A writer, director, and actor, Jared Cohn is a triple threat talent who has been building his portfolio one movie at a time and his latest film is Devil’s Domain. Wanting to learn more about him, Cohn allowed me to interview him about his career and movie for ScifiPulse.
Nicholas Yanes: Growing up, when did you know that you wanted to have a career in film production? Was there a specific movie or show that you think pushed you the most in this direction?
Jared Cohn: I did not know that I wanted to have a career in film and it wasn’t one movie or show that got me in this direction, it was actually a roommate in college that was an actor who inspired me to want to get involved in the entertainment Industry. Before that roommate, I really had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Sometimes I think maybe I should’ve never had that roommate! Other times I’m glad that I did. It’s a crazy industry. It’s a lot of hard work and can be very stressful at times but also rewarding due to the creativity involved, and great people I’ve met.
Yanes: You got a BFA from New York Institute of Technology. How do you think that education prepared you for a career in film production?
Cohn: The education I received from the New York Institute of Technology helped me on the technical side of filmmaking. I had actually moved to Los Angeles five years before I went to film school to pursue a career as an actor and I did quite a bit of work as an actor but not enough to keep me going so I returned from to New York from Los Angeles, and I learned how to make films, and luckily I’ve been able to work fairly consistently behind the camera…so I think that was the universes way of telling me that I shouldn’t be an actor! Behind the camera suits me just fine.
Yanes: You have been an actor, director, and writer, which role do you prefer the most? Any specific reason why?
Cohn: I would say that I prefer directing over acting and writing because that’s what I’m best at. I enjoy acting and writing, and if the right scenario happened upon me I would consider acting a role, but it is not my priority at this time in my life. That said, I still write when I can and luckily I’ve been busy working, but whenever I have time or can find time, I always like to have a script that I’m working on and I always strive to write more. Writing can be very difficult due to the nature of the craft, very lonely, very isolated.
Yanes: On this note, how do you feel being in front of and behind the camera has made you an overall better creative professional?
Cohn: Having acted really helped me become a better director it allowed me to be able to communicate with the actors in a way that they can relate to as a post to just to being technical I understand what it’s like to be on set to be an actor, so I think that experience helps over all the same with my experience editing behind the camera and shooting I really feel that you have to know all aspects to become the best artist that you can become.
Yanes: One of your recent films is Devil’s Domain. What was the inspiration for this story?
Cohn: The inspiration for Devil’s Domain came from the production company Cleopatra Entertainment and Records, and it was actually based on a true story of a girl that was cyber bully and then the rest was a fantasy an exaggeration of this girl’s actions
Yanes: The look of the Devil in her demonic form is great. How was this visual developed? Were there any classic images of Satan you wanted to pay homage to?
Cohn: The Devil suit was done by Vincent Guastini, my hats off to him for doing such an excellent work. And I wanted to the Devil to be a female because it seems that that would be the case at least from my experience
Yanes: There are a lot of teenage characters in Devil’s Domain that come off as very authentic. How did you make sure your characters felt like actual teenagers?
Cohn: Luckily we were able to find actors that look like actual teenagers. Often times in movies, you’ll see a 35-year-old trying to play 17 and it looks off. So I really wanted to capture the teenage angst and feel so that the movie came off more authentic
Yanes: While directing the film, did any of the characters come to life in a way that you didn’t expect?
Cohn: Actually, the character came to me in the audition, Linda Bella as the Devil was excellent in a way that I did not expect. She came in the room with confidence and her French accent which I did not see coming, but it worked very well she was great
Yanes: When people finish watching Devil’s Domain, what do you hope they take away from the film?
Cohn: I hope that when people watch the movie that they come away with a sense of fantasy and escape, but they also understand how dangerous this technology is and how much of an impact it can have on people’s lives in this desire that young people have to be famous when really they’re depressed because they have these notions in their mind which are unattainable. There’s a sadness that I want to bring it to the light
Yanes: Finally, what are some other projects you are working on that people can look forward to?
Cohn: I am currently preparing a movie about the band Lynyrd Skynyrd. I am very excited about this movie and I have been doing a lot of research listening to many audio books, and working closely with Artimus Pyle, who is only one of two surviving members from the original band. Look out for this one. And I would just like to take this moment to thank Cleopatra Entertainment and Records and Brian Perera for giving me these great opportunities to do what I love.