Eric Chamberlain Bio
My background has always been immersed in creativity, going back to when I was using crayons to draw tanks and giant monsters attacking fellow students, writing adventure and war stories about King Tut fighting aliens and playing role playing games. In 1982, when I was 11 years old, I designed a game based on the Star Wars universe and sent it to TSR, the company that made Dungeons & Dragons. I designed creatures, cities, architecture, spacecraft, insignia for different tribes, literally entire worlds to explore. TSR actually wrote back, “This is great but we don’t hire 11 year-olds, and even if we did we don’t have the right to use Star Wars intellectual property.” I didn’t know what that meant but I kept making stuff anyway.
In fact, I was so motivated that I sliced my hand wide open with an X-Acto knife while I was carving a storm trooper mold out of balsa wood because the Mattel Creepy Crawlers Thingmaker goo machine didn’t have a storm trooper mold for the goo. So I took matters into my own hands. When I was taken to the hospital my mother had to be given tranquilizers. I still have the scars and I completed the mold.
As I got older my creative energies spread into other areas, including graffiti art, graphic design and music. I was heavily into electronic music and I began producing my own material, in middle school, using tape loops and a double-decker boom box. It was horrible. Seriously, it was laughably bad, but it was a start. The very first thing I made was me rapping over Rain Forest, by Paul Hardcastle. So bad, it was a crime against music, but I didn’t quit. Eventually I got pretty good at it and produced several records. In fact at one point I was charting on the BPM charts in Alternative Press magazine with the likes of Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails and Front 242. I also produced freelance work including writing music for a campaign promoting health care for the homeless, for which I won an award. These were huge parts of my life but the universe had different plans for me.
So, why am I a filmmaker? Why did I choose this path? I went through a serious low point in life while trying to figure out who I really was. Over the years I learned that selfish creativity is not very useful and that I needed to combine what I love with what others need. I also realized that filmmaking is an umbrella activity that comprises everything I do: art, writing, music, graphic design, illustration, sound design, animation, art direction, creative direction, teaching other people how to do all these things; everything in life logically indicates that I am a filmmaker.
By combining this personal revelation with a desire to be useful to others, my vision began to form. I eventually went back to school to complete my degree. I was in a film and digital media program at the University of New Mexico but then I dropped out to become ... a filmmaker. That may sound crazy but I finished my degree doing independent studies specifically related to the development of Gyrus. I broke away from the herd and I actually learned a lot more this way. I graduated summa cum laude.
After that I self-published a self-help book, The Eye of Gogi, for creatives so that others could learn from my decades of experience instead of learning everything the hard way. I wrote and illustrated a children’s book, too. Another fun thing I did was produce two bumper shorts for El Rey Network. I told them I wanted to turn the idea into a TV series and they laughed. What can I say? I’m ambitious. I ended up working for a defense and aerospace company as an art director where I ideated, designed and had approved an adaptable virtual interface for immersive applications. At this point I began independently producing a pro bono short film to raise awareness about the shared environment of wolves and humans. Although I had been able to work on interesting projects, I was still at the mercy of corporate bureaucracy. I was at a fork in the road: I could either let others dictate my future, or I could forge it myself. If you’ve read this far then you already know which path I chose.
Making Gyrus has been an incredible journey fraught with countless obstacles that were overcome. I wrote, directed and produced this film. I also designed the cinematography with motion control so I could I could act in it. I also created the VFX, music and sound. Before that, however, I lost 60 pounds in four months. While in production I had to take care of my mother, who suffered a stroke. I ended up in the hospital several times, myself, due to over-exertion. I pushed myself to the absolute limit of what is possible in order to make Gyrus a reality, completing the film while wearing a heart monitor.
A final note: Many artists and filmmakers have foibles and eccentricities. Mine is resuscitating dying gnats that have crash-landed into my cat’s water dish. Why? The Golden Rule. I never know when I might crash-land in a giant water dish and need to be fished out so this is how I work off karma.
"Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes and make them possible." -T.E. Lawrence