Director: Jon E. Cohen | Writers: Nicola Sammeroff & Jon E. Cohen | 90-min. | Canada | 2017 | Drama/Comedy Edmonton Premiere! Lisa (Erin Karpluk, BEING ERICA) and Dan (Randal Edwards, ROOM) have
Director: Jon E. Cohen | Writers: Nicola Sammeroff & Jon E. Cohen | 90-min. | Canada | 2017 | Drama/Comedy
Edmonton Premiere! Lisa (Erin Karpluk, BEING ERICA) and Dan (Randal Edwards, ROOM) have the perfect jobs, the perfect kids, the perfect home, and the perfect marriage. With a successful business and rock solid marriage, they believe their love to be invincible. So when they embark on A SWINGERS WEEKEND to celebrate their birthdays, they’re in it for the thrill, and nothing more. Of course it’s all perfectly arranged and planned. They’ve rented a magnificent lakefront property, stocked the fridge with great food and wine, and drafted up a list of rules and regulations to ensure everything goes as it should. They’ve also invited the youngest, coolest and hottest couple they know. But when a third unexpected couple shows up, everyone’s well laid plans go awry. One of Dan’s oldest friends, Geoffrey Goldstein (played by EIFF Alumni, Jonas Chernik, BOREALIS and FARGO), surprises his uptight wife, Fiona (played by Mia Kirshner, THE L WORD, EXOTICA, THE BLACK DAHLIA) with this swingers weekend in an attempt to rekindle their failing marriage. What could possibly go wrong? Guests: Nicola Sammeroff & Jon E. Cohen attending.
About the Director:
Jon Cohen is the youngest of five, from Toronto, Canada. He took a serious interest in film during his undergraduate years in university and upon graduating worked in physical and post production for several years as a production assistant and assistant editor. He attended a graduate film program at Florida State University and after graduating, Cohen moved to Los Angeles where he lived for five years. In L.A. Jon worked in feature film development for Sneak Preview Entertainment, an indie production and talent management company. He also worked as a freelance reader for Sony based Phoenix Pictures and TF1 USA. Jon stayed at Sneak Preview for several years but eventually quit in order to devote more time to screenwriting, the only way, he felt, to realistically reach his ultimate goal to direct feature films.
Back in Toronto since mid 2004, Jon has continued to write, work as a screenplay consultant and as an instructor at the Toronto Film College. Over the last decade, Jon has been involved in almost every aspect of film including story analyst, production support, and editing. In 2016 Jon co-wrote (with Nicola) and directed a short film 16 AND READY TO ROLL which played at the Cannes Short Film Corner. He is thrilled to be making his feature film directorial debut with A SWINGERS WEEKEND.
Well, this certainly was an interesting process for me… The word “interesting” encompasses so many different experiences and emotions, it’s hard to know where to begin and where to end. I guess we can’t even discuss the end because as I write this the film has yet to be screened by public audiences.
This is my first feature and while I’ve made several short films, I have to say they really didn’t fully prepare me for “the beast” that is directing a feature. I’d never really worked with professional actors of this ability, so honestly it was far more of a learning experience for me than anything else. I basically had to jump right in with both feet and stick to my instincts as far as communicating with them, which in the end, I think (mixed with a whole lot of luck) turned out well. But it was stressful and nerve wracking at times, especially early on in the shoot.
The learning curve needed to be quick and again, it was sort of trial by fire but sticking to your guns and instincts is what you must rely on in the end when directing I think. I think the same goes for so many aspects of personal and professional endeavours. If your instincts are good, go with them, if they stink, well, you’re kind of screwed, you need to do something else. I knew what my vision was and what I wanted to achieve but what I wasn’t prepared for was the amount of input or suggestion I’d get from the cast. As a director, you need to (very quickly) process these outside ideas, give them a nod or a no, and proceed accordingly. While this can be scary, because you’re veering off the road map/blueprint you’ve laid out (the script), it can be highly beneficial to the end result. I’m not the first to say it, but a film is not a script and shouldn’t in my opinion be treated as such. They’re may be one or two writers who disagree with that statement.
As far as specific experiences that stand out for me, they’re frankly hard to recall because I didn’t sleep very much for the three weeks of the actual shoot (15 shooting days). The whole experience is a bit of a blur, it’s like (I can only imagine), the experience one reported after attending Woodstock. The hardest thing technically was the stuff we shot on the water. No amount of talking or story boarding could have prepared us for the unpredictability of the day. This is the sort of thing ideally you should block out, on the actual water, prior to principal photography. But that has probably occurred a total of zero times in the history of independent filmmaking.
Most of the crew was young and fairly inexperienced, so things were pretty difficult at times technically speaking. I was living in the set (the lake house where we shot), with a few of the other crew. I felt, at times, very much like the Steve Buscemi character in Living in Oblivion. I watched that movie just prior to our shoot and so often I’d giggle to myself privately, ‘holy shit, I’m fucking living in oblivion’, I can’t wait for this to be over… But I can’t wait to do it again.
Distributor: Northern Banner Releasing
International Sales Agent: Shoreline Entertainment
Official Website: www.savoyentertainment.ca
Look out for: Nudity, lots of f-bombs, drinking, smoking — it’s a party weekend!
Age appropriate for: 18+ (Nudity & coarse language)
Guests Attending: Nicola Sammeroff (Writer/Producer) & Jon Cohen (Writer/Director)
(Friday) 7:00 pm
Landmark Cinemas 9 City Centre
10200 102 Ave NW , Edmonton, AB, T5J 4B7