Ernest Dickerson

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Ernest Roscoe Dickerson
Born (1951-06-25) June 25, 1951 (age 62)
Newark, New Jersey, USA
Other names Ernest R. Dickerson, Ernest Dickerson
Occupation Film director, cinematographer
Years active 1983–present

Ernest Roscoe Dickerson A.S.C. (usually credited as Ernest R. Dickerson or Ernest Dickerson; born June 25, 1951) is an American film director and cinematographer. As a cinematographer, he is known for his frequent collaborations with Spike Lee. As a director, he is known for films such as Juice starring Omar Epps and Tupac Shakur, Demon Knight starring Jada Pinkett, Bones starring Snoop Dogg and Pam Grier, and Never Die Alone starring DMX. He has also directed several episodes of acclaimed television series such as The Wire, Dexter, and The Walking Dead.

Early life[edit]

Dickerson was born in Newark, New Jersey. He studied architecture at Howard University,[1] but also took a film class with Haile Gerima as he already was interested in movies.[2] He later relocated to New York to attend New York University's film program at the Tisch School of the Arts, where he would meet fellow student Spike Lee. His first feature film as director of photography was also Lee's first film, Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983), filmed while both of them were still students.

Career[edit]

After graduating, Dickerson began his career as cinematographer on music videos for Bruce Springsteen, Anita Baker, and Miles Davis, and went on to film John Sayles' Brother from Another Planet (1984), his first professional film as a director of photography.

While working on the first two seasons of George Romero’s television series Tales from the Darkside, Dickerson was a cameraman on John Jopson's concert film One Night with Blue Note (1985) and was later contacted by Spike Lee,[3] who had found the budget to shoot his movie She's Gotta Have It (1986). Dickerson continued his collaboration with Lee on five more films, including Do the Right Thing (1989). Their last collaboration was on Malcolm X in 1992, the same year Dickerson made his directing debut with the crime drama Juice. He also worked as a 2nd unit director on Lee's Miracle at St Anna (2008).

For television, Dickerson has directed several episodes of acclaimed shows such as Dexter, The Walking Dead and Treme. A long time horror movie fan, he has also worked with Mick Garris on both Masters of Horror and Fear Itself and directed Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight and Bones (2001).

The Wire[edit]

Dickerson joined the crew of the HBO drama The Wire as a director for the series' second season in 2003.[4] He directed the episode "Bad Dreams".[5][6] Reviewers drew comparisons between Spike Lee's films and The Wire even before Dickerson joined the crew.[7] "Bad Dreams" was submitted to the American Film Institute for consideration in their TV programs of the year award and the show subsequently won the award.[8] Following this success Dickerson returned as a director for the third season in 2004.[9] He directed the episode "Hamsterdam"[10][11] and the season finale "Mission Accomplished".[12][13] In 2006 he contributed a further two episodes to the show's fourth season:[14] "Misgivings"[15][16] and the season finale "Final Grades".[17][18] The fourth season received a second AFI Award and Dickerson attended the ceremony to collect the award.[19] Showrunner David Simon has said that Dickerson is the show's directorial work horse and that he knows the show as well as the producers; Simon has praised Dickerson's directing saying that he "delivers each time".[20]

Dickerson returned as a director for the series' fifth and final season in 2008 and helmed the episode "Unconfirmed Reports".[21][22] He would later work with David Simon again, directing several episodes of the New-Orleans based drama Treme, including the season 2 finale "Do Watcha Wanna", which won Dickerson a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Directing in a Dramatic Series.[23]

Filmography[edit]

Television[edit]

Director[edit]

