Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Interview with Jared Cohn, Actor/Director/Producer/Writer and owns Traplight Media

 Interview with Jared Cohn, Actor/Director/Producer
Jared has had a diverse career in media so far from acting to directing and even producing and writing films, this guy has a lot of experience in all areas under his belt. From what I’ve seen of his work it shows, on a relatively low budget his indie films have great acting decent effects and plausible scripts.
Based in L.A. he also founded Traplight Media a team of professionals in media which can bring you anything from commercials to music videos and corporate video.
Here Jared has agreed to an interview with THN, thanks for this interview Jared

Q. First Jared how are today

A. Good. Thank you for allowing me to do this with the Horror Nation.

Q. How long have you been doing each of your career choices?
A. I’ve been working in the entertainment industry for ten years. I started acting and writing and then directing, and shooting/editing, After Effects, when I was at New York Institute of Technology. I always was writing screenplays. I started writing my first screenplay before my first audition.

Q. What made you want to get into this line of work?
A. I found acting and movies more interesting than anything else at the time. And I still feel that way, I have worked numerous jobs, Valet, Security, Gas Station Attendant, Dry Cleaner worker, waiter, and they all pretty much sucked. The most interesting non film related job was working as a telephone salesman, that was fun at times, because it was like acting. Acting for commission, so in a way it was more real. I’ve worked as a grip, gaffer, AC, editor, shooter, so for me, as long as I am on set, ideally above the line, I am doing what I want.

Q. What or who has influenced your work from writing to directing?
A. My folks, my brother, my childhood. I liked martial arts flicks, so a lot of ninjas and stuff like that are interesting to me. Directing movies is a lot like psychology, dealing with a lot of various personality types. Sometimes people clash, this usually happens with the outcome differing set to set. However, sometimes shows are harmonious and people click well.

Q. For the people who don’t know you to well can you give us a list of what you have done throughout you career from directing to acting and writing?
A. Many films with the wonderful, The Asylum. Shout out to David Michael Latt, David Rimawi and Paul Bales for allowing me into their world with Bram Stokers The Way of the Vampire. Back in 04, I got committed with the part of Roman. I acted in four Asylum movies before I sent them one of my screenplays that I wrote… they contacted me and told me they liked it, which was a great call to get.. I flew out to LA at the time, I was back in NY, and we met and then got the ball rolling. When Lifetime took interest that was very cool, because they are a well known network, I had to rewrite the whole script to make the lead the female which was cool. That was BORN BAD. Then, I did BIKINI SPRING BREAK,  #HOLDYOURBREATH, 12/12/12… and I just wrapped a secret movie, that I cannot disclose for legal purposes.  I can neither confirm nor deny this last one was an Asylum show. The Asylum though, is awesome for dominating the market, being brave and making more movies than any other indie studio out there. Pure genius at work. And I am super grateful to those guys for taking a chance on me. 

Q. Can you tell us a little about your movies and experience of working on them?
A. Going into production is like a war, mentally, physically you must be prepared. I, for instance, on this last show, made sure I was well hydrated, and well rested, because you have to be on point to direct a feature film, especially when dealing with a large crew and name actors, respect is quickly lost, and that is not a good thing. You need to be cool and respectful of everyone, no matter how big or small the job is. However, at the end of the day it’s the producers show, so ultimately, it’s their money, so you must obey them. Navigating the waters of totem pole, director/producer relationship is key to success, because as the director you want to make the best possible film, as the producer you want it to cost as less and be as easy as possible, so sometimes creative Vs. financial issues arise. This makes you more creative, because if you cannot do one thing, you must find another solution.

Q. On a serious note there seem to be a lot of people in the movie industry these days just out to make a buck, unfortunately this shines through on their work what is your stance on this?
A. I’ve definitely worked with people who just are in it for their day rate, which is fine if you are good at what you do, but if you have a bad attitude about it, then you might want to consider another line of work. At the end of the day, no matter how big the show is, if I’m signed on, I want to make the best possible movie.

Q. Don’t get me wrong I think it’s fine to want to make a bit of money for yourself but shouldn’t you also take pride in your work and try your best and any project you’re on?
A. Of course, always. If it has your name on it, you should take pride.

