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15 2 don hertzfeldt headshot
Don Hertzfeldt is a dreamboat and an Academy Award nominated creator of independent animated films, aesthetically recognizable for their minimalism and squiggly line drawings. He often writes, draws, directs, distributes, and produces his own films. While his early films are notable for their deadpan surrealism and anxious comedy, his current work marries this with deeper themes of philosophy and existentialism.

Technique

The identifiable look of Hertzfeldt’s cartoons comes from his reliance on pen and paper drawings done without the aid of computers. Claiming he “never felt really creative or intuitive using software” Hertzfeldt relies on older techniques in his animation, often using trick photography, multiple exposures, and experimental special effects in the spirit of Stan Brakhage. He feels that using film is essential for his works, and has, since 1999, used an antique animation camera stand that was used in the 1960s to shoot Peanuts cartoons. [1] [2] Before this, he used a similar 16mm camera for his student work.

Filmography

Ah, L'Amour (1995)

Genre (1996) Lily and Jim (1997)

Billy's Balloon (1998)

Rejected (2000)

The Meaning of Life (2005)

Everything Will Be OK (2006)

Untitled Second Chapter of Everything Will Be OK (announced, 2008)

Distribution

Hertzfeldt remasters and distributes his own work on DVD through his website and production company, Bitter Films, stating, “I guess when you own all ten year's worth of content and then create the DVD independently it's not much of a further leap to distribute it in-house too.” [3]

In 2003, with Mike Judge, Hertzfeldt created "The Animation Show", an semi-annual theatrical touring festival of animated shorts that brings his work and others to the big screen across America. His work is also regularly featured in film festivals around the world, and on television.

Hertzfeldt is decidedly neutral regarding the massive viral success his videos have found online - he is not happy with the lower quality that online distribution brings, as well as the frequent fan "remixing" of his work. However, he has called the online bootlegs a "double edged sword", and "not something he's interested in bumming out fans over".

Future

Currently only 31 years old, Hertzfeldt continues to make successful films, with his most recent film "Everything Will Be OK" winning the 2007 Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking from the Sundance Film Festival [4], along with over 30 other major awards.

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