hey so i'm back for round two

this was round one last year when we were all so much younger and full of promise: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/eykz5/don_hertzfeldt_filmmaker_ama/


  • the very cleverly titled DON HERTZFELDT VOLUME 2 DVD is coming out next month and is now available to pre-order. the DVD collects the short film trilogy EVERYTHING WILL BE OK, I AM SO PROUD OF YOU, and IT'S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY, with the option for the first time to play the whole story together, as a seamless new feature film. the DVD also includes a bunch of other stuff, including miserable cartoon WISDOM TEETH and over 40 minutes of interviews. here is a trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-e6DHjZ-eRg

everyone pre-ordering the DVD will also get a free 35mm film strip, clipped from an ITS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY release print (no two are alike), as well as some other strange things because we don't want them anymore. please find all details over here: http://bitterfilms.shop.musictoday.com/Dept.aspx?cp=957_58078

  • the resulting new feature film shares the same title as the third chapter of the story, IT'S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY, and is now turning up in theaters around the USA , with more screenings added before the year is out. it is a somewhat different cut than the one coming to DVD, but sort of not really. come see it on the big screen if you can, the current list of confirmed cities is posted over at: http://www.bitterfilms.com expect one or two surprises

  • i think there was something else but now i can't remember

here also are the posts proving i am me and not somebody more interesting: https://twitter.com/donhertzfeldt https://www.facebook.com/pages/don-hertzfeldt/57893981990

how are you doing? the weather today is mostly cloudy

UPDATE: 5:45 CENTRAL TIME...... yes i am still haunting around sorry i am just a bit slow

UPDATE: 6:30 MY EYES MY EYES..... still here

UPDATE: 8:12 there is some sort of moth on my computer

UPDATE: 8:13 ok everyone, i think i am going to call it a night here. but if anybody coming late to the party has any burning questions, go ahead and post and i will do another short round tomorrow afternoon (9/18) before closing it all up! thanks, see ya

UPDATE: 9/18 11:48am (CST) hello i am back for a bit

UPDATE 12:04 (yes it is true, i am CURSED WITH CELESTIAL KNOWING. please let me know how many of these are accurate: https://twitter.com/free_fortunes)

UPDATE 2:14 thanks everybody for coming to say hello. sorry i wasn't able to get to everyone's questions but i gave it my best shot! thank you for all the happy thoughts and take care

*** CLOSED ***

Comments: 1111 • Responses: 72  • Date: 

Hypthekid496 karma

This is seriously not a question, I am sorry being against the format but I guess I'm gonna go ahead anyway. Because you roughly made what I'm today. Your works basically are an inspiration for me because I'm an amateur short-story and play writer (especially "Everything Will Be OK" and "I'm So Proud Of You") and they set my idea about life (especially "The Meaning Of Life").

I just want to thank you. Thank you because you made a young, depressive man who failed to suicide before to embrace life. Thank you for being. Thank you for being awesome.

donhertzfeldt581 karma

hey, thank you for telling me. also you have cake or pie next to your name

dexemplu275 karma

As a fan for quite a while, I have always wanted to ask:

What the fuck is wrong with you?

donhertzfeldt572 karma


eraw17E248 karma

How do you feel about Rejected overshadowing your other work?

donhertzfeldt492 karma

most of my favorite bands are only known to the general public from their hit singles. which is fine. but there are usually way better songs to be found on the albums

ThunderNuggets358200 karma

How do you like your eggs?

donhertzfeldt284 karma

i don't really like squooshy foods. it's a texture thing

nick1click190 karma


donhertzfeldt449 karma

now look what you've done, this is at the top of the page

Popocuffs178 karma

Yesterday I went to the pie shop and happened to be wearing an Animation Show shirt. They were out of the pie I wanted, and there was a quick chat with the girl at the register.

Her: Sorry, we're out of those pies, but that's an awesome shirt! Are you an animator? I love animation!

Me: No, but have you heard of Don Hertzfeldt?

Her: No.

Me: Rejected?

Her: No... can you write that down for me? <grabs a piece of receipt paper>

Me: Sure! <writes "Don Hertzfeldt, Rejected"> Definitely check him out.

And then I walked out.

