The Allan McKay Podcast

Part of the benefit of building a strong personal brand is being able to choose the projects that you want to work on. You can also choose when you want to work and when you want to focus on your own things. How much of an impact do you think having a brand and that visibility come into negotiating money -- when studios would reach out to you personally? Or even when they create a position specifically for you? This the power of building a personal brand.

When it comes to branding, you’re in control of this narrative. Your brand is how you allow others to perceive you. You’re the one putting the information out there. Sometimes, leaving information off the table can work in your favor as well. Sometimes, it’s a matter of getting out of your head and realizing that some of these disadvantages aren’t actually factual. They are our own narrative that we’re giving ourselves.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay shares his personal story about the challenges of where he came from; how he overcame them and how he, without knowing, ended up building a brand that ensured his success.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/224/.

Direct download: ep224_Controlling_Your_Brand.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Blackmagic Design is an Australian digital cinema company and manufacturer. It designs and manufactures broadcast and cinema hardware, most notably digital movie cameras, as well as develops video editing software such as the DaVinci Resolve application. The company has grown rapidly to become one of the world's leading innovators and manufacturers of creative video technology.

The company was founded in 2001 by Grant Petty and it produced its first product in 2002: the DeckLink capture card. In 2005 the company released several products, including the Multibridge family of PCIe bi-directional converters and the FrameLink family of DPX-based software. In 2006 the company released Blackmagic On-Air television production software.

At the 2012 NAB Show, Blackmagic announced their first Cinema Camera. In 2018, the company also partnered with Apple to create the Blackmagic eGPU, followed by the Blackmagic eGPU Pro.

As a company dedicated to quality and stability and focusing on where it's needed most, Blackmagic Design has created some of the most talked about products in the industry. World famous for their unbeatable codecs, Blackmagic envisioned truly affordable high-end quality editing workstations built upon Blackmagic software and hardware.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Bob Caniglia, the Director of Sales Operations for the Americas for Blackmagic Design, about the company’s history and its growth into one of the world's leading innovators and manufacturers of creative video technology.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/223/.

Direct download: ep223_Blackmagic_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Bidding isn’t an exact science, especially with 3D. Most of the time, clients are coming to you asking for something that’s never been done before. Even if it has been done before, there are so many curveballs. You have to be notorious for asking questions in the beginning. The more you cover in the initial conversation, the more accurate the bid is going to be; and the more you can address the problems early on.

A lot of the clients don’t understand what we do in VFX. You have to keep that in mind. When they ask for something ridiculous, they may not understand the work that goes into it. The more you educate your client, the more they will trust you and the more they will understand why something may be more expensive or more difficult to do.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay teaches how to create VFX bids, explains the importance of communication from the get-go of a job and gives insight on how to grow your studio.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/222.

 

Direct download: ep222_BiddingVFX_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Michael Janda is an executive level creative leader with more than 20 years of experience in both in-house creative departments and agencies working with some of the greatest brands in the world.

In 2002, he founded the creative agency Riser, a nationally recognized agency creating high-profile work for clients including Disney, Google, ABC, Fox, Warner Bros., NBC, TV Guide and numerous other notable companies. The company’s 3 year growth rate of 235% in 2013 resulted in a ranking on Inc. 5000 (#1657). Riser’s work quality and successful business practices yielded some of the most coveted awards in the industry including Webbys, FWA, Awwwards, AIGA and Addys.

After selling Riser in 2015 and becoming its Chief Creative Officer, Michael orchestrated a rebrand of the agency as EKR. In collaboration with the other partners, he successfully migrated Riser’s clients and acquired new notable clients including Google, National Geographic, ABC, Intel and Netflix.

In addition to his robust experience managing creative and marketing teams, Michael is the author of the book Burn Your Portfolio: Stuff They Don’t Teach You in Design School, but Should. Since its publication in 2013, Burn Your Portfolio has been one of the top selling books in the industry and has been published in English, Russian, Chinese Traditional and Chinese Simplified. Burn Your Portfolio’s success has resulted in opportunities for Michael to be a keynote speaker at AIGA, Advertising Federation and University events across the nation, as well as at other events.

His work and business has been featured by Print Magazine, HOW Magazine, Utah Business Magazine and BusinessQ Magazine, where he donned the cover of the December 2012 issue highlighting their article for Utah’s Coolest Entrepreneurs.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Creative Leader and Author Michael Janda about marketing and powerful branding for artists, the how-to’s of social media and the importance of soft skills in building a successful business.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/221.

Direct download: ep221_MikeJanda_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Tony Giglio is a writer, director and producer. He worked his way up from a production assistant to become one of Hollywood's most versatile multi-hyphenates. Universal's 1440 has tapped Tony to write and direct a reboot of Doom: Annihilation. Previously, Tony directed feature films S.W.A.T.: Under Siege, 2nd Unit on Resident Evil, Timber Falls. In 2005, Giglio wrote and directed his best known work, the action-thriller Chaos, starring Jason Statham, Ryan Phillippe and Wesley Snipes. He also wrote, produced and directed Sony Crackle's first ever made for new media feature Extraction; and co-wrote and directed the WWII drama In Enemy Hands, starring William H. Macy.

Nina Bergman is an actress, singer, songwriter and model. She was born in Denmark and is the granddaughter of Russian actor Pavel Kadochnikov (Ivan The Terrible). Nina spent her early childhood traveling around Europe with her Russian Gypsy grandparents. At 14, she received a scholarship to the musical theater school Urdang Academy in London. A year later she found herself in Moscow attending the Bolshoi Theater. From there she went to the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Her credits include The Car: Road to Revenge, Lost ‘n’ Found and many others.

In this Episode, Allan McKay interviews Tony and Nina about their experience on the feature film Doom: Annihilation that premiered in October 2019.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/220/.

 

 

Direct download: ep220_Doom_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Rob Bredow is a strategic and visionary leader with a unique understanding of how media and innovation can join forces to tell great stories and create groundbreaking experiences. As SVP, Executive Creative Director and Head of Industrial Light & Magic, he is responsible for the company’s overall creative strategy and global operations.

Most recently Bredow was the Visual Effects Supervisor and Co-Producer on Solo: A Star Wars Story. He served as a creative partner to the filmmakers throughout the production, from the earliest story meetings to the final frames of visual effects. He leveraged his background in innovative technology to help tell the story of the film, creating grounded images with a unique shooting style designed for the movie.

In his former role as Lucasfilm Chief Technology Officer, Bredow oversaw all technology development for Lucasfilm and ILM. Bredow joined Lucasfilm in 2014 as Vice President of New Media and Head of Lucasfilm’s Advanced Development Group. He helped launch ILMxLAB in 2015 and co-wrote and directed Trials on Tatooine, a story-based virtual reality experiment created in collaboration with Lucasfilm’s Story Group, ILMxLAB and Skywalker Sound.

Previously, Bredow was CTO and Visual Effects Supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks. He has contributed as a supervisor on films such as Independence Day, Godzilla, Stuart Little, Cast Away, Surf’s Up, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, and others.

Bredow is a member of the VFX Branch of Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and the AMPAS Science and Technology Council.* 

In this Podcast Allan McKay interviews SVP, Executive Creative Director and Head of Industrial Light & Magic Rob Bredow about his career in as a VFX Artist and Supervisor and his experience with launching the ILM location in Sydney, Australia. 

*Bio by www.ILM.com

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/219/.

Direct download: ep219_RobBredow_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

The title of this Podcast is based on the story of Roger Bannister, the runner that broke the 4-minute mile. Prior to the 1952 Olympics, we all believed that that was impossible to do. Yet when he stepped onto the track that day and broke that barrier, it broke the World Record. It also changed the concept of limitation in many people’s minds. Until then, no one was able to break through this barrier. This was the rule we set in our minds: This was impossible! So why did it take only two months after Bannister’s victory for the next person to break that record?

Here is the reality: Most of us fail before we even begin because we fool ourselves into believing the opposite of the truth. Before anyone had success, they were exactly where we are now. The only difference was: They just got started. It’s as simple as that. They -- got started! More than likely, the ones that succeeded stuck it out. They didn’t give into the negative mindsets or their inner critic! The simple fact is this: If they can make it -- so can you!

