When I found out Don Hertzfeldt was showing his most recent film at Sundance, I got ready to pack up my (friend's) car, sleep on some couches, and get my interview on. Unfortunately my co-conspirator missed the memo, so instead I am sitting in bed, rewatching Hertzfeldt's side splitting films on youtube, and wishing I was there.
Hertzdeldt is absolutely one of the greatest animators of our time. Okay, okay, he is just drawing stick figures, but those stick figures have excellent comedic timing, can be insightful, and get the attention of festival judges across the globe. He still shoots everything on film, almost unheard of for animators nowadays, especially when you are competing with companies like Disney and Pixar for the greater public's attention. Fortunately for Hertzfeldt he isn't competing for attention, he plays to an audience a wee bit more discerning than your average Sunday mantinee with the kids crowd. His films play to sold out audiences in venue after venue, and he co-founded the wildly popular travelling animation festival, The Animation Show, with equally un-kid-friendly Mike Judge (ever heard of a little show called Beavis and Butthead).
So, for your viewing pleasure, I present you with one of my personal favorites, and an Hertzfeldt classic "Rejected":
"An animator's commissioned works, rejected because of their increasingly absurd and violent tone (reflecting the animator's own progressive breakdown), eventually find their entire animated world collapsing in upon itself. " (imdb)