This paper people is Don Hertzfeldt, the papercraftis designed by sally. Don Hertzfeldt is the creator of many short animated films, including Everything Will Be OK and the Academy-Award nominated Rejected. His animated films have received over 150 awards and have been presented around the world. Before the age of thirty, his films were already the subject of several career retrospectives. He was the youngest director named in the "They Shoot Pictures, Don't They" list of "The 100 Important Animation Directors" of all time, and in 2010 he received the San Francisco International Film Festival's "Persistence of Vision" Lifetime Achievement Award at the age of 33.
In 2012, Hertzfeldt was ranked # 16 in an animation industry and historian survey of the "Top 100 Most Influential People in Animation."
The popularity of Hertzfeldt's work is unprecedented in independent animation and his films are frequently quoted and referenced in pop culture. In 2009, the Sundance Film Festival noted, "If cinephiles think shorts don't generate the same sort of hype and fanbase as feature films, they obviously haven't heard of Don Hertzfeldt."
Hertzfeldt has recently begun a 30-city theatrical tour in support of his latest short film, the 23 minute It's Such a Beautiful Day, the third and final chapter to his 2006 film Everything Will Be OK. In 2008 and 2009, Hertzfeldt went on a similar 22-city theatrical tour in support of the second chapter in the series, I am so proud of you. "An Evening with Don Hertzfeldt" presented a retrospective of his animated films followed by the regional premiere of the new film and an onstage interview and audience chat with him.
Hertzfeldt lives in Austin, Texas. He spent many years in Santa Barbara, California after attending college there. He keeps a blog on his website that has been continually updated and archived since 1999.
Hertzfeldt's early films have been credited with being a prominent influence on surrealism and absurdism in animation in the 2000s, as well as influencing Adult Swim style animated comedy. In 2008, Comedy Central noted his work as having "influenced an entire generation of filmmakers."
His more recent films, such as The Meaning of Life, Everything Will Be OK, and I am so Proud of You, expanded upon his signature style of dark humor to explore deeper themes of existentialism and life and death philosophy. Critics have favorably compared these shorts to the work of Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch, respectively. Everything Will Be OK was described as "probably the best work he's done in his very incredible and consistently amazing young career."
Hertzfeldt's films are regularly found in film festivals around the world, touring animation programs like the Animation Show, and on DVD collections. The cartoons are also featured occasionally on television: MTV, Bravo, Via X, Sundance Channel, IFC, Showtime, and the Cartoon Network being a few channels that have carried his work internationally.
The popularity of Hertzfeldt's shorts has led to many Internet bootlegs, bringing his work to an audience of millions. Though he's unhappy with the poor quality most of these online videos offer, he says he is not interested in "harassing fans." In the FAQ of his website, Hertzfeldt simply notes that movies are not meant to be seen on the Internet: "If you've only seen a film downgraded on the Internet or some strange miniature device, in many ways you haven't really seen it yet. YouTube is great for home videos of your cat falling off the roof but it is not really the proper setting for "cinema"... Movies are meant to be seen in the dark, hopefully with an audience, and with your undivided attention - this last one is non-negotiable." Recently however, Hertzfeldt has allowed "official" versions of The Meaning of Life and Everything will be OK to appear online in high quality on sites like MUBI and YouTube. Wisdom Teeth also debuted online after being acquired by Showtime.
Hertzfeldt prefers to not sell any of his animation artwork. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, his website Bitter Films annually auctioned off artwork instead to raise thousands of dollars for local Santa Barbara charities. Other original drawings have been occasionally given away through the Bitter Films online store through special promotions. Because Hertzfeldt also rarely does signings, his artwork is very rare for animation collectors or casual fans to own.