Year Show Season Episode title Episode Notes
2012 The Walking Dead 3 "Welcome to the Tombs"[24] 16 31 March 2013
"Seed" 1 14 October 2012
Dexter 7 "Swim Deep" 5 28 October 2012
Treme 3 "Don't you Leave me Here" 8 11 Novembre 2012
"The Greatest Love" 4 14 October 2012
2011 The Walking Dead 2 "Beside the Dying Fire" 13 18 March 2012
"18 Miles Out" 10 26 February 2012
"Bloodletting" 2 23 October 2011
"What Lies Ahead" (with Gwyneth Horder-Payton)[25] 1 16 October 2011
Dexter 6 "Talk to the Hand" 11 11 December 2011
"Sin of Omission" 8 20 November 2011
Treme 2 "Do Watcha Wanna"[26] 11 3 July 2011
"Can I Change My Mind?" 8 12 June 2011
2010 The Walking Dead 1 "Wildfire"[27] 5 28 November 2010
Treme 1 "Right Place, Wrong Time" 3 25 April 2010
2009 Dexter 4 "Road Kill" 8 15 November 2009
Stargate Universe 1 "Earth" 7 6 November 2009
The Vampire Diaries 1 "Haunted" 7 29 October 2009
Lincoln Heights 4 "Relative Unknown" 7 26 October 2009
"Trash" 5 12 October 2009
Burn Notice 3 "Shot in the Dark" 7 23 July 2009
In Plain Sight 2 "A Frond in Need" 8 14 June 2009
Law & Order 19 "Exchange" 20 13 May 2009
Medium 5 "Truth Be Told" 8 30 March 2009
Burn Notice 2 "Truth and Reconciliation" 14 19 February 2009
Fear Itself 1 "Something With Bite" 9 3 January 2009
2008 Dexter 3 "Sì Se Puede" 6 2 November 2008
Lincoln Heights 3 "The Day Before Tomorrow" 4 7 October 2008
Eureka 3 "Show Me the Mummy" 5 26 August 2008
The Wire 5 "Unconfirmed Reports"[21][22] 2 13 January 2008
2007 Lincoln Heights 2 "No Way Back" 7 16 October 2007
Weeds 3 "The Dark Time" 12 29 October 2007
"Release the Hounds" 9 8 October 2007
Tell Me You Love Me 1 "Episode 1.6" 6 14 October 2007
The 4400 4 "The Wrath of Graham" 1 17 June 2007
2006 The Wire 4 "Final Grades"[17][18] 13 10 December 2006
Season finale
"Misgivings"[15][16] 10 19 November 2006
ER 13 "Reason to Believe" 8 16 November 2006
Masters Of Horror 2 "The V Word" 3 10 November 2006
Heroes 1 "Collision" 4 16 October 2006
The Evidence 1 "And the Envelope Please" 8 1 July 2006
For One Night 6 February 2006
Television feature
CSI: Miami 4 "Silencer" 13 23 January 2006
2005 Invasion 1 "The Cradle" 8 16 November 2005
Criminal Minds 1 "L.D.S.K." 6 2 November 2005
Crossing Jordan 5 "Total Recall" 6 30 October 2005
ER 11 "You Are Here" 20 5 May 2005
The L Word 2 "Luminous" 7 3 April 2005
Miracle's Boys 1 "In the Game of Life" 2 19 February 2005
Mini-series
ER 11 "Middleman" 13 3 February 2005
2004 The Wire 3 "Mission Accomplished"[12][13] 12 19 December 2004
Season finale
"Hamsterdam"[10][11] 4 10 October 2004
Good Fences 29 October 2004
Television feature
Third Watch 6 "Greatest Detectives in the World" 6 29 October 2004
2003 The Wire 2 "Bad Dreams"[5][6] 11 17 August 3003
2002 Big Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie 31 March 2002
Television feature
Monday Night Mayhem 14 January 2002
Television feature
Our America 13 January 2002
Television feature
2001 Night Visions 1 "Still Life" 18 30 August 2001
"My So-Called Life and Death" 16 23 August 2001
1999 Strange Justice 29 August 1999
Television feature
1998 Futuresport 1 October 1998
Television feature
1990 Great Performances 19 "Spike & Co.: Do It Acapella" 1 10 May 1990

Cinematographer[edit]

Year Title Notes
2002 Our America
Year Show Season Episode title Episode
1990-1991 Law & Order 1 "Prescription for Death" 1
"Subterranean Homeboy Blues" 2
"Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die" 4
"By Hooker, By Crook" 7
"Prisoner of Love" 10
"A Death in the Family" 13
1984-1986 Tales from the Darkside 1 "Pain Killer" 3
"The Odds" 4
"Slippage" 6
"The Word Processor of the Gods" 8
"If the Shoes Fit..." 18
"Grandma's Last Wish" 22
2 "Parlour Floor Front " 4
"A Choice of Dreams" 20

Film[edit]

Director[edit]

Year Title Other notes
2004 Never Die Alone
2001 Bones
1998 Blind Faith
1998 Ambushed
1996 Bulletproof
1995 Tales from the Crypt Presents Demon Knight
1994 Surviving the Game
1992 Juice
  • also co-writer

