Just to amuse myself I predict Oscar winners each year and foolishly share them with the public. I’ll know shortly how many I got “right.” I did have the opportunity to watch most of the nominated films this year, more than any other year in the past, so that probably should give me some upper hand, right?. Here goes.

Picture: Gravity (12 Years a Slave)

Director: Alfonso Cuaron

Actor: Matthew McConaughey

Actress: Cate Blanchett

Supporting Actor: Jared Leto

Supporting Actress: Sally Hawkins (Lupita Nyong’o)

Original Screenplay: Her

Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years A Slave

Cinematography: Gravity

Editing: American Hustle (Gravity)

Documentary Feature: 20 Feet From Stardom

Animated Feature: Frozen

Foreign Language Film: The Hunt   (The Great Beauty )

Short Live Action: Do I Have To Take Care Of Everything?   (Helium)

Short Documentary: Prison Terminal   (The Lady from No 6)

Short Animation: Get A Horse   (Mr Hublot)

Sound Editing: Gravity

Sound Mixing: Gravity

Visual Effects:  Gravity

Production Design: Gravity   (The Great Gatsby)

Costume: American Hustle   (The Great Gatsby)

Make up and Hair: Dallas Buyers Club




Park Walk

by Emon Hassan on February 14, 2014

Man walks along a path in Fort Tryon Park. It’s February. He’s probably cold. Or just happy to be alive.


Drone Play

by Emon Hassan on February 13, 2014

Fort Tryon Park, New York.


Her Moment of Zen

by Emon Hassan on February 10, 2014


The Guitarist

by Emon Hassan on February 3, 2014

Inwood, New York. February 1st, 2014.


The FAQ page on Paul Nicklen’s website is great. He answers the question always asked of him “How do I get published in National Geographic”?

Everywhere I go, people always say, “you are so lucky! You get to wander the world and take pictures for National Geographic.” I need to dispel the myth that working for National Geographic magazine is comprised of traveling to exotic places, taking a few snaps, and living a life of fame and luxury.

I was entirely self-propelled in my career development; when I started, I had no “connections.” I maximized my personal experiences and skill set (ie. surviving in the Arctic) and shot, shot, shot. For years, I compiled a body of work while sometimes living out of my car in order to afford gear (I still dream of lenses).  After pitching my work all over the place, I was published first in local Yukon Territory magazines, and then internationally, and, after about 8 years of repeatedly pitching to NG, I was sent out on my first NG assignment and started a mentorship with Flip Nicklin (no relation). Along with photographer Joel Sartore and editor Kathy Moran, Flip granted me the opportunity to photograph underwater situations on one of their stories (see “Pacific Suite,” February 2003). A few months later, I got “the call” – the editorial team asked me to shoot an underwater story for them on Atlantic Salmon for the July 2003 issue. I have been shooting multiple stories and other projects ever since.

Read the rest of the FAQ here.


> by Sarah Weinman.

Alaric Hunt turned 44 in September. He last saw the outside world at 19. He works every day at the prison library in a maximum-security facility in Bishopville, S.C., passing out the same five magazines and newspapers to the same inmates who chose the library over some other activity. He discovered his favorite writer, Hemingway, at a library like this one, in a different prison.

Based On A True Story: Writing TV Drama with Neil McKay.

Interview with Samsara filmmakers, Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson.

Why not…here’s a second one.

Documentary on John Cassavettes.


1. The Amazing History Of The To-Do List–And How To Make One That Actually Works By Belle Beth Cooper. via FastCompany

The to-do list in particular is one that we spend a lot of time and energy on perfecting. Somehow, we don’t seem to struggle when it comes to making a shopping list and buying everything on it, but getting the tasks on our to-do list done is a whole other ball game.

2. Must read piece by Thom Powers, Distribution Advice for 2014.

When push comes to shove, a filmmaker’s rights come down to what’s guaranteed in the contract, and whether a filmmaker has the power to hold the distributor accountable. On the flip side, filmmakers have their own obligations to fulfill for the distributor to be effective. One key obligation is to be the chief public advocate for their film. When filmmakers can’t give the time to do press or public appearances or social media, they’re putting a great handicap on the distributor.

3. DP/30 Interviews Thelma Schoonmaker & Martin Scorsese. It gets deep into their process and workflow. Loved them. Hat tip: Thibaut Oskian.



4. John McPhee on Structure (New Yorker Jan 14, 2013) is one of the best reads on writing and, yes, structure.

 The approach to structure in factual writing is like returning from a grocery store with materials you intend to cook for dinner. You set them out on the kitchen counter, and what’s there is what you deal with, and all you deal with. If something is red and globular, you don’t call it a tomato if it’s a bell pepper. To some extent, the structure of a composition dictates itself, and to some extent it does not. Where you have a free hand, you can make interesting choices.

