1. I’m back.

    Going to give this tumblr a try. The Next Wave Festival starts next week, so you can expect a lot of that, a bit of my personal ramblings and who knows what else (definitely some photography).

    How do I link my instagram to this blog? Hmm…


  2. New York City landing


  3. Happy Thanksgiving kiddies! It’s been too long, I really apologize but I’ve been very busy. I’ll try to step it up heading into the new year. Right now I’m in the middle of working on some very big content for Miller Lite at agency DraftFCB (Chicago). Stay tuned.

    Enough about that - it’s Thanksgiving and I made what is probably my favorite promotional video EVER for Rhymesayers Entertainment. Watch Slug, Murs and Aesop Rock save Thanskgiving for Tommy, Susan and Dick.

    Just want to say a quick thanks to several people that helped make this one happen. Even for a 2 minute video, I leaned heavily on several talented people. Nick Mestad and I wrote the script, Maria Juranic made sure it looked perfect, my brother, Aaron Cohen, pushed my ideas further than I could have, Kai Bensen made the incredible 1951 RSE Logo and other art cards and Andrew Melby pretty much touched every part of this in some way to make it happen.

    Produced, Directed and Edited by Ben Cohen

    Written by Ben Cohen and Nick Mestad

    Titles by Kai Bensen

    Additional direction and huge thanks to Maria Juranic and Andrew Melby

    For the geeks out there - we shot this on my new Panasonic GH1 with the camera’s stock 14-140 mm f/4.0 lens in the 720p/60 flavor. It was shot on a a green screen with a doorway that we built. Sound recorded to a Zoom H4n. Edited in Final Cut with some chroma key done in After Effects. Film filters are custom and a top secret recipe but if you email me I might be willing to share.

    Oh, and if you want to view the original 1951 “A Day Of Thanksgiving” film - just follow this link: http://cohenben.com/ohyeah/adayofthanksgiving.html


  4. I just ordered one of these - should be here tomorrow. Will post samples ASAP. We’re officially HD now.

    Basically what we have here is a DSLR from Panasonic capable of shooting 1080p HD and very smooth slow motion, too. It has been back-ordered across the country for almost 6 months, but I finally will have one for myself (tomorrow if it ships on time). What can I say? - I’m a nerd and I’m excited.


  5. I might start a series of these Panolab shots on my iPhone - it sure beats just using the normal camera on this thing.

    This was at Soldier Field (Chicago, IL) just before the start of U2’s 360-degree tour kicked off. The big black circle in the middle is a giant, expanding 360-degree LED video screen!


  6. Check out this Trailer for the new Brother Ali album “Us” available September 22 from Rhymesayers. Big thanks for Jonathan Chapman Photography and Jules Ameel for coming in to help shoot, Joe at the Hideaway for letting me camp out for three weeks while they worked and Brother Ali for the opportunities.

    I’d be lying if I said I thought this video would hit 15k in 5 days. Brother Ali is about to do something BIG.


