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.