Born in 1976 to Scandinavian parents, Erik grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He graduated 1 of 330 in high school, garnering the Valedictory, and was accepted to Yale and Stanford Universities. He took a full Trustee scholarship to USC's Cinema-Television School as a film production major where he went on to supervise the Spielberg Scoring Stage. He graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1998, and became the Editor Guild's youngest new member, working on Forces of Nature, Tuesdays with Morrie, The Last Producer, They Nest and Law & Order. He was also a sound effects editor on the Sci-Fi Channel's Dune miniseries.