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Interview With Jon Cohen the Director, Writer & Producer of the Film Ravenswood

Ravenswood won Best Feature Film - Jury Award & Best Feature Film - More than $10,000 Award in the 7th Season of MP Film Award Jon Cohen Director, Writer & Producer of the Film Ravenswood agree to interview with us.

Jon Cohen

Jon Cohen: JD has been working in the film industry for nearly 20 years. He was a survivor of an English boarding school, which probably explains the darker edges to his films. With a degree in psychology, he brings that understanding to his stories, creating strong and interesting characters.

JD often writes female leads with the strength to rescue themselves and this gives a more individual feel to his films. He has directed half a dozen indie features, several TV Pilots, and a clutch of award winning short films. This gives him the experience needed to deliver the result, on time and on budget.

Poster Ravenswood

About the Film: Synopsis: Ravenswood Film Synopsis:

When 4 American tourists - Sofia, Carl, Belle and Michael - go on a ghost tour, they get much more than they bargained for, when the ghosts of an evil Doctor and his last patient victim trap them in the old abandoned psychiatric ward.


What was your drive behind making this film?

Behind the Scene

Jon Cohen: Supernatural horrors are always intriguing to me as it allows a greater exploration of character than a horror film on it’s own, and the ‘what if’ nature of supernatural gives making such a film a different feeling and edge

How you feel when you are awarded with the MP FILM AWARD Award?

Jon Cohen: Always nice to be able to gain recognition for one’s work, and equally, good fun telling the cast and crew that all their contributions went to create something that has won an award.

Can you tell us about the greatest moment during shooting this film?

Behind the Scene

Jon Cohen: There were a lot of moments that stand out, but the top 2 both involved my leading lady Madeline, and the raw emotion in her acting. As she told the leading man, Jock, what she was going through, it was all there in her eyes, and he gave back emotion in equal measure.

How rigorously did you stick to the script while shooting?

Jon Cohen: When you are shooting a feature in 12 days on a very very small budget, while it can produce some great and unexpected moments when you go off script, it was generally a matter of sticking to the script we’d created from the rehearsals and the original writing.

Where there any onset problems During the filming of the film & how did you deal with it?

Behind the Scene

Jon Cohen: When a schedule is tight, some days go long, and cast and crew can struggle with fatigue, but we got through it all most of the time. The only other problem… the feeling that the abandoned psychiatric hospital we shot in was haunted…

Do you have any advice for young filmmaker out there? Or like yourself?

Jon Cohen: My best advice is keep shooting stuff, keep honing the craft, and the logistics. This was my 5th low budget feature as director, and there were always challenges, so you just have to be prepared… if you think you know it all… you don’t.

Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?

Behind the Scene

Jon Cohen: If you are willing to put in a lot of time and discipline into working on set, starting at the bottom and learning from everyone, then you don’t specifically need a film education, but it never harms to do some study now and again, as there are always things to learn

Which film has inspired you the most?

Jon Cohen: Too many to list – from 12 Angry Men to Pleasantville, Commando to Titanic, Inside Out to Scream … I have wide tastes

Which particular film maker has influenced you the most?

Jon Cohen: I’ve always liked Spielberg’s way of telling stories, Cameron’s scale and vision, and the Pixar films ways of hitting emotions.

Which book would you love to make a film out of one day?

Behind the Scene

Jon Cohen: Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

If you got the opportunity to go back in time & change something in any particular movie of yours, then which movie & what changes will you opt for?

Jon Cohen: All of them, I’d tell myself, spend more time on the script and in rehearsal… and amusingly my latest feature is a time travel story!

If you were to shoot the film again, what would you do differently?

Jon Cohen: Given the budget and time constraints, I’d probably change some of the ways I moved the camera, maybe commit to shots a little more to give more time to other areas, but I’m happy enough with the film as is, given circumstance

What is your greatest achievement till date?

Behind the Scene

Jon Cohen: Being in the film industry as long as I have, while remaining at an indie level… I’ve watched a lot of people come and go… surviving this industry is an achievement.

How do you pick yourself up after a failed film?

Jon Cohen: No such thing as a failure in film, cliched though it sounds, it’s a matter of what you learn from it, so you can try not to make the same mistakes again. However, if I do a film that does not meet my expectations… get into the next one, and do better.

Where our viewers can catch you (share your social media)?

Jon Cohen: JD Cohen on facebook



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