* * * bitter films DVD FAQ is over here * * *
frequently asked questions

1.
Where can I see these films? How can I find a copy of _____? Can I give you my money and then will you send me a copy of ____? I really liked _____ at the ____ film festival and want to get a copy of it. Can you send me one? And can I send you some money for it? What if you just sent me a copy of _____ for some of my money?

Bitter Films: Volume 1 is waiting for you in the Bitter Films Shop, a monstrous and definitive DVD that compiled and restored everything Don directed from 1995-2005. Over a year in the making, all the old films went through an intense restoration process and were stuffed with hours of special features.

Everything will be OK (2006) and I am so proud of you (2008), the first two chapters of a current trilogy, have been released as DVD singles, undergoing the same Don-supervised restorations to present them in their best possible light. Rejected (2000) was first released as a special single back in 2001, now out-of-print and available only for outrageous prices on E-bay from overweight collectors who speak Klingon and smell vaguely of baby powder.

Be sure to regularly check the front page for complete theatrical listings, upcoming TV broadcasts, DVD announcements, sad and meaningless blinking lights, and related desperate self-promotion. In theaters, the shorts are regularly found in film and animation festivals around the world.

2.
Did you make that terrible commercial I just saw on TV? It sort of looked like you drew it, if you were maybe partially retarded.

No, Don has never had anything to do with the production of any television commercial and has vowed many times that he never will. Unfortunately it seems to be the vogue these days for creatively bankrupt corporate types to copy his work, which is why you may be noticing an abundance of vaguely familiar, cowardly lifeless parrots parading around selling Pop Tarts or mobile phones.

From Don's journal:
"i'm often asked why i don't do commercials or ad campaigns or music videos and why i've turned down small fortunes from the corporate universe in favor of just carrying on with my own things.
i like to take walks. i like hiking in the woods around here and climbing the foothills and exploring the coast. it clears my head. i find new things. it's something i'll probably always enjoy doing.
so somebody comes along and says hey, i hear you like to take walks. how about i pay you to walk? you just have to walk around my house in circles for eight hours a day wearing a sandwich board that has a picture of my product on it. no, i'd rather just walk through the woods and explore my own places out there, thanks. but what difference does it make? as long as you're walking, why not make a lot of money from it at the same time? because money's not the reason i like to take walks. it doesn't really factor into it. i take walks because i enjoy doing it. it's something i'd do if i was rich and it's something i'd do if i were poor."

From a 2009 interview: "[taking on advertising jobs] would be exactly like taking time off from the films to drive a cab or paint houses. i'm not rich but i don't need to take on random jobs that mean nothing to me. the goal is not to try and make as much money as i possibly can, the goal is to try and make good movies."

3.
I've seen bootleg copies of these films all over the internet. Why aren't they here? Am I not click hard enough?

All the videos you've found on YouTube were uploaded by fans and third parties. That's important to remember as these are often re-edited, molested, re-titled, and really poor quality. You're likely not seeing them in their original form. As Don often says, he shoots on film for a reason and would rather people discover the shorts as nature intended, in a proper theater, TV, or well-made DVD:

"there's lots of ways to see movies these days, but they're not all very good ideas. there isn't a single film student anywhere in the world right now dreaming of making her first movie and premiering it on a cell phone. if you've only seen a film on the internet or on a strange miniature device, in many ways you haven't really seen it yet. you're missing so much. youtube is great for home videos of your cat falling off the roof but it is not really the proper setting for "cinema." watching a compressed video in a little window while checking your mailbox and visiting three other websites at work sort of downgrades it into a novelty. movies are meant to be seen in the dark, hopefully with an audience, and with your undivided attention. that last one is non-negotiable. it's easy to understand the demand for seeing everything online and we're not interested in harassing fans... i just hope people understand that what they're downloading is often the equivalent of drinking a glass of wine after it's been filtered through a weird sewer. it's not really quite the same wine after that."

Having said all that, we've been working with some high quality homes to officially deliver some of the shorts online and test the water. There are ways of doing this right. More news on the way.

In the meantime, please remember to share responsibly: upload in as high quality as possible, provide a link to us, and never bootleg a new release or we'll invade your home with copyright stormtroopers and beat the living hell out of you.

It's our responsibility to provide other alternatives, and our ongoing DVD series of Don's work serves to get his stuff out there looking and sounding as good as possible outside of a movie theater, with every special feature we could possibly shove in. Being 100% independent, these DVDs are also the primary funding for all of Don's next projects: each movie literally pays for the next one.

4.
What is "the Animation Show?"

The Animation Show was a somewhat-annual theatrical tour that brought animated short films into more movie theaters than any festival in history. It was created by Don and Mike Judge in 2003, and later spawned a sister series of DVDs that featured additional shorts. Freeing animated shorts from the dungeons of the Internet (or sometimes complete obscurity) was one of its main goals, striving to find new ways to restore and exhibit the pieces in their highest quality possible.

