Back to search

Animator Don Hertzfeldt visits CSUMB Jan. 30

Cult figure to screen his newest film

Stick figures have never looked as good as they do in Don Hertzfeldt’s films.

While most animators have tossed aside their pencils in favor of computers, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker still works by hand.

The public will get an opportunity to see Hertzfeldt’s work when he visits CSU Monterey Bay for two presentations on Jan. 30.

The free programs will start at 2 and 6 p.m. in the Teledramatic Arts and Technology Studio on Sixth Avenue. Both are open to the public.

The program will include a collection of Hertzfeldt’s short films as well as the regional premiere of his newest film, “It’s Such a Beautiful Day,” the third and final chapter in a trilogy about a mysterious man named Bill. The film was chosen for this year’s Sundance Film Festival. A question-and-answer session will follow.

Nearly two years in the making, the 23-minute “It's Such a Beautiful Day” is his longest, and most ambitious, piece to date. It blends traditional animation, experimental optical effects, trick photography and new digital hybrids printed out one frame at a time.

Among the cult animator’s best-known films are “Rejected,” “Everything will be OK,” and “I am so Proud of You.” Over his career, Hertzfeldt has remained fiercely independent by sticking to short format and challenging the boundaries of his craft. The work is enormously popular; his films are frequently referenced in pop culture.

Created with pen and paper and without the aid of computers, his work commonly features hand-drawn stick figures in odd stories infused with black humor, surrealism and tragicomedy.

Hertzfeldt's animated films have been featured in over a thousand film festivals around the world and have received over 150 awards including a Short Film Palm D'or nomination at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival, a 2001 Oscar nomination for Best Animated Short and the Sundance Film Festival's Jury Award in Short Filmmaking. His work is also featured on television, including MTV, Bravo and IFC.

In 2010, Hertzfeldt received the San Francisco International Film Festival's "Persistence of Vision" Lifetime Achievement Award at the age of 33.

The event is co-sponsored by the Monterey Bay Film Society, and is supported by the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program, in partnership with the Monterey County Office of Education.

Driving directions and a campus map are available at For more information, call 582-3743.

Top photo from Wikipedia Bottom drawing (c) 2012 Don Hertzfeldt