Archive for January 2009
Team, You should read the piece in this week’s observer. It’s really created a buzz here in New York. Check it out.
Guys, I’m finally getting a chance to do some blogging and the first thing I did was put a Previews page in with all of our “official” footage so far. You can see it on the righthand side under Pages. It’s called “Previews” You can find it here.
The poet Matthew Zapruder is one of my oldest friends. He and I were deeply influenced by Christopher Guest and he knows what I want to do. Here are his thoughts on what will happen with this film.
….. Things will develop because it’s an experience you haven’t had yet, are in the middle of having. I think the real issue will be something way beyond the surface humor of it, which is of course important. That and the charm and hilarity of some of these “ordinary” guys who are singled out by you because of the very ordinariness of their name (when you let them talk these ordinary guys just become stars!) are the engine of the film, driving it towards something deeper that you can’t (and shouldn’t) know yet. The experience itself will reveal what’s great about the film. That I think is how great documentaries work, the journey of discovery for the film maker is experienced by the viewer
Here’s the film. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Team, I’ve completed the previews thanks to the good work of AFC and those that showed up in December. We will go live Monday and see how it goes from there. I’m heading out to LA next Thursday to start the LA portion of movies meetings. Meeting with people in NYC next week.
Hope to here what people think as we roll this out next week.
There will be more of this kind of thing, but here’s a sample of what’s going on around the Aaron Cohen homepages.
I have just completed my first ever editing session as a prospective movie director. Of course, NPR has already labeled me a filmmaker and I wouldn’t want to challenge their journalistic accuracy. No doubt, I was out of the comfort zone and it felt exhilarating. I don’t have much to compare it to, but here are some notes.
For those of you who don’t know, two months ago I decided I would try to make a film. It’s been a longtime dream of mine and in the aftermath of selling menupages, it seemed like the right time. I know a lot of people who want to make movies and never follow through. I don’t want to be one of those people.
The Aaron Cohens is a film about men named Aaron Cohen and my quest to gather them in New York for a festival that explores their differences, commonalities, and the complex, rich, funny, and entertaining lives they live. I’m particularly interested in their relatsionships with their mothers and will be inviting the Moms as well.
We started filming last month just before xmas to get a feel for how things would work and 9 Aaron Cohens graced us with their presence at Katz’s deli. Their compensation: a pastrami Sandwich.
The editing process is very intense and collaborative. You have to watch all the footage over and over again. Essentially what Aaron Fisher Cohen (my cameraman, editor and director of photography) and I did was watch the tapes on our own, take notes on what we liked and then compare the notes. We basically marked up all the comments and moments we liked and started grouping them into themes.
I asked the same questions to all the interviewees: Do you have any nicknames? What does being Jewish mean to you? Have you ever googled yourself? Some questions (mostly about moms and girlfriends) popped more than others did. We started weaving together the themes that would make the best two minutes of film.
We have some challenges. We shot at Katz’s and I failed to tell them we were coming. That was a little awkward, but with an assurance to be aggressive purchasers of their fine meats I managed to finagle the back corner for our troupe. However, that corner was right next to the kitchen so the interviews are continuously interrupted by the clanging of dishes and the salsa music that played throughout the night. Some would say it adds to the charm. I would say it makes it harder to hear.
To be clear, we are making a tease for The Aaron Cohens that gives people a sense of what we would do if we pursue a full-length feature film. Then we show that to professional in the industry and see where it goes.
After the first day of serious editing, I would say that we have some funny and poignant moments. While our journey has just begun, The Aaron Cohens has great potential. Well at least potential. Look, I laughed out loud. Really. More than once.