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Omri Cohen | SHOOT New Directors Showcase Event
Omri Cohen


Omri Cohen

How did you get into directing?
I directed a music video for the Red Hot Chili Peppers called “Charlie.” It was for a contest they held on YouTube. I pulled the whole thing together with what was left of my grandmother’s inheritance. My crew was made up of friends, their younger brothers, my family, and a DP named Matthias Koenigswieser. Everything on that shoot seemed to be driven by some divine force, everything went right because everyone in the cast and crew was in to it for the right reasons. Its a high I chase on every single one of my shoots. To make sure that RHCP got the video, I snuck into Coachella that year where they were playing. The crowd was so huge I had to crowd surf my way up to the stage. I passed it to the road manager and told him that my future depended on him delivering that DVD. Two days later their manager called me at home and said “Anthony Keidis wants to speak to you, are you available this week?”

What is your most recent project?
“Yards”! One of the craziest rides I’ve had on a production. Nike sent me to Mumbai, India to direct a spot about street cricket that aired during the World Cup of Cricket. I landed in India without a clue about what I was sent there to do or any working knowledge of the sport and 8 days later the spot was running on TV with over a billion people watching. I learned to direct in Hindi, sing in Marati, and navigate my way through the slums of Dharavi. The night of the finals I ran through the city shooting people watching the match. I made it to the stadium just in time for the end of the game and all of Bombay took to the streets when India won at home.
I’m also currently in Vancouver shooting three days for an agency and client I haven’t worked with before and I couldn’t be more excited about what we’re trying to do.

What is the best part of being a director?
You start with a single image or a feeling and that idea evolves. Next thing you know you are in some foreign part of the world with a new group of people who very quickly become your family and bleed to bring the idea to life. You collaborate to create something out of nothing. As a director you live in a constant state of unknown. I think you have to trust that the universe will send everything your way, and it always does in the most unlikely and unexpected way. When you realize an idea there is no feeling like it, and it’ always a team effort. A reliable source told me it is second only to giving birth.

Have you a mentor and if so, who is that person (or persons)
and what has been the lesson learned from that mentoring which resonates most with you?

My mom. She taught me how to run a ship and always let my imagination run wild.