The Names of Trees

Images of decay and regeneration photographed using a video camera whose sensor has been modified for infrared photography create a post apocalyptic, strangely alluring, but disconnected world. A mesmerizing series of largely deserted rural and urban landscapes concretizes the bittersweet memories of a lost love in Pamela Falkenberg and Jack Cochran's film of Lucy English's poem, "The Names of Trees," part of her Book of Hours film project, whose collected poems have now been published in book form ( Accepted by more than thirty festivals in fifteen different countries, nominated for best visual poem and best experimental film several times, and received the Lois Weber Pioneer Award at the 2020 Queens World Film Festival, Outlier's most widely celebrated film is surprisingly uplifting, hauntingly beautiful, and deeply mysterious.

Text of the poem by Lucy English:

The Names of Trees

Dear Rich,
In the park this evening there was low sun on blossom.
Prunus trees and whitebeam. Parkland trees.
Pink and white blossom against dark twigs
and pale leaves of ornamental chestnuts.
Clouds after rain, with a pinkish tinge.

A soft grey light. A man with a black and white dog
A slice of sun at the base of the clouds.
I don’t know why I walked back from work that way,
I usually go past the shops but I was later tonight.
It wasn’t dark and this is a safe place.

Dear Rich, I know you would laugh,
at my suburban house in a tree lined road.
My teaching job. A partner older than me.
With you it was as if each moment dazzled.
We were always moving, never settled.

That day I walked to your last place.
The greyhound bus stopped near the store.
I walked past the car lot, and the factory block,
and down your street, a tree lined street,
and the leaves were just out. Pale leaves,
and evening sun. Low light on bricks.
I didn’t know the names of the trees.
It was your country. I didn’t know the names of trees.

  • Jack Cochran
  • Pamela Falkenberg
  • Lucy English
  • Pamela Falkenberg
  • Jack Cochran
    Editing and sound design
  • Pamela Falkenberg
    Cinematography and production design
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Other
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 28 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 29, 2018
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival
    Worcester, MA
    United States
    October 20, 2018
    East coast premiere
    Official selection
  • Juteback Poetry Film Festival
    Ft. Collins, CO
    United States
    October 19, 2018
    World premiere
    Official selection
  • Independent Talents International Film Festival
    Bloomington, IN
    United States
    November 28, 2018
    Indiana premiere
    Official selection, Finalist, Nominated for Best Video Art Award
  • Riga Digital Forum
    October 19, 2018
    European premiere
    Official selection, Finalist
  • Benton Park Film Festival
    St. Louis, MO
    United States
    March 29, 2019
    Missouri premiere
    Official selection
  • REELpoetry Film Festival
    Houston, TX
    United States
    March 23, 2019
    Texas premiere
    Official selection
  • All Together Now: A Celebration of Art, Film & Music
    Highland Park, MI
    United States
    April 26, 2019
    Midwest premiere
    Official selection
  • Hombres VIdeopoetry Award
    Carsoli, Abruzzo 67061
    July 18, 2019
    Finalist for the award, one of ten films selected to be screened at the event, and also Long Listed for award among 20 of 1371 submissions;
  • Lisbon Film Rendezvous
    September 13, 2019
    Portugal Premiere
    Official selection and Finalist
  • Dallas Medianale
    Dallas, TX
    United States
    July 17, 2019
    Dallas Premiere
    Official Selection
  • VASTLAB Experimental Film Festival
    Los Angeles/Burbank, CA
    United States
    July 20, 2019
    California Premiere
    Official Selection
  • NEO 2019 - Another Ideal For Living Screen Festival
    United Kingdom
    Manchester Premiere
  • Wales International Film Festival
    Neath, South Wales
    United Kingdom
    September 23, 2019
    Wales Premiere
    Official Selection, Finalist in the Illustrated Poem category
  • Filmfest Bremen
    September 19, 2019
    German premiere
    Official selection
  • Portland Unknown Film Festival
    Portland, Oregon
    United States
    October 11, 2019
    Oregon premiere
    Official selection
  • Festival Vortex
    October 25, 2019
    Mexican premiere
    Official selection
  • Versi di Luce
    Modica, Sicily
    November 3, 2019
    Italian premiere
    Official selection
  • MicroMania Film Festival
    Williamsville, NY
    United States
    November 16, 2019
    New York premiere
    Official premiere
  • Blue Danube Film Festival
    Vienna, Budapest
    November 17, 2019
    Hungarian premiere
    Official selection
  • Festival Internacional de Cine com Medios Alternativos FICMA
    Mexico City
    November 27, 2019
    Mexico City premiere
    Official selection
  • Waltham Film Factory Shorts Fest
    Waltham, MA
    United States
    November 29, 2019
    Massachusetts premiere
    Official selection
  • Festival Fotogenia
    Mexico City
    December 11, 2019
    Official selection
  • FIVA Festival Internacional de Videoarte
    Buenos Aires
    December 13, 2019
    Argentinian premiere
    Official selection
  • Particle + Wave Media Arts Festival
    Calgary, Alberta
    January 30, 2020
    Canadian premiere
    Official selection
  • ROMA Cinema Doc 2020
    March 14, 2020
    Rome Premiere
    Finalist, Experimental film
  • Maldito Festival de Videopoesia
    October 27, 2019
    Spanish premiere
    Official selection
  • Queens World Film Festival
    Queens, NY
    United States
    March 19, 2020
    New York premiere (festival went online on due to corona virus
    Official selection, Nominated for Best Experimental Short, Winner Lois Weber Pioneer Award
  • Short Movie Club Film Festival "Nefiltravanae kino
    June 13, 2020
    Belarus premiere
    Official selection
  • Kansas Underground Film Festival
    Kansas City, Kansas
    United States
    October 29, 2020
    Kansas Premiere (screening postponed to corona virus)
    Official selection
  • Balkan Can Kino
    March 3, 2020
    Official Selection, festival postponed due to corona virus
  • The Livingness of Planet Earth, one of the Queens World Film Festival Wednesday night @9 events
    United States
    June 10, 2020
    Six short films in support of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group
  • MalatestaShort Film Festival
    August 22, 2020
    Cesena premiere
    Official selection
  • Parallel Stories
    December 4, 2020
    Salandra premiere
    Official selection
  • Vortex
    October 25, 2020
    Juarez permiere
    Official selection
  • Esto Es Para Esto
    September 1, 2020
    Monterrey premiere
    Official selection (screening date postponed due to COVID)
  • FIVA Festival Internacional de Videoarte
    Buenos Aires
    December 13, 2020
    Argentina premiere
    Official selection
  • FICMA (Festival Internacional de Cine con Medios Alternativos)
    Mexico City
    November 27, 2020
    Official selection
  • Buskopolis Festival of Cinematic Oddities
    Huntingdon, PA
    United States
    October 19, 2020
    Pennsylvania premiere
    Official selection
  • Festival Angaelica
    Pasadena, CA
    United States
    December 21, 2020
    Pasadena premiere
    Official selection
  • Black Rock City Film Festival
    Black Rock City, Nevada
    United States
    August 22, 2021
    Nevada premiere
    Official selection; Award winner, exemplifying the spirit of Burning Man
  • Deep Focus Film Festival
    Brooklyn, NY
    United States
    September 18, 2021
    Honorable mention
Director Biography - Jack Cochran, Pamela Falkenberg

