Monday I got the pleasure of attending a screening/Q&A with independent animator Don Hertzfeldt. Some of you may remember him from the hilarious series Rejected Cartoons:
My Spoon is Too Big!
Did you know Rejected Cartoons was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short. Fun Fact #1.
The screening was at the IFC center (one of my favorite movie theaters in the world!), and it was in a sense a premiere of his new film It’s Such A Beautiful Day. This film was the final part of a trilogy that Don started back in 2006. The First part titled Everything Will Be Ok, and the sequel I Am So Proud Of You, were also shown at the screening.
I have to say that Everything Will Be Ok, which I saw seeing for the first time, absolutely blew me away. It has elements of The Rejected Cartoons humor, but takes this very dark twisted view on life. The whole film is a collage of animation and live action, that sort of sucks the viewer into this very simple world, that happens to scratch upon pretty deep themes.
Since the screening I have watched this video 5 times, and am still kind of trying to figure why it draws me in so much. I think a big part of the appeal is that the film is unassuming, his drawings are so uniquely simple, that to me it can’t be pretentious. For example this quote, “Bill dropped his keys on the counter, and stood there starring at them, suddenly thinking about all the times he had thrown his keys there before, and how many days of his life were wasted repeating the same tasks and rituals in his apartment, and how and then he wondered if realistically this was his life, and the unusual part was his time spent doing other things.” Under different circumstances I might be very turned off by this voice over, but with Don Hertzfeldt it just seems to work.
I found the other two sections a little less fun then Everything Will Be Ok, but overall the series is a pretty amazing. Don was a very interesting character. He is definitely an artist who is off in his own world, something I can very much respect. I hope that he takes on more ambitious projects in the future, possibly ones with a bigger budget, and professional voice acting (he does all his own voice acting, and said that he hopes to change that with upcoming projects.)
I am hoping that I can take a couple elements of Don’s work and incorporate it with my own drawings. I have always shied away from the idea of animation, just the concept of drawing the same image over and over again seems infuriating. However Don’s work made me want to try my hand at doing a alternative animation piece with voice over, or maybe just turning a series of my drawings into a free-form comic.
Perhaps I will have something like this to show you guys in the future!