing work.

2) How did you get into directing? 
I started directing theatre in high school and went on to study theatre directing in college. I was inspired by many amazing playwrights: Fornes, Pinter, and Baker. While at USC I directed over 20 productions (including original pieces). I moved to New York to direct theatre but quickly found myself directing for the screen.

3) What is your most recent project? 
ZT: Zero Tolerance (selected work) is my most recent project. It was filmed and edited in December 2017 in less than 20 hours. I am currently in pre-production for a web-series, and I am developing my debut feature, a sci-fi thriller.

4) What is the best part of being a director? 
I direct stories to communicate what I struggle to say in real life. The best part is being able to share your voice.

5) What is the worst part of being a director? 
Proving yourself worthy of the project, but then again, that’s when you become your potential.

6) What is your current career focus: commercials and branded content, TV movies? Do you plan to specialize in a particular genre—comedy, drama, visual effects, etc.? 
I plan to direct my first feature, which is in development. I am drawn to many genres, including crime, detective, historical, and mystery.

7) Have you a mentor and if so, who is that person (or persons) and what has been the lesson learned from that mentoring which resonates with you? 
I have had the benefit of generous individuals guiding me along the way; though I’m interested in a dedicated mentor—someone who will allow me to shadow his/her creative choices.

8) Who is your favorite director and why? 
Sam Mendes. Both his theatrical and film work is outstanding. The fact that he works in both mediums is inspiring. I really believe that he brings a piece of the theatre into his cinema, which adds layers of intrigue and character that are missing from many films.

9) What is your favorite movie? Your favorite television/online program? Your favorite commercial or branded content? 
One of my favorite movies is The Hunt by Thomas Vinterberg. On TV, I really enjoyed The Fall, The Leftovers, Top of the Lake, and The Americans. Welcome Home by Spike Jonze is superb!

10) Tell us about your background (i.e., where did you grow up? Past jobs?) 
I grew up in Toronto, Ontario. When I was younger, I played ice hockey competitively, until I was injured. So I decided to get involved in the school play; my involvement in the arts took off from there. I studied at the University of Southern California then moved to New York in 2014 to pursue directing. In New York, I worked for a remarkable theatre and film producer. While working for him, he developed a civil rights film, and I realized how narrative can be political, and an agent for change.


Shaya Mulcahy

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