“It was crazy,” reveals Andrew Coats during our recent webcam chat (watch above) when asked about his Oscar nomination for the animated short film “Borrowed Time.” Coats shares this nomination with his film school friend Lou Hamou-Lhadj. “We prepared ourselves to not see our names there mentally, so we would not break down and cry,” he recalls. “Instead we got to break down and cry about getting nominated, which is a nice treat.”
The film centers on a weathered sheriff who returns to the scene of an accident he has spent decades trying to forget. The duo wanted to push the genre of animation into darker territory, and for Hamou-Lhadj, this idea, “seemed like it had an answer for some of the thematic things that we were interested in tackling, and was really rife with opportunity for us to play around with people’s expectations.”
Coats and Hamou-Lhadj first met while attending NYU Tisch film school before moving to Pixar Studios, where Coats has worked on “Cars 2” (2011), “Brave” (2012), and “Inside Out” (2015), while Hamou-Lhadj cut his teeth on “Wall-E” (2008), “Toy Story 3” (2010), and “The Good Dinosaur” (2015). They compete at the Oscars against “Blind Vaysha,” “Pear Cider and Cigarettes,” “Pearl,” and “Piper.”
Make your Academy Awards picks now and tell industry insiders which films and performers you have out front to win on February 26. You can keep changing them until just before show time. Be sure to make your predictions right here. You’ll compete for a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s nominees). Read our contest rules.