In this Podcast, Allan McKay talks about the strong mindset that can help you with getting started and staying persistent with your career and achieve your success.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/218/.

Direct download: ep218_IfIcanDoit_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

The key two things with everything Instagram related are: relevance and consistency with everything you post. It’s about consistency, seeing it through and nurturing it. There is good content and bad content; but you have to have our finger on the pulse to see what’s working -- and double down on that. There are certain subjects that people want to consume. When you give value to others -- that’s when it changes everything!

In this Podcast, Allan McKay talks about how to build an Instagram following, how to translate that into your own brand -- as well as how to get traction, jobs and opportunities out of it!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/217/.

Direct download: Ep217_InstagramForArtists_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dan Katcher is a renowned Los Angeles-based creature designer for television, video games, and film. He is best known for his design of the dragons on HBO’s hit, Game of Thrones, which earned him Emmy recognition for three straight seasons. In addition to Game of Thrones, Dan is currently at work on creatures for a number of DC Comic productions, including The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl.

Dan’s previous work includes the dinosaurs on Fox’s Terra Nova, alien designs for the Green Lantern film, creature designs for MTV’s Shannara Chronicles, and sculpts of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” for Sideshow Collectibles, as well as many other works. He got his start creating collectibles in wax for Todd McFarlane Toys in New York. 

Dan was trained at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he majored in Animation; and at the Art Students League, where he learned clay figurative sculpture from experts in the field. Dan credits his traditional art background for the depth of understanding of anatomy that sets his work apart. His ability to capture a character’s full range of human emotions gives his creations a signature, unmatched vitality.

In this Podcast, Allan interviews Dan about his career -- with all of its ups and downs -- the challenges of being an artist, the lessons he’s learned along the way, as well as his experience as the Father of Dragons on Game of Thrones.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/216/.

Direct download: Ep216_DanKatcher_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Sergio Paez is a Director and Story Designer who got his start working at companies such as Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Sony. He is also a founding member of Storyboard Art, an online visual story community, with both a content creation and educational focus to further techniques in visual storytelling. In 2012, Sergio authored the book Professional Storyboarding: Rules of Thumb which has become the go-to reference for story artists looking to enter the entertainment business.

Mitch Bowler is the Founder of Pencil Kings and Evolve, an online community that provides world class art education for artists, whether they’re trying to get back into art or are working professionals. Founded in 2010, Pencil Kings has established a library of courses on illustration, comics, digital media, entertainment art.

In this Podcast, Allan, Sergio and Mitch do a live stream about the mindset of successful artists and give tips on how to overcome challenges and resistances in your learning and evolution. 

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/215/.

Direct download: ep215_BeterStudentExperience_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

The biggest pain point for a lot of us -- is not having enough time. But what would you be able to do if you had an extra 10 hours per week? And if the excuse is “I don’t have enough time", then the question is: Where are your priorities? Most of us want to grow in our careers, and we want to get the most out of what we are doing.

On the other hand, we don’t always have time. We’re exhausted from work and other commitments. You’re always going to have distractions. Part of what this Podcast focuses on is how to handle your distractions and be in control of your time; and gives you actionable productivity hacks.

This Podcast by Allan McKay is around the subject on How to Win the Day: How to get the most out of your day -- whether it be for your freelance job or your work -- by creating more time for yourself.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/214/.

Direct download: 214_How_to_Win_the_Day_-_updated.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Ruairi Robinson is a Filmmaker: Director, Writer and VFX Artist. His science fiction short film Fifty Percent Gray was nominated for an Academy Award. His short film The Silent City with Cillian Murphy concerns a group of soldiers wandering through a perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland.

In 2013, Ruairi directed a feature film The Last Days on Mars, starring Liev Schreiber, which was an adaptation of the science-fiction short story The Animators by Sydney J. Bounds. In early 2015, he directed the proof of concept short film Leviathan which became a viral hit

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Ruairi Robinson about his career as a VFX Artist and Film Director, his latest short film Corporate Monster -- as well as the importance of being familiar with all the aspects of film making.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/213/.

 

Direct download: ep213_Ruairi_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Image Engine is a high-end visual effects studio based in Vancouver, BC, that specializes in creature design and animation for feature films and television. Founded in 1995, the studio has worked on films like District 9 and Chappie, Independence Day: Resurgence and Jurassic World; shows like X-Files and Game of Thrones. In 2010, the company was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, for their work on District 9.

In this Episode, Allan McKay moderates a round table with the Emmy Award Winning VFX Supervisors Jörn Großhans and Thomas Schelesny about their experience on Game of Thrones and how that show changed the realm of VFX for tv.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/212/.

Direct download: ep212_ImageEngine_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 7:52pm EST

An FX Technical Director is the coolest job in the world. You get to create some really cool shots! It’s a position that’s challenging to do, is fulfilling and fun and it’s not going to get extinct -- so it has legs to it! You’ll have more options and opportunities in your career as a TD.

The more you embrace what this role is, the more you’ll become irreplaceable. But it’s a job that demands problem solving skills. It’s all about exploring and constant learning. The more you play around -- the more you deal with challenges -- the more likely you will become an FX TD.

In this Podcast, Allan explains the job and the skill sets of an FX Technical Director, explains how to stay relevant and in demand -- and why this is the coolest job in the world!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/211/.

Direct download: PC_FXTD-CoolestJob_PUB1.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Over the past decade of doing my Mentorship and publishing free training, it’s changed my perspective on how I do things, as well as how to help people get results. I’m not out there teaching you how to understand a tool or how to create some crappy explosion. What I am trying to teach is: What tools do I need to give you to get you the end results that you want?

Getting on YouTube has been interesting! I just hit 25K Subscriptions. What’s been fascinating is seeing firsthand all the negativity that comes up. In my courses, we weed that out and we get more personable with people. But on YouTube and social media, it’s a different thing. If someone’s tearing everything apart, it allows them to use that as an excuse and sit back and not be successful! They never get the results that they want and hope they no one else does either. What they don’t realize is that there are no shortcuts to success!

I had this realization recently: We need to call these trolls out, to point out why they aren’t succeeding. It’s not just your skills that are important. You need to be on top of other aspects. So here is a challenge for you: When you see others out there have that negative behavior, don’t ignore it. Help them out!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/210/.

Direct download: ep210_FeedingTheTrolls_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

In this Podcast, Allan talks about his first real job, getting fired and becoming homeless -- and what he’s learned from that in order to remain successful in his career over the past 20 years.

An experience like that affects someone so much that you never want to go through it again! It changes how you handle things. Having something like that happen allows you to think, “Never again!” It fuels you and makes you stay in control of your life. It ensures that you’re always killing it.

It also makes you confront any excuses that you may be telling yourself. It teaches you to find the thing that you’re most passionate about -- and go for it! -- because the rest will fall into place.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/209/.

Direct download: ep209_Homeless_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Brian Dixon is a Business Coach, a Marketing Strategist, a Teacher, Speaker and an Author who helps artists and businesses clarify their message, build their audience, and create and launch life-changing products. His book Start with Your People comes out September 10th, 2019.

In this Podcast, Brian talks about the importance of being the artist and the business -- how to increase your impact online and build your audience -- and gives specific tools for visualizing and achieving success!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/205/.

Direct download: ep208_BrianDixon_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

This Podcast is dedicated to a very common question: “Am I too old (or too young) to work in VFX?” A lot of what gets said out there isn’t true, especially when it comes to the subject of age discrimination. This Episode cover why it’s not true -- and how to avoid it, whether you’re “too old” or “too young”!

Visual effects and all the surrounding industries share one thing: They are result based industries. That means that you don’t tell someone how good you are -- you show how good you are. Your work speaks for itself. It’s as simple as that. So it always comes down that: Can you do the work? That’s all that matters in the end. Your age doesn’t matter at all!

In this Podcast, Allan demolishes the common fear about being “too old” or “too young” to work in VFX -- and gives some insider tips on how to start working in VFX or how to transition into your dream job from your first career.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/207/.

Direct download: ep207_-_how_old_is_too_old_for_vfx_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

This Episode is on the subject of building exposure: Leveraging what you’ve already done in your career to build a content machine and to use that to build a bigger name, to get attention, to get work and to build your brand.

