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    January 18, 2013 | Posted By: | Blog |

    It’s been so long since I updated the blog I don’t think I can even try to fill in the gap. Going to have to keep this short as it’s been an exhausting couple weeks. But happy to say that the colour grade is now complete and looking fantastic. The sound mix is underway, and sounding great. Our very talented composer Rob Persaud is working away on the score from LA, and it’s coming along nicely. Slowly but surely the pieces are falling into place. Slowly but surely Calloused Hands is started to really look and sound and feel like a movie. I’m sore immersed in the details of getting this thing done it’s hard to step back and appreciate how far we have come. But we are nearly there. I can’t wait.

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    a little break

    October 11, 2012 | Posted By: | Blog |

    So it has been about 11 days since we shot Calloused Hands. I have a couple more days before I dive into the edit, which I’m very much looking forward to. Something oddly fitting about cutting such a Miami film in the heart of Soho. Fitting for me at least.

    It has been a very strange sensation, trying to transition from shooting a film to…well to not shooting one. You go from jam packed days filled with hundreds of decisions to make, to feeling as if you are moving along aimlessly. You put so much into a film. Especially a low budget indie like this, that is so deeply rooted in memories and challenging experiences. For two years much of my life was aimed at the completion of Calloused Hands. Trying to find money, cast, crew, equipment, staying inspired, motivated, convinced, and making sure those around me felt the same. You empty yourself for this.

    I had to draw on every ounce of my 31 years on this planet to get this thing moving toward this point: my time as a documentary filmmaker, my time in the theatre, my experience as a journalist, as a researcher, as a father, a husband, brother, grandson, every heart break, every heart I have broken, everything. You draw on it all. And you almost regurgitate it, and pour it into this thing, and push it so hard, until the point that it starts to live on it’s own. And so when you get to the finish of the shoot, you feel as if you have nothing left. You feel hollow and empty. You no longer have a goal in front of you, an obstacle to overcome, no massive boulder to push up the mountain. It contrasts so much with my second feature, which is in early stages of development, but somehow seems to be gliding from one stage to the next on its own in-built momentum. Calloused Hands was pushed with little paddles, the next one seems to have a propeller attached to its back. But I can’t complain, for a first feature I could not have asked for a better situation. All of the challenges and difficulties taught me so much. There is no better film school than to go out and make a film. Until the next one.

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    July 31, 2012 | Posted By: | Blog |

    I arrived in Miami a few days ago and things are off to a flying start. Have met some fantastic crew, seen the tapes of some very talented local actors, and feeling now more than ever the reality of what is about to happen. After having this story swim around in my head for nearly 11 years it wil finally be told. Today, we were location scouting. We started at my father’s place, then snapped some photos at a local baseball field, then the diner, and finally the Bal Harbour synagogue. There I met Rabbi Lipskar, who has had a profound impact on not only my life but my mother’s, and our family. I had my briss there, as did my brother, and we were both Bar Mitzvahed there too. He recounted these stories from the old days, the days depicted in the story behind Calloused Hands. His stories caught me off guard and all the memories started flooding in. I suppose the writing of the story sort of distanced me from it. And then the nuts and bolts logistics of pulling a film together (finding locations, casting, crewing) removes you even further. There are so many little details that go into making a film you almost look at things in a microscopic way, focusing on details. But hearing those stories hit me hard, and reminded me why this story is important to tell, and why I am telling it now.

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    Closer and Closer

    May 6, 2012 | Posted By: | Blog |

    As I inch closer and closer to shooting Calloused Hands I feel a whole host of feelings and emotions bubble up inside of me. Probably, the first amongst them is sadness that I will have to spend at least 2 months away from my son. It’s a pain to be away from family but I understand it’s part of the gig. I am filled with excitement, and fear, and anxiety, and passion. This is a story that has been swimming around in my head for almost 11 years now. It is unreal that I will finally be able to tell it. This train has left the station, it’s on the tracks, and it’s moving forward.

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    LA 2

    March 4, 2012 | Posted By: | Blog |

    So the LA trip has now come to a close. It was a short and sweet one, lots packed in in just a week. The big news is that Andre Royo (aka Bubbles from The Wire) has joined our cast, which already includes David Eigenberg, Natalie Press, and Hans Howes. I am excited to work with such talented actors. They are the type of actors that will enhance what is already on the page.

    There were many highlights of the trip: spotting Jon Voight in a cafe, hanging out in the very cool Venice Beach area, having an In & Out burger, visiting the massive CAA offices, which is probably one of the slickest looking buildings I have ever seen, and just connecting with some amazing people. I genuinely believe that LA gets a bad rap, often perceived as shallow or full of Paris Hiltons walking around. Friends back in London teased me to make sure I didn’t get a nose job while I was out here. Mind you I could probably use one, my nose has been broken since I was 16 when an old teammate accidentally hit me in the face with a baseball bat. But this city is so much more than that. It is a city teeming with creaetive energy, and ambition, and passion. It’s a city filled with different cultures, different religions. They say that barely anyone that lives in LA is from LA. Which creates an almost transient feel. This is a city of outsiders, of guests, and I suppose that has always appealed to me. As an American living in London. A Cuban/Irish/Jew raised in Miami. There aren’t many of us walking around. Everyone has embraced me with open arms and treated me with kindness. So I will say thank you for the hospitality and see you soon!

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    The Woolfcubs

    February 27, 2012 | Posted By: | Blog |

    As I set off for LA I think a lot about my grandfather Solomon. Any time I travel abroad the void created by my son and wife’s absence seems always to be filled by him. I always feel him with me on my business trips. Probably because he lived and breathed business. And anytime I am confronted by a prickly negotiation, or a touch decision to make, I always feel him in the background rubbing his hands in delight, relishing the opportunity to figure this one out.

    We could not have ended up in more different industries. He immersed himself in bedding manufacturing, me in film. He dealt with fabrics, and foams, and cottons; me in agents, and actors, and producers. But while there were obvious differences, there were a number of parallels between the things we did and do. The last thing we ever discussed before he passed away six years ago was the corporate video he had commissioned my brother and I to make for his company, Kayfoam Woolfson. Prior to filming we were given a tour of his factories to get acquainted. I was mesmerized by the machinery, all cutting edge, by the number of workers on the shop floor, by the chemists, and experts. In front of the entrance there was a rug that bore the name, Kayfoam Woolfson, in a muscular and progressive font. It connotated power, vision, with a penchant for being forward thinking. The lettering even slanted to the right, leaving no doubt as to what direction this company was going: forward. After our tour the first thing we discussed was our name. Back then Daniel and I called ourselves Quinones Brothers Media. ‘Nobody will ever hire you with that name,’ he said. ‘Who could bloody pronounce it? You’ll need something simpler.’ Two weeks later he passed away. The first thing we did was change our name. We came up with Woolfcub Productions. My mother and her siblings, Woolfsons, were often affectionately referred to as Woolfcubs when they were younger. It seemed fitting, then, to use this name, a name he would have no trouble saying.

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    February 10, 2012 | Posted By: | Blog |

    Just a quick message welcoming you to the Calloused Hands Movie Site. Lots of news and information to come along this mad, exciting, rollercoaster ride we are about to embark on to make this film. Stay tuned!

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