GJ Echternkamp studied experimental and narrative film at Bard College and upon graduating immediately began directing music videos for major label bands, including the Mates of State (Polyvinyl) and Giant Drag (Interscope). In 2003 GJ launched bionicfilms.com to showcase a growing and varied body of work that featured music videos and narrative shorts, as well as documentaries and pre-YouTube viral videos. In 2006, FRANK & CINDY, a documentary about GJ’s own dysfunctional family, won the Best Documentary award at Raindance, Seattle, and Calgary film festivals. The film garnered rave reviews from critics, most notably from Ira Glass of “This American Life” fame, who declared, “Every single thing about FRANK & CINDY seems new and fresh and alive. It’s rare to see a documentary that’s so raw and funny and infuriating too.” The Emmy-nominated Showtime series went on to dedicate an entire episode to the making of FRANK & CINDY. The scripted adaptation is now in pre-production at American Zoetrope.
In 2008, GJ produced, wrote, and acted in the controversial film A NECESSARY DEATH, which won the Audience Award at the AFI Film Festival. That same year he also competed in VH1′s reality show “Shoot to Kill”, in which music video directors remake popular videos from the 80′s and 90′s. GJ’s video for “Walk Like an Egyptian” by the Bangles took home the grand prize.