To be able to harness our passion to build our name and our brand -- is important to what we do. A lot of us are insecure about it, however. There is a difference between being a sell out and knowing that you’re running a business. This Episode presents you with a painless process how to do that.

You can sell anything these days! When it comes to your work, there will always be people interested in seeing your work! The inner critic that beats us done needs to be avoided. You need to keep doing your work and showing it. So how can you leverage your previous job and your current one for the next one? How can you get more attention? How can you keep building your brand?

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/206/.

Direct download: ep206_-_how_to_build_exposure_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

This Podcast tackles the subject of working from home and how to get started. The first step is to seek additional work (Allan McKay’s Two Trains Theory) until that side hustle becomes your second career. In addition to investing in that side business, you have to start building relationships with studios and potential clients. By using the tools and technology out there, you could get the attention of some amazing companies and become a successful freelancer.

The key thing here -- is the transition. You have your full-time job but on the side, you start bringing in additional work. After a while, that side career will start to take off. Once it gets to the point where you main job holds you back -- that’s when you jump!

In this Podcast, Allan McKay talks about how to build a successful side hustle until it launches your second career; how to take advantage of today’s tools to build your brand and become so successful, you could work from ANYWHERE!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/205/.

Direct download: ep205_-_working_from_home_-_how_to_get_started_mixdown_v02.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Lucas Ridley is an Animator, a Director, a VFX Supervisor and the Creator and Teacher at Digital Creator School.

For the last decade, he’s worked on films like Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One, Transformers: The Last Knight, Suicide Squad and many others. He’s also directed short films, including for LEGO.

In this Podcast, Lucas and Allan talk about the importance of having a healthy mindset about your work, how to get into flow states to achieve higher productivity -- and the importance of taking responsibility for your success!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/204/.

Direct download: ep204_LucasRidley_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

This Episodes covers a topic that has come up a lot recently: Will Artificial Intelligence take away our jobs? Not so long ago, it would’ve been a paranoid question to ask. Nowadays, we’re constantly getting innovation and new technology, especially in our industry. A lot of us question if there will be a major disruption. It’s been really fascinating to see what’s been happening, but more importantly -- where it’s all going.

Disruptive Innovation presents an opportunity for those of us who are willing to embrace change. If we stick to what we know, we will eventually become extinct. For a lot of animators who weren’t willing to adapt, for example, that’s exactly what happened. We should always be evolving and improving and adapting to new technology and techniques. The more you have your finger on the pulse of what’s effective, the more you can become the futurist for our industry and begin to anticipate where trends will go.

In this Podcast, Allan talks about Disruptive Innovations, like A.I., and how to look at them as a positive opportunity to learn, to evolve into becoming a futurist -- a leader of the industry! -- instead of falling behind.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/203/.

Direct download: ep203_AI_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

This is a Live Stream session on How to Take Your 3D Artist Career to the Next Level.

In the creative industry, the main thing is to focus on how to get that first job. We tend to be more strategic when looking for our big break. But once we get in, most of us stop trying and our careers become stagnant. The key thing for a lot of us is to look at that as the second phase. Once we’ve gotten in, that’s not the end. It’s just the beginning!

In this Podcast, Allan McKay talks about learning to look at your career in phases: how not to get stagnant, how to leverage each job and how to make choices that propel your career forward.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/202/.

Direct download: ep202_HowToTakeYour3DartistCareerNextLevel_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

In this Podcast, Allan answers the questions that get asked all the time: “Should I go to school to study VFX or should I study online?” “What school should I go to?” “What are my options?”

You will hear the pros and cons of the following three choices:

  • Studying in college;
  • Studying online for free;
  • Paying for online courses.

In this Episode, Allan breaks down the pros and cons of going to college to study VFX versus studying online on your own -- for free or in a purchased course -- and how to take full advantage of either route you choose.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/201/.

Direct download: Ep201_ShouldYouGoToSchool_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

In this Podcast, Allan is being interviewed by D2 Conference’s Fabio Palvelli. D2 Conference brings you content to keep learning and keep growing as an artist, so you can unlock your true potential. This is part of the Inspiration Series, a small collection of talks that help connect the creativity dots in and out of our professional fields.

In this interview by Fabio, Allan talks about his first creative breakthrough, the secret to his productivity and why he began teaching, as well the importance of becoming a business -- as an artist!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/200/.

Direct download: ep200_D2Conference_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

When we work in visual effects, we can aim for realism. But the realization that most clients and directors have when they see “real” effects -- is that nobody wants to see real. Nobody wants to see realistic visual effects. Everyone has that intent until they realize how boring those effects are.

So when you’re working on a project, you need to base the idea in reality -- and then go into the “cool factor” direction (instead of going back and forth between real and cool). And you need to have this discussion with other creatives to get on the same page. You have to realize that reality is boring. When you dial it up, it’s really different. That’s the balancing act.

Think about how that applies to you in the work that you do. That doesn’t mean that making hyper real is your path. It’s more about figuring out the few elements that take something from real to interesting. It’s also a critical aspect to take responsibility for our shots! We’re still artists, so what can we do to make things look amazing?

In this Podcast, Allan talks about finding a balance between what’s real and what’s cool in visual effects, as well as how to find the happy medium and to take responsibility for your shots as an artist.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/199/.

 

Direct download: ep199_RealismInHollywoodVFX_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Whether you like it or not, as artists, we are in sales. We ourselves are the product / the service. Most of us don’t know how to sell that product. However, whenever you revise your reel or cover letter, you’re tweaking your sales pitch. Everything we’re doing -- is sales.

This Episode asks you to take look at yourself as a successful salesperson. For that, you’d need to:

  • Have a product to sell;
  • Have people to sell that product to;
  • Know HOW to sell that product.

As long as you know those three levers -- you’re good. If one is lacking, you wouldn’t be able to close the sale. Your hard skills include building a reel. Your soft skills -- having the relationships and applying for jobs through those relationships.

In this Podcast, Allan talks about using the skills of the most successful salespeople and how to apply those to sell yourself as an artist and a business -- to get your dream job.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/198/.

 

Direct download: ep198_SellYourself_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

In this Podcast, Allan talks about the topic of branding. As he’s said before, “You could be the greatest artist in the world! But if no one knows who you are, then how are you going to get work?” This Live Stream because with the question: Should we, as artists, use social media?

It’s not just about social media, however. When it comes to personal branding, the key thing is building awareness. In other words, you want to do this with an intent, or what Allan calls “Effective Branding”. In addition, you have to think of yourself as a one-person studio on a micro level and do the work that a successful studio (at a macro level) would do!

In this Podcast, Allan talks about overcoming your resistance toward becoming a successful business, which includes building an effective brand, creating opportunities for yourself and investing in your social capital.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/197/.

Direct download: ep197_ShouldArtistsBuildPersonalBrand_pub_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Established in 1987, Spin VFX is a creative and technically dedicated visual effects studio producing captivating imagery for feature film and television. Over its 30 years of business, Spin VFX has evolved into an internationally recognized studio working with respected Directors, VFX Supervisors and Producers.

Its film credits include Suicide Squad, John Wick and John Wick 2, the Academy Award winning biopic Spotlight and many more. Spin VFX's television credits include the Emmy award-winning series Game of Thrones (HBO), the thrice-nominated show The Borgias (Showtime) and the Netflix original series The Umbrella Academy and the SYFY show The Nightflyers (available on Netflix), based on the 1980 novella by George R. R. Martin.

In this Round Table with Allan McKay, the Supervisors and Artists at Spin VFX talk about the company’s history, some of its most memorable projects and its new technological frontiers, as well as the skills they look for in new artists.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/196/.

Direct download: ep196_SpinVFX_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

This is a Live Stream I did a while back. I walked about what I would do differently if I were to start my career again now.

I started my career 25 years ago. I’ve been doing 3D for a bit longer than that. I look at what it took to get my career to where it is: It was a lot of hard work, a lot of persistence, a lot of failure too. But it would be different if I were to start today. Back in the day, there were fewer studios and less competition. In 2019, it would be a different journey. So I want to talk about how I would fast track my career these days.

In this Podcast, I talk about the two levers you need to launch your career, give advice on how to learn, how to build your first reel, how to network -- and what it takes to eventually get your Dream Job.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/195/.

