Watch This: ‘Rejected’ Animator Don Hertzfeldt Takes Us Into his Creative Process

Today, Don Hertzfeldt is one of the best-known and most highly acclaimed makers of animated films in the world. He has won hundreds of international prizes and been nominated for multiple Academy Awards. Back in the year 2000 however, he was a relatively unknown commodity, toiling away at an old-school 35mm animation rig in his home workshop. That was the year of his big breakthrough, a short film called REJECTED that was an immediate hit with festival audiences and became one of the first pre-YouTube viral videos – shared via email and on message boards over slow dial-up connections – it was certainly worth the 10-minute download.

Back in February, Don Hertzfeldt joined us at the AFS Cinema to reflect on those early years, how his creative method has evolved, and, as is generally the case with Hertzfeldt, his memories and anecdotes are simultaneously as humorous and as philosophical as is his film work. We are eager to welcome Don back to the Cinema after the pandemic has passed, but in the meantime we are proud to present this discussion with him for your entertainment and edification.


See more of Hertzfeldt’s films and find out more about his work here.

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