The AaronCohens

We are the same, we are different

Why am I doing this?

with 5 comments

Conversation with my college roommate Shepherd Frankel (most recently the Production Designer on 4 Xmases) about The AaronCohens on the eve of the first shoot.

College Roomate and Movie Yogi  Shepherd Frankel

College Roomate and Movie Yogi Shepherd Frankel

aaron

i’m shooting tomorrow night

11:58pmShepherd

where is your shoot?

11:58pmAaron

katz’s and sammy romanian.

I’m going to cut a 3 minute trailer and walk it around NYC and LA from January 8-30 and if I don’t have money or obvious commitments.

then maybe I rethink it

I’m thinking 500k

12:00amShepherd

will be tight

especially with all of the travel

12:01amAaron

especially with the festival

I don’t think there is an appetite to step up to 1 or 2mm even though im sort of done with it being a documentary

it’s going to be a mashup of styles

part doc, part memoir, part celebrity cameos, part scripted

But since I’m not a director or when people ask me what I know about film I say “I have a membership at netflix.” I don’t know that I can go so big you know?

12:03amShepherd

good answer

12:03amAaron

yeah…I’m funny maybe. But I’m no Seth McFarlane. Some guys are sick.

I don’t feel that funny

i’m trying to watch more larry david

12:05amShepherd

your strength is your ability to put together a narrative thats interesting – about anything. your storytelling. within that story you will have very funny moments.

12:06amAaron

yeah.. but it’s strange to start without a story

i mean my only story right now is  “can I get 500 Aaron Cohens to one place at one time?”

12:06amShepherd

your challenge

12:06amAaron

it’s a challenge

right

hopefully two gay aaron cohens will hook up and i’ll have some plot

or maybe the whole process will convince the gentile aaron cohens to convert to judaism

Nina (my wife)  is freaking out by the way.

she thinks I’ve lost my mind.  Supports the film idea, but thinks since I’m a husband and father maybe I should get a job too.

12:08amShepherd

She has a point.  make the movie as relateable to as many people as possible

12:09amAaron

well I think if you do that you can lose your focus.  I’m trying to make a “jewish movie” in that I want to tap into the broad and rich themes of humor, guilt, assimilation, holocaust, etc

12:10amShepherd

maybe the story is more about your obsession to do this than anything

12:10amAaron
could be.. but I feel that’s the graceleeproject.com

she made a korean version

of the aaroncohens

and she’s always talking during the movie about how she’s feeling.

12:10amShepherd

yes true – very grace lee

12:10amAaron

And while I think it’s cool, it’s not that funny.

do you know the movie?  it’s a documentary

i mean nobody saw it

12:11amShepherd

yes

12:11amAaron

do you know if you make $1mm in US box office you’re a top 100 documentary of all time

that said 40 of the 100 were made in the past 5 years

that said 15 of those had big stars al gore, michael moore, bill maher attached to them

12:12amShepherd

2 things for me

12:13amShepherd

1 you are a pretty interesting person and interesting to listen to and watch – you do know this, a lot of your success is based on this

2

maybe the story is more about your obsession to do this than anyting

12:13amAaron

fuck if htat’s the case i’ve got to lose more weight

perhaps.

i’ll contemplate that but it feels narcissitic

am I that entertaining?

12:14amShepherd

i am fascinated with your obsession to do this – i dont know why you are doing it – despite what you say. i still dont get it. but i think everyone has some obsessive version of immortalizing themselves. this has to be part of it

12:14amAaron

I’d rather watch the guy in detroit who looks like eminem and owns a street wear boutique

12:15amShepherd

yea but your smarter

12:15amShepherd

of course there is some narcisssim

everyone has various levels of narcisssim.  most successful people i know have a lot

12:15amAaron

so a scene could be me imagining myself on Jon Stewart say with Jon Stewart

12:16amShepherd

and we love to hate people who are narcissitic

or criticise them

12:17amAaron

I think having 500 Aaron Cohens in one room creates a very weird dynamic… it’s never been done before

Martha Stewart had 150 Martha Stewarts come to welcome her out of jail in NYC

speaking of narcisstic

so I could go meet with Martha and Grace Lee and ask them why they did it?