Sorry it wasn't a question, but I just wanted to share the story of how I could have slipped a girl my number yesterday, but I told her about Don Hertzfeldt instead. Also, there was a pie shop involved.

donhertzfeldt774 karma

that was YOU? she gave me a call and we have been making out all afternoon on a heap of stale pie

3dot14Rocks185 karma

Hope is was apple pie with a picture of Carl Sagan hanging over the mantle.

donhertzfeldt536 karma


soyourlife168 karma

Do you remember a time when you were working really hard making things, except no one was looking at them and you weren't making money? Did you ever wonder 'Oh geez, maybe I'm not actually talented, maybe there is no intrinsic value to any of the things I make UGH WHAT AM I DOING' and IF so, do you have any advice for others going through such a period?

donhertzfeldt369 karma


donhertzfeldt463 karma

lynda barry said something really great about this and i am paraphrasing badly, but you need to try to return to the time when you were a little kid, creating things on a big sheet of paper in a beautiful sunbeam, and not having any cares at all about how it might one day be received. it's when children learn to think, "is this any good?" that they start to become paralyzed creatively. and this is why most adults don't draw, don't write, don't sing, don't dance, and are terrified in front of audiences.

ImOwenKelly86 karma

As a weird person who's had writer's block for a long, long time; thank you. And if you could thank Lynda Barry whenever you see her next, that'd be great, too.

donhertzfeldt117 karma

i think it's in a book of hers.... "what it is"

ImOwenKelly62 karma

What what is?

donhertzfeldt199 karma

who's on first?

theEntscast126 karma

Is the current pop tarts campaign a rip-off of Rejected?

donhertzfeldt192 karma

i guess so

theEntscast95 karma

Do you care?

donhertzfeldt238 karma

of course

KarmaLovinThrowaway119 karma

A few years ago, I had an assignment in my Gen. Ed. Art class where I had to basically decorate the inside of a shoe box. I took it as an opportunity to pay tribute to you. This is what I made. I got an A on it. Thanks for the help!

And since I should probably ask a question, how did you acquire the camera used to shoot A Charlie Brown Christmas?

donhertzfeldt109 karma

i bought it from the nick vasu camera company in burbank in 1999. i'm not sure if their studio is around anymore. they used to have a small fleet of these sorts of cameras to mostly shoot titles and credits and cleanup animation stuff back before it became easier to do digitally

i picked up a second camera a couple years ago to help finish shooting "it's such a beautiful day" and when i moved to austin we had to cut a hole through the side of the house to get them inside

tonym97823 karma

Wow, that's dedication. The cameras are that large?

donhertzfeldt62 karma

yeah they are very large and very heavy. here's some pictures of the older one:

http://www.bitterfilms.com/P1010240.jpg http://www.bitterfilms.com/P1010248.jpg http://www.bitterfilms.com/P3100541.jpg

[deleted]114 karma


donhertzfeldt391 karma

i was in a supermarket a couple years ago and there were some grubby teens wandering around sort of half-following me through the aisles, quoting a bunch of lines from "rejected" to each other. and i thought they were making fun of me before i realized they had no idea who i was

WhatEvil79 karma

How does something like that feel? I always thought that as a (really awful) musician that if I one day wrote a song and heard somebody I didn't know humming/singing/whistling it to themselves somewhere like that then it would be one of the most awesome things.

donhertzfeldt224 karma

it's mostly just sort of strange, like a message from another life that you've forgotten about. what is odd is how famous some of the films are and how completely un-famous i am as a person (thankfully so)... which gives me a direct relationship to them, but they don't really feel like they're "mine" anymore, they're just sort of out there on their own. so it's not like, "ah i am beaming with pride from hearing this," but more like, "this is very odd and i vaguely kind of want to leave this area." but not in a negative way. sorry i am doing a very bad job explaining this

pantsonfire12354 karma

Holy shit, grubby teens? He just described me and every single one of my friends that I have

donhertzfeldt170 karma

grubby teens are everywhere

michaelglass82 karma

I saw you a few years ago in New York City and when asked about the internet, you seemed pretty upset about people stealing your content and posting it with shitty quality to various forums on the internet (the first time I saw shitty dubs of your work online, it was pre-youtube).

