Movies churned out about current, relevant, hot-button social issues are not out to help or bring awareness to the afflicted, but are created only to make a profit by exploiting the emotions of an audience willing to pay to be satisfied with bare-bones representation. Hollywood is not on your side and Hollywood does not care about social issues.
Today we’re joined by Liv Cohen. Liv is an amazingly talented filmmaker who is currently studying film at Emerson. She currently specializes in camera work and is incredibly dedicated to the art of film. She has made a couple of shorts, which are definitely worth checking out. This is an artist with a very bright future ahead of her. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I am a film major at Emerson College. My focus is in camera work, so operating and
taking care of the equipment. Filmmaking
is very difficult and very fun. It’s
also impossible to do alone, so it’s a very team-oriented art, which you can’t
say about too many other artforms. Right
now my reel consists mostly of footage from the haunted attraction that I both
film and act at. I started acting in the
haunt when I was 16, and I’m now 21.
Acting was never a huge interest of mine but I’ve gotten to perform as a
lot of interesting characters (zombies and cave-dwellers, insanity patients,
and murder victims) and film even more interesting and beautifully macabre
What inspires you?
The owner/director of the haunted attraction has been an
inspiration of mine since I met him. His
name is Wayne and he is the type of visionary director that I’m hoping to be
able to work with for as much of my career as possible. I know not every director is going to have
the sense of artistry and vision that he has, but they all better know that
they have big shoes to fill. I’m also
inspired by nature. When you’re out on a
hike or just a stroll downtown and you see all the colors that the sun produces
naturally, it makes me want to use those colors in my own work and find ways to
bring them out so others might be able to feel the way I feel when I get to see
such beautiful hues.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Nope! I was not headed
down a path that was even remotely related to art until my junior or senior
year of high school. I signed up for a
photography class my sophomore year of high school, and by complete accident I
had signed up for film (35mm) photography instead of digital. But my mom had a 35mm camera that I could
borrow so I figured why not I’ll stay in the class, and I fell completely in
love with it, but it stayed a hobby in my head.
Then my senior year of high school I took a “student news” class, where
we filmed and edited little pieces that would appear on the student news
channel inside the school, and I fell in love with video even more than still
photography. So I didn’t make the
decision to pursue art as a career until senior year of high school when I
realized that I would never be able to stay away from cameras.
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol,
or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?
Signatures and symbols are hard to sneak in to film unless you’re
a director, but I usually go for a more high contrast look with all of my
stuff, so someday I’d like to be known as a “go-to” person for directors who
are looking for a high contrast look.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Don’t give up. Whatever
anyone else tells you, do not give up.
Go to art school if you want to go to art school. Don’t worry about the cost and about the
loans and about job security. No one has
job security anymore. Follow your heart,
not your head, because your head will be happy with any sort of income
but your heart will be miserable if it doesn’t get to express itself. Never stop practicing, never stop
experimenting, never let the fear of failure stop you. Keep going.
You’re going to be amazing.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as a heteroromantic asexual.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in
your field? If so, how do you handle it?
In my field, not really, but I’m not “out” in my field. I prefer not to mention my sexuality because
of the fear of dehumanization or objectification or backlash as a result of
voicing my orientation. Those things
have happened to me many times.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that
So many people seem convinced that is a phase or something that I
will “grow out of” or that will fizzle out once I “meet the right person” or
that I’ll change my mind “when I want kids.”
I’ve identified as asexual since I was 17, but before that I always felt
the same way I just never had a word for it.
Before I knew the word “asexual” I identified as “straight but really
bad at it” or more simply “broken.” I
know that I’ll never want kids because when I was a child I didn’t want kids,
when I was an adolescent I never wanted kids, and now as an adult I still don’t
want kids, and when I’m an older adult with a significant other and more years
behind me I still won’t want kids and I’ll still be asexual.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out
there who might be struggling with their orientation?
People seem convinced that asexuality is something one can change
or grow out of, or something that one should want to change or grow out
of, but I wouldn’t change a thing about myself, and you shouldn’t want to
change a thing about yourself either.
There is nothing wrong with the way you feel. You are perfect and valid and a whole,
complete, wonderfully complex human being just the way you are. Don’t let anyone convince you that you are
“missing out” on good sex, or that you’re somehow incomplete or invalid because
you don’t feel sexual attraction. There
is absolutely nothing wrong with or missing from you. You are a beautiful person and I love you.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
YouTube! I have a few
personal and haunt-related projects on my YouTube channel. A few of my pieces are also on my haunts
official channel. Their stuff is
scattered across multiple channels because we’re really disorganized. There are a few pieces that are unlisted so
you need the links to view them. I’m
providing links to all.
andrea dworkin said that violence is the central definition of any experience that is profound and significant to men, maybe that’s why i’ve become more and more interested in fashion photography – specifically womenswear / editorial. it seems like editorial and runway modeling is one of the few artforms in which women are occasionally free to express contempt, hauteur, disdain, etc – all modes of feeling and being that are usually linked to masculinity and manhood. violence. it’s like watching a tornado from a safehaven
i don’t think i ever talked about this but last year my social studies teacher gave me the opportunity to actually choreograph a dance for a project about world war 2?? how amazing is that? everyone else would just draw or do a powerpoint presentation, i love him so much for appreciating another artform that isn’t considered art by very many people. but i wasn’t able to sadly :( it was around my studio’s recital time and i had to focus on that ! but i might get that teacher again this year i HOPE because i have a song in mind and that would be so great
i have been trying desperately to make something
that’s worth something
paper that turns into gold \
/instead of ash
i only have two hands
i place the palm of my right hand on my sacrum;
the other on my sternum
in a column of smoke
disappearing is an artform that i have spent two decades mastering
?how do you make the immaterial material?
correction: how do you stop yourself from disappearing
if you are a shadow in the dark
i have only two hands
and they are a testament to everything that i have lost
an elegy to everything that has slipped through my fingers
5 digits x 2 = 10 different ways to lose the things you love
i have people who love me
people who look me in the eye like i am still here
WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I WAS STILL SOFT
i believe one day we will no longer be prisoners
to the things that happened to us
let us do what we can
to hold one another
as we grieve
for all the selves we have had to bury
such that we can no longer breath
lest it be in whispers
it’s likely i’m going to become moderately ‘famous’ with everything i want to pursue in my life especially comedy but fame as a concept absolutely fucking terrifies me… i’m scared it’ll fuck up my relationships etc and i really don’t know how to tackle things. do i want to sell out gigs? yes! do i want to become famous? hell no! i just want to make people happy and make people laugh but i don’t want to be considered a celebrity i hate that term it’s disgusting and it’ll make me feel like an object not a person!! i’m not fame-driven at all i’m just driven by the passion for my art and making people happy!! yes i just called comedy an artform idc how pretentious i sounded it’s my art my dudes. i just want people to come to my shows and laugh and feel better about the shit that’s going on in their lives i don’t want to make too much money i don’t want people to lust after me or idolise me that’s horrible that’s objectifying!! that’s weird!! i’m a person not a product!! with youtube stuff as well even the thought of having lots of subscribes on there is weird but i still want people to see my videos and take notice of what i say and help people feel better about shit and be like hell Yeah if kloé can do this thing so can i!! i don’t know!! this posts really makes no sense. this post really is word vomit but tldr i just want to make lots of people happy with my comedy but i don’t want to be considered a celebrity because that’s spooky… i don’t understand people who only want to pursue something for the attention and fame they’ll get that’s a very very odd concept to me but i guess people’s minds all work differently