David Rickett is a seasoned communicator and filmmaker who detests writing about himself, particularly in the third-person. He resides in Los Angeles and currently works at a small talent management company as an executive assistant.
Rickett was born in Greenville, South Carolina – but raised by New Yorkers. Before he was born, his father moved the family there to take the job as conductor of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra which he held for 34 years. David has the entertainment business in his blood as his father’s parents were a musician and an actress.
David’s key formative experience came in his senior year of high school when he was accepted into the Fine Arts Center, an advanced comprehensive arts high school for students who are artistically talented. He brought along his interest in shooting 8 mm movies and excelled, winning that year’s award for “Most Outstanding Student” in the filmmaking program.
Despite that achievement, tough experiences in grade school made Rickett hesitant to matriculate to the classrooms of higher education. Instead he stayed in Greenville and went to work as a cable TV installer back when that business was first blossoming. That job gave him first-hand lessons about how the film and television industry makes money. However, he soon discovered that climbing poles in inclement weather and crawling underneath smelly houses was not the future he was seeking.
In 1981 Rickett moved to Connecticut to begin studying filmmaking at the University of Bridgeport. Within two years he was one of the top students and was granted the coveted opportunity to direct the yearly film department project. “A Choice of Witnesses” was his film adaptation of a short story by renown mystery writer, Henry Sleasar. In less than four years David graduated at the top of his class with a BFA in Cinema.
In 1986, David with his schoolmate and best friend, John Travers, took off to Hollywood to find fame and fortune. With connections from Bridgeport upperclassmen, Rickett found steady work as a production assistant, mostly on TV commercials. Before long he was climbing the ranks into production management and even producing. But alas, even though he was adept at production work, it lacked the sort of creativity he was accustomed to when creating his own 8 mm movies and various university projects.
With technological changes in the film and TV business on the horizon, Rickett directed his efforts toward screenwriting. This was no easy task since his grade school years scarcely provided any useful writing skills. With the help of his closest friends, David taught himself all the nuts and bolts skills it takes to be a good writer. He also jumped head first into the computer technology being used for word processing in the late 1980s.
To sharpen the storytelling abilities he brought with him from a childhood of TV and movie viewing, and his Cinema degree, he took classes with John Truby, one of the preeminent teachers of screenwriting and storytelling in Hollywood. Rickett on Truby: “What’s always drawn me to Truby is his assertion that the three-act structure for screenplays is worse than useless since it’s an anachronism left over from the days of live theater when a curtain came down so they could change the scenery.”
Another formative influence on Rickett began when he and John Travers rented their first apartment in North Hollywood. Their next door neighbor was novelist Roderick Thorp. Thorp was having an up and down career and slumming it with the recent film grads under the takeoff pattern for the Burbank Airport. But soon came the news that Thorp’s 1979 novel was being adapted by 20th Century Fox for their summer release in 1988. That movie became the iconic blockbuster “Die Hard” starring Bruce Willis. Soon after, Thorp had a new house and new wife. However that neighborly interaction led to Rickett being employed and mentored by the veteran writer. Subsequently they collaborated on a few writing projects, selling a couple options and going to pitch meetings at the studios.
Later Rickett joined the rental department at Ametron Audio Visual in Hollywood, participating in the heyday of their 40 year dominance in professional sales and rentals of electronic equipment. This gave David the opportunity for a hands-on experience with new technology, most notably the burgeoning field of digital video. The portability and quality of the new cameras was amazing to see, but it was how digital video could be easily edited and manipulated with a desktop computer that reignited his interest in computers.
It was during those initial years of converting from analog to digital when Rickett began his art endeavor he called Computer Folk Art. Computer Folk Art is digitally created art presented in special frames that provide their own illumination. There were two gallery showings of his work in Echo Park, CA. First was the show at Herbert Gallery in 2003 followed by Computer Folk Art 2.0 at Chango in 2007. Both shows saw acclaim and robust sales.
In 2004 Rickett went to work for Elaine and Allan Rich. Allan Rich is a veteran character actor, recognizable from his many TV and film roles spanning from the 1970s to today. David was at Allan’s side on a wide variety of TV and film sets. However, Allan Rich is not one of those actors sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. He stays very busy with many other businesses like film producing, fine art, writing and his non-profit company. Rickett was instrumental in supporting and managing all these endeavors and more.
Elaine Rich was a long-time talent manager and ran her business from her home. Rickett simultaneously helped Mrs. Rich with all her enterprises, including to help manage the affairs of her high profile client, an iconic TV star. Furthermore, Rickett handled much of the day-to-day operations of the household including medical issues, technology, financial and much more.
Through all of the above, David continues to pursue his own projects as a screenwriter and videographer, most notably as the shooter and editor for the Los Angeles Post Production Group. He lives with his wife of 26 years, Heidi, in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles and can be found just about every weekend on one of the local municipal golf courses.
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Hi David I tried before to contact you about my friend and yours, John Travers. John and I worked on several docos together, the last being about Buzz Gamble in Pioneertown. The PiTown Film Festival is coming up and I would love to submit the short film John and I made about this hi desert legend. Unfortunately I am in Australia now and cannot put my hand on a copy. I’m wondering if you would have access to this little film called High Desert Renegade..the Buzz Gamble Story. John would have loved it to get a screening. I am still saddened beyond words that JT has died. He was s dear dear man and I am so sorry for your loss. It would be great to hear back from you.
Cheers, Billie/Valerie Morton