Pam 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 films 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 screened at the Pacific Film Archives, as well 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. She is an occasional contributor to Moving Poems Magazine (

Jack is an independent filmmaker who has produced, directed, or shot a variety of experimental and personal projects. As a DP he has extensive experience shooting commercials, independent features, and documentaries. His varied commercial client list includes BMW, Ford, Nissan, Fujifilm, Iomega, Corum Watches, and Forte Hotels. His features and documentaries have shown at the Sundance, Raindance, Telluride, 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. Some notable credits: Director of Photography on Brian Griffin's Claustrofoamia, Cinematography for Antony Thomas’ Tank Man, Director/Cinematographer of Viento Nocturno, and Cinematographer of Ramin Niami’s feature film Paris. Jack was trained at the University of Iowa Creative Writers Workshop as well as the University of Iowa film studies program.

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Director Statement

For more than five years now, Jack Cochran and Pamela Falkenberg have been making personal films together again under the name Outlier Moving Pictures. They hope their work will prove 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, screened at several film festivals, including the Buffalo International Film Festival and the Cornwall Film Festival, was nominated for two awards at the 2019 Queens World 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, 2019, 2020), the Juteback Poetry Film Festival (2017, 2018), the Festival Silencio (2017), the Filmpoem Festival (2017), the 6th CYCLOP Videopoetry Festival (2017), the 6th, 7th, and 8th International Video Poetry Festival (Athens Greece), and the Zebra Poetry Film Festival (2020). Their most ambitious film, "Teddy Roosevelt and Fracking," about environmental threats to the wild landscapes of North Dakota, premiered at the 2018 Queens World Film Festival, where it was nominated for three awards and took the award for Best Documentary Short, followed by awards at the Go West Film Festival, the Ozark Foothills Film Festival, and the American Presidents Film and Literary Festival at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museum. Their recent poetry films, "In West Virginia," and "Flag Country," based on poems by Dave Bonta, have already screened at the Buffalo International Film Festival, the Small Axe Radical Film Festival, the Newlyn Film Festival, and the North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival, among others. Pam and Jack are have just completed a new triptych with Lucy English on climate change, "I Want to Breathe Sweet Air," which has already been accepted by the VIdeoBardo Videopoetry Festival (2021) and and named a finalist at the Wales International Film Festival (2020). They are currently at work on "Now and Then," an experimental film based on a new collection of Jack's poems; and their first feature together, an experimental documentary essay about the loneliest road in America.

Jack and Pam co-direct the films they make together, and they collaborate fully, even when they divide up the credits. Their poetry films usually start with a 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 wrote the poems; the poems inspired more images, and eventually the edited film poems. For us, the exact process depends on the project and remains open to experiment, so our body of work is somewhat disparate and hard to categorize. 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; human rights/social justice; and postmodern melodrama.

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 and Jack both want to make lots of different kinds of films together, but Pam is especially proud to have been the one who suggested that Jack’s poems should come to life as films. They are both delighted that making films of Jack's poems has led to interesting collaborations with other poets and filmmakers.