"Bereavement" is the first poetry film of a #twitterpoem (@tweetcinepoem) by filmmaking duo Jack Cochran and Pamela Falkenberg. The recent death of Jack's older brother and a photo of the tomb he received from his sister-in-law, the finality of the names and dates, occasions a lament via a family history photo review at once personal and universal. This is the first of what is planned to be an occasional series of short film poems, twitterpoems.
What is a "twitterpoem?" Outlier Moving Pictures' definition of a twitterpoem is a poem, poem series, or film poem constrained by Twitter's 140 character limit and posted on Twitter. "Bereavement" was first posted on our tweetpoems site (twitter.com/tweetcinepoem [@tweetcinepoem]), so it meets our own definition. #twitterpoem was already a thing long before we started our twitterpoem project, which became evident as soon as we searched Twitter for that hashtag, but our usage is somewhat more rigorous, as Twitter users of the #twitterpoem often flout the character limit by attaching a photo of a typed or handwritten poem that is longer than the 140 Twitter character limit.
After "Bereavement" was completed, Twitter (on 11/7/17) revised the maximum length of tweets to 280 characters for almost all of the 40 languages it supports. So our definition now should read, "constrained by Twitter's maximum character limit (originally 140, currently 280 for most languages)." Jack has not yet written a #twitterpoem that takes advantage of the new longer length, but he may someday.
TEXT OF POEM:
etched into marble
Jack CochranEditing and sound design
Pamela FalkenbergProduction design
Project Type:Documentary, Experimental, Other
Runtime:1 minute 11 seconds
Completion Date:September 20, 2016
Country of Origin:United States
Country of Filming:United States
Shooting Format:2K Video
Film Color:Black & White
Film + Video PremiereMurwillumbah
May 4, 2019
Part of touring program curated by Marie Craven, poetry-video.blogspot.com
Athens International Video Poetry FestivalAthens
December 14, 2019
Official selection, part of Poetry + Video program, curated by Marie Craven
Jack is a poet and independent filmmaker who worked as a professional cinematographer. As a DP, his work has shown at the Sundance, Raindance, Telluride, Tribeca, Edinburgh, Chicago, Houston, and Taos film festivals and has won Silver Lions from Cannes, a BAFTA, Peabody Awards, and Cable Aces. Some notable credits: DP on Brian Griffin's “Claustrofoamia,” Antony Thomas’ “Tank Man,” and Ramin Niami’s “Paris,” and Director/DP of “Viento Nocturno.” Jack trained at the University of Iowa Creative Writers Workshop as well as the University of Iowa film studies program.
Pam is an independent filmmaker with a PhD from the University of Iowa, who 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 at Iowa, and 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, and grants from the Center for New Television and the Indiana Arts Council. “OT” screened at the Pacific Film Archives, as well as numerous festivals, including the AFI Video Festival, and was nominated for a regional Emmy
Jack has written poetry all his life, but he never knew what to do with it until he shared his notebooks with Pam, who said, “You’re a filmmaker -- shouldn’t your poems be films?”
Pam wants to make lots of different kinds of films with Jack, but she is especially proud to have been the one who suggested that Jack’s poems should be made into films.
Jack Cochran and Pamela Falkenberg are making personal films together again 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, "The Cost of Living," based on some of Jack's short poems, was accepted by several film festivals, including the Queens World Film Festival (2019), the Buffalo International Film Festival (2016), and the Cornwall Film Festival (2016); was nominated for two awards at the 2017 Jim Thorpe Film Festival; and took the award for best experimental film at the 2016 WV FILMmakers Festival. Other short poetry films have screened at the Ò Bhéal Poetry Film Festival (2016, 2018), the Juteback Poetry Film Festival (2017, 2018), the Festival Silencio (2017) , the Filmpoem Festival (2017), the 6th CYCLOP Videopoetry Festival (2017), the 6th and 7th International Video Poetry Festival (Athens Greece, 2018), and the Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival (2018). Recently completed is an experimental documentary essay about the North Dakota landscape and Teddy Roosevelt, "Teddy Roosevelt and Fracking," which showed out-of-competition as a work-in-progress at the WV FILMmakers Fest in October 2017 and premiered at the Queens World Film Festival in March 2018, where it was nominated for three awards (Best Cinematography, Best Director, and Best Documentary Short), taking the award for Best Documentary Short. "Teddy" has also screened at the 2018 Ekofilm Festival in Poland, the 2018 Buffalo International Film Festival, the 2018 Go West Film Festival, and the 2018 American Presidents Film and Literary Festival at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Museum and Library in October 2018, where it was nominated for two judges awards and won the Audience Choice Award. Along with that, a series of shorts about photo opportunities and roadside attractions in Texas (the first installment of which, "Prada Marfa," premiered in the True Texas Travel category at the Thin Line Festival in April 2018), and some brief experimental romantic comedies based on Craigslist's Missed Connections, a compilation version of which, "Missed Connections Anthology," premiered at the Austin Spotlight Festival in April 2018, and screened for the second time at the KinoDrome Festival in Cleveland, OH in September 2018. Their most recent poetry films are collaborations, with Dave Bonta on "In West Virginia," from his book, "Failed State," and with Lucy English on "The Shadow," and "The Names of Trees," for her “Book of Hours project” (http://thebookofhours.org/).
Jack and Pam co-direct the films they make together, and they collaborate fully, even when they divide up the credits. Their poetry poems usually start with the poem (often, but not always, one of Jack’s poems), which they think of as analogous to a script. However, when collaborating with Lucy English on “The Shadow” and “The Names of Trees,” the process was more dialectical: some images and sounds came first, then Lucy’s poems; the poems inspired more images, and eventually the edited film poems. For us, the exact process depends on the project, so our body of work is somewhat disparate. Some of our eclectic interests include collage, found footage, and repurposing; the film essay and film poetry; image capturing and post-production techniques that reveal what cannot be seen with the eyes alone (e.g., high shutter speeds, moving cameras, infrared photography, green screen and digital layering); landscapes and the ways humans mark them; and postmodern melodrama.