5. Started reading “My Lunches with Orson” recently and I haven’t laughed so hard reading a book in a while. Here’s an NPR interview with the book’s author & filmmaker, Henry Jaglom.

6. Producers Guild of America introduces Member Exclusive Videos.


NatGEO SenseThis is one of my favorite videos about the process of photography and photo editing for a National Geographic feature story. One of two photography books I own is by Joe McNally.

So how does one become a National Geographic photographer? A bunch of answers from those who’ve been there and done it.

BONUS –  Reality Check: The Hazards of A National Geographic Photographer.



ABOUT: Publishing  Sundays at 8AM (EST), emonome weekly is a list of what I’ve read, watched, and listened to in Film, Television, Audio, and Multimedia. This week covers the past few weeks.

Connect with me on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Get this via a weekly email.

Want to know what projects I’ve worked on recently? Go here. Guitar lovers, go here.


1. Interviews with Cinematographer & Editor of “Her”.

2. How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood. By Alexis Madrigal for The Atlantic.

To understand how people look for movies, the video service created 76,897 micro-genres. We took the genre descriptions, analyzed them, … and built our own genre generator.

3. PDF of November/December issue of Produced By magazine.

 4. Great talk by Ava DuVernay. Must watch


ABOUT: Publishing  Sundays at 8AM (EST), emonome weekly is a list of what I’ve read, watched, and listened to in Film, Television, Audio, and Multimedia. This week covers the past few weeks.

Connect with me on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Get this via a weekly email.

Want to know what projects I’ve worked on recently? Go here. Guitar lovers, go here.


 1. 3 Signs You’re Too Busy To Be Brilliant.

If you have a history of losing interest in the final 20% of projects you’re responsible for, trading that interest for the thrill of the next new thing, it’s time to work on your ability to delay gratification.

2. Art of the iMax Sound.


4. 88 Cinematographer Share The Best Professional Advice They’ve Ever Received.

1) Learn how to listen; 2) Choose one strong idea per film; and 3) Really understand your motivations, why you do something and not something else, and the direction you take in your work.
Darius Khondji, ASC, AFC


5. Kris Tapley of Hitfix interviews Thelma Schoonmaker.

 Marty’s student films were — right away I saw that he was someone exceptional at it. And so we all banded together, started making documentaries for PBS and ‘The Merv Griffin Show’ and things like that, and we’re helping Marty finish his first feature film, which was ‘Who’s That Knocking.’ And he taught me how to edit. I knew nothing about editing — nothing. He taught me everything I know. Because of that and his wonderful high standards, my values are his values, so we worked really wonderfully together in a collaboration. We don’t fight.

6. The Lobotomy Files on The Wall Street Journal.


ABOUT: Publishing  Sundays at 8AM (EST), emonome weekly is a list of what I’ve read, watched, and listened to in Film, Television, Audio, and Multimedia. This week covers the past few weeks.

Connect with me on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. Get this via a weekly email.

Want to know what projects I’ve worked on recently? Go here. Guitar lovers, go here.


1. I really enjoy listening to the Longform.org Podcast. Guest #73 is Joe Sexton of “Snow Fall” fame.

2. The Hollywood Reporter Roundtable continues with Documentary Directors.

and Casting Directors

3. Four Audiobooks with a Brand New Sound. Via NPR.

The Storm King is not an audio version of a novel. Instead, it’s a whole series of spoken word performances, read by someone we usually hear singing: Pete Seeger.
“It’s really a production of a program that was written to be recorded with [Seeger] talking about stories, and the music is all integrated into the program,” Whitten says. “It’s really a very exciting and special program.”

4. 12 Years A Slave DP Sean Bobbitt on Hand held cinematography.

5. The World’s Most Popular Film Industry Turns 100. via NPR.

Bright colors, intricate dance sequences, melodramatic plots and great music are hallmarks of India’s movie industry, which got its start 100 years ago. NPR’s Scott Simon explores the Indian cinema with Rajinder Dudrah, aka Doc. Bollywood.

6. Before there was Hollywood, there was Fort Lee.


ABOUT: Publishing  Sundays at 8AM (EST), emonome weekly is a list of what I’ve read, watched, and listened to in Film, Television, Audio, and Multimedia. This week covers the past few weeks.

Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Get this via a weekly email.

Want to know what projects I’ve worked on recently? Go here. Guitar lovers, go here.


1Great multimedia piece by NPR’s Planet Money: “Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt


2. Is this gossip? Let’s call it industry news. “Inside the Promising, Hellish, Doomed Business Romance of Nikki Finke and Jay Penske” by Benjamin Wallace.

When Penske started discussions with Finke, he was in the process of building a collection of websites, many based around personal brands. They came to terms in the summer of 2009—he bought Deadline for an amount that would ultimately pay out a minimum of $14 million. This made Finke rich.


