David OReilly

David OReilly is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, California

Born in Kilkenny, Ireland, he began working at age 14 as an animation assistant on The Secret of Kells, which would later be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. He studied for a year at Dublin’s DL-IADT, then left for London to work with several of the city’s most prestigious animation studios as a concept artist, designer and animator. In 2005 he was awarded a scholarship to Fabrica - Benetton’s Communication Research Centre, where he began producing 3d animated short films. In 2006 he moved to Berlin to pursue independent animation.

His first short film to hit festivals was RGB XYZ, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2008. The following year he was awarded the Golden Bear for Please Say Something, becoming the first animated film to win the prestigious prize. The film was widely regarded as groundbreaking for contemporary animation and went on to be met with worldwide critical acclaim. His next film, The External World, was co-written with Vernon Chatman (Xavier: Renegade Angel, Wonder Showzen). It premiered in Venice Film Festival and went on to win over 40 awards including an IFTA, the Cartoon D’Or as well as awards at Sundance and Venice Film Festivals.

In 2012 he wrote, directed and produced a special for Cartoon Network’s Emmy Award-winning show Adventure Time - becoming the first guest director in the network’s 20 year history. He then served as writer for South Park, and designed and directed several prominent animation sequences in Spike Jonze's Academy Award winning film Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix.

In 2014 he produced his first video game Mountain. Offering minimal control and emphasizing ambient nature simulation, it became an underground hit. He spent 3 years developing a follow up, Everything - a model of the universe in which every object was a playable character. Everything launched on PS4, with later releases on Desktop and Nintendo Switch. It went on to win the Golden Nica at Ars Electronica and its trailer became the first game to qualify for Academy Award. It was featured Best Game of the Year lists of The Guardian, the AV Club, Wired, The New Yorker and Polygon, and was listed as Polygon's #15 game of the decade.

David's work has been exhibited internationally including at the SF MoMA, David Lynch's Festival of Disruption, Japan's NTT ICC and the Hong Kong Arts Center. His animated works have been the subject of several retrospectives, at theaters in MoMA NY and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. He has given masterclasses at Harvard, Yale, USC, Pixar Animation Studios, CalArts and many other conferences, universities and festivals around the world.


David O’reilly – CODAME Featured Artist

David O’reilly will be screening a short film at the CODAME ART+TECH Festival Oct27

David OReilly
David OReilly on Instagram