I saw you this year in San Francisco and you seemed in general: happier. I'm curious if your opinions of the internet and piracy have changed?

donhertzfeldt177 karma

i'm glad to hear that i am happier. yeah the internet-quality issue used to be a nuisance... especially in the late 90s when almost everything looked terrible really no matter how you uploaded it. i've described this before, but it's probably like going to extreme lengths to record and mix your album as carefully as you can and then realizing how many people are listening to it in their car with the left speaker missing and the bass turned all the way up. at some point you just have to let it go. but things have changed obviously over the years and now you can get full hd online... i still don't think the internet is the proper setting for seeing a movie, and it never will be, but at least things look incredibly better now and i am more at ease with releasing stuff that way.

mooshygooshy69 karma

Hey Don, HUGE fan here, just wanted to say that 'Everything Will Be Ok" got me through some really rough patches when it first came out, I was really moved by it. As someone who is aspiring to be a sound designer for film the elegance of your soundtrack has always been something that has stood out, among others. How do you go about finding the right music/sound fx for your films and how do you know when enough is a enough when layering sounds?

donhertzfeldt99 karma

thank you... i love working with sound too but to be honest i don't really know what i'm doing most of the time (incidentally this is true for much of life). it is not much more than listening to it over and over and over again and constantly refining. the same goes or editing, really. constant study and shaping and trial and error. i'm not good enough to get something right the very first time but i have a lot of patience

mooshygooshy25 karma

Do you ever find yourself taking days or perhaps weeks off from editing/sound because you are viewing things over and over again, too much? Is the film just so much in your head that you don't need to step back to see it in its full context fresh? Also do you hold test screenings with friends or is the premiere usually the first time people other than you get to see it? THANKS.

donhertzfeldt45 karma

usually going to bed and returning to the mix or edit the next day is a refresh enough. it's sort of like when you work on a crossword puzzle... you'll eventually get stuck and put it down. and then for some reason the next morning when you pick it up all the answers seem really obvious

donhertzfeldt41 karma

incidentally, i think the same thing is true when i play piano.... i'll be practicing, figuring out a new piece. and the next day when i sit down again i can suddenly play it much, much better than the previous day. something happens in your sleep

thfemale64 karma

Hi Don! You came to Rochester back in 2005 when "The Meaning of Life" had just come out, and showcased all your films. I, a meek animation student at the time, asked for your autograph, like most fans. But then I challenged you to a game of tic-tac-toe, as I have a grid tattooed on my arm. Overwhelmed by the fact that I, an excited fangirl, was playing tic-tac-toe with one of my idols, I lost all sense of intelligence, and you won the game. On my own arm. Aaand it was my birthday.

This is all an exciting anecdote to retell, but what I'd really like to ask is if I may challenge you to a rematch. Same court (my arm, of course). I live in Philly now--do you know when a possible future tour may lead you here so I can attempt victory once again?

donhertzfeldt145 karma

can't we just ship your arm back and forth?

SteveBruleRools63 karma

Do you do drugs?

donhertzfeldt143 karma


cellsminions59 karma

Don, here is a picture of my favorite kind of cloud. Can you please draw your favorite kind of cloud?

donhertzfeldt126 karma

i don't know that is a pretty good cloud

drwhome50 karma

With the Bill Trilogy, you've included more and more live-action shots in your films. Do you see yourself shooting an all live-action piece? Or at least a predominantly live-action short with animated sequences?

Big fan. Met you twice at Q&A's. You were rad both times.

donhertzfeldt79 karma

thanks... i wanted to be a live action filmmaker from day 1 but it was always too expensive. i don't know about a live action story but i would like to shoot a documentary

[deleted]49 karma

I'm sick Don, how do you make me stop being sick?

donhertzfeldt117 karma

sit in the sun

dan08k38 karma

Will you be hiring young eager animators for your upcoming feature? Also, your work is great. Can't wait for DVD vol. 2.

donhertzfeldt249 karma

yes, absolutely. it would take me 20 years to animate something like that alone and not drawing everything by myself over and over again will be a blessing. i look forward to the day where i can merely stroll into a room full of hardworking people and tell them everything they're doing is wrong

posterhoster37 karma

What's with the language the characters are speaking in the short "Wisdom Tooth"? Is it true that it's based on Scandinavian? If so, why Scandinavian?

