Sometimes you go to France and ask your very well-seasoned production manager (Antonin Dedet) who has worked with the likes of Leos Carax and Jacques Audiard to kindly be your stand-in for Novak Djokovic at a defunct abattoir. He was such a good sport and even took us out for one hell of a memorable wrap party night on the town in Nice.

Just wrapped out a shoot in Serbia with my mates from Cummins & Partners documenting the rise of the best tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic. Aces photographer, Tovo caught a behind-the-scenes moment of DOP, Adam McDaid riding the dolly, working diligently while I stood around looking pissed off for no good reason.

This past Spring, I was extremely honored to be interviewed by The Great Discontent -  a journal of interviews with creators of different disciplines and also, one of my favorite projects on the web. A very heart-felt thank you goes out to Tina and Ryan Essmaker for inviting me to take part.

Nadav Kurtz’s short film Paraiso documents the hard work of Mexican immigrants (two brothers and their cousin) who day-in, day-out take huge risks hanging high above the Chicago skyline to clean the windows of the city. They do this with their families in mind. They do this for security and survival. Like many immigrants, they do the work that others don’t want to do.

In advance of the upcoming Nine Inch Nails album, Trent Reznor teamed up with David Lynch for the making of the video for the first single, Came Back Haunted. The track’s character seems to harken back to some of the band’s earlier sounds and the video does the same with regards to Lynch’s earlier experimental filmworks. So, it’s a fitting pairing to see Lynch and Reznor collaborating again.

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.