I consider Julius Shulman my mentor and friend. Few people have had such a profound impact on my life. Two things were apparent to me upon my initial meeting with him in the spring of 1999. First, his photography is remarkable. Second, Julius himself is equally distinctive as his work.
For me, the defining characteristic of a Shulman photograph is a vibrant energy that transcends two-dimensional space. When viewing one of Julius’ “constructed views,” I am reminded of the potential for greatness inherent within each individual. In addition to experiencing his photography, knowing the Shulman archive contains 8000+ projects dating back to 1927, when Julius started photographing with a Brownie Box camera, is astounding.
The photography however is only half the story; Julius himself is the other. Distilled to its barest essence it is this: Julius Shulman is a humanist. His genuine love for people, culture, and the arts preserves my 98-year-old friend as an eternal youth.
The above compelled me to create Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman. It is an honor and privilege to work on such a project and it is my hope to have created a work that impacts and inspires as many people as it can possibly reach.
Eric Bricker, Los Angeles, September 2007
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
It is a combination of coincidence and a lifetime of preparation that led Eric Bricker to Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman.
Active in music and acting in St. Louis, Missouri, combined with a grandmother who took him to countless films, Eric knew that Los Angeles was an inevitable move. However, before moving to Los Angeles, he went on to graduate from Indiana University where he received his B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Theatre. After graduation, Eric spent the next few years acting with the California Repertory Company and the Utah Shakespearean Festival.
Upon settling in Los Angeles, Eric turned his focus toward film and television production where he worked with such notable talent as Jerry Seinfeld and Alec Baldwin. In addition, he explored his affinity for playing percussion with the likes of Lula & Afro-Brasil and Perry Farrell at Coachella Festival. It was during this period that Eric decided producing and directing his own film projects was the most conducive route for his creative expression.
As his passion for filmmaking grew so too did his art consultation firm, Artistic Designs Unlimited. Developing an understanding of clients’ spatial needs and translating those specifics into original works of art enabled Eric to develop a greater visual vocabulary and sense of design.
It was in 1999, when in need of vintage photos of San Francisco, that Eric was led to Julius Shulman. At the outset, an enduring friendship between the two began. In December of 2001, Eric proposed to Julius the idea of a documentary on Shulman, the archive, the architects, and Modern architecture. Julius’ reply was, “I don’t see why not.”
Visual Acoustics garnered multiple Outstanding Achievement and Best Documentary awards in its festival run including awards from the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Lonestar Film Festival, and Newport Beach Film Festival. In addition, the film screened with much acclaim at the Los Angeles Film Festival (world premiere), Festival International Du Film Sur L’Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Kimbell Art Museum, Apple World Headquarters, along with various festivals and museums around the globe . Visual Acoustics was distributed by Arthouse Films in the U.S. and ran in theaters from October 2009 through March 2010. The film is currently available on Amazon and iTunes.
Eric is based in Austin, Texas and continues to work on documentary as well as narrative films.