donhertzfeldt74 karma

it's total gibberish. it's a strange blend of the sounds of german and swedish and some other stuff. the cartoon was based on a comic strip i did a super long time ago, and when i got around to doing the movie i realized that there are certain things that are really funny when you read them on the page, but sort of not at all that funny to hear performed. so the excuse to throw subtitles on the screen and just make the audience read everything was sort of the only reason for that.

also, i'm half swedish

thewabberjocky23 karma

speaking of gibberish, what's the background to the "alien speech" at the end of The Meaning of Life, is it gibberish or if I put the video on a turntable and played it slowly backwards I'd learn...well...the meaning of life?

donhertzfeldt52 karma

i can't remember. i don't think it's backwards though. also those aren't aliens actually

thewabberjocky22 karma

follow up question: what are they?

donhertzfeldt59 karma

evolved humans, super into the future. everything takes place on earth. a lot of people think they're aliens though and i think i screwed that up but that's ok

jurassicstrain33 karma

Are you going to make any prints from "it's such a beautiful day"? I bought one from each of the first two films, and I want to have a threesome on my wall.

donhertzfeldt65 karma

yeah we should probably do that. i really like those prints. i punched out the fancy printer that makes those though (true story) so we probably need to get a new one. i really don't have a temper or anything but that printer was a nightmare

HaraldNordgren31 karma

Can you sometimes feel annoyed when an audicence laughs at the darkly funny things in your films, as opposed to being more analytical and open to embrace the tragedy?

Don't get me wrong, Everything Will Be OK is an insanely good black comedy, but to me it's more tragic than it's anything else. I often get the feeling when watching black comedy together with other people that many are so eager to laugh at funny stuff that they end up ignoring the deep tragedy that is so central to black comedy. And that saddens me.

I often watch your films as a therapeutic experience, as something that makes me feel better about myself. People who laugh out loud at funny details kind of ruins that for me. Thoughts on this?

donhertzfeldt59 karma

i am mostly grateful for any audience reaction that is not total boredom. when on tour with those films, in particular "i am so proud of you" i noticed a lot of what you're describing... in some cities it would play as a comedy with lots of generous laughs, and in others it would play as a tragedy. i think any reaction, as long as it's honest, are totally fine. i like movies where maybe people leave the theater thinking different stuff

stumper9331 karma

I wrote you two years ago for an autograph, you sent me these series of little stars as a response: * * *, * * * *.

I thank you for the stars again, but still want an autograph....

donhertzfeldt68 karma

perhaps some little ampersands would satisfy you this time?

&&& &&&&. &&.

mondomaniatrics28 karma

Have you made the jump to modern tools, or do you still prefer to use paper and pen?

donhertzfeldt225 karma

yes sort of. this has been answered elsewhere though so instead i am going to type a few b's for you

bbb b b

Lemurrific26 karma

Do you love me?

donhertzfeldt81 karma

we have to stop seeing each other like this

andrewsmith198624 karma

Rejected was one of the first videos that I remember downloading.

How do you feel about piracy of your content?

donhertzfeldt49 karma

it's fine. i think if anyone knows me enough to torrent something, they know i'm one of those indie types where a dvd or ticket sale actually does make a difference. i don't think all the pirates are drooling anarchists... people know to support what they like.

incidentally i think we will be able to offer our own downloads sometime next year

OKriomhaire23 karma

What advice would you give to an aspiring filmmaker/screenwriter? I'm just out of college and film is all that really interests me but I don't know if I can survive off it alone. How did you manage when you were in your early twenties is my question. Thanks!

donhertzfeldt79 karma

this may sound weird or sad but i often find people to be fundamentally disappointing. ok that does sound weird and sad. but i think the less you put your career / your dreams into other people's hands, the better off and the happier you will be. which means working independently and getting your own things off the ground as much as possible, rather than waiting around indefinitely and doing nothing for months for some stranger to green light a pitch

donhertzfeldt79 karma

(which is another way of saying you will be broke and you will struggle, but you will not be merely relying on dumb luck and the whims of others)

Citylifejc22 karma

Are we ever going to see any Bitter Films blurays or your stuff in HD or is that up convert not possible?

donhertzfeldt50 karma

well it wouldn't be an upconvert.... there are actually beautiful HD masters on hand of all the films since 1995, direct from the original film elements. these are the masters we draw from for all the regular DVD releases and they are gorgeous.

