Dave Merson Hess is an L.A.-based animation filmmaker whose work draws from traditions of indie comics, gallows humor, and film noir.
Dave believes strongly in animated storytelling as a vital space for visual experimentation. He's most excited about working in ink and airbrush (in combination with TV Paint), or with collage puppets on a multiplane set. In both modes, he loves moving the camera to bring unexpected depth to two-dimensional scenic designs.​​​​​​​
His hand-drawn style includes heavy use of straight-ahead and extremely pushed poses in depicting character performances, along with forced perspective, and other midcentury-inspired layout techniques. ​​​​​​​
Dave's work has screened at film and design festivals including ANIMATOR, Grafixx, TIFF, SPLIFF, Cucalorus, CutOut, and BendFilm, and microcinemas and DIY events like Hellavision Television, Loose Frames, and Soft Screen. His animated music videos have been featured by the likes of Cartoon Brew, Rolling Stone, Stereogum and FILTER. Though his animation career began in Texas, he's a proud native of San Francisco's North Beach (and will talk your ear off about it).
Available for:
• Animation Direction
• Pitching
• Series or Feature Development Support (Art Direction, VisDev)
Hot Topic, Inc
in-house animator/motion graphic artist (2021- )

Hellavision Television
guest art director for the "Earth" episode (2023)

FOX Entertainment
promotion animator (2023)
Bento Box Entertainment
short filmmaker for A Studio Digital (2022)

California Institute of the Arts
special faculty, Collage Under The Camera (2022)
Course on visual development + animation techniques for multiplane projects

NETFLIX Animation
animator & visdev artist on Storybots: Answer Time (2021)

Velvet Two Stripes:
"This House Is Build On Sand"

music video director (2021)

Los Mundos: "Frutos Rojos"
music video director (2020)

animator for quarterly company films (2019-2020)

Howler Bros
animator / bumper director (2018; 2020)

Steve Madden / 5Towns Music
animated social content creator (2018)

TIFF x Instagram

two-time finalist (2016, 2017)

Dead Oceans/Secretly Group
music video director (2015, 2018)

Night Heron
animator/art director (2015-2018)

Aurora Picture Show
animation educator (2014-2018)
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