18 Holes with “Pipe Dream” Co-Creater and Producer Adam I. Cohen
Coreybrinn.com: First of all, thanks for agreeing to this interview and congratulations on this project. Let’s start from the beginning and talk about how the idea for this show came to be.
Adam Ian Cohen : My pleasure Corey and thanks for contacting me. My cousin Mitch Gettleman and I went to play a round of golf with a friend who brought Mark Burk along. He was telling us about his legal troubles and we came to find out he was homeless at the time. As the round went on I was impressed with his play as he shoot a 3 over, playing his first round in about nine months. Leaving the course with Mitch the idea went off in my head. Two weeks later we got a $200 handheld camera and shot a presentation piece to pitch.
CB: What does the audience need to know about Mark Burk?
AIC: Mark is a warm and compassionate man. He has a deep love for life and the game of golf.
CB: Why did you feel the Golf Channel was the best fit for this project?
AIC: The Golf Channel was a perfect place to showcase a show of golf and a man’s journey to get his life back on track. I like to think of it as Happy Gilmore meets Tin Cup.
CB: How were the locations picked to film for this series?
AIC: Everything you will see in the show is where Mark normally goes. We didn’t alter the location or try to sway him where to go. We were there to document a reality series of his life. Most everything takes place in Palm Springs or Indio, California.
CB: Any funny stories you can share from the set?
AIC: Actually quite a bit. Most of the funny moments are all captured on camera so we will be able to bring them to the audience to see. The best is that Mark loves to rap music, and loves to rap all the time. It is funny to see a 53 year old golfer rapping on the course.
CB: How do you envision Burk’s life changing after the series airs?
AIC: I think Mark will use all of this to get his life back in order. He will use his notoriety to help homeless and try to inspire others with his story. I also see a few sponsors jumping on board and maybe so exemptions to play golf.
CB: How will you personally judge the success of this project?
AIC: I will judge the success of the series by Mark’s success. I hope viewers watch, but I want Mark to be able to change his life and get back on track. I did a project with Dr. Drew and he always said to change one person to save one life is a success. I also think the mission will be accomplished if one person who watches the show achieves their goal and dreams.
CB: What type of golfer are you…would rather lay up to be safe or go for broke and try to knock it on the green?
AIC: Depends on the day, but I am Tin Cup. I go for the hole, all or nothing.
CB: Your favorite golfer of all time and why?
AIC: Payne Stewart is a my favorite golfer that ever played. He won a PGA Championship and two US Open Championships. He had charisma and charm and as a young kid I looked up to him. His swing seemed pure and seemed like a nice person.
CB: Favorite golf collectible that you own and why?
AIC: Autographed Payne Stewart Knickers framed and hanging on my wall.
CB: Best round of golf you have ever played?
AIC: Not so much a round, by a hole. Kemper Lakes in Chicago on 11th hole I was about 130 yards out and knocked it stiff into the cup for a birdie. Shots like that keep you coming back every day to play more. I might shoot a 90 for the round, but a 50 foot putt makes it all good. I will never forget running down the fairway waving my arms after hitting that shot.
CB: Favorite golf course you have ever played on?
AIC: Kemper Lakes in the Chicago suburbs. Always called that my home course
CB: Will you watch the premiere live on TV or have you seen it enough?
AIC: I will watch live broadcast tonight on the Golf Channel. I have seen it many, many times but can never get enough.
CB: Favorite Golf Movie?
AIC: Without a doubt, Tin Cup. Grip it and rip it.
CB: I have heard Golf has always been a top love of yours. Did your background being around courses help with this project?
AIC: Yes, I think my background helped quite a bit. I knew the golf business and how to behave and act on the course while dealing with people. This allowed me to talk to Mark on the same level and show him I had the knowledge and ability to produce the show.
CB: Have there been talks about continuing the series with Burk beyond one season?
AIC: If the ratings allow us to, absolutely would love to continue.
CB: What’s next for Adam Ian Cohen?
AIC: I will be working on the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards and the Oscars show. I also have a few more reality series of my own I am developing.
CB: Be honest, if you got to pick the course, who wins a round of 18 between you and Burk?
AIC: Mini Golf, me! But 18 holes on a real course, Mark by a landslide.
CB: Thanks Adam!
AIC: Thank you Corey.
DON’T FORGET TO WATCH PIPE DREAM TONIGHT AND EVERY WEEK ON THE GOLF CHANNEL. CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS FOR STATION AND TIME.
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by Sparky Anderson