In Alumni, Department of Design

Department of Design graduate Andy Erekson released short film “Marooned” last summer

Department of Design alum Andy Erekson. (Courtesy of Andy Erekson)

Since leaving BYU, Andy Erekson has taken the animation world by storm. After graduating with a degree in illustration, Erekson got a job at Sony, where he contributed to full-length and short films such as “Hotel Transylvania,” “Smurfs,” “Smurfs 2,” and “The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol.” 

He then moved on to DreamWorks where he has been for the last eight years working on films such as “Home,” “Captain Underpants,” “Troll Hunters,” and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.”

 One of his most recent projects “Marooned” was released last year.

The short film — set sometime in the near future — follows a robot and his friend as they desperately try to get back to Earth after being stranded on the moon. Erekson’s film explores themes of friendship and sacrifice as the pair quickly realizes their journey will require more than they expected. “Marooned” was released in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing in 1969. 

I started working on the concept around 2012,” said Erekson, who both wrote and directed the film. “I came up with the story and characters and began to storyboard it in my downtime.”

When DreamWorks announced a need for new pitches for an upcoming short film program in 2017, Erekson submitted his idea. “Marooned” was selected as one of 8 films to be produced, allowing Erekson to see his own creation come to life.

“What made ‘Marooned’ special to me was I was able to see it from its conception to the finished product,” Erekson said. “Even more satisfying was to watch it with an audience and see and hear their reactions to the story.”

Erekson’s film premiered in France last summer at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and played at several more

“Marooned” was first shown in June 2019 in France. (Courtesy of Andy Erekson)

festivals throughout the world. “Marooned” was also shown in theatres in front of DreamWorks’ “Abominable” in Los Angeles, New York and Utah. 

“It was a fantastic experience, and I’m grateful to the crew and everyone involved in making it happen,”Erekson said. “It was truly one of the highlights of my career.”

Erekson has experienced many different roles in his career as he has made his way through the animation world. 

“I love that I get to be a little bit of everything,” Erekson said. “I get to be a director, editor, cinematographer, an actor and an artist all in one.”

During his experience at BYU, Erekson learned the principles of design and storytelling that were necessary for a career in the business. 

“I chose illustration specifically because I wanted to learn how to draw, paint and tell visual stories,” Erekson said. “All of those things apply to what I do today.”

Since finishing “Marooned,” Erekson is now head of story for DreamWorks’ “Boss Baby 2” which is set to release in 2021.

 

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