The good folks from Short of the Week have put together a useful guide for filmmakers to know which film festivals accept submissions from projects that have previously appeared online.

I discovered Ezra Caldwell when researching local bike makers (in search of a bike for myself). His bikes stood out — they were simple and elegant, but each had a unique personality, and it was clear they were designed to work not merely look good. I was instantly attracted to them. I noticed he had a blog, and I clicked hoping to learn more about him.

But instead of the mechanics of bike making, I discovered something else: Teaching Cancer to Cry stood at the top of the page. Ezra’s tale spanned remission, treatment, diagnosis. Hours went by as I read his posts, working backwards in time. Ezra is gifted at many things, writing among them, and I couldn’t stop reading.

I worked up the nerve to email him and try to persuade him to allow me to make The Bike Maker. To my pleasant surprise, he was interested and invited me to come up to his home in Harlem for coffee. (Ezra makes really fucking good coffee.) We chatted for several hours about everything from politics to the state of manufacturing in the US. Five months later, I was back in his home with a crew. Ezra was a good sport; I’d like to think he was as curious about what we were doing as I was in him. He was generous, brave, and graceful.

So I have a confession: the Made by Hand series is not really about making stuff. Well, at least for me, it isn’t. I started Made by Hand because I wanted to tell personal stories, stories that would give me more perspective about my own work as a filmmaker, and a human. I think Ezra’s story does just that.

A warm thank you goes to Ezra and Hillary.


Digging around on an archive drive, I found this old test photo that I shot from the window of my Manhattan studio circa 1999 - 35mm Kodak infrared color film cross-processed.

After several years spent working long hours in the advertising industry, Mat Driscoll scratched an itch and followed his curiosity to learn to hand-craft wooden furniture. He moved to a small town in Maine and learned under master furniture makers. Shortly after, he returned to NYC where he opened up his own studio, Bellboy in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. He’s now making some of the most beautiful furniture I’ve laid eyes upon. More on his story on the Working Not Working: Free Range Blog.