3. Kevin Tent (ACE) on editing “Nebraska”

“I kind of work everywhere. I am a freelancer, but I make myself available to work with Alexander or directors I work with all the time. Basically, people need an editor and look around and go, ‘What about this guy?’ And are foolish enough to hire me [laughs].”


4. Edgar Burcksen, A.C.E. : Should We Be Shouldering the Weight of Post-Production?

In 1970, as an apprentice in the cutting room of Richard Marden, editor of Sunday Bloody Sunday, we were a happy bunch; Dick, two assistants and myself. Now, as a motion picture editor, I’m mostly by myself, only sharing occasional intense sessions with the director and/or producer.


5. “Mixing the Zombie Apocalypse : Anna Behlmer and Lora Hirschberg“ by Laura Almo

With over 200 credits between them, re-recording mixers Anna Behlmer and Lora Hirschberg are at the top of their game. Mixing anywhere from four-to-six films a year, Behlmer and Hirschberg knew of each other but had never worked together. And then came World War Z, director Marc Forster’s zombie movie with soul, which opened June 21 through Paramount Pictures.


6. A little older but a good read: “7 Time-Management Tricks From Chris Hardwick, Man Of 1,000 TV Shows” by Joe Berkowitz.

“I thought it was important to see how much time I was wasting, so I got a timer and started measuring things. How long it takes me to check email, how long does it take me to write, how long before I burn out and need to take a break. Once you start tracking your time, you become like a scientist. If you have data, you can manipulate data. If I know I spend three hours essentially going down a wiki rabbit hole or being on YouTube, I can change that.”

7. Noise: A History of Human is a 30-part radio series produced by BBC. Must listen!

8. I love The Hollywood Reporter’s Roundtable series. Glad there was one with Cinematographers this year. Editors, please! Roundtable with writers is not made available for embedding but here’s the direct link.



9. There’s a great series “Film School Through Commentaries” started by @digifruitella. This is the website, and here’s the YouTube channel.



10. Trailer Spotlight:

Tarryn Lee Crossman’s “Fatherland” (Documentary).

Fatherland is a coming-of-age documentary set in the remote South African bush. It follows a group of Afrikaner boys over 9 days at a military-style camp in the spirit of their fathers before them. However, what starts out as basic training, fitness and camaraderie soon intensifies as the true nature of the camp is revealed and the boys are forced to question their place in the ‘New South Africa’.


11. A Touch of Sin [fiction]


12.  The result of 147 filmmakers responding to P.OV.’s “2013 Documentary Filmmaking Equipment Survey”


The Cycle

by Emon Hassan on October 21, 2013


Circle in the Sky

by Emon Hassan on October 18, 2013

Circle in the Sky WP



July 13, 2013, 12:56 pm

“I was just wondering if you knew that Howie Cohen has passed”

The text message from Robert Cardoza floored me. I’d been thinking about Howie this past week. Our last conversation over the phone, a little over a month ago, was regarding the possibility of pursuing a BMX documentary, his website, and my interview with Bob Osborn. I had asked him when he’d visit New York, to which he replied, “I don’t like traveling much but you’re welcome to visit me any time.”

I didn’t know who Howie Cohen was until a few months ago. We became acquainted when my girlfriend introduced me to him. He was an expert on the history of bicycles and she was interviewing him for an article. Howie shared with her that he had built the bicycle for the movie E.T. and I was off and running to find out more details. It made Howie happy that I’d wanted to tell his story. We emailed back and forth often and talked over the phone. He asked if I wouldn’t mind calling him at 7 am (MDT). Most of our conversations, including the interview that ended up in the story, were conducted during those morning hours. He meticulously catalogued his collection of bicycle images and memorabilia and so every image, art board, and E.T.-related items were emailed to me with exact captioning, labels etc.

Howie is the reason the story  evolved to also include the untold story of the stunt bikers from E.T. He personally connected me with Robert Cardoza and suggested I also connect with Bob Haro and Bob Osborn.

I feel honored that Howie shared his stories with me. Bicycle stories made him happy. It made him happy that this newbie filmmaker wanted to make a BMX documentary. It didn’t matter to him I couldn’t tell the difference between a gyro and a BLT. It mattered the subject was bicycles.

Everything Bicycles was not just the name of Howie Cohen’s distributor, it was his life.  The BMX world owes a great deal to this man. I’m not alone with that thought.

Thank you, Howie.

Below is a series of recorded interviews and photos Howie provided for the original piece but didn’t end up in the final article.




“Growing up in the Cohen household was wonderful; I have so many warm memories about my youth. Bicycles were always a part of our family life; both at home and also in the bike shop that our parents owned. My sister, brother & I always had several trikes and/or bikes to ride at our disposal. My parents always encouraged us to participate in bicycle events and neighborhood bicycling. We went on occasional bicycle outings.

