Mercedes has directed and produced a number of film and video projects, including the award-winning documentaries Little Stars, about the unpredictable and challenging world of child actors, and Seoul II Soul, about a Korean/African-American family in post-riot Los Angeles (PBS aired). Born in Australia, raised in Spain, England and Washington State, She earned her BA in Theatre from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and Occidental College in Los Angeles. In 1999, she completed the MFA program in Film Production at the University of Southern California. Mastermind, a children’s television pilot, was her thesis project at USC, for which she received the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Film Award and a production scholarship from Entertainment Weekly magazine. She was also the recipient of the Women In Film, Paramount Pictures Crystal Award Scholarship for her work at USC.
Recently, Mercedes was Director of Creative Affairs at Lin Oliver Productions, a company focused on creating quality family entertainment. In this position, Mercedes was an integral part of all creative decision-making in development, casting, on-set production and post-production, marketing and promotion. She most recently worked on the company’s production of Trumpet of the Swan, an animated feature film based on the classic E.B. White novel for Sony/Columbia TriStar. She was the key production consultant to Lin Oliver (Producer) on Finding Buck McHenry, a movie for Showtime starring Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. In past years, Mercedes has produced and directed many non-fiction educational and promotional films for clients such as The California Science Center, The Rossier School of Education at USC, and Big Sisters of Los Angeles.
Mercedes Coats was awarded a Production grant at USC in 1998 for Master Mind