  7. I won’t say too much about this - but stay tuned. We’ve got big things planned.

    09.22 – Duluth, MN – Pizza Luce | Buy Tickets
    09.23 – Mankato, MN – What’s Up Lounge | Buy Tickets
    09.24 – Iowa City, IA – The Industry | Buy Tickets
    09.25 – Sioux Falls, SD – Nutty’s North (Outside) | Buy Tickets | Buy Tickets
    09.26 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room | Buy Tickets
    09.27 – Lawrence, KS – Granada | Buy Tickets
    09.29 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre | Buy Tickets
    09.30 – Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre | Buy Tickets
    10.01 – Colorado Springs, CO – The Black Sheep | Buy Tickets
    10.02 – Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue | Buy Tickets
    10.03 – Boise, ID – The Venue | Buy Tickets
    10.04 – Missoula, MT – The Badlander | Buy Tickets
    10.06 – Spokane, WA – The Boulevard | Buy Tickets
    10.07 – Seattle, WA – Neumo’s | Buy Tickets
    10.08 – Victoria, BC – Element | Buy Tickets
    10.09 – Vancouver, BC – Venue | Buy Tickets
    10.10 – Bellingham, WA – The Nightlight | Buy Tickets
    10.11 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theater | Buy Tickets
    10.12 – Eugene, OR – WOW Hall | Buy Tickets
    10.14 – Arcata, CA – Humboldt State University | Buy Tickets
    10.15 – Reno, NV – The New Oasis | Buy Tickets
    10.16 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst | Buy Tickets
    10.17 – San Francisco, CA – Slim’s
    10.18 – Santa Clara, CA – Avalon Nightclub | Buy Tickets
    10.20 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre | Buy Tickets
    10.21 – San Diego, CA – Cane’s | Buy Tickets
    10.22 – Tempe, AZ – Club Red | Buy Tickets
    10.23 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress | Buy Tickets
    10.24 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater | Buy Tickets
    10.26 – Lubbock, TX – The Foundation | Buy Tickets
    10.27 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater | Buy Tickets
    10.28 – Austin, TX – Emo’s Alternative Lounging | Buy Tickets
    10.29 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live | Buy Tickets
    11.01 – Orlando, FL – The Social | Buy Tickets
    11.04 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle | Buy Tickets
    11.05 – Baltimore, MD – The Ottobar | Buy Tickets
    11.06 – Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church | Buy Tickets
    11.07 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza | Buy Tickets
    11.08 – Boston, MA – The Paradise | Buy Tickets
    11.09 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground | Buy Tickets
    11.10 – Portland, ME – The Asylum | Buy Tickets
    11.11 – Northampton, MA – Pearl Street
    11.13 – Cleveland Heights, OH – Grog Shop | Buy Tickets
    11.14 – Columbus, OH – Skully’s Music Diner | Buy Tickets
    11.15 – Louisville, KY – Uncle Pleasants | Buy Tickets
    11.17 – Ann Arbor, MI – Blind Pig | Buy Tickets
    11.18 – Chicago, IL – Metro | Buy Tickets
    11.19 – Madison, WI – Barrymore Theatre | Buy Tickets
    11.20 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue | Buy Tickets


  8. Here’s a story I’ve been meaning to post. I was on the film crew at Pitchfork Music Festival a few weekends ago and they’ve started posting video online. This one is The Jesus Lizard, known for dangerous moshpits and a lot of stage-diving, spitting and other punk antics.

    My good friend Isaac Gale was operating the camera here, center stage barricade, and I was assisting him (We were switching off all weekend). When I saw the first beer bottle thrown and land on the stage,  a feeling came over me — I knew I was going to be the one to get hit. Sure enough 2 songs later, I felt a crash against my head and looked down to see a shattered vinyl record! My ear was bleeding and since I can’t see my own ear I was admittedly a little worried at the site of blood on my hand. Not to mention, my head really hurt. The nice people at the first aid tent cleaned it up and it really wasn’t too bad, just a cut and a bad headache. I was really mad though until I went back and the security guards presented me with my trophy — a Michael Jackson Thriller record shattered in about 30 vinyl shards. I’ll post a pic of it soon. R.I.P Michael.

    UPDATE: It appears as though Pitchfork changes their embed codes at their will. The video you’re viewing probably is not the one I inteded to embed. I guess I wouldn’t expect anything less from the ever-so-pompous and “too cool for school” Pitchfork.


  9. In case you missed it, the video for P.O.S’ Purexed (co-directed by yours truly and Brady Kiernan, edited by the talented Sam Heyn of Splice Here and shot by Bo Hakala) debuted on MTV earlier this month. Well, a few weeks later it is now listed as No. 1 on MTVu and the viewer comments are keeping me very entertained. Here are my favorites:

    MTVu premier description:

    P.O.S. always brings the same ambition evident in his songs to his videos and his latest “Purexed” is no exception.

    YouTube Comments:

    Hipoltry (4 days ago)

    great video. props to kiernan and cohen.

    nellyfabulous (5 days ago)

    Both the song and video are absolutely fantastic. I’ve watched it like five times today.

    smokinrodney (5 days ago)

    a bad ass song and an amazing video… cant get much better.

    Darkestjesty (6 days ago)

    Wicked vid, blew my mind, crazy editing.

    PoopFartShitStain (1 week ago)

    this sucks.

    cpetcow (1 week ago)

    says poopfartshitstain

    CBasso (1 week ago)

    That’s the coolest video i’ve ever seen. Good song too.

