BSA306: Don Hertzfeldt

Don Hertzfeldt is an American animator who has received over 250 awards for his films. His best known work includes World of Tomorrow (2015), Billy’s Balloon (1998), and Rejected (2000). His work is often characterised by hand-drawn stick figures, black humour, and surrealism. He animates in a traditional style, choosing to use pen and paper over the more common digital methods. Hertzfeldt will then photograph the drawing with antique 16mm or 35mm cameras. It is not unusual for Hertzfeldt to complete all of the work on one of his films by himself, meaning he is the writer, director, producer, animator, photographer, editor, voice artist and more.

My personal favourite of his works is Rejected. The film is a collection of shorts which are said to have been rejected after Hertzfeldt was commissioned to create them for commercials and television networks. However this is fictional as Hertzfeldt has never done any commercial work. Rejected was inspired by the fact that, after Billy’s Balloon, he received many requests to do commercial work, but declined. Instead, he eventually decided to create a collection of the worst possible commercials he could think of.
Rejected was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 73rd Academy Awards.

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