HD video's definitely happening at some point, that's inevitable.

i'm not sure what will happen first though, or if blu-ray will even be on the radar. i would love to be able to hand over the keys to the car to a trusted distributor to make a blu-ray happen properly for all the films. as it is now, new physical releases just take us a lot of work: remastering, designing, promoting... and i'd just much rather spend that time working on making new stuff than revisiting and re-releasing the past again.

so i think when the time does come to think about another release, people may not even be buying physical discs at all anymore but transmitting movies straight into their faces with something new?

as the market shifts towards HD downloads, it seems like dvds and blu-rays are becoming more like albums or special box sets, something for the most dedicated fans to own, who want the cool booklet and the special artwork and the 35mm film strip and the bonus features. which i have a soft spot for, i remember staring for hours at album artwork as a teenager looking for the hidden messages and stuff. and i like seeing it all on a shelf... but these all seem more like cool specialty mementos now.

bacon_lettuce18 karma

Don, I just wanted to say I'm a big fan. I heard you've drawn a lot of movies on your kitchen table. Is that true? What does your work space look like?

donhertzfeldt44 karma

ha, that is not true. this is my pathetic art desk in action http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EBdEoZUH7o

BRN8318 karma

With the trilogy complete, what's next on your plate?

donhertzfeldt50 karma

there are three books sort of hovering in the air. one is small and one is sort of medium and the other is big.

that sounded like a prophecy

there is also something strange i would like to shoot that's not animated but i'm not sure how to do it yet

much more concrete, i am soon going to get serious about an animated feature film. probably have to do it indie

Trystaticus18 karma

Earlier this week, you posted a Zbigniew Rybcynski short called "Tango." Was that in any way the inspiration for the pedestrian scene in Meaning of Life? Also, who are some of your favorite filmmakers?

donhertzfeldt26 karma

i think i first saw "tango" at an animation festival when i was 13, so yes that was probably in the back of my head

Myhellokittyhasteeth17 karma

I'm a bit late here, yeah? I just wanted to say, your work has inspired me tremendously. Just want you to know.

donhertzfeldt91 karma


and i am glad your hellokitty is no longer gumming everything

whatdoeshedo16 karma

Did the Oscar nomination have any significant impact on your career?

donhertzfeldt55 karma

sure, i think so. awards are fantastic publicity and that was a lot of fun. people tend to return phone calls more.

the only pitfall with awards is if you start to care about them too much, or worse, take them personally. because then if you lose, you might turn into an asshole. and if you win, you might turn into an asshole.

passionofthewalrus16 karma

Do you hold a grudge against Pop-Tart commercials?

donhertzfeldt85 karma

you shouldn't eat those things anyway, they will probably give you cancer

hoopyfrood115 karma

Don, huge fan, especially of the Everything Will Be Okay trilogy. Have you ever considered utilizing computer animation in your works, as opposed to just 35mm? (not implying that it's better than the effects you create in-camera, just different)

Also, could you ever see yourself creating larger works in the future? Features, television shows, etc?

donhertzfeldt26 karma

hi i think the computer / 35mm is being asked a lot and i will address it elsewhere in a sec but to your 2nd question, yes a feature film is definitely on the radar next. i think "it's such a beautiful day" will be the last short for a while

vincentron15 karma

Have you ever been content?

donhertzfeldt41 karma

it happens

thatguyrob15 karma

I just wanted to thank you for being awesome. You're work is some of the rare few that can consistently make me laugh after multiple viewings (the only other major one is Venture Bros.). Please, in the name of good taste everywhere, keep doing what you're doing and showing the rest of the world how it's done.

donhertzfeldt30 karma

thank you, i am trying

kennerdoloman15 karma

Are there any plans to bring back The Animation Show? And what theaters will It's Such a Beautiful Day be playing in? Any in the Seattle area?

Thank you for doing this AMA, Don. Your work has really resonated with me.

donhertzfeldt25 karma

yes it's coming to seattle in december:

November 30, December 7, December 14, December 21: NW Film Forum, Seattle WA

fermata_14 karma

Hi Don!