Direct download: ep195_StartingCareerOverIn2019_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Enrique Torres is an Emmy Award winning artist with an expertise in VFX, character design and concept design. He has a Bachelors Degree from the Art Institute in Media Arts and Animation. In the past 10 years, he utilized his talents by working within the movie, television and game industries.

Enrique has worked on films such as Twilight, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Sport Science, Thor, Captain America, Avengers and more. Since 2006, he has worked on over 300 projects that vary from commercials, music videos, games, ads, print, web development, to film. He is currently a Creative Director at BOND, one of the leading Hollywood-based studios responsible for creating film posters.

In this Podcast, Enrique talks about his background as a generalist, the importance of understanding the pipeline and the biggest mistake that all junior VFX artists must avoid making!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/194/.

 

Direct download: ep194_EnriqueTorress_mixdown_v2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

This is replay of a Live Stream I did recently on YouTube where I talked about the levers we need to pull to get ahead in our career and maximize our success. This is a subject that have talked about in the past. The reason behind that is that building our technical skills -- without doing the outreach or network building -- isn’t enough. It’s really important! I really want to reiterate this subject and kick your ass, so you can get to it.

This was a really well received Webinar with some positive feedback. In addition, any success stories I hear from my students come from their doing this work and other skills they develop after listening to my Podcast. Being talented, in 2019, is no longer enough. It’s the equivalent of just showing up. We all have the resources and technical abilities, but it doesn’t mean shit -- if you aren’t getting your work in front of the right people! I practice what I preach -- and this is everything you need to double down on, to get that success.

In this Podcast, I talk about the most crucial aspect of your career -- developing your soft skills, building your social capital, networking and maintaining those relationships -- in order to stand out and continue being in demand as a VFX artist.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/193/.

Direct download: ep193_SoftSkillsAreTheBestSkills_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

I want to talk about the topic I get asked about all the time: The state of the industry in 2019 and is the industry stable? I want to dive into this subject because it’s pretty serious, at least for me. I want to answer this question and talk about all the scares we’ve had in the industry.

Some of you may take this Episode the wrong way. I’m okay with that! This is my outlook and my opinions. I will dive into the reasons why I started this Podcast in the first place, as well as some of the results that have happened when people have applied what I talk about -- to become successful. And I couldn’t be more proud of that! To me, this is a giant pay-off, so I’m going to continue giving back!

In this Podcast, I want to talk about the common and unnecessary fears about the state of the industry and how to bypass them by focusing on constant learning and evolving both as an artist and a business.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/192/.

Direct download: ep192_IsTheindustryStableIn2019_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

In this Podcast, Allan is giving a peak into a Career Intensive Webinar. This is a session that Allan has done recently inside his FXTD Mentorship Course. Normally, these Webinars are private. This is a chance for you to be a fly on the wall -- and get some valuable information.

Usually, it’s a Q&A session, but this time, Allan had his students submit questions ahead of time. If you’re interested in the FXTD Mentorship, the enrollment will be opening soon for 2019. Either way, you will get a lot from this.

In this Live Career Intensive Webinar, Allan answers questions about negotiating, networking, setting impossible goals and the determination that it takes to become a successful VFX artist.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/191/.

Direct download: ep191_Careerintensive_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Alessandro Ongaro is a CG Supervisor at Double Negative. With almost 20 years of experience, he is presently considered to be among the CG Industry's top professionals. 

Alessandro was born in Switzerland and holds a dual Italian and Swiss citizenship. While studying design at the School of Design in Milan, Italy, Alessandro first began using computers to create photo-realistic 3D renderings for the architecture industry. He began working in the feature films after moving back to Milan where he was recruited by Digitalia Graphics, the first Italian company to work with a film negative. It pioneered all the visual effects for the very first Italian sci fi movie, Nirvana.  

After 5 years at Digitalia Graphics, Alessandro was offered a position by ESC Entertainment where he began to work on Constantine. Soon after finishing work on Constantine, he was recruited by DreamWorks Animation where he worked on such films as Madagascar, Over The Hedge, Flushed Away, Bee Movie, Shrek: Forever After, Turbo and Kung Fu Panda 3.

Since joining Double Negative, Alessandro has worked on features Ant-Man and the Wasp, The Meg, Alpha and the upcoming Men in Black: International. Most recently, he’s produced and directed the highly acclaimed web series Hollywood Hitmen, and an animated teaser The Nine Lives of Claw which he also wrote.

In this Podcast, Alessandro talks about some of his favorite projects, the difference between VFX and animation, the importance of being a Generalist -- and the most crucial skill for visual effects artists.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/190/.

 

Direct download: Ep190_AlessandroOngaro_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Sergio Paez is a Director and Story Designer who got his start working at companies such as Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Sony. He is also a founding member of Storyboard Art, an online visual story community, with both a content creation and educational focus to further techniques in visual storytelling. In 2012, Sergio authored the book Professional Storyboarding: Rules of Thumb which has become the go-to reference for story artists looking to enter the entertainment business.  

Mitch Bowler is the Founder of Pencil Kings, an online community that provides world class art education for artists, whether they’re trying to get back into art or are working professionals. Founded in 2010, Pencil Kings has established a library of courses on illustration, comics, digital media, entertainment art.

In this Round Table Podcast, Allan, Sergio and Mitch do a live feed on the subjects of traveling as an artist, working abroad, freelancing in other countries, global networking, visas and much more!   

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/189/.

 

Direct download: ep189_DigitalNomad_mixdown_v2.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Mariana Acuña Acosta is an entrepreneur who is driven by her passion for new and emerging technologies. Over the past four years, her focus has been in VR, MR and AR workflows, cross-pollination of products; the changing landscape of entertainment and the new ways of creating content. She is the Founder of Jolt VR and a CPO and Co-Founder of Glassbox Technologies (previously known as Opaque Studios), a company that is pioneering gaming technology in Virtual Production, utilizing VR and AR by creating a framework for visualizing performances, environments, virtual collaboration, virtual location scouting, and much more for real time production. 

As a VFX Artist, Mariana has years of experience working as a Compositor on films like Invictus, Alice in Wonderland, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Green Lantern, The Rum Diary and the show Lost

In this Podcast, Mariana talks about her experience working in different companies around the world, the importance of knowing every part of the pipeline; the latest developments in VR / MR / AR -- and why it’s a great time for artists to get into the field. 

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/187/.

 

Direct download: Ep188_MarianaAcunaCosta_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Derek Spears is an award-winning VFX Supervisor. His career in Visual Effects started with the founding of Cinesite’s 3D department where he was involved with the production of Kevin Costner’s Waterworld and helped develop Cinesite’s 3D tracking system. Over the years, Spears served as the Digital Effects Supervisor on Face / OffThe X Files movie, as well as the VFX Supervisor for The Sum of All Fears. His other film credits include Superman ReturnsThe WolfmanX-Men: Days of Future Past, The Mummy 3 and Around the World in 80 Days. Most recently, he’s been a VFX Supervisor at Pixomondo where he’s worked on films Goosebumps 2 and Midway, as well as the Clio-winning “Joust” Super Bowl 2019 spot for HBO / Bud Light.

Derek has a background in Electrical Engineering and brings a deep understanding of the fusion of art and technology. Prior to working in the film industry, he worked at Silicon Graphics and was a key developer on the Academy Award-recognized Cineon compositing system. Derek is a member of the both the Film and Television Academies, serving on the executive committee for the later. He is a three-time Emmy Award winner for his work as a facility Visual Effects Supervisor of the HBO series Game of Thrones. Derek also won a Clio for the Nike spot “Virtual Andre” starring tennis pro Andre Agassi, and the inaugural VES Award for his work on The Sum of All Fears.

In this Podcast, Derek discusses his career, talks about the importance of having the passion for both the artistic and the technological aspects of visual effects, as well as the most valuable skills for VFX artists.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/187/.

 

Direct download: ep187_DerekSpears_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

A lot of us find out that when we start to learn an new subject, we read up everything and get basic information, often without knowing how to apply it. By having a set goal, the learning becomes more intense and we have apply it all in a context. It allows us to connect the dots and come together in a context. And it also means you’re going to start to see your progression as you go along -- and really measure your success.

