This up-and-coming screenwriter-director helmed two off-beat films in the mid-1990s. After deciding against a political science degree, Cochran took a job writing for a children's TV magazine. While earning her MFA in film from New York's Columbia University, she wrote and directed short films, including the well-received festival hits "Cocktails at Six" (1987) and "Another Damaging Day" (1990). Producer Michael Flynn was impressed enough to request a feature script from Cochran, who presented him with "My New Gun" (1992).
Although it was a fairly small-scale film, "My New Gun" got terrific press at the Cannes Film Festival and was acclaimed one of the year's best by ROLLING STONE, THE NEW YORKER and others. Cochran directed her own script, about a gift gun which induces trauma, dark humor and even romance in the life of its suburban housewife owner (Diane Lane).
She also wrote and directed her second film, "Boys" (1996). Not as big a critical success, "Boys" starred Winona Ryder as a mysterious young woman who is hidden by a boarding school boy (Lukas Haas) and his classmates. Dismissed as somewhat vague and unfocused, "Boys" did not linger in theaters.
Cochran made her TV debut in 1994, with the CBS TV-movie "Same Difference", about the culturally rocky friendship of two teenagers.