    Normandale1987 (1 week ago)

    Clearly you guys shot this video in the winter…and you waited this long to release it? For shame.

    blindspotted (1 week ago)

    great song and the video’s awesome and matches it perfectly.. well done guys


  10. The New Yorker on St. Louis Park

    I grew up in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. If the name didn’t sound like the smallest place on earth, I’d be more apt to tell everyone how great it is. Luckily, The New Yorker just did that for me — and quoted my high school journalism teacher/advisor/mentor, Mim Kagol. Those are tough acts to follow out of SLP…I hope that creosote plant and solar-lunar eclipse had a long-lasting effect.

    The Times columnist Thomas Friedman, the political scientist Norm Ornstein, and the moviemakers Joel and Ethan Coen all grew up in St. Louis Park, within a four-block radius of one another. Some years ago, the ex-neighbors were asked by former Vice-President Walter Mondale why St. Louis Park produced so many notable people. [Senator Al] Franken suggested runoff from a nearby creosote plant. The Coen brothers grandly equated the place with a small area of Hungary that had produced several nuclear physicists. Friedman suggested a solar-lunar eclipse. Miriam Kagol, who taught journalism at St. Louis Park Senior High School (Friedman was one of her students), offered another opinion, in a piece about the suburb in the Jewish Daily Forward, where she spoke about the migration of Jews to St. Louis Park in the forties and fifties: “It was at the time that all the political ferment had reached the Midwest and people were just full of ideas and protests, opinions, speaking their minds, finding ways to be free and anti-establishment.”

    From Entering Laughing: Senator Franken’s long journey

    By John Colapinto, published July 20, 2009 in The New Yorker


  11. I was hired to work with some fine folks at Optimus to operate a camera at the Pitchfork Music Festival starting today and going through Sunday (with what is sure to be a climactic Flaming Lips ending!). Watch the festival live online (click the image above, or go here).

    Pitchfork Music Festival ‘09 Lineup (all times CST):

    5:00   Tortoise
    6:10   Yo La Tengo
    7:20   The Jesus Lizard
    8:40   Built To Spill

    1:00   Cymbals Eat Guitars
    1:45   Plants and Animals
    2:30   Fucked Up
    3:20   The Pains of Being
    Pure at Heart
    4:15   Final Fantasy
    5:15   Yeasayer
    7:25   Beirut
    8:40   The National

    1:00   The Mae Shi
    1:45   Frightened Rabbit
    2:30   Blitzen Trapper
    3:20   Pharoahe Monch
    4:15   The Thermals
    5:15   The Walkmen
    6:15   M83
    7:25   Grizzly Bear
    8:40   The Flaming Lips


  12. P.O.S is back again - well actually he never really went away. The wave he’s riding from Never Better is huge. I co-directed this video with Brady Kiernan in December and it premiered on MTV this Tuesday…enjoy!

    It was the first time I’ve personally worked on the RED…I had been around them on a few shoots recently, but this was my first go with it and it is undoubtedly the best machine on the market.

    Directors: Brady Kiernan & Ben Cohen
    Director of Photography: Bo Hakala
    Producer: Brady Kiernan
    Editor: Sam Heyn
    Design: Brian Olson


  13. Just found out that Erbert & Gerbert’s Candle Cannon - a viral video I edited for Colle+McVoy in 2008, was just named to the shortlist at Cannes Lions in the Cyber Lions Viral Video category!

    Honored to help put E&G, a small Midwest-based sandwich shop, among the most famous brands in the world including Levi’s, Nike, Adidas, Absolut, Diesel, Burger King and Discovery…and Colle+Mcvoy on the same list as some of the best agencies in the world: Droga5, CP+B, Cutwater, AKQA and 72andSunny.

    CONGRATS TO C+M, E&G (and Me of course)! CELEBRATE!


  14. We’re back on MTV this week! After filming Soundset, I was asked to cut 6 songs for MTV’s Twin Cities Independent Music Week.

    Here we have Brother Ali’s ‘Self Taught.’ Visit MTV.com or tune in this week to see more from Ali, Atmosphere and P.O.S.


  15. Alan Luke joined my video crew at Soundset 09 last week and snapped some pics. Here’s one of yours truly going over steadycam operator Jake Gardner’s next move.

    Click the picture to see some other great ones of the entire festival.