All about Mockumentaries: Table Talk with Eriksen Dickens

Eriksen Dickens

Documentaries have had a long history of being watched and admired by people around the world. They're a great way to learn actual facts about people, places, and events. Ever since the hit series "The Office" debuted in 2005, a new form of "documentary" has been increasing in popularity-- mockumentaries. Actor and filmmaker, Eriksen Dickens, who gained a lot of popularity for his recent mockumentary "Oakdale Bud Saves the Rodeo" addressed some questions about this genre.

What is your idea of a mockumentary?

In literal terms, a mockumentary is basically a blend of mockery and documentary. It's a film created to look like an authentic documentary but isn't. Most mockumentaries are comedic and satirical. In my most recent mockumentary, I'm embodying a character. I'm acting. However, the events of the day weren't scripted. I wanted to capture my real, in-character reactions to what I'd encounter that day.

Do you think this genre is underrated and unexplored?

I think the genre is getting more popular. Shows like "The Office" and "Parks and Rec" really gave this genre life. Mockumentaries done well enough can be so convincing people don't even realize it's not a real documentary. I think the more people are exposed to this style of the genre, the more they're drawn to it because it's kind of a movie within a movie. You're even further detached from reality, and I think people generally like to watch content that helps them detach from reality for a bit. It always gets people asking "okay, so what's real and what's not?

Tell us about your viral mockumentary, "Oakdale Bud Saves the Rodeo."

Well, I wanted to do something different. The last five Oakdale Bud videos were more so me just spouting funny one-liners. There wasn't a story. There wasn't much production value. The stakes weren't that high. So I wanted to challenge myself and create something special that required a lot more acting, planning, and production. I wanted to make a legit short film that pokes fun at both myself and the other side. So that's what we did. The film follows me in character as 'Oakdale Bud' on my quest to protect the Oakdale Rodeo from PETA protestors. I pretty much made a fool out of myself for 14 minutes straight! It's pretty wild.

What's Next?

Well, I'm planning on submitting the film to some festivals to get some more eyes on it. I think the film works because it pokes fun at both sides of the aisle. I have some other Oakdae Bud special ideas too that I think people would love. Oakdale Bud Runs for Mayor, Oakdale Bud Returns to High School, and a few more... so we'll see what happens!