My first vehicle was a tricycle; here is a picture of me at about 18-months of age on it. My first two wheel bike was a 12 inch sidewalk bike at about 3 1/2 years of age. I’ve always had bicycles in my life and recently (this year) acquired a new bike from a Detroit bicycle factory (Detroit Bikes) that I am riding almost everyday (weather permitting). It’s such a pleasure!”

Howie, Leo Jr & Puss on trike&bike c.1942-43 @1985

“This pic was taken in Minneapolis, MN in the early-mid 1940s. My sister, Louise Cohen, is standing adjacent to her 24×2.125 wheel bike, I am sitting on the large tricycle, and my younger brother, Leo Cohen Jr. is standing on the rear axle of the tricycle. Both of my siblings were involved in the bicycle business and unfortunately both have passed away.”

“My wife Kay & me posing next to the large fish (325-lb) I caught off of the Kona coast of HI. I was using 30-lb test line with relatively light tackle (rod & reel). I was a light tackle deep sea fisherman for most of my younger years. June 1990.”

“Going through my picture photos for you is a real treat. I haven’t these pics for quite a while and it is nice to reminisce (“natsukashi” is the word in Japanese-I have a rather large Japanese vocabulary). This pic was taken in the front garden of the home of Mr. & Mrs. Shozo Shimano. Shozo was the president of Shimano at the time. I and my two associates had just enjoyed a lovely luncheon in their home.
Shimano is the largest manufacturer of bicycle components in the world. The three Shimano brothers Shozo, Keizo & Yoshizo) grew their company from humble beginnings due to their diligent work and intellignet business decisions. Shimano products are second to none in quality and market acceptability.
(Back row, L-R) Shozo Shimano-president of Shimano Japan, Zeldon Lipski-president of Lousiville Cycle & supply of Louisville, KY, Keizo Shimano-vice president of Shimano Japan & the capable engineer, me, Paul Hinkston-manager of our product development department, Yoshizo (“Yoshi”) Shimano-president of Shimano USA.
Front row, L-R) Mrs. Shozo Shimano & Mrs. Keizo Shimano.
Shozo & Keizo have already passed away. Yoshi is still alive and well and is semi-active in the company. Shozo’s son, Yozo, is the current president of Shimano Inc., Japan.”

“These two pics [above] were taken at our home in 2009. The pic with a few of the old bikes in my collection is taken in front of the side of our garage in our back yard. Notice the huge 372 tooth sprocket (chainring) mounted on the side of the garage (custom made for me & engraved by Sugino Cycle Industries) and the high wheel bicycle weather vane on top of the roof of the garage.

The pic of me in a sport coat & bicycle motif tie is unusual because I very seldom wear a tie these days although I have over 300 ties with bicycle designs in my collection. During my bicycle industry career in the 1960s & 1970s I wore a tie almost every day.”

In Memoriam - HOWIE COHEN

Producer of the film, E.T., Kathleen Kennedy checks one of the bikes supplied by Howie Cohen.

“I was on the set/location once or twice during the filming of the movie. On one occasion, my youngest son, Randy Cohen, age 13, was also on location with my aunt Shirley Parrish there to be his guardian. Someone from the Studio asked my aunt if she would please drive my car during one of the scenes with Randy sitting as shotgun. She agreed; so both of them & my car are in one of the scenes for a split second.”

Three unpublished clips from my E.T. story-related interview with Howie Cohen:


“This is where I do my work (play) every day. The decor is all bicycle stuff as is the decor in the rest of our home. If you phone me I will point out some E.T. stuff which is included in the decor. There is also a large (huge) original painting of Marilyn Monroe posing as Lillian Russell with a gold bike (the original photo was taken by Richard Avedon).”

Howie daVinci

“Here is a pic of me taken earlier this year [2013] when I spend half of a day viewing the Leonardo da Vinci Exhibit which was shown in Denver for several weeks. I played tennis in the morning before going to the exhibit. You probably can’t notice the old bicycle on my t-shirt.”

The header image is a scanned copy of Howie’s 1982 Christmas card.


Bill Cunningham

by Emon Hassan on June 29, 2013

When you wake up each morning and wonder what to photograph, what to do with your career as a photographer, what you don’t have to become the photographer you want to be – this man is out there just doing what he loves to do the most.


Can’t make it to this year’s parade. Coney Island’s had a difficult year and wish them all the best!


The Escape

by Emon Hassan on June 16, 2013



Commuters VIII

by Emon Hassan on May 10, 2013



Commuters VII

by Emon Hassan on May 10, 2013



It Was You

by Emon Hassan on May 8, 2013



Meet The Author

by Emon Hassan on April 26, 2013



Lady Among the Trees

by Emon Hassan on April 26, 2013