Rejected (2000)

The opening sequence is simply the word "Rejected" in a typewriter font shaking around as though it had been shot on a hand-held 8mm camera held by someone on speed, and the music, an orchestra at full tilt. Instantly, you know something is different than other films you've ever watched.
Rejected is a collection of short, surreal vignettes. An animator's commissioned works, rejected because of their increasingly absurd and violent tone, eventually find their entire animated world collapsing in upon itself.

Although the film is fictional and Don Hertzfeldt never did any commercial work, he received many offers to do television commercials after his short Billy's Balloon garnered international attention and acclaim. In public appearances, he often tells the story that he always wished he could just make a cheap, nonsensical commercial to give to the company intending to hire him, make off with their money, and see if the terrible cartoons would actually make it to air. Eventually this became the germ for Rejected's theme of a collection of cartoons so bad they were rejected by advertising agencies, leading to their creator's breakdown and, presumably, his fictional demise.
Don Hertzfeldt almost never uses a script during production and prefers to improvise and shape a film as it goes along. This was no different, and over eighty hours of post-production was spent radically retooling the entire piece through sound and editing. Some of the film's dialogue wasn't even written until after the film was animated and photographed, to allow for fresh improvisation and experiments.
You can buy Animated Shorts by Don Hertzfeldt.

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