Studied at New York University.
Ernest Dickerson has made the shift from cameraman to director, but it has not been easy. In the last decade he has had to take jobs that became available—Juice was a striking, violent debut, but Bulletproof showed the same kind of material being jacked up for the box office to the point of absurdity. Bones was a good film, but it found no audience, so Dickerson had to go along with a conventional movie about Monday-night football. It is especially difficult for any black director to escape the bad habits and assumptions of black genre films—or to find fresh subjects. So Dickerson’s struggle senes to underline the special insistence of a man like Carl Franklin.
As a film student at New York University, Dickerson became the house cameraman for a genration of independent movies: Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (83, Spike Lee); The Brother from Another Planet (84, John Sayles); Krush Groove (85, Michael Schultz); She’s Gotta Have It (86, Lee); Enemy Territory (87, Peter Manoogian); Eddie Murphy Raw (87, Robert Townsend); School Daze (88, Lee); Do the Right Thing (89, Lee), which is unique in its sense of the colors of urban heat; Def by Temptation (90, James Bond III); Mo Better Blues (90, Lee); Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll (91, John McNaughton); Jungle Fever (91, Lee); Malcolm X (92, Lee); Cousin Bobby (92, Jonathan Demme).