Q. A side note from that, back in the late 70’s to the early 90’s a shoe string budget brought out the creative side to a lot of successful directors/actors of today like Halloween/john carpenter, Wes craven and many others. I feel a lot of people have lost this creativity even in big budget affairs sometimes; it’s unfair that you have to be a massive name now to get any creative control over a film, what are your thoughts on this?
A. Dennis Hopper broke the rules. I can take some actors, my DSLR and steal a lot of locations, no permit, no insurance and make a movie, pure guerrilla style, shoot, direct and edit and score it. I’ve done this numerous times, however as a filmmaker it is the dream to work on a larger scale. Have permits, have a crew, trailers, good food, transportation, hotels, per diem, etc… However, it is important to go through a period of learning and growing as a filmmaker to understand the essentials of filmmaking on a bare bones level.

Q. I would much rather watch a b-movie/indie film that’s really tried its best these days than some of the mainstream things released would you agree?
A. Depends on the movie, sounds quality, acting, most importantly, the story. A good story with good production value and you have a good movie. A movie with a great story with bad acting, bad sound, might still be cool, but at the end of the day in 2013, the audience expects to see a certain level of professionalism in the movies they watch. CGI, audio… it can still be a low budget, even no budget movie, but at least one person has to know what they are doing.

Q. Changing up the subject here Jared, can you tell us a bit about the goals Traplight Media has set itself and bit about the company as a whole?
A. Traplight is me, so my goal is just to succeed in the business. I want to make movies on my own, be hired as a director, a writer, a actor, producer - and just exist in the industry as a diverse element who is capable of getting the job done.

Q. So what is on the horizon and near future for both you and your company?
A. I have numerous projects in various stages of development. I encourage people to check out Google and search Jared Cohn. A lot of articles, some bad, some good, some split, out there. People on the internet continually amuse me. When I get bored I search my name and usually find a hateful comment, which I can’t help but laugh at. There are a fair amount of good ones too. So, it all evens out.

Q. Jared as a question to any aspiring film makers out there, what is the absolute lowest budget you could create a feature film on these days, bearing in mind you probably have some good contacts under your belt?
A. If you can shoot, direct, edit, score and you own a camera and lighting package, then you just have to feed your actors. Or if you want to be cheap as hell, they bring sandwiches in bags. But if you want to do it right and pay people and get good crew and actors and make it a decent show/production, one location, feature film, hire me and I’ll make a good deal. No numbers, just find me and we’ll make it quick and dirty, yet still look good. Shoot RED. Know who needs to get paid and what to do, there are many tricks to the trade.

Q. On the writing side now, how hard do you think it is to come up an original idea these days; nearly everything out there can be compared to something else before it today?
A. Make something about it original, doesn’t have to be the whole thing, cause that would be impossible, but write a story with a new element. Not every script is meant to be produced, more will sit on shelves, so as a writer you have to come up with some original content that reads good. Or if you have money, make your own movie. Learn the market, how to sell it, how to be smart about everything, because its one thing to make a movie, it is another to make your investment back, so you can make more movies. Ideas are the easy part.

Q. I once read an interesting quote I’m not sure who by now, but they thought it would be a good idea for a massive company to buy the rights for everything out there and this would force people to come up with new ideas do think that would be a little extreme?
A. I mean, that is pretty much the case in general, you have to have a new idea for people to really take interest or you just have to know the right people or have money and contacts, and pitch well. Pitching your idea is just as important as having a good idea. Because a good salesman can pitch a crap idea and make it sound awesome just as much as a great thinker can pitch a great idea and make it sound uninteresting.

Q. Finally Jared a fun question I ask everyone on my blog from author to producer to actor, do you think a zombie apocalypse is possible and do you have a plan?
A. I would hope so, that would be fantastic, I would throw myself into a gang of zombies and volunteer myself to join them. Then I wouldn’t have my annoying brain to deal with and I can just prowl the streets, and feast on humans. It would be like heaven.

Well I hope you have enjoyed answering my questions and I hope the readers have enjoyed getting an insight into the running of a production company and the mind of the man behind it, do you have anything to add in your own words Jared?
I say follow me @traplightmedia and keep it cool, don’t give people hard times, karma is real, forgiveness is essential, patience is key yet overrated at times, work hard, don’t hate, read, write, and stay brave. Don’t take crap from others! LOVE

You can check out Jared’s company here with news and info on his upcoming and current projects http://www.traplightmedia.com/#!

Also about the man himself on http://www.jaredcohn.com/

As always you can catch snippets of info on my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TheHorrorNation drop by give me a like for little info bits and things you won’t read on my blog and follow me on twitter @TheHorrorNation

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