Many fans of Don Hertzfeldt know him because of his epically weird short film “Rejected,” or may have been introduced to him after a couch gag on “The Simpsons.” Now, his signature stick figure style is back in the Sundance-winning “World of Tomorrow, ” which just became available for rent on Vimeo today.
As Hertzfeldt detailed in a director’s note, this was is first foray into digital animation. The note reads (punctuation his), “hi everyone! in early 2014 i started work on a secret project called “world of tomorrow.” it was originally just an exercise to teach myself the basics of digital animation: after nearly 20 years of working with paper, pencils, 35mm film, rocks, and fire, i’d never actually drawn anything on a tablet before. animating this way at first seemed a bit like trying to read a children’s book in a foreign language… it all seemed vaguely familiar somehow, but was sort of weirdly scrambled. i’m also pretty sure i bent the software to do things it was in no way designed for. but the writing and the visuals soon began to grow, as they always do, and i made two new rules for myself: get through shots as fast as you possibly can, and do everything differently.”
It’s cool that Herztfeldt is dipping into digital, but I for one will certainly miss the fire. “World of Tomorrow ” won the Short Film Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and Best Animated Short at SXSW earlier this year. You can rent the full short on Vimeo.