There is a scene in the movie American Splendor in which the main character, Harvey Pekar, played by Paul Giamatti, riffs about other Harvey Pekars whose names disappear and reappear. “Who are these people? What do they do? What’s in a name?” he begs of the camera.
But while Mr. Pekar was too timid to ever pick up the phone and find out, Aaron Cohen was not. “I looked up my name in the phone book and there were eight Aaron Cohens living between 72nd Street and 96th Street, just on the Upper West Side, you know, just between West End Avenue and Central Park West,” Mr. Cohen told The Observer in 2009, and in that same year, he met a gaggle of nine AC’s, as he calls them, at Katz’s Deli on the Lower East Side. From there, he plotted out a documentary about Aaron Cohens around the world, finding and friending them through Facebook (he is now friends with 132 of the 1,000+ AC’s on the social network), and just launched a Kickstarter campaign for the film last night around 10 p.m. from the Salt Lake City airport, after his redeye flight back to New York was canceled.
Mr. Cohen spent most of his career as an entrepreneur, as co-founder of Concrete Media and Bolt.com and CEO of Menupages and Anyclip). He teaches a class called the History of Internet Media at NYU. “Twenty-five years ago, Woody Allen, Spalding Gray, and Ross McElwee sparked something inside of me. The Aaron Cohens is that thing,” he says on the campaigns Kickstarter page.
Mr. Cohen spoke to Betabeat about the via Gchat from the plane (edited slightly for punctuation) about the film, Kickstarter, Facebook, and being Aaron Cohen. Read More