12:18amShepherd

i think that would be a good scene

12:19amAaron

so you’re saying bet on me as talk show host aka Roger and Me and see what happens

a kind of jewish identity michael moore-quest

Roger and Me was the quest to meet the CEO of General Motors.  Mine is the quest to meet Aaron Cohens.

12:19amShepherd

would be good to address the topic of exploreing why you are doing it while doing it – while thinking you are doing it for other reasons too

12:19amAaron

right

like, I’m tired of selling advertising

and then flash to me pitching web ads

12:20amShepherd

yes – but m moore career has turned into something else too

despite his films being good

12:20amAaron

by the way, I was introduced at a cocktail party tonight as a filmmaker

and then a woman said to me I have a film idea for your next film

and that’s when I said i have a membership at netflix

12:21amShepherd

moore himself has almost become a character we are intrigued watching first and his stories second

now

12:22amShepherd

can also see you at your day job earning money for you aaron cohen habit

12:22amAaron

i don’t have a day job

but I could have one

i suppose

12:22amShepherd

unemployed now

?

12:22amAaron

well I sold MenuPages over the summer…

you didn’t know that I ran that

12:23amShepherd

your still a major player in your field though

i forgot

12:23amAaron

sort of

I’m sort of “elder statesmen”

i’m trying to switch from quarterback to coach

12:24amShepherd

cohen-back

12:24amAaron

I expected to have $20mm by now and switch careers and I bascially I’m settling for half that 🙂)

12:25amShepherd

good part of your story

good luck with shoot

12:30amAaron

thanks man. I need it.

think about yourself before you ever walked on a set.

that’s me….except I’m supposed to tell people what to do.

12:32amShepherd

wont be a problem

12:32amAaron

yes… My script calls for a lot of different shots of hands and mouths holding and chewing pastrami

I have real vision.

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Written by Aaron

December 22, 2008 at 5:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. There’s no question this film screams narcissism, but so do you. However, I thought its premise was the identity crisis so many people share with common names. I feel going down the “Jewish” route or making it about you would massively detach people from the film. You have an opportunity to make this movie very “relateable” to the masses of people that share your identity problem (i.e. the “Smiths”, “Johnsons”, “Williams”, “Browns”, “Jones”, etc) — which could very well make it a hit documentary, but carving out a further niche as a “jewish” movie or about “aaron cohen” of 24th St in NYC probably won’t appeal to the masses…

    Jay Gould

    December 22, 2008 at 6:49 am

  2. Superb points. And yes I will certainly be adding people with common names into the film. You’ve picked up on a key theme, although you might be surprised to know that a lot of people don’t feel this is an issue for them and find my issue or our issue weird.

    In any event, when you name a movie after yourself (and the 1000 others like you) you’re going to get hit with the narcissism thing bigtime. If I thought I was super talented and funny and could do standup or be an actor I would do that.

    I don’t so I probably won’t.

    Aaron

    December 22, 2008 at 6:54 am

  3. There are tens of thousands of people that share common names — I looked into this when I read how “ocho cinco” legally changed his name. Then there are folks like me that share a famous name, I’ll never be the first “jay gould” on wikipedia, and then there’s those that share a famous last name (as adam was telling us about his older brother michael back when we pitches wikiyou). I think this has potential, be careful and it may jet 🙂

    Jay Gould

    December 22, 2008 at 7:58 am

  4. i wonder if there are other gay aaron cohens…I wonder if I would be attracted to them 😀

    aaroncohen

    December 23, 2008 at 5:55 pm

  5. All the very best for the new experiment Aaron… It sounds interesting 🙂

    Sameer Shaikh

    December 29, 2008 at 7:11 am


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