Check out some previous Podcasts I’ve done on this subject:

In this Podcast, I talk about how to find the right teacher, how to learn and retain information -- specifically when starting in VFX -- and the importance of setting learning goals.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/186/.

 

 

 

Direct download: Ep186_HowToLearnVFX_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

This is a personal essay on how to level up. I don’t think this Podcast is going to be for everyone; and if doesn’t resonate with you, it might not be the right time for you. I want to cut the bullshit and call it what it is: If you want to level up -- LEVEL UP!

I get asked a lot the following questions:

  • How do I get started? (www.allanmckay.com/184/)
  • How do I become successful?
  • Why are other people successful and I am not? 

Having a Mentorship and helping my friends and students get their career going, it gives me inspiration. It makes me want to put more material out. On the other hand, the people who can’t seem to achieve success -- they themselves are the reason for that. It’s not the city or the country they live in, it’s not that they aren’t smart enough -- it’s the excuses that they make to prevent themselves from trying. They are either not willing to put in the work to make it happen. Or, if they’re willing to put in the work and time, but they aren’t thinking about what they’re doing.

In this Podcast, I want to talk to you about the importance of setting your Someday Goals -- no matter how impossible they seem -- creating your roadmap, learning, overcoming obstacles, using failures as opportunities to learn and leveling up, leveling up, leveling up!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/185/.

 

Direct download: Ep185_LevelUp_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

This is an Episode that has been a long time coming. This is easily the one question I get asked every day: How do I get started in visual effects? Where do I turn? I’m overwhelmed: Which software should I study? There are two ways to answer this question:  One: The generic way of “Just do it!” or “Go to school!” Instead, I want to dive deeper and give you the specific answer, as well tell you which mistakes to avoid.

This applies not only to when you’re starting out. You could be a few years into your career but still figuring out what your purpose is; what you’re trying to do. I want to remind you what intrigued you about this career in the first place and laser focus on what that goal is.  

In this Episode, you will learn to set your Sometime Goal, how to stay focused, choose the right tutorials and software, overcome resistance and roadblocks -- and how to get closer to your Dream Job!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/184/.

 

 

Direct download: ep184_HowToGetStarted_mixdown_v2.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Going into a job interview as a creative means that they have seen your work and they like what they’ve seen. It isn’t that they’re coming in to consider you. It means that they’re narrowing down to a couple people. They just want to know if you’re a good fit for the company. This isn’t an interrogation. It’s more about finding out what kind of personality you have.

That also means that you’re completely in control of the situation and the tonality. It’s a two-way street. Don’t feel like you’re going to be just answering questions. You’re just as in control of the outcome! Just keep in mind to stay friendly. You want them to make it out that you’re easy going and you get along with everyone. It’s important to be confident about your work and yourself.

In this Podcast, Allan talks about the types of interviews and questions you can expect as a VFX applicant, how to follow-up afterward, and most importantly -- how to give the best answers that make you stand out and land you the job!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/183/.

 

Direct download: ep183_JobInterviewQuestions_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

David Allen is a New York Times bestselling author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, the first edition of which was published in 2001. He is also the godfather of productivity. He has been a management consultant and a productivity expert. In addition to founding his multimillion dollar company based on the GTD methodology, he has founded Actioneer, a 1994 start-up specializing in productivity tools.  

In this Episode, David Allen discusses how the Getting Things Done (GTD) System got started, the five GTD Elements and other methodology, and the GTD Global Summit that will take place in Amsterdam in June 2019. 

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/182/.

 

Direct download: Ep182_DavidAllen_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

The Harmon Brothers is a marketing firm based in Provo, Utah, that has a history of making viral advertising videos. Founded by brothers Daniel, Neil, Jeffrey and Theron Harmon and CEO Benton Crane, the company creates marketing campaigns that are usually the length of an infomercial -- but with a distinct sense of humor. Their campaigns for Squatty Potty and the Purple have more than 100 million views. They have also created campaigns for Poo-Pourri, FiberFix, Camp Chef and several others. 

Since then, the company launched the Harmon Brothers University where through online courses, Daniel Harmon and Lead Writer Dave Vance share their insight on how to create successful marketing videos. With writer Chris Jones, they also co-wrote the book From Poop to Gold: The Marketing Magic of Harmon Brothers that “reveals the behind-the-scenes magic including their innovative business model [and] one of the biggest secrets behind their success”.

In this Podcast, Daniel Harmon of the Harmon Brothers and CEO Benton Crane discuss the Company’s history, the secrets to creating viral ads and the three C’s: the principals for their success.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/181/.

 

Direct download: ep181_HarmonBros_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Goro Fujita is an Art Director, illustrator and visual development artist based in the Bay Area. He started his career working as a freelance character animator and visual development artist for various companies in Germany.

In 2008, Goro joined DreamWorks Animation as a visual development artist and worked on Merry Madagascar, Megamind, Madagascar 3, Penguins of Madagascar and Boss Baby. He left DreamWorks in 2015 and joined Oculus Story Studio in San Francisco where he art directed the Emmy Award winning VR experience Henry. Goro is also known for pioneering art in VR using tools like Quill and Medium. 

In 2017 he joined Facebook Social VR to continue the development on Quill and to introduce the world to art in VR.

In this Podcast, Goro talks about his daily practice of speed painting, creating his own opportunities by working on short films, getting a job at DreamWorks and the importance of getting outside your comfort zone. 

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/180/.

 

Direct download: Ep180_GoroFujitaPt2_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Aaron Sims, the visual creator behind some of this generation’s most unforgettable cinema creatures, began his career over two decades ago as a special effects makeup artist. His pioneering techniques in the world of visual effects influenced the face of character and creature design in Film, Television, Games, Previs, and VFX early on in their application. 

Aaron Sims Creative [ASC] was formed in order to bring together a wide range of the world’s most talented concept and visual effects artists and create memorable characters, creatures, VFX, costumes, and key scenes. Aaron’s unparalleled skill and dedication to consistently creating stunning content for all platforms of visual entertainment has made ASC a premiere entertainment studio. Since its founding, ASC has worked on feature films like It, Wonder Woman, Logan, Wrath and Clash of the Titans, War for the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Amazing Spider-Man and many, many more. 

In the Podcast, Aaron talks about transitioning from special effects makeup to digital effects and starting his own company, the importance of learning and adapting -- and how to stand out as a VFX artist in today’s industry.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/179/.

 

 

Direct download: ep179_AaronSims_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

The big question that gets asked a lot: Is there money in art? Or is the Starving Artist mentality valid?

It’s really important to understand that art is actually a career. In the beginning, you need to do whatever it takes to land that first job. But one day, eventually, you will be in a position where the studios will do whatever it takes -- to land YOU. 

As with any career, it’s important to set your Someday Goals, build your brand, stay relevant and push yourself outside your comfort zone. Art is not a hobby. It’s also not a job -- it’s a career. It takes time, dedication and commitment!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/178/.

 

Direct download: Ep178_MoneyInArt_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Goro Fujita is an Art Director, illustrator and visual development artist based in the Bay Area. He started his career working as a freelance character animator and visual development artist for various companies in Germany.

In 2008, Goro joined DreamWorks Animation as a visual development artist where he worked on Merry Madagascar, Megamind, Madagascar 3, Penguins of Madagascar and Boss Baby. He left DreamWorks in 2015 and joined Oculus Story Studio in San Francisco where he art directed the Emmy Award winning VR experience Henry. Goro is also known for pioneering art in VR using tools like Quill and Medium. 

In 2017 he joined Facebook Social VR to continue the development on Quill and to introduce the world to art in VR.

In this Podcast, Goro talks about transitioning his art and storytelling into the world of VR, the benefits of VR for filmmakers and animators, and the importance of practicing one’s art every day.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/177/.

 

Direct download: Ep177_Goro_pt1_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

The biggest mistake people make when applying for jobs -- is not thinking about the person who is receiving your email: a Department Head, a VFX Sup, an HR Manager. How are you going to make someone stop whatever they’re doing -- managing their team, supervising a job, dealing with their bosses, putting together bids, etc. -- to pay attention to your email? How do you position yourself to make them stop and talk to you?

