Skip Sheffield’s love of film was burned in carbon arc and sealed in celluloid cement when he was 6-years-old at the Ritz Theatre in Spring Lake, New Jersey. His parents had rented a railroad flat on the east side of the theater, upstairs, just off the boardwalk. Between two apartments was the projection booth. Skip befriended the projectionist and became his go-fer for cigarettes and milkshakes. In exchange Skip learned the mechanics of projection, splicing, carbon arc replacement and so forth.
The family returned the next summer, and with the help of an 11-year-old rich kid, Skip collaborated on his first 16 mm film.
The film frenzy continued when the family moved to Fort Lauderdale in the golden era when there were no fewer than four movie theaters downtown. Skip and his three-years-younger brother Richard visited the movie palaces regularly by city bus for the next five years, and even continued when the Sheffield family moved to Boca Raton. This entailed a Greyhound bus ride at child’s fare.
Skip developed an acting bug as well, and met with some success in college. He did not have the hard shell necessary to survive that ego-crushing business. Nevertheless he found a side calling in music, starting at age 15 and continuing to this day.
A teaching career was contemplated after college graduation, but after working full-time while pursuing a Master’s Degree, Skip realized the academic life was not for him. Armed with an M.A. degree in English Literature from Florida Atlantic University, at age 23 he convinced the managing editor of the Boca Raton News to let him do freelance theater reviews. This soon segued into film reviewing and a full-time job as staff writer at age 28. He won awards and stuff. He was invited to join Southeastern Film Critics Association and Florida Film Critics Circle.
The Boca Raton News died Aug. 21, 2009. In September, 2009, Skip began a blog and was invited to join the staff of the new Boca Raton Tribune as well as continuing on the staff of Atlantic Ave magazine in Delray Beach. In 2013 Skip was invited to contribute to Realize magazine in Los Angeles. The editor found him on Google. Such is life in journalism in the 21st century.