Tim Oliver works on the 22nd Floor of One World Trade Center, the shining new symbol of a city determined to rebuild after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Oliver is the longtime Art Director at Golf Digest magazine. He came up with the idea for his book, “Finding Fifteen,” during his daily walks through the 9/11 Memorial on his way into the office. In “Finding Fifteen,” Oliver takes the reader on a six-month journey to locate families, friends and colleagues of 15 victims of that tragic day 15 years later. He interviewed more than 55 people in his desire to remember and honor the lives of these innocent Americans who were caught up in the attacks on New York City, Washington D.C., and rural Pennsylvania.
A graduate of Fordham University, Oliver has vast media experience, having worked as a staff art director at the New York Times, Time Magazine and major metropolitan newspapers in Atlanta, Detroit and New Jersey. He also was a political and education reporter for Gannett Westchester Newspapers in suburban New York City. Oliver has lectured nationally about creative possibilities for content-driven design. He was an adjunct professor at Monmouth College in New Jersey.
Oliver has won more than 40 awards for his design work from the Society of Publication Design, Society of Newspaper Design, the American Society of Magazine Editors and the Society of Illustrators. Oliver also designs specialty products for the New York Times and Steiner Sports. Book projects include: Best-selling instruction books for Hall of Fame golfers Tom Watson, Nick Faldo and Phil Mickelson and some of America’s top professional golf instructors; New York Times Travel guides; “official” book of the national champion University of Tennessee football team; a book on the history of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.
Oliver has always been fascinated with storytelling and investigative journalism, first inspired as a teenager by the book/movie, All the President’s Men. He has come to develop deep friendships with some of the 9/11 families he interviewed. His goal is to produce a film that will help unite Americans through the wisdom of the 9/11 families.
Michael Finnegan, an Army veteran, freelance filmmaker, photojournalist and documentarian from New Haven, Connecticut and owner of Film Haven Productions LLC. He studied film and journalism at Southern Connecticut State University and The Institute of Advance Media in Hartford Connecticut. He enjoys every minute of telling stories visually. He has fallen in love with the art of visual storytelling and documentary production. Moreover, he is truly inspired by the stories of people and the social issues we face day to day.
Michael loves reality filmmaking or cinéma vérité. His professional goal is to produce documentaries and photojournalism projects that shape our future, unfolding the most interesting stories in our communities and throughout the world. He has produced and directed a few short and insightful documentaries. He has worked for the Connecticut Arts Department, creating a series of small documentaries for their Power of Place mission, the Veteran Artist Program creating a successful fundraising video and documentary, and the Kennedy Center, creating a mini documentary about the Autism Project that helped the organization raise funds for the project. Additionally, he produced multiple award wining documentaries that have screened at various local, regional and international film festivals and directed a few PSAs, commercials and promotional videos for a variety of clients.
Michael has had a few of his documentary shorts screen in different film festivals. To Touch A Nerve and Magic Moments would both win best films at S.C.U.F.F. or Southern Connecticut University Film Festival. To Touch A Nerve would screen in numerous film festivals, New Haven International Film Festival 2015, along with another of his documentaries La Vida Del Taco. To Touch A Nerve would also screen at the New Haven Documentary Film Festival at Yale University in 2015, also at Film Fest 52 2016 and The New England Underground Film Festival 2014. Another one of his documentary shorts, Craic Agus Ceol, premiered at the Chicago Irish Film Festival in 2016.
Co-Director/ Camera Operator / Editor:
David Trapasso, was an artist at a very young age. In high school his teacher, Mr. Vansteenburg, inspired him to go to college for video production. Since that day he has been building a demo reel full of narrative, experimental, documentary, commercial, music videos and motion graphics. Onirico, one of his shorts, won an award for best experimental at SCUFF, Southern Connecticut University Film Festival in 2015.
After graduating from Southern Connecticut State University with a bachelor in communication with a concentration in video production, he continued to produce videos with friends and local business establishments. Another Day in Paradise, his first gangster/cop film will begin production in 2017.
David’s passion in filmmaking is directing. He is patient but witty; he works great in teams, and use effective communication to produce an amazing piece of art. David’s course work at Southern has taught him all aspects of video production. Leaving him a very technically knowledgeable member of the crew. David has been working with the members of this crew and the director since producing student films in college. They have collaborated to create multiple documentaries and small commercials where David has performed in different positions on each production from director to camera operator.
