Erik is a filmmaker, professor of media practice and the Faculty of Culture and Creative Industries' Director of Research. His research revolves around cinematic story and narratives and he is an internationally leading exponent of creative practice research, supervising PhD students in the field. He publishes extensively on filmmaking practices and runs a large AHRC funded international research project: StoryLab Skills Training for Democratised Film Industries.
As a professor of media practice, Erik conducts predominantly practice-led film research, in particular narrative documentary and fiction. He is interested in exploring alternative modes of cinematic narratives and stories, the changing narrative practices resulting from developments in production and dissemination technologies and in the epistemology of fact and fiction within the narrative moving image. His own creative work takes the form of creative practice and applied theory and is concerned with the exploration and development of transcendent qualities and themes in cinematic storytelling and understanding the meaning and impact of independence in contemporary filmmaking contexts. Erik has several PhD students and many completions. Erik leads the international Arts and Humanities funded research project, StoryLab Skills Training for Democratised Film Industries which runs research projects in Malaysia, Ghana, Colombia and California. He runs his own film production company, One Day Films Ltd, which produces all of his film outputs. In his capacity of Faculty Director of Research for the Faculty of Culture and Creative Industries, Erik is responsible for delivering and developing the faculty's research strategy.
Prior to joining the University of Central Lancashire, Erik was a Professor of Visual and Digital Culture at Bournemouth University’s Media School. He has also been Professor of Film Practice at the University of Salford, Manchester, UK, where he was for a period of time Head of the School of Media, Music and Performance. During his many years at the University of Salford, Erik also acted as the University of Salford’s Director of Graduate Studies. Earlier roles at the University of Salford include programme leading the MA in Fiction Film Production, the MA in Television Documentary Production and the MA in Wildlife Documentary Production. Prior to his University of Salford tenure, he was Head of Production at the Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University. Alongside his current role, Erik is also Visiting Professor, and the former Head of the Editing Department, at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television in Cuba. He is the former chair of the editorial board of the Journal of Media Practice and Education, and still sits on the board, and is a former AHRC Peer Review College member, as well as having sat on their funding decision making panels. He writes extensively about creative film practice and his latest book, Finding The Personal Voice In Filmmaking, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018.
He is principal investigator on two recent Arts and Humanities Research Council grants: StoryLab International Film Development Research Network (2016 - 2018) and StoryLab Skills Training for Democratised Film Industries (2019 - 2020). Erik supervises PhD students and has seen many to completion. He himself holds a PhD from the University of Salford (2002). As a filmmaker his films include Cleft Lip (84 min., fiction, 2018), The Raven On The Jetty (88 min., fiction, 2015), The Silent Accomplice (84 min., fiction, 2011), Vainilla Chip (17 min., Documentary, 2009), Veil (for Horse & Bamboo Theatre Company’s touring show, 2008), Heart of Gold (40 min., documentary, 2006), Sea of Madness (86 min., fiction, 2006), Brannigan’s March (99 min., fiction, 2004), Bed of Flowers (50 min., documentary, 2001), Signs of Life (70 min., fiction, 1999), Reunion (50 min., documentary, 1995), One Day Tafo (70 min., documentary, 1991).
Erik runs his own film production company, One Day Films Ltd. More recently, Erik has been engaged with photography. He has exhibited and published, for example his photographic essay Cuba in Waiting was exhibited at the Cervantes Institute in Manchester (2013) and Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax (2014) and is available as a book. His latest work, entitled Doubt. photographic and poetic book, combined with a film. This work had its opening exhibition in Manchester, United Kingdom, during January 2018 and has also been exhibited at Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax, from October 2018 to January 2019.
- PHD Media Arts, University of Salford, 2002
- Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Specialised Honours in Film Production, York University, Toronto, Canada, 1983
- Best Film, Black Star International Film Festival 2018 (Film: Cleft Lip)
- Best Foreign Film, Lebanese Independent Film Festival 2018 (Film: Cleft Lip)
- Best Supporting Actor, Amsterdam International Filmmaker Festival 2018 (Film: Cleft Lip)
- Jury Award, Madrid International Film Festival, 2014 (Film: The Raven On The Jetty)
- Bronze Award, Houston International Film Festival 1991 (Film: One Day Tafo).
- story and narrative
- creative industries
- Editorial Board, Journal of Media Practice and Education