The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Behind the Lens: Edie Cohen

Printed with permission of Edie Cohen

Before the lights, camera and action, it all starts with a spark of imagination. Nestled in a corner of her sunlit room, Edie Cohen ’24 sketches a roadmap for her new film one frame at a time. Cohen said she dedicates considerable time to brainstorming before a compelling idea takes root.

“Usually, I will jot down ideas for what I want to make to get my brain flowing,” Cohen said. “Not long after, I usually come up with an idea and will start to organize and sketch a storyboard. [Then], I will bring together a crew to collaborate with and from there, start to shoot.”

Cohen said childhood traditions sparked her passion for filmmaking, drawing her into the land of film.

“I come from a family of movie lovers,” Cohen said. “I remember every Friday night, my family celebrated Shabbat dinner, and then afterward, my siblings and I would race to the cabinets in our house filled with DVDs to choose a movie to watch. That tradition definitely sparked my love for film.”

Cohen said she finds inspiration for her films in music.

“I am inspired by music where variations of tone and rhythm spark creative wires in my brain that give me an urge to make something ,” Cohen said.

Despite her involvement in other projects, Cohen said she feels most proud of the film she directed at a program this past summer.

“I am most proud of a film I made at the Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College this summer where I was able to have a lot of freedom to create,” Cohen said. “[It is] a silly little film about a girl who goes to a farmers market, but being able to be the director was so fun and rewarding.”

Though she draws creative influence from multiple sources, Cohen said one of her biggest inspirations is screenwriter and director Greta Gerwig.

“My all-time favorite filmmaker is Greta Gerwig,” Cohen said. “[Gerwig] being a female in such a historically male-dominated industry is so inspiring to me. She makes films that are real and silly and sweet. She and her husband made a film called ‘Frances Ha’ [that]Greta Gerwig stars in, and it is my favorite film.”

Cohen said she aspires to pursue a career in film, striving to create pieces that evoke a blend of emotions.

“I want to continue to direct and be [a] director of photography as well as an art director,” Cohen said. “My biggest goal is to make films [that make] people laugh and cry.”

Cohen said budding artists often find themselves in artistic stagnation but reminds them that perseverance is essential for aspiring filmmakers stuck in the creation process.

“Keep at it,” Cohen said. “Creative blocks are the worst, but the flow always comes back.”

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Crista Kim, Assistant A&E Editor

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