Cinematographer[edit]

Year Title Other notes
1992 Malcolm X
1992 Cousin Bobby
1991 Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll
1991 Jungle Fever
  • directed by Spike Lee
1990 Ava & Gabriel: Un historia di amor
1990 Mo' Better Blues
  • directed by Spike Lee
1990 Def by Temptation
1989 Do the Right Thing
  • directed by Spike Lee
1989 Fright House
1988 School Daze
  • directed by Spike Lee
1988 The Laser Man
1988 Negatives
1987 Eddie Murphy Raw
1987 Enemy Territory
1986 Almacita di desolato
  • directed by Felix de Rooy
1986 She's Gotta Have It
  • also appears in the movie, directed by Spike Lee
1985 Krush Groove
1985 One Night with Blue Note
1984 Desiree
1984 The Brother from Another Planet
1983 Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads
  • directed by Spike Lee

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Profile on Ernest Dickerson, ASC". DPTV. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  2. ^ A. Obenson, Tambay (2013-03-04). "Interview: Award-Winning Cinematographer, Writer & Director Ernest Dickerson, Reintroduced". Shadow and Act/Indiewire.com. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Kaufman, Lloyd. "The Importance Of Being "Ernest"". Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Season 2 crew". HBO. 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2007. 
  5. ^ a b David Simon, George P. Pelecanos (2003-08-17). "Bad Dreams". The Wire. Season 2. Episode 11. HBO.
  6. ^ a b "Episode guide – episode 24 Bad Dreams". HBO. 2004. Retrieved 24 August 2006. 
  7. ^ Jeff Shannon. "The Wire Complete First Season on DVD". Amazon.com. 
  8. ^ "AFI TV programs of the year – official selections (2003)". American Film Institute. 2003. Retrieved 17 October 2007. 
  9. ^ "Season 3 crew". HBO. 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2007. 
  10. ^ a b David Simon, George P. Pelecanos (2004-10-10). "Hamsterdam". The Wire. Season 3. Episode 4. HBO.
  11. ^ a b "Episode guide – episode 29 Hamsterdam". HBO. 2004. Retrieved 24 August 2006. 
  12. ^ a b David Simon, Ed Burns (2004-12-19). "Mission Accomplished". The Wire. Season 3. Episode 12. HBO.
  13. ^ a b "Episode guide – episode 37 Mission Accomplished". HBO. 2004. Retrieved 24 August 2006. 
  14. ^ "Season 4 crew". HBO. 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2007. 
  15. ^ a b Ed Burns, Eric Overmyer (2004-11-19). "Misgivings". The Wire. Season 4. Episode 10. HBO.
  16. ^ a b "Episode guide – episode 47 Misgivings". HBO. 2006. Retrieved 29 March 2007. 
  17. ^ a b Ernest Dickerson (2004-12-10). "Final Grades". The Wire. Season 4. Episode 13. HBO.
  18. ^ a b "The Wire episode guide – episode 50 Final Grades". HBO. 2006. Retrieved 17 October 2007. 
  19. ^ "AFI Awards 2006 salutes film and television (2006)". American Film Institute. 2007. Retrieved 17 October 2007. 
  20. ^ Jim King (2003). "3rd Exclusive David Simon interview". The Wire at AOL. Retrieved 5 November 2007.  Page 5
  21. ^ a b Ernest Dickerson (2008-01-13). "Unconfirmed Reports". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 2. HBO.
  22. ^ a b "The Wire episode guide – episode 52 Uncomfirmed Reports". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 22 January 2008. 
  23. ^ Walker, Dave. "'Treme' wins 2 NAACP Image Awards". nola.com. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  24. ^ Mazzara, Glen (2012-11-07). "Ernest Dickerson will direct the @WalkingDead_AMC finale #316". Twitter. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  25. ^ AMC. "The Walking Dead episode "What Lies Ahead" credits". Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  26. ^ HBO. "Treme episode "Do Watcha Wanna" synopsis". Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  27. ^ AMC. "The Walking Dead episode "Wildfire" details". Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  28. ^ "Awards for Our America (2002) (TV)". Imdb.com. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  29. ^ "Felix de Rooy Curriculum-vitae". Kunstforum.be. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 

External links[edit]