As Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy hits the telly waves we thought it was about time one of the more reticent stars of the show was introduced to the spotlight. Nigel Coan is the director and animator behind the series, and is therefore responsible for the unenviable task of bringing the dream world inside Noel Fielding’s head onto the small screen. For those of you who don’t know much about him, please permit us to fill in the gaps:
Trained in graphic design, Coan was on the same art course at Buckingham University as Noel Fielding and Dave Brown, and shared a student house with them. Since then he’s enjoyed a successful career as an animator, and is probably best known amongst Boosh fans for creating the endearing character of the Moon out of little more than a can of shaving foam (and a willing victim).
Coan has been collaborating with his partner (and the inspiration for the voice of the Moon), Ivana Zorn, since 2000. After initial forays into animated work for corporate clients, the charm of their work trickled through to the television and music industries. In addition to animating the Moon on the Boosh, Coan and Zorn are also responsible for many of the animated sequences in the show, including the back stories for Charlie Bubblegum and the Crack Fox, amongst others. Their approach seems to sit well with the distinctive style of Noel’s character illustrations. They have also collaborated with Dave Brown to create the joyfully intricate menu screens on both the Future Sailors’ and the Series 3 DVDs.
Coan and Zorn have their own small production company, Nipple, which specialises in animation, film and motion graphics. The projects they’ve worked on are wide and varied, and include ads for Honda, BAA, Diageo, Volvo and Canon, series graphics for Sky Arts (again, created with Dave), and several short films for the social movement ‘We Are What We Do’. They’ve also produced videos for the Ralfe Band, including an award-winning film for ‘Women of Japan’, which was based on drawings by Oly Ralfe:
What distinguishes Coan and Zorn’s creative output is its honest naivety and vibrant colour palette. It’s animation that makes you smile. But don’t just take our word for it when you can read the nice things that people within the animation industry have also said about them. You can see (and admire!) a selection of their work by visiting Nipple’s website.
A more recent foray into the Booshniverse for Coan and Zorn has been the animated sequences in Paul King‘s directorial debut feature film Bunny & The Bull, a film notable for its visual wrapping.
And now, of course, there’s Luxury Comedy. From what we’ve seen and what we’ve heard, the series will take Coan’s work to the next level.
Noel has said of collaborating with his friend on the series: “This is the first time someone’s been able to put the things I think completely on screen – it’s like being able to write for the first time with almost complete freedom.” We’re sure we’re not alone in saying that we can’t wait to see the result!
Read more about Coan’s working relationship with Noel and get the inside scoop on how Luxury Comedy has been put together in our exclusive interview with Nigel!