The AaronCohens

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Marathon Editing Session

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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.

The Aaron Cohens

The Aaron Cohens

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.


Written by Aaron

January 6, 2009 at 2:24 am

Posted in Business

Aaron IBM Cohen

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A classic Tweet from this Aaron who will join us at the shoot:

Note to self: Don’t schedule meetings on Christmas. People will not appreciate it.

Aaron "IBM" Cohen.  We may improve this nickname

Aaron "IBM" Cohen. We may improve this nickname

Written by Aaron

December 17, 2008 at 6:27 pm

Posted in Business

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A bookstore in the family

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Here’s a review of my Mom’s bookstore in Washington DC from the Nation Magazine guide to DC.

“There’s a saying among D.C. realtors that ‘ walking distance to Politics and Prose can sell a house in Washington.” A neighborhood regular (and Nation reader) fondly recalled how it grew from a ‘hole in the wall’  twenty years ago to a book emporium patronized by policy wonks, inside-the-beltway types, moves and shakers, a straggling of literati and, well, neighborhood regulars. “Every night and some afternoons,’ reports our source, ‘there are top speakers and authors who feel honored to be there. The orinignators of this enterprise, Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade, have created a real community. A wonderful, vibrant, alive place.” And, of course, there’s a coffee shop.”

Maybe I can score you guys an Aaron Cohen discount.

Written by Aaron

December 11, 2008 at 10:56 pm

Aaron Revive Cohen

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One super cool guy I met today was Aaron Revive Cohen.  He could use our support at Revive which is a cool sneaker and streetwear shop.


He can get any limited editions you want.    How can you not want to check out a store run by a guy named Aaron Cohen?  It’s good to know retailing is alive in Birmingham.  I’m sure his parents are proud.  Aaron Revive Cohen — modern day cobbler.  Now that’s dope.

Written by Aaron

November 25, 2008 at 3:39 pm