Director Of Photography:
Maher Shakir, has five years’ experience in videography and photography. He began his journey as a photographer in Iraq, photo-journaling personal stories from the War in Iraq. From there, he helped photograph weddings, sporting events, and government functions. After falling in love with photography, he naturally progressed into videography. As a refugee in Jordan, he worked hard to capture the refugee experience through his video lens. He worked with the Royal Film Industry in Jordan, helping to film many international movies and commercials before moving to America.
Maher believes photographs are more than a piece of paper. They are a connection to our past and a gift to our future. They are the representation of all that the mind forgets and what the heart will always remember.
For the last five years, Maher has had the privilege of helping people capture the most important moments of their lives from war to weddings. He began his journey as a photographer by documenting life in Baghdad during the Iraq War. In Jordan, he used his lens to capture the refugee experience.
His work began to receive recognition. In 2013, he received an award for his work documenting the refugees in Jordan. His work has been showcased at many art exhibits at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He also acted as a camera operator for the production of the independent movie by Pwyldfilms, Halfway House.
Sound Recordist/ Sound Engineer:
Albert Silva Sr. is an Air Force veteran, biologist, film maker, medic and real estate investor from Los Angeles, California. He studied biology and psychology at Southern Connecticut State University where he earn his bachelor’s degree and ultimately a master’s degree at the same university studying biology. Although Albert’s education and training is chiefly in the life sciences, he always maintained a fascination with film.
Growing up in the entertainment capital of the world, Hollywood, Albert attended tapings of different shows and even worked as an extra on various movies, commercials and television programs before joining the military.
During his studies in college, he befriended a young filmmaker, Michael Finnegan. Recognizing Albert’s talents for creative writing, and natural ability to infuse life and sincerity into demanding scenes, Michael recruited Albert to form their company, Film Haven. Their first collaboration was a short film that was written, produced, and edited all in 48 hours. It was considered by most to be the best film of the contest. Albert also teamed up with Film makers David Trapasso Jr and Conner Etter in Film Haven to produce various documentaries, commercials, and public service announcements.
Connor Etter is a filmmaker who has a passion for telling good stories, whether it’s documentaries, narratives, etc. Connor, growing up, was a fan of movies made by James Cameron; such as Terminator and Titanic. Connor’s interest to James Cameron was his motivation on portraying human emotion in films.
Connor attended Southern Connecticut State University and studied video production; he met two other students with a passion in film — Dave Trapasso and Michael Finnegan. They worked on student films while attending Southern.
After graduating Southern, Connor worked different crew positions for TV networks, mainly on reality shows, and then went to D.C. to work on a short horror called Rotary, as the co-producer. Rotary has been selected for multiple festivals, both in the U.S. and international. Soon after, Connor, Dave, and Michael went on to found Film Haven Productions.
Connor’s main position with Film Haven is as the creative producer, planning the creative aspects of upcoming projects. Connor is involved with each project from development to post production. On live sets, Connor also helps out, working as a camera operator and setting up the equipment. On the side, Connor is working on revisions to a script he wrote for a short horror film, called The Lost Camp, and he plans to begin production on this film soon.
Assistant Camera/Production Assistant:
Matt Schlenk is a filmmaker with a deep passion in telling human stories that are both challenging and touching. In his early childhood years, Matt fell in love with watching movies and became deeply attracted to the art of film making. He continued to nurture that passion in high school, where he studied film-making at various summer camps and went on to make his own shorts that won awards at the camps festivals.
After high school, Matt stayed in contact with the talented counselors and founder of the film camp, where he would go on to help them with various student short films. He has also worked on various independent short films, and has recently finished production on his own short, “Dreamers”, which is scheduled for a festival run in early 2018. He is also currently working on putting a new short script into production in the spring of 2018.
For the last five years, Matt has decided to dedicate his everyday to his passion for film. His new collaboration with Film Haven Productions to work on human stories continues to nurture the passion he has had since barely six years old.
Teresa Oliver is a freelance photographer from Huntington, N.Y., less than 40 miles from the World Trade Center. A lifelong Long Island resident, Teresa is a graduate of Berkeley College in Long Island. She has had careers in both medicine and real estate.
With her camera always beside her, Teresa is behind the scenes documenting the making of “Sky So Blue.” She interviewed and photographed many subjects for the 2016 non-fiction book “Finding Fifteen,” about 15 victims of 9/11 written by her husband, Tim. Teresa was an editor/researcher on the project and organized a successful book launch party in Long Island.
Teresa serves as Tim’s guiding conscience to make a film that will help unite Americans through the wisdom of the 9/11 families. Teresa’s dream is to open a bed and breakfast and photograph her visitors enjoying a happy experience away from their hectic lives.