Subject:
Bruce Bickford

Birth:
1947

Occupation/Title
Stopmotion Animator/ Director

Bio Summary
Bruce was born in 1947 in Seattle Washington and began animating when he
was 17 during summer in 1964. After he graduated from high school he was
enlisted into the military from 1966 to 1969. Once he returned he resumed
to animate from then on. He worked with Frank Zappa in 1974 till the
1980's. One of the films he made with Zappa was Baby Snakes in 1979, where
Bruce go to unleash his creative talent in stopmotion. After his time
working with Zappa, Bruce has since worked mainly on his own while taking
care of his father.

Early Life/Family
Bruce has two older brothers, one and two years older than Bruce. He also
has one younger brother four years younger than Bruce. His parents divorced
in the mid 1960's. One of his older brothers died in a plane crash years
later in Alaska, and later that same year his mother passed away, leaving
the family home to Bruce and his remaining brothers. His younger brother
committed suicide mid 1976, most likely due to family matters.

His relationship with his dad was rocky when he was a teenager; he was
rather angry with his father. In his older days, Bruce's father mellowed
out and now Bruce is helping him out with whatever he can. (Monster Road)

Education/Training:
-High School Education

Career Outline:
-1964 began claymation at age 17
-Graduated High School in 1965
-Military Service from 1966 to 1969, served in Vietnam for almost a year
-1974 Moved to LA to work for Frank Zappa till approximately 1980
-Mainly works on Independent work since he left Zappa

Comments On Style:
-Wild and unpredictable, sometimes over the top extreme, but it is very
unique and the ability to go from one object or subject and seamlessly
transform it into another over time is astonishing.

-Bruce is able to animate around 50 characters on the screen all at the
same time while still keeping solid motion and pacing for his style.

-While he is primarily a stop motion animation, he can also do traditional
animation. His traditional animation reflects the same style that he has in
stop motion.

Influences:
Peter Pan: In Monster Road, he looks at Peter Pan as an action hero for
little guys to look up to. This is a reason why Bruce likes to create
and work with smaller figures generally.

Personality:
-Reclusive, introverted, Bruce likes to keep many things to himself, but is
a man of unique thinking and creativity unlike any other.

-Some can consider his personality to be unstable, this may be due to his
rocky relationship with his father, or when people have ripped him off
his work, causing him to be less trusting of people.

-Admits that as a kid he was more nervous than most kids; he didn't like
the noises other kids made.

Anecdotes:
-At an ASIFA after party, he handed out handed crafted business cards made
of baked clay inserts set inside formcore cards with plastic windows.

-Bruce mentioned in the documentary that he tried working in a commercial
setting once, but he didn't enjoy and his time with the job didn't last
very long. He says that it tired him out to the point where he can't
animate.

"My friend Stephen Chiodo was teaching stop motion at Cal arts and he
brought Bruce in as an artist in residence. At the time I was on the
Board of Directors of ASIFA-Hollywood. I pulled some strings and
scored them both tickets to the Annie Awards show. At the after party
every single stop motion person in the audience made their way to Bruce
Bickford's table like a pilgrimage to the shrine of a holyman." - Larry Loc

Miscellaneous:
-Bruce is a vegan
- For his old age, he shows that he is quite athletic in the Monster Road documentary.
-Bruce doesn't believe people should ever go to war, instead they should make movies about it.

Filmography:
*Promethus' Garden (1987 on Brucebickford.com, 2008 on IMDb)
*The Amazing Mr. Bickford (1990 on Brucebickford.com, 1987 on IMDb)
Video From Hell (1985)
The Dub Room Special (1984)
Baby Snakes (1979)
Little Boy in School (1974)
Last Battle on Flat Earth (1971)

Honors:
Received the "The Northwest Artist Award" at the Bellevue Arts Festival for
his short film “Last Battle on Flat Earth”

Related Links:
http://www.brucebickford.com
Bibliographic References:
Loc, Larry
The Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
http://www.brucebickford.com/
“Monster Road” (video documentary)
Baby Snakes

Contributors To This Listing:
Paul Barral
Larry Loc

Animators Hall of Fame