These days, your email -- is your cover letter. Before you can get them to look at your portfolio, you need to have a captivating email, and it has to have a captivating subject line. Your email needs to sell them on your stuff. You have to tell them why you’re worth their time.

Your reel is the most critical thing you can have, with the exception of your contacts. However, no one is going to look at your reel unless you have a captivating cover letter. 

In this Podcast, Allan McKay explains what not to do when emailing potential employers -- and provides ammunition on how to grab their attention with a killer outreach email!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/176/.

Direct download: Ep176_EmailTeardown1_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Noëlle Triaureau was the Production Designer on Sony Pictures Animation movie Smurfs. She joined Sony Pictures Animation in 2005. Since then, she worked as a Visual Development artist on Surf’s Up and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. She was Art Director on Hotel Transylvania. She is also a recipient of the Joule award, an honor recognizing outstanding Sony Pictures Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation members.

Noëlle graduated in 1996 with honors from Middlesex University, England and Ecole de Commerce de Reims, France, with a Bachelor of Art in European Business Management.  In 1997, Triaureau helped start up L'Envol, a Summer camp for children with a serious illness modeled after Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camps. In 2004, she graduated from a four-year program at ENSAD, Paris, specializing in Illustration and Animation. 

She is now a freelance Concept Designer.

In this Podcast, Noëlle talks about the importance of networking and balancing art with business, and gives advice on how to break into the industry.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/175/.

 

Direct download: ep175_NoelleT_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

2018 is officially over. It’s time to set your goals for the New Year. 

Setting your goals is important: If you don’t have that compass -- you don’t have a sense of direction. But what’s just as important -- is being able to see those goals through by:

  • Breaking the big goals into a roadmap of smaller goals;
  • Attacking them with urgency;
  • Leaning into the resistance and your pain points;
  • Creating an accountability circle;
  • And learning to measure your success.

In this Episode, Allan McKay talks about the key mindsets crucial to not just setting your goals for the New Year -- but to staying consistent and seeing them through!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/174/.

Direct download: ep174_GoalAtrophy_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Gini Cruz Santos is a Filipina animator at Pixar studios based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She worked on numerous Pixar animation films including Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Toy Story 3, Up, Lifted and Brave. She was nominated in 2004 for an Annie Award for her animation on Finding Nemo and was nominated by the Visual Effects Society for an award for this project as well. Her animation of Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, was praised for integrating "fish movement, human movement and facial expressions to make them look and feel like real characters".  

Santos was born in Pasay City in the Philippines. She moved to Guam after age three but returned to study in the Philippines. She studied Fine Arts at the University of Santo Tomas with a major in Advertising. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Computer Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York.

In 1996, she was hired by Pixar after submitting her short feature reel titled The Eclipse without submitting her resume. She was the Supervising Animator on the Pixar short film entitled Lifted

In this Podcast, Gini talks about her training and career, how she got her Dream Job at Pixar and the most important part of her job as an Animator -- the STORY.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/173/.

Direct download: Ep173_GiniSantos_mixdown_v02.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Eran Dinur is VFX Supervisor, Composer and published author. His career in visual effects began with a fascination for creating 3D natural scenery. Through his early years, he became well known as a VUE expert and innovator. When he joined ILM Singapore, he created visual effects for films such as Iron Man, Star Trek, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Terminator Salvation.

After moving to New York, Eran worked at Framestore on Salt and Clash of the Titans. He joined Brainstorm Digital and became a VFX Supervisor in 2011. In this capacity, Eran won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Effects for Boardwalk Empire and two VES Awards for Outstanding Compositing and Outstanding Modeling (for Boardwalk Empire as well). Eran has been leading Brainstorm Digital on numerous films and tv projects, including The Wolf of Wall Street, The Greatest Showman, The Lost City of Z, Sons of Liberty, Hereditary, Boy Erased, and many more.

In April 2017, Eran published The Filmmaker’s Guide to Visual Effects, a practical guide to VFX for directors, producers, editors, cinematographers and other film professionals, as well as film students. He has also been teaching at the School of Visual Arts and online courses at FXPhD.

In this Podcast, Eran talks about transitioning into his second career as a VFX Artist and Sup, the value of having a generalist’s skills, great communication skills -- and the importance of constant learning.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/172/. 

 

Direct download: Ep172_EranDinur_mixdown_v2.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Cinefex is a bimonthly magazine devoted to motion picture visual effects. Since its 1980 launch by its Founder Don Shay, it’s been the bible for effects professionals and enthusiasts, covering the field like no other publication. Profusely illustrated in color, with in-depth articles and interviews, Cinefex offers a captivating look at the technologies and techniques behind many of our most popular and enduring movies.

The next issue of Cinefex No. 162 is out in mid-December 2018: http://www.cinefex.com/next_issue.htm. The Issue will cover feature films Alita: Battle Angel, Welcome to Marwen, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Aquaman. It will also include a story by Don Shay that covers the behind-the-scenes of the 1953 classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in an interview with Director Richard Fleischer. 

In this Podcast, Cinefex Editor in Chief Jody Duncan and Senior Staff Writer Graham Edwards discuss the publishing process, the legacy of the magazine and the influence of technology on the publication.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/171/.

Direct download: Ep171_Cinefex_pt2_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Cinefex is a bimonthly magazine devoted to motion picture visual effects. Since its 1980 launch by its Founder Don Shay, it’s been the bible for effects professionals and enthusiasts, covering the field like no other publication. Profusely illustrated in color, with in-depth articles and interviews, Cinefex offers a captivating look at the technologies and techniques behind many of our most popular and enduring movies.

The next issue of Cinefex No. 162 is out in mid-December 2018: http://www.cinefex.com/next_issue.htm. The Issue will cover feature films Alita: Battle Angel, Welcome to Marwen, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Aquaman. It will also include a story by Don Shay that covers the behind-the-scenes of the 1953 classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in an interview with Director Richard Fleischer. 

In this Podcast, Cinefex Editor in Chief Jody Duncan and Senior Staff Writer Graham Edwards discuss the history of the magazine from its launch by its Founder Don Shay to its most iconic issues that covered the biggest VFX breakthroughs.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/170/.

Direct download: ep170_cinefex_pt1_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Mike Morris is a Filmmaker, Director, and Storyboard Artist of animation for broadcast and digital distribution. He’s also a developer of animated IP’s and content and a VR enthusiast. He’s been a consultant for artistic software development and a creator of the Annual Wacom Cintiq Showdown at CTNX, as well as moderator for animation panels at various Comic Con Expos.

Currently, Mike is a Storyboard Artist at Disney ABC Television. His credits include The Simpsons, Future-Worm! and DuckTales

In this Podcast, Mike talks about going to work on The Simpsons straight out of art school and his other projects; about art being a life-long endeavor and the discipline to practice it every day.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/169/.

Direct download: ep169_mikemorris_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Andrea Goh is a San Francisco based Technical Director and Layout Artist. Her curiosity has driven her to acquire multiple sets of skills: rigging, scripting, sculpting, pipeline, assembly and layout. After studying at an art college in her native country of Malaysia, she pursued an additional degree at the San Francisco Academy of Art. After graduating, her first job was as Layout Artist in the Camera and Staging Department at Pixar Animation Studios.

Andrea has rigged in many films including Exit, Unmasked and VR games like Lilypad. As a layout artist, she has contributed to films like Cars 3, Coco and Incredibles 2. She is also the Technical Supervisor of Sonder, a short film that uses a unique Maya and Unity pipeline. 

In this Episode, Andrea talks about her journey as an artist, setting high goals -- and actually getting them accomplished -- and then setting new ones!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/168/.

Direct download: ep168-andrea_goh_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

The Academy Award®-winning cineSync is the world’s most trusted remote review and approval system. Used by film and television productions worldwide, cineSync guarantees that everyone sees exactly the same frame at the same time.

cineSync integrates with industry-leading tools such as Shotgun, Ftrack and Aspera, ensuring a fast, synchronized and streamlined remote collaboration experience.

In this Podcast, Cospective’s CEO Rory McGregor talks about cineSync, the platform that’s a backbone of how Directors, VFX Artists and Supervisors in the film and game industry are able to communicate in real time.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/167/.

Direct download: ep167_Cinesync_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

The Black Swan Group is a consulting company that trains its clients how to be successful at negotiating. They help achieve exceptional results in business and personal negotiations using hostage negotiation skills. The Group was co-founded by Chris Voss, the author of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It, and his son Brandon Voss. 

Prior to writing this bestselling book, Chris Voss was the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI, as well as the FBI’s hostage negotiation representative for the National Security Council’s Hostage Working Group. During his government career, he also represented the U.S. Government at two international conferences sponsored by the G-8 as an expert in kidnapping. Prior to becoming the FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator, Chris served as the lead Crisis Negotiator for the New York City Division of the FBI. He was a member of the New York City Joint Terrorist Task Force for 14 years.  

During Chris’s 24 year tenure in the FBI, he was trained in the art of negotiation by not only the FBI but Scotland Yard and Harvard Law School. He is also a recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement and the FBI Agents Association Award for Distinguished and Exemplary Service.

Since Black Swan’s inception in 2008, Brandon Voss has established assessment procedures for new clients that take their needs, situations, and corporate culture into account so Black Swan’s approach can be customized to each client. Brandon has made it his mission to teach clients how to identify the basic types of negotiators and has developed a methodology for dealing with each type in the most successful way.

Brandon’s background is in sales. He has done retail sales for Macy’s and business-to-business sales for Verizon. In addition to training clients, Brandon has guest lectured at USC Marshall School of Business, Georgetown McDonough School of Business and organizations like Policy Innovators in Education.

In this Podcast, Brandon Voss talks about the art of negotiation and how to use of your emotional intelligence and leverage during any negotiation.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/166/.

Direct download: ep166_BrandonVoss_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Cameron Smith is an award-nominated visual effects artist who is also a Lead Compositor at Weta. He first studied computer science at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia before transitioning into programing and visual effects. He first began doing visual effects for tv commercials and short films.

Over the course of his over a decade-long career, Cameron has worked for studios like Cutting Edge VFX, Fuel VFX, ILM and Weta, serving as a Compositing Lead, Supervisor and a Lighting Technical Director. Some of his projects include The Hobbit, Battleship, Furious 7, Man of Steel, Iron Man, King Kong, Avatar (for which he was nominated for a VES Award) and many more.

In this Episode, Cameron talks about his over a decade-long career as a visual effects artist, the benefits of programing, constantly learning new skills and the latest technology.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/165/.

Direct download: ep165_CameronSmith_mixdown-2.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Justin Leduc is a Toronto-based web developer and 3D digital artist. In July 2018, he’s captured the attention of millions with his 3D animation monster keeping watch over the Golden Gate Bridge. Since then, the video has gone viral, earning over 15 million views.

In the second part of this two-part interview, Justin talks about his future projects -- post his first viral video -- and the new platform on Patreon; as well as the importance of continuous learning and discipline.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/164/.

Direct download: ep163_JustinLeduc_pt2.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Justin Leduc is a Toronto-based web developer and 3D digital artist. In July 2018, he’s captured the attention of millions with his 3D animation monster keeping watch over the Golden Gate Bridge. Since then, the video has gone viral, earning over 15 million views.

In the first part of this two-part interview, Justin talks about his journey from starting out to putting in his 10,000 hours; about the importance of creating your brand and taking risks -- as well as dealing with the success of a viral video.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/163/.

Direct download: ep163_JustinLeduc_pt1.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Your career is a journey. So is learning: It takes time! But when learning a new skill or software, or language, many people get overwhelmed because their metrics for measuring success are off. 

You need to front load your learning. Things are hard in the beginning, but it gets easier the longer you stick to it. And you do get better! You need to challenge yourself by doing -- not by overwhelm. Learn just in time -- instead of just in case.

In this Episode, Allan McKay talks about how to set yourself for success when learning a new skill, how to adjust one’s mindset and measure one’s goals.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/162/.

 

Direct download: Ep162_Optimized_Learning_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

One of the key things, as we go through our careers -- is having the right mindset.  It’s the mindset that allows you to pick up a new skill. If you’re present with what you’re doing, if you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty -- all of that plays into how successfully you’re going to learn.

But you have to put in the work, in the trenches. Getting there is not the same as climbing it! That’s when people fall off. It’s about the experience that you go on, along the way.

In this Episode, Allan talks about having the right mindset for creating a change in your life and career -- and how to handle your challenges and failures along the way.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/161/.

Direct download: ep161_hustlersmindset_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

A lot of you are still stuck in convincing yourselves that your Dream Job is attainable. But you do know that you have this passion -- and that is your fire! If you have a feeling that something is missing and you want to fill that hole -- this is the Episode for you! 

Changing the mindset -- is STEP ONE in the right direction! You have to live and breathe what you want to do. You have to pay your dues now. Talent is the easy thing. You can put in the 10,000 hours -- and build talent! The harder part is putting in the time. It’s also important to measure your goals, so that you can adjust along the way.

In this Episode, Allan tackles the very first step on the way to your Dream Job -- changing your mindset! -- and asking the right questions to get you there!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/160/.

Direct download: Ep160_StepsToDreamJob_mixdown_v2.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Terryl Whitlatch is considered to be one of the top Creature Designers and Animal Anatomists working in the field today. In a career spanning over 25 years, Terryl’s film credits include Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars:The Special Edition, Jumanji 1 and 2, Men in Black, Brother Bear, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Curious George, Beowulf and many more. She has worked for ILM, Lucasfilm, Pixar, Walt Disney, Talking Pictures, LucasArts, Chronicle Books, Simon and Schuster, and various zoos and natural history museums. 

Terryl is also the author of two books, The Wildlife of Star Wars and The Katurran Odyssey. In addition, Terryl is involved with several other book and film concepts, as well as teaching Creature Design and Construction / Anatomy at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA.

In this Episode, Terryl talks about the original passion that inspired her art, the difference between 2D and 3D animation -- as well as hyperrealistic vs non-realistic creatures -- and her work on some of the most memorable characters in film, like Jar Jar Binks.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/159/.

Direct download: ep159_Terryl_Whitlatch_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

The most common question artists ask is: “I want to start working in Visual Effects but I’m 35 years old, I have kids, I’m married. Is it too late to go after my passion?” When you’re older, you do have those responsibilities and dependents, so starting out is different. It involves more risk. So the more important question becomes: How do you do this switch careers intelligently?

In this Episode, Allan McKay talks about how to make a career change in a strategic way -- and without risk -- while learning about the profession and bettering your skills as an artist, on the side.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/158/.

Direct download: Ep158_HowToChangeCareersAfter30_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Chris Bailey is a Productivity Expert and the bestselling Author of two books about productivity: The Productivity Project and Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction. Chris writes about productivity at www.alifeofproductivity.com and speaks to organizations around the globe on how they can become more productive, without hating the process.

Chris was born in Red Deer, Alberta and raised in Ontario, Canada. He first became interested in productivity in high school after reading David Allen’s Getting Things Done. He graduated from the Sprott Business School of Business in 2013. After college, he started researching productivity and conducting experiments, while documenting his experiences on this blog A Year of Productivity. Insights and strategies learned from these experiments were compiled into his 2016 book The Productivity Project. His second book Hyperfocus was released in August 2018.

In this Podcast, Allan and Chris discuss the neurological research behind productivity and the subjects of focus and scatter focus, taming distractions, mind resting breaks, flow state, multitasking and bio hacks.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/157/.

Direct download: Hyperfocus_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

We all know that the most important thing is our demo reel or our portfolio. It’s proof of our skill and ability. But what’s more important than all of these things combined?

What has more clout than your reel -- are your RELATIONSHIPS. In this Episode, Allan talks about building long-lasting professional relationships -- in an effective way -- and more importantly, how to do it all the time. 

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/156/.

Direct download: ep156_MoreEffectiveThanYourReel_mixdown_v03.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

TWIN (http://twin.work) are directing duo brothers Jonathan and Josh Baker. Born in Australia, they studied design graphic design, motion graphics and eventually Live Action, while doing filmmaking in their spare time. They moved to the U.S. in 2007 and have made a name for themselves directing short films and commercials.

