We chatted with Andrew Coats, Development Executive and Director for our original content endeavours, to learn all about his impressive animation and directing career. Andrew joined Luma less than a year ago from Pixar, where he worked on award-winning films like Incredibles 2 and Inside Out.
Let’s start at the beginning. How did you get started in your career?
I’ll give you the shortest answer of the long version: I was born in Peru of Colombian and Scottish parents and grew up around the world (Peru, Portugal, Venezuela, London) before settling in the US at the age of 16. I went to College at NYU, where I learned about the film program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and that I could combine my two interests in animation. I got a great education in filmmaking, but had to teach myself a lot of the craft of animation. Taking classes in cinema studies, learning about the language of film and directing my own shorts (both live action and animated), laid the foundation for me to become a director now.
Out of school, my animation reel was mostly hand-drawn, but seeing that the 2d feature animation industry was dying (around 2005-06), I took some 3d rigging classes and managed to land a job modelling and rigging for a preschool TV show at Curious Pictures in NYC. In my spare time though, I kept working on my 3d animation skills, and in 2007, was lucky enough to land my first feature animated gig at Blue Sky Studios, on a very cartoony film, Horton Hears a Who, and got my animation career started.
In the back of my mind though, my ultimate goal was to become a Director, so I always had short film ideas that I was developing on the side.