I am eagerly awaiting for your dvds to end up on my doorstep, and am hoping the mail people do not mess anything up.

Also, what convinced you to produce your animations in the style that is so uniquely yours?

donhertzfeldt28 karma

i'm afraid it wasn't really a big choice, it's mostly just the way i draw. i couldn't afford to shoot live action in film school, because it was all 16mm then and you needed to buy a lot of rolls of film for that. but if you animated your student film you only needed to buy one roll of film

Pulsewavemodulator14 karma

Don first I want to say your trilogy is one of my favorite films of all time, I lent the first two dvds to a friend to watch. I cry like a sissy at the end of part 2 every time. Anyway, your music is always perfectly selected in your films... Got any music recommendations?

donhertzfeldt54 karma

most recently i've (re)discovered nick cave's grinderman stuff.... and am a new listener to the black angels. and the chrysta bell / david lynch album is good

ejhdigdug14 karma

I know from listening to you in the past that your an avid traditionalist. Drawing and shooting everything in film. Have you started to embrace any digital technology in the past few years or are you still staying away from that?

donhertzfeldt29 karma

sure.... "it's such a beautiful day" was my first short that has a handful of digital effects in it. but it was a very strange process because everything still needed to be married on the 35mm animation stand.

so whatever i would do in the computer would then be printed out, one frame at a time, in massive stacks of stills, which were then photographed underneath the camera one frame at a time, just like the drawn artwork.

so those shots sort of went from analog to digital back out to analog, with a unique layer of special effect added to each step.

meanwhile, of course our editing and sound work is all digital. i try to create a happy hybrid

Hioolac14 karma

Do you think you will go back to doing something like the Animation Show ever again with Mike Judge? It's really cool seeing all of the different animations that people can come up with.

Also, don't say you are scared like a deer in headlights during your Q&As. People are there because they love you.

donhertzfeldt25 karma

animators are maybe the last people who should be thrust on stage with a microphone :(

re: the animation show, i think it is long gone. but i think we did a good thing while it lasted

Hioolac8 karma

Awe sorry to have been the only person so far to induce a sad face from you.

donhertzfeldt19 karma


hamsaurus14 karma

I don't know if you're still here. I've been having a rough couple of days so I slept through the beginning of your AMA. I don't have a question but I just wanted to say that I'm a huge fan. You're able to do such thought provoking work with such a unique medium and I'll definitely be buying your next DVD. Cheers.

donhertzfeldt19 karma

thanks i'm still here i just am really slow

grantmoore3d14 karma

As someone venturing into the world of creating my own independent productions, I often find myself getting distracted with new ideas. How do you manage to focus on a project through to completion?

Also, I missed my chance to meet you at OIAF a couple years ago because I went to a workshop (which turned out to be totally useless). My friend managed to go and suggested you go get some all day breakfast at Zack's Diner, if you went did you enjoy the food?

donhertzfeldt40 karma

yeah i think we actually ate every meal at zack's diner? it was whatever 24 hour hour diner there was in town at least.

do you like how i lazily only focused on your second question?

Spastik_Chuwawa13 karma

Why do you choose to use film instead of digital?

donhertzfeldt32 karma

for movies like billy's balloon, which was shot on 16mm, it probably would not have made much difference if it was shot digital. but in 1997 that was not really an option

for the more recent movies, which rely so heavily on experimental effects and weird trick photography and composited shots, they would have been much, much more difficult / more expensive to shoot digitally

YolkoOhno12 karma

I loved your commentary on Rejected. In all honesty, I really did like your commentary about commercials being lies- I believe that's true.

donhertzfeldt11 karma

thanks, yes most advertising is weirdly schizophrenic and frightening

stabbyclaus12 karma

When I met you in Santa Barbara, you were really different than I imagined. Totally thoughtful, polite and engaging. I was really moved to see all three films together (pick the DVD up for that, its amazing) and you delivered a deeper experience by the end of it. Are you still hinting of this new, larger production or can we look forward to an announcement soon?

