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Steele Wool

In this dark comedy, a deaf housewife escapes spousal abuse and seeks the Highlife by becoming a hired assassin.

  • Frank A Cappello
    Director
    He Was A Quiet Man, No Way Back, American Yakua
  • Frank Cappello
    Writer
    He Was A Quiet Man, No Way Back, Constantine, Suburban Commando
  • Frank Cappello
    Producer
    He Was A Quiet Man
  • Cami Varela
    Producer
  • Cami Varela
    Key Cast
    "Daphne Wool"
  • Frank Cappello
    Key Cast
    "Tony Steele"
  • Nicholas Ontiveros
    Key Cast
    "Moses"
  • Arina Manta
    Key Cast
    "Ileanna"
  • Stefan Pommepuy
    Key Cast
    "Raymond Armel"
    Darkness Waits, View of Terror
  • Johnny Cicco
    Key Cast
    "Vincent McCabe"
    The Great Wall, Jason Bourne, The Departed, Stuck on You
  • Howie Gold
    Key Cast
    "Harvey"
    Fear of a Black Cat, Mick and Frankie
  • Jamison Jones
    Key Cast
    "The Boss"
    True Detective, Hollywood Homicide, Dark Blue, Collusions, Burn Notice
  • Project Type:
    Feature
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 43 minutes 16 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 1, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 4K
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Golden Door International Film Festival
    Jersey City
    United States
    September 21, 2019
    World Wide Premiere
    Best Feature Film, Best Director. Nominated: Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor
Director Biography - Frank A Cappello

Frank moved from Florida to Hollywood with a script under his arm and the proverbial dream of making movies. That script sold in a matter of months and writing became his ticket through the industry gates.

Itching to direct a film himself, Frank wrote and directed a short film “The Ivory Tower” that got accepted into academy consideration and was screened before features at several theaters in Los Angeles. Producers saw the short and Frank landed his first directing job on “American Yakuza” starring up and coming Viggo Mortensen. Frank would go on to direct rising star Russell Crowe in “No Way Back.” Frank also wrote and directed the indie film “He Was A Quiet Man” that starred Christian Slater and William Macy. The film won several festival awards including Best Picture, Best Director and found itself listed as “One of the Top 10 Indie Films of the 2000’s.”

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Director Statement

I've always envied Documentary filmmakers because most are "one man bands" and rarely have to schedule crew or actors in order to shoot their project. Most can gather their footage over months or years and then shape the story in the editing room, much like a writer creates a first draft, then polishes it. Problem is, I don’t want to make documentaries, but I've always wondered - could a narrative film be shot in the same relaxed, introspective manner? “Steele Wool” is my answer.

I had connected with a deaf girl on Facebook, Cami Varela - budding producer, working on a doc about Human Trafficking. Met with her in person and became enthralled by the stories she told of her life. She used all five senses when recounting these events and I kept thinking - "I have to get this girl on film."

An idea started to evolve from Cami and I discussing movies that had deaf actors. Most of these used deaf actors for small parts and they’d do a lot of hand "signing." The deaf characters were usually the nicest people - never the bad guys - rarely any flaws other than their disability. Cami wanted to break those stereotypes and I was sold. I decided I was going to make a Main Stream Movie, shot documentary-style (no crew), with Cami as its kick ass star.

I wrote a scene that would showcase Cami's natural ability to be tough and vulnerable. Friends liked what they saw and were impressed with the 'look' of this no-crew shoot. So we kept going. I used some of Cami's own wants and desires in shaping the story and it became very personal, but set in a fun genre world. The theme was "Tasting the Highlife" and showing how far an abused deaf housewife would go to taste that Highlife, was the core of the story. I would write a scene - we’d shoot it - then I’d edit and ask myself - “What would really happen next?” That went on for a full year and the picture got bigger and bigger.

In the end we shot at 37 different locations, with two dozen actors, 12 wild cats, two dogs, a giant sea turtle and a bullfrog. The movie was the script and I allowed it to write itself.