FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Portia Scott-Hicks 818-429-9382/213-700-2054
FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN ISSUED SPECIAL EFFECTS 1st CLASS LICENSE
Los Angeles, CA., the Office of the State Fire Marshall issued Erich Hicks a SPECIAL EFFECTS 1st Class Pyrotechnic Operator's License. As the first African-American to obtain this license, Mr. Hicks' achievement marks a milestone in the Motion Picture and Television industry. The SPECIAL EFFECTS LICENSE qualifies Mr. Hicks to plan, lead, coordinate, and determine the safety of every action sequences, from stunts to major explosions to achieve a realistic scene.
Fortunate to have had the support of one of the industry's finest Special Effects coordinators, Mr. Hicks attributes much of his success as an Apprentice to Journeyman and now 1st Class Master to the support of the late Dick Albain, whose industry's credits include numerous motion picture and television projects, most notably "The Three Stooges" and "I Dream of Genie." Mr. Hicks' great love and passion for film and television production captured the late Albains’ respect, and a professional and personal relationship developed, providing Mr. Hicks with the mentoring necessary to learn the intricacies of the Special Effects trade.
It was Mr. Hicks' aptitude, humility, tenacity and interest in learning a trade that, until now, did not have a single African-American in the ranks of Pyrotechnic Operator SPECIAL EFFECTS 1st CLASS. This license now permits him to coordinate all aspects of Special Effects. Highly motivated by the desire to overcome obstacles that traditionally alienate African-Americans from achieving the distinction of 1st Class Master, Mr. Hicks worked diligently to gain the respect of his peers by proving that he could master the standards and become a member of a very prestigious group of individuals who assure that Special Effects on sets are safely executed.
Very few African-Americans have had the opportunity to work on projects that avail them to the knowledge necessary to meet the standards for passing very difficult Special Effects tests. To obtain the SPECIAL EFFECTS 1st CLASS Pyrotechnic Operator's LICENSE one must pass practical, oral, written, and demonstration exams that meet the State's Standards. Mr. Hicks is the first African-American to achieve the status of a 1st CLASS SPECIAL EFFECTS Pyrotechnic Operator, with all the privileges that License provides. Mr. Hicks is committed to providing minorities with the same standard of mentoring that he received from the late Dick Albain, so that more minorities can pursue careers and seek the same distinctions that have given him the opportunity to work in an industry he loves.
In addition to his passion for Special Effects coordination, Mr. Hicks has also written several scripts and plans to develop, produce and direct contemporary action films with themes that educate and raise awareness of the African-American contribution in American history.
Mr. Hicks descends from a family heritage that includes his grandfather's distinction as a Buffalo Soldier who served under General Blackjack Pershing. Mr. Hicks' grandfather was one of the highest-ranking African-American Military Officers in WW1. As Captain in the 317th Armored Train Division, Captain Lee J. Hicks was responsible for getting ammunition to the war front.
Mr. Hicks currently holds memberships to the industry's most prestigious guilds: DGA, SAG, AFTRA, IATSE.
Mr. Hicks lives in the San Fernando Valley with his wife who is also an industry professional.
Mr. Hicks is available for interviews and motivational speaking engagements.