“Years after a missed opportunity with his hero, Adam Sandler, a determined filmmaker goes on a quest to recapture what could have been.”
Filmmaker, actor, producer and an all-around great guy, David Seth Cohen, is on the quest to have his film, Finding Sandler, made into a full-length production. An experience which happened years ago has turned into one of the most rewarding and farcical life moments a filmmaker could have. Cohen’s optimistic outlook and his definitive perseverance have launched a new campaign on KickStarter. Cristino Melendez and I were able to interview Cohen about his film project.
Highbrow Magazine: How did your fascination with film begin?
DSC: As a kid, when I was maybe five years old, my cousin used to come up with screenplay concepts and we would borrow my uncle’s camera and make films. As I got older, I saved all my money and I went to Toys R US and they had a video camera for about $150.00. I purchased it and started making movies in my driveway in front of my house. The real stuff started in college when I was a pre-law major and I took an intro to film class as an elective. This is where I made my first film.
HB: What was the name of your first film?
DSC: There was no title. The teacher has asked the class to create a film using a dream sequence. I was always a huge Superman Fan. So the film was about a dream with a burglar and Superman came to save the day. The funny part about the film was we were supposed to film on 8mm. I didn’t realize how much lighting was needed so nothing came out at all the first time I shot it.
HB: When did you first become an Adam Sandler fan?
DSC: Growing up I used to watch him as Opera Man him on Saturday Night Live. I was really taken back by the Hanukkah song. Growing up as a Jewish child there weren’t really any Hanukah songs. So now Adam Sandler comes up with a song that is not only hilarious but it is brilliant. I respect him and admire him. My dream was always to have a production company and work with friends on my films, and that is what Adam does.
HB: Let’s chat about the night you passed up a drink with Adam Sandler.
I worked on the set of the movie Big Daddy as a production assistant for the costume designer. The night of the Water Boy premiere in Manhattan, Sandler asked the costume designer if he could have some clothes from the set of Big Daddy for the Water Boy premiere. She asked me to drop the clothing off with the doorman at Adam’s apartment and then bring my fellow co-worker Autumn home.
When I went to drop the clothing off at the front desk, the doorman told me to bring them up to Adam’s apartment. Autumn was waiting in the car and there were no cell phones around at this time so I couldn’t tell her what I was doing. I went up to the apartment. He opened the door and asked if I wanted to come in and have a drink. I was like “I can’t!” His assistant who is also in his movies, Jonathan Laughrin, knew me from the set. He pushed me to come inside to see the view from the balcony. So I did but I had Autumn in the car (back then I couldn’t text or call her without a cell phone), and a few seconds after we got out of there I was like “Listen guys I got to get going!” and that was it… I left!
HB: So did you get cold feet? Were you starstruck?
DSC: No. I didn’t want my boss to yell at me… I couldn’t leave Autumn in the car alone and in the middle of Manhattan and not contact her. It wasn’t like today where I could send a text and tell her to come upstairs so we could hang out with Sandler. I was thinking, “My boss is going to kick my as$ if I go in and just leave her in the car.”
HB: I watched the video and the whole “Lost Opportunity” struck a chord with me. Are there any other opportunities that you missed in life?
Not that I can think of off the top of my head, but there are always moments when you say things you didn’t mean or maybe you wish you took a situation with someone you had dated a little differently. There are always things like that which everyone experiences.
Opportunity is often difficult to recognize; we usually expect it to beckon us with beepers and billboards. But as David has shown, it is never too late to recapture a lost moment, a missed opportunity or to try and reinvent a memory that was lost! Have faith and never give up!
To watch the FINDING SANDLER KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN VIDEO and to support Cohen’s film, visit: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/findingsandler/finding-sandler
Alysia Stern is a contributing writer at Highbrow Magazine.