Bruce Bickford was born in 1947 in Seattle Washington. He began animating clay in the summer of 1964 at the age of 17. He graduated from high school in 1965; and engaged in military service from 1966 to 1969. Upon his return he resumed animation, and did his first line animation in 1970, then in 1973 he went looking for work in Los Angeles-where he met Frank Zappa. He worked for him from 1974 through 1980. Afterwards, he returned to Seattle and resumed animating mostly his own personal work.
- 1964/65 - animated model cars and crude clay figures on 8mm film. 10 minutes.
- 1969 - Tree clay animation. 2.5 minutes.
- Experimented with several other minor clay efforts; first attempt at morphing and free form psychedelic movement.
- 1970 - clay battle scene with more detailed figures. 2.5 minutes
- hot wax on glass to simulate a lake of flowing lava.
- first attempt at line animation.
- 1971 - Last Battle on Flat Earth clay animation. 4 minutes
- received the "The Northwest Artist Award" at the Bellevue Arts Festival.
- line animation: first attempt at animating the lave tornado image.
- 1972 - Castle stuff and bar room scene. clay animation. 15 minutes.
- 1973 - Start of the Quest clay animation short. 3 minutes.
- more lava animation done in wax.
- 1974 (early) -Little Boy in School ( featuring Gus Reeves as a child) clay animation short. 4 minutes.
- did extensive line animation images of the lave tornado.
- June 1974 - Moved to LA to work for Frank Zappa; turned over to him most of the films done in
the early 1970s. A Token of His Extreme concert video with animated scenes. (later
remastered a the Dub Room Special)
- did occasional line animation scenes.
- worked extensive replacement animation series.
- got heavily involved in morphing clay.
- 1979 - Premier of Baby Snakes in New York city
- 1980 (early) - Zappa release of Dub Room Special and Video From Hell (featuring some animation scenes)
- 1987 - Bickford completes Prometheus Garden 27 minutes. (with sound track and line animation intro).
- 1990 - Release of Zappa's The Amazing Mr. Bickford
- though the 1990s Bickford continued doing a work in progress called Cas'l' 39 minutes (to date)
- 1991 - Spent two weeks in LA doing preliminary work for a feature called Ecotpia
- did an animation segment for a music video entitled "Mr. Blue Veins" by the LA group Carnival Arts.
- 1993 - 25 second line animation for a television commercial.
- 1994 - Bickford made an appearance in a documentary about animators.
- 1995 - Animated a few scenes for a live performance kiddies musical Searching for Father Christmas.
- 18 second spot for MTV Latino with music by Dweezil Zappa.
- 1999 - Work was begun on Monster Road a documentary about Bickford by Brett Ingram
- 2004 - Monster Road won various awards traveling the film festival circuit including
- Best Documentary
- Slamdance Film Festival
- Ann Arbor Film Festival
- Independent Film Festival of Boston
- Red Bank International Film Festival
- Indie Memphis Film Festival
- Best Documentary Runner-Up
- North Carolina Filmmaking Award
- RiverRun International Film Festival
- Independent Spirit Award
- Sonoma Valley Film Festival
- Present - For the past two decades Bickford has done various line animation sequences which could be used in various projects or combined into one film.
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