Filmmaker Profile – Ken Cohen
Ken Cohen is a passionate and talented filmmaker that’s been at it for almost ten years. Starting with screenwriting then after getting a camcorder in 1999, started directing, shooting and editing short films by way of VCR. Not a year went by where he didn’t shoot a scripted short and he continued to learn and became more professional and he focused more on the writing, directing and editing side. His films have increased in quality and content and they’ve been shown at various film festivals and won best of fest awards. With all that film experience, he still finds himself restless… He has lot’s of filmmaking goals and plans to fulfill and he is confident that his best film experience is yet to come.
His films are distributed by various media outlets including Snagfilms. Here is Ken on his work, aspirations and combining filmmaking skills.
FMB: You combine many filmmaking skills: directing, writing, camera operating, editing. What is your favorite part of film making process?
K.C. My favorite part of the filmmaking process is editing. I’ve steered away towards camera operation. I love writing the script, and directing a cast and crew is always enjoyable, but sitting down with all the footage alone and being able to piece it all together is an incredible feeling. It can be very difficult and challenging at times, and full of sacrifices and regret (for example realizing you should have shot something a different way,) but a lot of good can come from those accidents or regrets as well, which I love experiencing. It’s the stage you get to see a film really come together.
FMB: How does this skills combination help you with filmmaking process?
K.C. By having experience handling nearly all aspects of a production, from pre to post, it’s allowed me to do a better job of trying to see all things while shooting is taking place. By paying attention to a noise that may interfere with sound editing or an angle that may be distracting to the audience when placed next to another shot, I’m able to try and make sure that when I get to the editing stage, that everything is as smooth as could possibly be. It also allows me to communicate and interact better with crew members like with those doing sound and cinematography.
FMB. Your last project Liquid Lungs – controversial short film about misplaced obsession – was well received by both audience and film critics. Film Thread called Liquid Lungs ” a complex, emotional film that travels down a narrative line that could work for any scenario where one life is saved by another”. The script and idea is very original – what inspired you to tell this story??
K.C. Thanks for the compliments on Liquid Lungs. It still hasn’t been seen by enough of an audience or critics, but I’m happy about the feedback and showings it’s had so far. There are still many film festivals that I am awaiting notification from. There was no exact thing or life experience that inspired me to tell the story. With each new story I create, I always try to come up with a mix of ideas that have always interested me. I like to combine ideas that people can relate to and put them in a not often told circumstance that could still be possible in real life.
FMB. What is your recipe for writing characters?
K.C. A lot comes from the circumstance I put them in, and then I’m able to move back and shape them more and their actions based on the type of people I see them as, and then a back story will emerge, what motivates them, and then I try to relate to them. Thankfully my characters are not composites of myself, with the exception of Josh in My Face, but only a little.
FMB. Do have to ask :) Your favorite movie – you can pick only one..
K.C. Always hard to pick one film out of so many movies that have inspired me and made me happy. Though not inspirations exactly since I’ve never attempted anything in the same genre, and I will break the rule and group them as one movie b/c I feel like they are, is The Original Star Wars Trilogy. These are the films, or film, that I watched repeatedly as a kid and into adulthood. They are amazing stories, they cover so many layers of a character and a hero’s journey and symbolism, and the fact of how revolutionary they were in terms of filmmaking at the time is inspiring. Before CGI and everything, what could be done, really showed the potential of what a single vision can do. I also like to think that had I not enjoyed these films so much, perhaps my love for movies and later wanting to make them would not have emerged and grown so big.
FMB. Thank you and good luck with Liquid Lungs festivals round up!
Here is film trailer for “Liquid Lungs” – enjoy! For more of Ken’s work visit SnagFilms.