The Allan McKay Podcast

Ryan Connolly is a filmmaker and a founder of Film Riot, an online resource and community for filmmakers. Ryan is also the owner of production company Triune Films where he produces weekly online content and films like Tell, Losses, PROXiMITY, and most recently -- BALLiSTIC.

Ryan first studied filmmaking and storytelling at Full Sail University in Florida. After graduating, he started working at a PC game company Alienware. He eventually left that job to start Film Riot. Nowadays, Film Riot has over half a million followers and it continues to build its audience and community.

In this Podcast, Ryan talks about the making of his latest short film BALLiSTIC

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/153/.

Direct download: ep153_Ballistic_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Over the course of your career in Visual Effects, you will have several types of reels: from your Student Reel, to a Generalist Reel, to a Specialist and Supervisor and Studio Reels. Every reel will have a specific purpose. The evolution of your reel depends on where you want to go in your career.

In this Episode, Allan McKay goes through the evolution of your Demo Reel -- and all the different types of Reels you’re going to build over the course of your career!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/152/.

Direct download: ep152_morethanonekindofreel.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Realtime UK was founded in 1996 by Tony Prosser who had a desire to create some of the most exciting marketing films in the world. It’s an ambition that has been shared with Director Ian Jones and Art Director Stuart Bayley, who thrive on collaborating with our the studio’s clients on discovering new ways to make their vision a reality. Realtime UK continues to create original work in games, commercials and television, while being true to its motto: Passionate about creating inspiring animation, cinematics and VFX.

In this Episode, Realtime UK Recruitment Manager Pete Leonard shares valuable insight on the company’s hiring process and philosophy -- and gives advice to artists at every level of their career.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/151.

 

 

Direct download: ep151_realtimeuk_mixdown_v2.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

A lot of us wait until a job is over and we dust off our reel and start applying for jobs again. A good metaphor here is: You want to build your well before you’re thirsty. Don’t wait until the desperate moment when you need a job. You can be the greatest artist in the world. But if no one knows you, why does that matter? It’s important to build and nurture authentic relationships in the business.

What if you had the ability to pull up anyone’s email address? Any studio head, any supervisor or department lead? What if you could pinpoint every one of those in your area? You can start building relationships -- NOW! You can then start sharing your work organically.

In this Episode, Allan McKay goes over the tools and tactics on how to get anyone’s email address -- from Department Leads to Studio Heads -- and how to start building your social capital.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/150/.

 

 

Direct download: ep150_Stalking_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The big question is: Should I be a generalist or a specialist? That’s one of the most common questions I get. It applies to every creative industry: games, film, design. This is something you should relate to: Should you niche to a specific subject or should you raise your hand to every job that comes along because you’re a generalist?

By specializing, the advantage right away is that you’re in a much smaller sandbox. The goal here is to become the go-to person, on your client’s rolodex, or for your city -- or the entire world. The more specialized you are, the more you can command the fees you deserve. You’re also making a successful brand out of your name.

At the same time, it’s better to start out as a generalist and evolve into a specialist overtime. By having the understanding of all other areas, it’s more about understanding the pipeline: Where your work is coming from and where it’s going.

In this Episode, Allan McKay talks about the difference between being a generalist and a specialist, the importance of knowing your place in the pipeline, of finding your niche and building your brand.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/149/.

 

Direct download: ep149_SpecialistvsGeneralist_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Kevin Baillie is a Co-Founder and VFX Supervisor at Atomic Fiction, a VFX company with studios in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Montreal. His career began when he joined Lucasfilm’s JAK Films division at the age of 18, as a pre-vis artist on Star Wars Episode I. After Lucasfilm, Kevin supervised at ImageMovers Digital and helmed VFX at the Orphanage on critically-acclaimed movies such as Hellboy, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Night at the Museum, Superman Returns, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Since launching Atomic Fiction, Kevin has supervised visuals for two Star Trek movies, two Transformers franchise installments, as well as the award-winning effects for Robert Zemeckis's live action films Flight, The Walk, Allied and most recently, Welcome to Marwen.

