Private Project

The Cost of Living (2016, 20 min.)

Inspired by Polaroid stills and short poems by Jack Cochran, The Cost of Living is the first film produced by Jack and recently reconnected filmmaking partner Pamela Falkenberg. Cost is an experimental personal film mashup that ranges from everyday situations and individual biography (such as meeting a girlfriend's parents for the first time, finding a used condom on the front curb, or overhearing a conversation in a coffee shop) to modern problems and cultural challenges (such as the place of love in hookup culture, using new vocabularies as insulation against harsh post 9/11 realities, or finding beauty in a broken world). Found footage, animation, special effects, and a collage of audio sources combine with live action footage in ways perhaps not possible before the ubiquity of the internet and the affordability of high quality HD video equipment. While having something in common with the personal documentary, the experimental collage, the biographical narrative, and the essay film, Cost is comfortable as an outlier, a freewheeling melange whose quirky visual style resists any single genre or category. While each segment of the film begins with a single still image and Jack's reading of his written words, that starting point could lead to Balinese-style puppets sporting road sign filled thought bubbles ... or to a Chevy Astro van commercial as a bizarre message from the grim reaper. However, the working methods of filmmakers, poets, and musicians such as Chris Marker, Sarah Polley, Terence Nance, Leonard Cohen, and Neko Case provide some touchstones and context for Pam and Jack's working methods.

Three line synopsis:
Cost is a personal film mashup that ranges from everyday situations and individual biography (meeting a girlfriend's parents for the first time or finding a used condom on the front curb) to modern problems (the place of love in hookup culture or finding beauty in a broken world).

  • Jack Cochran
  • Pamela Falkenberg
  • Jack Cochran
  • Pamela Falkenberg
  • Pamela Falkenberg
  • Jack Cochran
    Editing and sound design
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 6, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Short to the Point International Film Festival
    Official Selection August 2016
  • West Virginia FILMmakers Festival
    Sutton, WV
    United States
    October 1, 2016
    Best Experimental Film
  • Buffalo International Film Festival
    Buffalo, NY
    United States
    October 8, 2016
  • Cornwall Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    November 12, 2016
    Official Selection
  • Sioux City International Film Festival
    Sioux City, IA
    United States
    February 25, 2017
    Best of the Midwest Selection
Director Biography - Jack Cochran, Pamela Falkenberg

Jack's bio:
Jack Cochran is an independent filmmaker who has produced, directed, or shot a variety of experimental and personal projects. He also works as a Director of Photography, with extensive experience shooting commercials, independent features, and documentaries. He has a varied commercial client list which includes BMW, Ford, Nissan, Fujifilm, Iomega, Corum Watches, and Forte Hotels. His features and documentaries have been shown at the Sundance, Raindance, Teluride, Tribeca, Edinburgh, Chicago, Houston, and Taos film Festivals, winning several honors. His commercials and documentaries have won Silver Lions from Cannes, a BAFTA (British Academy Award), Peabody Awards, and Cable Aces. Jack was trained at the University of Iowa Creative Writers Workshop as well as the University of Iowa film studies program. Some of his notable credits include Director of Photography on Brian Griffin's Claustrofoamia, Cinematography for Antony Thomas’ Tank Man, Director/Cinematographer of vientonocturno, and Cinematographer of Ramin Niami’s feature film Paris.

Pam's bio:
Pam Falkenberg is an independent filmmaker who received her PhD from the University of Iowa and taught at Northern Illinois University, St.Mary's College, and the University of Notre Dame. She directed the largest student film society in the US while she was at the University of Iowa, and also ran film series for the Snite Museum of Art in South Bend, IN. Her experimental film with Dan Curry, Open Territory, received an individual filmmaker grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as grants from the Center for New Television and the Indiana Arts Council. OT was screened at numerous film festivals, including the AFI Video Festival, and was nominated for a regional Emmy. Her other films include museum installations, scholarly/academic hybrid works shown at film conferences, and a documentary commissioned by the Peace Institute at the University of Notre Dame.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Jack Cochran and Pam Falkenberg are making personal films together again, this time under the name Outlier Moving Pictures. They hope their new films will be worthy of the name -- avoiding the usual patterns and approaching their subject matter from the margins (which sounds better than saying that as filmmakers they're oddballs and cranks). Pam and Jack met in graduate school and made films together when they were young. Jack went on to become a professional cinematographer working out of LA and London, while Pam stayed in the Midwest, where she was a college professor and independent filmmaker before dropping out to work in visual display. Their first film together is based on Jack's short poems. Next is a film about the North Dakota landscape and Teddy Roosevelt. Along with that, a series of shorts about photo opportunities and roadside attractions in Texas. Then, who knows?