With only a few days until The Asylum's next DVD release, the vicious thriller Born Bad, I wanted to re-post an interview I did with the film's writer/director, Jared Cohn. In addition to his work here, Cohn has also appeared as an actor in a few other Asylum productions, including Halloween Night, Legion of the Dead, Way of the Vampire and Alien Abduction. As you get amped up for the DVD release, enjoy the interview below, then come back tomorrow for the re-post of my observation notes on the film.
COMMITTED: How old were you when you decided you wanted to work in film? What spawned this decision?
JARED COHN: I was 18 when I was first introduced to the possibility of working in film when I moved into an apartment in college (Northeastern in Boston) and my roommate was an actor. We would mess around with video cameras and do some improvs and skits - just having fun. He wound up moving to LA and I visited him and got bit by the bug. Soon, I started writing scripts and reading about the industry and taking acting classes and auditioning. Next thing I knew, I was driving across country from NY to LA to pursue a career in film.
C: How did you come to get involved with The Asylum?
JC: I auditioned for Way of the Vampire and booked the part of Roman! I was very excited and was lucky enough to continue to act in several more of their movies, all of which I am grateful and proud to have been a part of.
C: In 2009, you started writing and directing. Was this always the plan, or was it something that evolved once you got into the industry?
JC: I actually started writing my first script before my first audition as an actor. I enjoy writing and there is only so much one can do to pursue a film acting career before going crazy, so in my spare time I would write. I would go on writing binges and work for days on end, sometimes 16-20 hours straight until my eyes would go blurry. The directing came next. I wanted to challenge myself in the hopes that it would make me a better actor and writer, and I feel to some degree I have grown from seeing things from the other side of the camera.
C: What films have served as inspirations to you, as an actor as well as a writer/director?
JC: I love Val Kilmer’s performance in Tombstone. So good! Ed Burns inspires me as an actor, writer and director because he does it all and does it with style, and because he is also from Long Island.
C: Is there anyone you’ve worked with you looked to as inspiration when you started writing or directing?
JC: My friend Michael Nelson, who is a great writer, inspired me to really start writing the right way. We would work for hours and hours and bounce ideas around and discuss Aristotle’s poetics for the screenwriter and Syd Field's rules of writing. Also, Ed Erdelac, a great writer and director who directed me in Meaner Than Hell, a western that I starred in, he inspires me to write better and continue to write Lastly, my writer/director friend Eddie Reyes keeps me motivated to keep acting.
C: How did the idea for Born Bad come about?
JC: I wrote a script for a location my father has. I was planning on trying to make the movie myself, but lacked the means, so I sent it out to David Rimawi at The Asylum and then he called me and told me he liked it, which was an amazing phone call to get! Then, we wound up not using my father’s house to shoot, though, since that place is in NY. We shot it in SoCal. Which I was happy about, because the location and weather were beautiful. So, it all worked out!
C: How was it working on the other side of the camera for The Asylum?
JC: Great! Everyone there is passionate about film and everyone there is quality folk. I was excited in 2004 when I got to play in Way of the Vampire, and I was excited this year when I was able to direct Born Bad. The Asylum kicks serious ass. David Latt, David Rimawi and Paul Bales know what they are doing, so my cast was awesome and my crew was great. The whole experience was pure awesomeness .
C: You’re also the CEO of Trap Light Media. Tell us a little about your company.
JC: Traplight Media is my company that I run. I shoot, edit and do after effects and some design work. I do music videos, commercials, TV shows, promos, trailers, whatever… I graduated film school (New York Institute of Technology) with a focus on production and post-production. I am also proud to be a director and shooter/editor for a very cool, growing TV show – "Live It Up" with Donna Drake. So, when I am not writing, acting, or directing, I am in front of my computer editing video or on location somewhere. Also, my acting site is www.Jaredmonline.com (if anyone is interested…)
C: Besides Born Bad, of course, which of the other four Asylum productions you’ve been in (Alien Abduction, Legion of the Dead, Way of the Vampire, Halloween Night) was your favorite?
JC: Halloween Night, because my role was fun to play and the location was awesome, and we got to stay there for the shoot. The experience was fun and the movie came out cool! Also, the director/DP Mark Atkins is a very talented man and cool to work with.
C: Any Jared Cohn dream projects?
JC: I’ve got a action/thriller script I am pushing right now, can’t say too much, but I’m hoping it gets going sooner than later… Also, I would love to act a lot more. My original goal was to just make it as an actor and that is still very much my dream.
C: What’s next for you?
JC: Other than my action/thriller script, I’m working with The Asylum now in the early stages of another Lifetime type project that I am writing that I am hoping will get made. It’s currently in development but the concept is way cool. Also, hopefully Born Bad will be a big success and with a bit of luck that can open some additional doors for me which would be fantastic. Also, I’ve got Underground Lizard People, which I wrote and directed which is going to be released shortly. www.UndergroundLizardpeople.com. The movie Revenants was just released on VOD, a cool revenge/zombie flick in which I play the lead. I am also working as the director of photography on a post apocalyptic movie shooting in CT now, which I am also acting in. I’ve got all sorts of things going on, but am always striving for more. No rest for the weary!
No rest indeed. Tune in tonight,Tuesday, November 8th, when the see the fruits of Mr. Cohn's many efforts, Born Bad, hits DVD.