As someone in film, I want to see your potential with more than a handful of collaborators. Granted, I know that's a tall order for anyone!

donhertzfeldt45 karma

hi again - your question was answered elsewhere here, i just wanted to reiterate your first sentence:

"When I met you in Santa Barbara, you were really different than I imagined. Totally thoughtful, polite and engaging."

lakefeet12 karma

Hey Don! During your screening tour you mentioned possibly doing a live action movie. Any details on that? What do you plan on doing now that the Everything Will Be Ok Trilogy is over?

donhertzfeldt35 karma

i did? that's weird. i'm not sure what i was talking about. this happens

wlander12 karma

We all know your stance on advertising and lying to the audience. Do you have specific stories about advertising companies who wanted to use your work / style, or are you legally unable to discuss such things? By the way, I love your work.

donhertzfeldt37 karma

yes, but most of them are just depressing. and not just from thinking about all the money i turned down. and thanks.

when i'm dead nobody will care how much money i had in my bank account, or if i drove a cool car. but maybe i'll have left behind a couple good movies

asallen12 karma

Hi Don, many reference you as an example of making a living as a truly independent animator? Do you think it's possible for other up-and-coming animators to follow the same path today? Or has the industry, technology and distribution landscape changed too much over the past decade+?

donhertzfeldt23 karma

yeah i don't see why not. if anything maybe it's a little easier now since there are so many more avenues. when i was getting started in the 90s the internet was still too young to be a big help (incidentally my website is still almost entirely 1998 html). though on the other hand i don't think there is a single US cable or tv channel actively picking up shorts anymore.

but new guys like david o'reilly are making amazing indie things and i think making a living at it

i guess i am sort of not at all answering your question

kingofallwinners11 karma

How do you feel about those Pop Tart commercials that clearly rip off your style?

donhertzfeldt26 karma

i feel sad

funfungiguy10 karma

If you had only primitive weapons, and had to fight a dinosaur to the death in a "Dinosaur Death Match", what is the biggest dinosaur you think you could defeat? You don't have to give a specific dinosaur, just give us a general size. Also you can't set traps.

donhertzfeldt19 karma

can it be a plant eater with a broken hip? i could probably handle that pooping sick triceratops in jurassic park

PaintyFilms10 karma

Another music question:

Are there any classical composers you enjoy in particular?

donhertzfeldt19 karma

i like sad stuff

to play, chopin and erik satie. scott joplin's sadder ones. what's wrong with me? and i've been sort of learning some dustin o'halloran who is a modern guy

to listen to, that's very very hard. probably most of my favorites are actually all in the films already

PaintyFilms9 karma

You use a lot of classical music in your films. Is this a creative decision or is it based on the fact that it's cheaper to use Public Domain?

I'm guessing both, it just seems like a win-win for any project. Cheap and effective (probably more so than an original score, but whatevs)

I loved Rejected when I was little and now that I'm older and sadder I really appreciate your other more serious films.

donhertzfeldt21 karma

yes, both is correct.

that was easy. i think i'm going to start answering these questions by saying BOTH

farval8 karma

If you could take any classic movie and bring it to animation life - twisting the story into a surreal Hertzfeldesque black comedy - what would you choose and why?

Bonus follow-up question - what music, if any, do you listen to whilst animating?

donhertzfeldt18 karma

i don't think i would do that to any classic movie, i would probably ruin it

donhertzfeldt18 karma

i usually just put the ipod on random and chug away. though sometimes, weirdly, i find that putting the ipod on a specific album makes me sit still and work for longer periods than going random, which sometimes makes me flighty

Cybershell8 karma

Hey, big fan of your work, sorry its such a generic question but I'd like to know: which of your films is your favorite? Is Genre still your least favorite?

donhertzfeldt15 karma

it's maybe sort of a tie right now between "i am so proud of you" and "it's such a beautiful day".... though to be honest after living with them all for so long and having to see them 9000 times sometimes the favorite is the next thing in my head just because it's something new

guagamole8 karma

What is your favorite Color?

donhertzfeldt38 karma

it changes

ishzendejas5 karma

Why move from Santa Barbara to Austin? I too am a fellow Gaucho with a film studies degree and thought it was cool that you stayed in SB.

donhertzfeldt3 karma

i loved santa barbara but it was time for something new. i was there for something like 14 years. also i will never have the millions of dollards required to actually buy a place to live there. i remember it being like half a million just for a terrible condo beneath a freeway overpass

i accidentally typed dollards