My name is Eric
Bickernicks; I started this project when I was 36 years
old. You can learn more about my early childhood if you go to
my "The Amazing
Life Story! (so far)" page.
OK, so I wanna make
movies. (Like, who doesn't...) Lemme give you a view of my professional
background and training in video/film production. Back in middle
school, I used to run around with John
MacLeod and shoot stupid bits with an 8mm camera. We did
the standard animation/stop motion gags such as: "man driving
around on the seat of his pants without a car," or the usual
"let's make things disappear" camera tricks.
I guess our first
big production was "Revenge of the Roll." (Circa 1976) I stole
about 50 rolls of toilet paper from my gas station attendant
job and animated great hordes of toilet paper rolling around
the halls of my apartment building, attacking people by mummifying
them with strands of toilet tissue.
I remember taking
a film class at night at Brandeis University when I was only
a freshman in high school. I got to sit around with a bunch
of bemused adults and was shown the standard method of 16mm
filmmaking. I was basically shown how film editing was done,
how a camera works, how to project audio mag tracks with your
work print (even though I don't remember actually TOUCHING the
equipment). I finally forced them into allowing me just to HOLD
their precious Arri BL camera, and had my friend Andrew Gordon
take a picture of me with it. (I struck the usual director pose,
calling out directions to someone off camera.) I'll see if I
can find that photo.
Didn't know what
to do with myself after high school. I suppose I WANTED to go
to film school. USC looked like a cool place to go, but I had
no idea how to apply or what was needed from me. (I dunno...would
I have gotten accepted with a short called "Attack of the Roll?")
Ended up at Framingham State College because they were local,
cheap, and they would let me in. At this point I was thinking
of being a cartoonist or an animator. Art classes squashed that.
("CARTOONING? That's not REAL art!") Got into the video production
course at Framingham State 'cause I thought it might be interesting,
and perhaps it would be a way to continue making stupid short
subjects. I was always an antsy kid with way too much energy.
I had trouble keeping still for any length of time. I had a
difficult time sitting through 45-minute classes in high school.
When I had to sit through 2-hour lectures in college, I really
started to become twitchy. Video production required you to
move around a lot and lift things...well, this was for me! Got
an A and a B+ in video production, basically failed all my other
classes and dropped out of college. (I never even declared a
major, that's how indecisive I was back then.)
worked at the Sack Theatre in Natick, Massachusetts from about
1982 to 1984 as an usher. (Hey, at least I was in the movie
biz!) Great job at the time, could watch any movie I wanted,
play video games, eat as much popcorn as I could and drink as
much caffeinated Coke as my large, 20 year old nervous system
would allow. At the time I thought, "Hey! I'm out of school
and WORKING! No more classes! HA!" It slowly dawned on me when
I was able to witness the seasons change out the front door
(without my income changing) that this type of job could lead
At the time, cable
TV was just being installed into the homes of America. To get
these lucrative franchises, they had to offer a local production
department to the town. I got a job in one of these departments
at Adams/Russell cable TV in Norwood, Massachusetts, circa 1984.
Not a lot of money, but I did learn how to shoot, edit and light
for field and studio video production. I produced a few comedy
shorts that went on to win an Ace Award for local production.
You can see a few of them on my Biks
Flicks page. Moved on to Continental Cable in Dedham, Massachusetts
around 1988. Did more of the same, but I had more freedom to
try even more outrageous stunts for a live audience. This is
where I met John Horrigan
and Martin Hanley. My boss/partner
in mayhem Mark Gallagher was fired for some programming we had
produced. I quit the same day he was "let go." I have a series
of newspaper stories online that describes what happened back
then on page three of my "The
Amazing Life Story (so far)."
Around 1992, it dawned
on me that I wasn't going to get rich working for other people.
After getting a good dose of the corporate work environment
within the cable industry, I started to have problems with authority.
("I may be an idiot, but my boss is even MORE of an idiot.")
I figured it was time to start driving my own destiny, even
if I was heading straight for a garbage dump. Around 1992 I
started my own biz called "Biksco
Media Services." I received a little inheritance from my
grandmother and bought some basic SVHS video equipment. Started
to produce training videos and promotional pieces for the most
uncreative types you would ever want to meet in a pitch session.
It is very frustrating to deal with people who "just don't get
it." Why would anyone who is good at selling car stereos be
good at creating an original, funny TV commercial? The most
depressing thing is: I realized that everything I created professionally
is disposable. This year's training video needs to be redone
next year. The TV spot I obsessed over will not be seen by next
weekend. I do all this just for a check? Will I ever pull this
stuff out when I'm on a porch at age 85 and go, "Hey! You wanna
see the training video I did for this large, dirt-sifter back
in '98?" I don't think so.
is where I am at my life. It's time to create something that
is important to me-a project where I don't have to answer to
some committee. I'd like to know, when I'm hooked up to that
heart monitor in some hospital room, listening to my last few
beeps, I can think, "Fuck it, I managed to create a few things
that gave me a few laughs, and hopefully someone, somewhere
is still chuckling at them at this very moment."