He is also CEO of Conductor Technologies, a company that offers high-capacity, on-demand rendering to its clients (both freelancers and big studios) using cloud computing technologies.

In this Episode, Kevin talks about joining Lucasfilm straight out of high school, gaining experience and insight by supervising at other studios and eventually co-founding Atomic Fiction and launching Conductor.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/148/.

 

Direct download: ep148_KevinBaillie_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Bobby Chiu is an Artist, Teacher and Motivator. He started his career in digital art at the age of 17, designing toys for Star Wars and Pixar. One of his first jobs as a Character Designer was on Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. After that, he worked on films Men in Black 3 and Alice Through the Looking Glass.

Bobby shares his talent through teaching up-and-coming artists, making tutorials and interviewing other artists. Over a decade ago, Bobby co-founded Imaginism Studios. Since then, the Studios have worked with clients like Disney, DreamWorks, Blue Sky, Riot Games, Blizzard and many others. He also founded Schoolism, an online learning community for artists. 

In the second part of his interview, Bobby talks about the failproof recipe for success: practicing discipline and common sense while putting in your best effort. He also discusses the importance of constant learning as an insurance against becoming irrelevant.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/147/.

Direct download: ep147_Bobbychiu_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Kathleen Ruffalo is the Crew Manager for Framestore. She is in charge of recruitment, management and team development at both the Los Angeles and Chicago offices. 

After years of production experience, Kathleen joined Framestore in 2012. Since then, she has become an integral part of growing the creativity and culture within Framestore. She casts a wide array of skill sets that match the industry’s ever-changing and evolving technologies.

In this Episode, Kathleen talks about becoming an artist in demand -- the importance of both technical and artistic, hard and soft skills -- and gives valuable tips on reels and getting started in Visual Effects.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/146/.

Direct download: ep146_KathleenRuffalo_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Brad Alexander is a co-founding partner at HALON Entertainment, a full-service visualization company that provides a state-of-the-art platform of cutting edge technology, to bring their clients’ creative vision on screen. Brad has worked on such legendary features as War of the Worlds, Transformers, World War Z; as well as spent 4 years as a CG Supervisor on James Cameron’s Avatar

Prior to co-founding HALON, Brad studied at Full Sail in Florida; but before graduating, he was recruited by George Lucas work on previs for Star Wars, Episodes II and III, as well as the George Lucas Director’s Cut of THX 1138 at JAK Films. Since then, Brad has collaborated with world-class filmmakers across the industry to help create some of cinema’s most compelling stories.

Brad has partnered with Ang Lee as the primary Previs Supervisor on the Academy Award winning feature Life of Pi. He has supervised Snow White and the Huntsman; previs and postviz supervised Star Trek Into Darkness with J.J. Abrams. When work started on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Brad again teamed up with Abrams to supervise both the U.S. and U.K. teams. More recently, Brad has supervised on Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

In this Episode, Brad talks about the importance of passion in one’s career; as well as his experience of working and collaborating with directors like George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and Ang Lee. 

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/145/.

 

Direct download: ep145_BradAlexander_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Founded in 2002 by partners Berj Bannayan, Allan Magled and Mike Mombourquette, Soho VFX began as a boutique studio. From the beginning, the studio's specialty was the production of high quality photo-realistic visual effects. In 2005, Soho VFX landed itself a leading visual effects role: the creation of the elastic Mr. Fantastic in Marvel's The Fantastic Four. Since then, Soho VFX has helped superheroes come to life in several other Marvel productions.

In 2007, Soho VFX expanded its facilities again in order to take on almost 200 shots for The Incredible Hulk. The studio's success on this blockbuster project propelled it to become a world-renowned visual effects house. 

Since then, Soho VFX has continued to produce top-quality visual effects, contributing to many box office hits, including: Logan, Tomb Raider, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Revenant, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and many more. *

In this Podcast, Berj Bannayan talks about his background in computer science and software development; the launch of Soho VFX and the lessons they’ve learned along the way -- and the massive projects they’ve tackled.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/144/.

 

* Bio Written By: Soho VFX

Direct download: ep144_BerjBannayan_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT