Bruce Bickford (animator)

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Bruce Bickford (born Seattle, 1947) is a maker of animated films who works primarily in clay animation. From 1974 to 1980 he collaborated with Frank Zappa. Bickford's animation was featured extensively in the Frank Zappa videos Baby Snakes and The Dub Room Special. Zappa also released a video titled The Amazing Mr. Bickford, which was entirely composed of Bickford animations set to a soundtrack of Zappa's orchestral music.

Bickford's animations depict surreal scenes based on his unique worldview. Often outwardly seeming to be somewhat disconnected from the world around him, Bruce Bickford's work is extremely subjective in its content and concepts, making for some disturbing and shocking imagery. Much of his video work depicted fast-moving, fluid-like transformations of human figures and disfigured faces into odd beasts on surreal structural settings with impressive camera effects (moving around within his stop-motion animation).

His life and work were featured in the 2004 biographical documentary film Monster Road, directed by Brett Ingram, which has won numerous film festival awards and garnered acclaim in many countries.

He is currently working on Boar's Head/Whore's Bed (line animation, 4500+ frames and counting), Tales of the Green River and Castle 2001, a feature-length film which is animated using 3D shapes made out of bits of paper.

A DVD was released by Bright Eye Pictures in early 2008 including the first film that Bickford had complete control over, the 28-minute Prometheus' Garden, originally completed on 16mm film in 1988. The DVD also features Luck of a Foghorn, a new 30-minute documentary about Bickford by the director of Monster Road. [1]

Mr. Bickford was the first ever guest to appear on the internet radio show Pussyfoot. [2]

Filmography[edit]

  • 1964/65 - Animated model cars and crude clay figures on 8mm film. 10 minutes.
  • 1969 - Tree clay animation. 2.5 minutes.
  • 1970 - Clay battle scene with more detailed figures. 2.5 minutes.
  • 1971 - Last Battle on Flat Earth clay animation. 4 minutes.
  • 1972 - Castle stuff and bar room scene. clay animation. 15 minutes.
  • 1973 - Start of the Quest clay animation short. 3 minutes.
  • 1974 - Little Boy in School ( featuring Gus Reeves as a child) clay animation short. 4 minutes.
  • 1974 - A Token of His Extreme (Frank Zappa)
  • 1979 - Baby Snakes (Frank Zappa)
  • 1982 - The Dub Room Special (Frank Zappa)
  • 1987 - Video From Hell and The Amazing Mr. Bickford (Frank Zappa)
  • 1988 - Prometheus' Garden. 27 minutes.
  • 2004 - Monster Road
  • 2008 - Prometheus' Garden DVD

External links[edit]