Buderim native Lucy Laliberte pictured at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California.
Buderim native Lucy Laliberte pictured at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California. Deborah Coleman/Pixar - Contributed by Shout Communications

Coast native and Pixar employee is living the dream

MOVING to San Francisco "on a whim" led to a dream job for Lucy Laliberte.

The Sunshine Coast native, who grew up in Buderim and studied at the University of the Sunshine Coast before moving to the US for grad school, is a production coordinator for Pixar.

"I was living on the east coast for a while and I was ready to make a change," she said.

"I'd always wanted to come out to California, so on a whim I moved out here."

Laliberte had no animation or film production experience when she applied for the job. She puts her invitation to join the Pixar family down to luck and good timing.

"I have always been interested in acting, and TV and movies, but thought that actually working in that industry would be just a dream," she said.

"It was all totally new to me, but the good thing about Pixar is you start at entry level and learn the ropes as you go. It's almost better than going to college."

Laliberte was a production coordinator in the animation department of Pixar's latest movie Monsters University, a prequel to 2001's Monsters, Inc.

"I worked with a team of about 80 animators," she said.

"My specific role was to work together with three other production coordinators to manage the workload for the team, wrangle all of the director reviews and make sure all the work was getting done on time."

Monsters University is the third Pixar film Laliberte has worked on, with the other two being Toy Story 3 and Cars 2.

Her six years with Pixar have given her a unique insight into the animation powerhouse's creative process which has led to 13 hit feature films, and no flops, including Finding Nemo, Up and The Incredibles.

"I've been in a lot of cool meetings where things are being decided for the first time," she said.

"It's awesome to be sitting in a meeting where the director is deciding a major story point for the movie.

"When you've got 200 or 300 people who are the best at what they do working on a project, it's always going to be better than you want it to be. No one will sit in a room and say 'that doesn't matter' or 'that's fine'. It's always got to be perfect."

Laliberte is currently working on the film The Good Dinosaur, due for release next year.

Monsters University opens in cinemas on Thursday.

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