Q4 2019

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9 MPEG FELLOWSHIP & SERVICE AWARD 2019 gave Cohen the opportunity to move to Los Angeles. In 1976, the company hired him full- time to establish the LA office of Step Savers, working both sales and delivery. Aer about a year, he le the company and started going to production offices door to door with resumé in hand. Two weeks aer being turned down for a job at Bakshi Productions, they called him back in to work as a production assistant on Ralph Bakshi's rotoscope animation adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (1978). Getting practical experience there, he said, "I thought they called them moving pictures because I moved things around a lot." Aer six months, Bakshi asked Cohen what he wanted to do and he firmly answered, "Editing." The director put him to work in editorial where he functioned as an apprentice. He recalled, "The great thing working at Bakshi was the number of editors and assistant editors who came in… I learned the finer points of assisting from [assistant editor] Scott Burrow." Burrow also encouraged him to join the union, and he got on the roster as an apprentice editor in 1980. In 1981, Cohen was living in Manhattan Beach with his soon-to-be wife, Katherine, and looking for employment. He ventured onto the Lorimar Film lot where head of post Andy Gonzalez told him that editor Richard Marks, ACE, and then- assistant editor Sidney Wolinsky, (now ACE), needed an apprentice on Herbert Ross' Pennies From Heaven. Thrilled just to be interviewed for what would be his first live-action movie, the apprentice was offered the job. Hesitantly, he told Marks and Wolinsky he was getting married soon and would need to take a little time off then. They said it was all right. Working on a feature at MGM, Cohen declared, "This was what the movies were supposed to be." On the lot, he saw Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau (shooting Billy Wilder's Buddy Buddy, 1981) and Peter O'Toole (for Richard Benjamin's My Favorite Year, 1982); and right next door to the Pennies from Heaven offices, Michael Kahn, ACE, was editing Amblin Entertainment's Poltergeist (1982). The editor (who was coming to prominence working with Steven Spielberg) and the apprentice became friends. Assistant film editor Craig Bassett, left, picture editor Michael Kahn, assistant editor Connie Abellera, apprentice editor Michael Amundsen and assistant editor Cohen on location with e Color Purple, 1985. Courtesy of Craig Bassett Caricature of production assistant Cohen as the dwarf Boromir on Ralph Bakshi's e Lord of the Rings, 1978.

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