Thursday, November 20, 2008

The man, the myth, the banana.

I was lucky enough to get one of the hot tickets to see "An Evening with Don Hertzfeldt" last night. The NYC animation community and droves of fans filed into the IFC Center last night for the chance to meet the filmmaker at a rare public appearance. Originially, only a 7pm screening was offered, but when that sold out so quickly, a 9:15 show and eventually an 11:15 show were added.

Audiences were treated to Rejected, Billy's Balloon, The Meaning of Life, Intermission in the Third Dimension, and the first two films of his in-progress trilogy -- Everything Will Be OK, and (the NYC premiere of) I Am So Proud of You.

The new film was both new and familiar -- utilizing more non-linear storytelling and the same type of divided frame lighting effects as were used in Everything Will Be OK. We learn more about Bill's daily life and a lot about his family and conditions to which he is genetically predisposed. I thought it was great -- the writing, the timing, the sound, and the incredible range of subtle emotion that Don can get out of his simplistic characters. It was funny in an absurd, honest, and ordinary way while being sad and dreary and philosophical. Such an exquisite blend.

The screening was followed by a Q&A moderated by Cartoon Brew's Amid Amidi. Don was really relaxed and open about talking about his process and his passion. Seems like a super nice guy. That's always something I hope for when meeting someone I admire -- and unfortunately a lot of those people can be cold, distant and uninterested -- but Don lived up to and exceeded my hopes. Hope he comes back around with the next film. I can't wait to see it.

Don signing my Bitter Films Volume 1 DVD.

View Don's Blog.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pier A

Here are a couple sketches from a beautiful day spent at Pier A park in Hoboken.