Don officially parted ways with the Animation Show in 2008 after co-curating its first three seasons, but hopes to see it carry on successfully without him. Independent artists will always need your support!

5.
Bitter Films used to offer a "gift system" through the mail where fans could support current productions in exchange for some pretty amazing one-of-a-kind stuff. In what ways could I still directly support your work? Does Don have enough to eat?

For now, really the best way to support Don and the new films is to simply purchase the DVDs or encourage others to do so. By selling these titles exclusively, we're able to ensure that all the proceeds go straight into the new productions and not into the pockets of shifty middlemen and third parties.

The gift system was fun and Everything will be OK was actually produced entirely on animation paper that was donated by fans. The support was very kind but quickly grew overwhelming and difficult to keep up with everyone. The gift system has since been retired, but stay in touch on this page to see when we're up to similar things, like the Bitter Films Garage Sale held briefly in 2010.

6.
How can I contact Don?

Click here for complete contact information.

7.
Isn't there a better way to reach Don? How do I know you guys will even forward my e-mail to him? CAN I HAVE HIS HOME ADDRESS? I want to um... mail him something there. And rape and kill him. Where do I send naked pictures of myself? Don in love with me. He may not know me but we play little game for long time now. MY DWARVES IS MELTING!!/1 gangrene!!

no! you are all scary!!

8.
I am interested in buying things from the Bitter Films Shop. Will Don sign them for me?

Sorry, Don is not directly involved with sales and moreover simply would not have the time to accomodate everybody. Don is not juke box. If you meet Don at a screening and ask nicely he will probably be more than happy to write his name on something. Unless he is spooked by a loud noise in which case he will slap the pen from your hands and bound from the area like a large deer.

8b.
I have a question about an order I placed in the Shop. Where to turn and what to do?

Contact the Musictoday sales team directly with your order info and they will be happy to help: 877-MUSIC77 [877-687-4277]. [9am - 12am Monday Thru Thursdays, 9am - 8pm Fridays EST].
No, just kidding.
Your order was thrown into the sea.

9.
How can I get my hands on a drawing or original production artwork from a film? I like to collect things and place them in my nest of mud and spit.

Many animators and studios sell drawings and production cels, sometimes making more money from those things than the films themselves. That seems kind of weird to us though and none of Don's original artwork or production pieces have ever been put up for sale. Instead, years ago we began hosting a series of annual auctions for original production art and rare pieces, to raise money for local Santa Barbara charities. We're interested in doing this sort of thing again and hope to have the time to restart the tradition someday. We also occasionally just give away rare and interesting things through the online shop.

10.
I am a film industry sort of person and want to give Don all of my money for drawing me pictures of dancing ice monkeys with cowboy hats. Who are his people?

Try contacting Jeremy Platt at Generate LA. Or you could contact us directly

11a.
Is Bitter Films hiring? How can I get an internship there? I will do anything. I feed you good. I steal nothing.

Sorry, we are not currently seeking positions or interns and are currently handling everything okay. We get this question at least once a week. Please do not send us your resumes. Thanks though.

11b.
I am an actor man and would like to perform in one of your films. I do voices. I am very handsome. I strut and preen. I tumble around the room in many directions. Where do I audition?

Please do not send us your headshots. I do not understand why so many actors send an animation studio their headshots. Don will not try to draw you. Voice casting for the films is almost always taken care of locally and very quietly, and we almost never hold auditions, sorry.

Here is a creepy picture of a rotting fish thing.

12.
More and more at animation festivals, it seems like your films are just about the only ones left that are not visually produced in some way with computers. Surely you were not aware of this?

Don says:

most "traditional cartoons" now are produced by scanning pictures into a computer rather than photographing them, or they're all-digital to begin with. the process is often faster and less expensive than shooting on film. i seem to have graduated from film school just before the waves of digital production washed over everything, so i've only ever been immersed in traditional film production. all the old student films were shot on 16mm and everything i do now is on 35mm.

we only use computers for sound production, and only in recent years for editing. using a computer to animate a film seems like an unnecessary step to me and very intrusive to an organic process. there's a warmth and quirkiness to hand-drawn art on real paper with real light hitting a real camera lens that's difficult to simulate in a computer. there are experimental effects and discoveries that would be hands-down impossible for me to capture with a computer. there are also inherent flaws and quirks in the old-fashioned process that i think are charming and extremely attractive to the brain in a strange way. people are always going to be more attracted to the little human flaws in things rather than to artificial perfection. we're attracted to uneven edges and blemishes because these quirks are what makes the art a little more like us: we can relate to it easier because the art is a little flawed too.

the 35mm animation camera i have been using since 1999 is the same that photographed some of the original peanuts cartoons. my elderly friend who fixed it up and restored it for me wondered aloud why these days snoopy has to have 3,000 shades of gray across his nose.

13.
So how you make them pitchers move?

bye!

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