Dave Merson Hess is an L.A.-based animation filmmaker making weirdo 2D comedy, 'dirty future' scifi, and multiplane cutout cartoon noir.
His current major project is a satirical, post-apocalyptic science fiction short called "Zone 17".
Dave believes strongly in animated storytelling as a vital space for visual experimentation. 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 layout techniques. He's most excited about working in ink and airbrush on paper (in combination with TV Paint), or with cutouts on a multiplane set. In both modes, he loves moving the camera to bring unexpected depth to two-dimensional scenic designs.​​​​​​​
Dave's work has screened at festivals like TIFF, SPLIFF, Cucalorus, CutOut, StopTrik, and BendFilm, and microcinemas and DIY events like Soft Screen and Hellavision Television. His animated music videos have been featured by the likes of Rolling Stone, Cartoon Brew, and Stereogum. 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
• Series or Feature Development Support (Art Direction, VisDev)
Hot Topic, Inc
in-house animator/motion graphic artist (2021- )

Hellavision Television
guest curator for the "Earth" episode (2023)

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

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
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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