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Frame By Frame: What Makes Me Tick with Daniel Cohen

Trends and Insight 258 Add to collection

The New Blank Director talks us through his ongoing creative journey

Frame By Frame: What Makes Me Tick with Daniel Cohen

Daniel Cohen’s obsession with film-making began at an early age when he “borrowed” his sister’s doll house to use as a prop in his first animations. Over the last 15 years he has created and directed both live action and animated award-winning commercials. Whether miniatures, food, or directing a live scene, he is drawn to the tangible quality of hand crafted work and always strives to tell stories that have imagination and charm. In the US, he is represented for branded projects by The New Blank. He also has his own studio, Social Motion Films

Here, Daniel talks us through his creative journey. 


Q> When did you first fall in love with making things?

Daniel> As a little boy playing with LEGO. Then I was a bigger boy and I made miniature worlds. 


Q> How has your career evolved over time?

Daniel> Making imaginative films for myself at college.

Production runner. 

Creative Circle best new director. 

Live action director. 

Animation director. 

Aardman director.

Making imaginative films for global brands.


Q> If I wasn’t a director I would be:

Daniel> A figurative sculptor. This is basically where I started: Michelangelo, Rodin and clay sculptures. I loved being able to create something from nothing and believe the way I learnt to shape a 3D object helped me frame shots as a film director.


Q> Most people don’t know that I am good at:

Daniel> Being a dad. To me, kids are everything and I am blessed to have a growing family. Honestly, despite being fortunate enough to have directed some wonderful commercials, the simple Instagram films I make with my kids probably reflect me as a director even more.


Q> The biggest misconceptions people have about what I do is:

Daniel> It takes too long and costs too much money. Now, that can be true (think the amazing films that Aardman and Laika create) but my approach is always simplicity and to embrace the imperfections that come with stop motion. 



Q> Where I find inspiration:

Daniel> Children. Comic books. Manga. Asia. British TV comedies. Being able to give to charity. The Renaissance. All types of music. Feature films. Material things. Gardens. The natural world. Children again (because they provide twice as much as any of the others.)


Q> If I had a personal motto it would be:

Daniel> None in particular. I like the ones that are about working hard and taking chances.


Q> My hero is:

Daniel> People who do what they love.

People who are content.

People who aren't afraid.


Q> My dream clients and collaborations are:

Daniel> Six months ago I would have said LEGO but had the pleasure to direct a couple of spots for them since.

For now, my dream client is anyone who lets me use my imagination (I’ve been fortunate to have many)

And my dream collaboration is a film studio where I’d direct a family adventure.

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The New Blank, Fri, 25 Oct 2019 10:52:48 GMT