Their first feature film KIN premiers on August 31st, 2018 in theaters in the U.S. and internationally. Its cast includes Carrie Coon, Zoe Kravitz, James Franco and Dennis Quaid.

In this Episode, Jonathan and Josh talk about the crucial role passion, drive, dedication and discipline play in filmmaking -- and the long journey to their first feature film Kin (coming to theatres 8.31.2018).

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/155/.

Direct download: Ep155_Twin_mixdown_2.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

This Episode came from a Survey that Allan McKay held on the subject of: What’s holding you back? This Podcast is more of a tough love. In it, Allan McKay tackles the answers on the subjects of resistance and obstacles like:

- Lack of experience;

- Lack of time;

- Lack of discipline;

- Not having the connections;

- Not speaking English;

- Living outside of the industry.

So dig past the BS you’re telling yourself and start to figure out how to take action toward your dream job!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/154/.

 

Direct download: ep154_qanda_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

Ivo Klaus is a VFX Supervisor who has been working at Scanline VFX in Munich, Germany for over 13 years. He has worked on and supervised such large budget feature films like Tomb Raider, Transformers: The Last Knight, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Snowpiercer, Looper, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, 300 -- and many, many more.

In this portion of his interview with Allan McKay, Ivo talks about the importance of having a generalist background, scripting experience, problem solving and other skills essential for a successful VFX Artist.

To listen to the other Episode with Ivo, please visit www.allanmckay.com/136/.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/143/.

Direct download: ep143_ivo_mixdown_revision01.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Over the course of her decade long career in visual effects, Katharine “Kat” Evans has worked for large studios like ILM, Tippett Studio, Giant Killer Robots and several others. Her credits include films like Hellboy, Matrix Revolutions, Fantastic Four, Transformers, Rango, Lucy and the Iron Man franchise. 

Kat received her MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She began her career as a Roto Paint Artist, then moved on to Match Moving and Camera Layout. Since 2017, Kat has been focusing on a new career in User Experience Design (UX). 

In this Podcast, Kat talks about her career in visual effects, as well as shares her insight on how to break into the industry, how to avoid working overtime and how to communicate with clients.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/142/.

 

Direct download: ep142_KatEvans_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Adam Holmes is a Senior Layout Supervisor, Director of Photography and Editor. He has worked for a variety of international studios, such as Lucasfilm Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Digital Domain, Disney, Warner Bros, Imagi and several others. His credits include large budget films like Alice in Wonderland, Superman Returns, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Elf, Freddy vs Jason and many more.

Adam has 20 years of experience in VFX. While working at Imagi Studios, Adam helped build a team of artists and technicians to produce new CG animated films with smaller budgets but blockbuster results. He was handpicked as a Senior Previs Artist for a CG feature film project at Lucasfilm where he collaborated daily with the Directors, Producers and George Lucas himself.

In this Podcast, Adam talks about his passion for visual storytelling, working in both VFX and on live action sets, having a plan and being open minded about your opportunities -- and taking ownership of your career.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/141/.

Direct download: ep141_AdamHolmes_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Catherine Mullan is an Animation Supervisor at MPC. Over the course of her career, she has worked for studios like Framestore, Animal Logic, MPC. Her credits include big budget films like Guardians of the Gallaxy, The Hunger Games, Maleficent, X-Men: First Class, Clash of the Titans, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter -- and many more.

Right after graduating from Bournemouth University’s Computer Animation Course in London, U.K., Catherine joined Framestore as a junior animator. She has been working in visual effects for over a decade. Her work has earned a 2005 Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Special Visual Effects (for The Last Dragon) and a nomination from VES (for Outstanding Animated Character in The Chronicles of Narnia), in 2011.

In this Podcast, Catherine talks about her career -- from joining Framestore as a Junior Animator, through her current position as an Animation Sup at MPC -- the most hirable skills for VFX artists and the importance of your demo reel.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/140/.

Direct download: ep140_CatherineMullan_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Ovi Nedelcu is an Author, Illustrator, Character Designer and Storyboard Artist. After studying at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, his very first job was at Warner Bros. Since then, he’s worked for such studios as Disney, Sony Pictures Animation, Bluesky and Laika Studios. His credits include Mary Poppins Returns, Coraline, Scooby Doo and many, many more. 

Ovi has illustrated and authored several books. His latest author illustrated book One Gray Mouse was released on April 24th.

In this Podcast, Ovi talks about building his portfolio while in art school, learning on his first job at Warner Bros; working remotely and the importance of being a well-versed freelance artist.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/139/.

Direct download: ep139_Ovi_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

This Podcast is Allan McKay’s first ever AMA (Ask Me Anything) session.

A while back, Allan has posted -- on his social media -- to ask any burning questions that you want to have answered about learning or pursuing a career in visual effects. Out of hundreds of questions, he selected about ten that would benefit most listeners and artists. 

In this AMA Podcast, Allan covers the subjects like:

  • Creating your some-day goals -- and attacking them with URGENCY!
  • Questions to ask a client before taking on a new job;
  • Choosing the right training AND the importance of creating your own material.
  • Getting your foot in the door as a VFX artist and the importance of communication.
  • And a several other important questions!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/138/.

 

Direct download: ep138_AMA_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

The most important thing you have to land your dream job -- is a rock-solid demo reel. But all it takes is one bad shot -- one unexplained element or any of the other traps that artists fall into every day -- to have your reel switched off and have your viewer move onto the next one.

I wanted to share my perspective as someone who has hired artists and has looked through hundreds of reels when hiring for my company CatastrophicFX. I have also reviewed reels inside my Mentorship or Reel Review Webinars. I’ve interviewed dozens of Supervisors, Recruiters and Leads at studios like ILM, Weta, Image Engine and every other big studio on the planet. 

And what we all agree on is that almost every artist is oblivious to the fact that one single shot on their reel can:

  • Cost them the job;
  • Cause for the potential employer to skip over their reel; 
  • Question if the artists did what they claimed they did because they weren’t clear about their ownership. 
  • Or: Their reel never got watched because some minor thing got overlooked that instantly caused for their reel to get thrown out. 

In this Podcast, you will learn how to avoid these common mistakes and create a reel that lands you the job, builds your brand and even goes viral. So here is it: 

5 Demo Reel Mistakes That are Costing You the Job -- and You Don’t Even Know It!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/137/.

 

Direct download: ep137_DemoreelMyths_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Ivo Klaus is a VFX Supervisor who has been working at Scanline VFX in Munich, Germany for over 13 years. He has worked on and supervised such large budget feature films like Tomb Raider, Transformers: The Last Knight, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Snowpiercer, Looper, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, 300 -- and many, many more.

In this portion of his interview with Allan McKay *, Ivo gives advise on professional tools for VFX artists, the do’s and don’ts of demo reels and some insider tips for anyone seeking employment at Scanline VFX. 

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/136/.

 

* NOTE: The second part of Ivo’s interview -- with more valuable information -- to be published at a later time!

Direct download: ep136_Ivo_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Mike Seymour is the VFX Supervisor and Compositor. He is a also Co-Founder of -- as well as a writer and consultant for -- FXGuide, FXPhD and FXPhD Academy, the online resources for the visual effects community and innovators.

Mike holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in CGI and Pure Math from the University of Sydney. He is currently doing his PhD on interactive realtime faces in new forms of Human Computer Interfaces. For the Wikihuman Project, he assembled a group of researchers and artists from Epic Games, Cubic Motion, 3Lateral, Loom.ai, Pixar, Tencent -- and many others -- to build a digital version of himself that could be directed and rendered in realtime by the real life Mike. That resulted in the MeetMike project that was presented at SIGGRAPH in 2017.

In this Podcast, Mike talks about the challenges of current-day VR -- realtime rendering, the uncanny valley, neurological evolution -- his research in the field and the successful fruition of the MeetMike project, collaborated on by the Wikihuman Project.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/135/.

Direct download: ep135_MikeSeymour_Publish_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Bob Scott is an Animator, Story Artist and comic book writer. He began his career as a freelance traditional animator after graduating from California Institute of the Arts. He has worked in both traditional and CG animation for studios like Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks Animation. His animation has been seen in films such as Toy Story 3, Cars, Monsters, Inc., Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Prince of Egypt and many others. 

Bob is also the creator of the syndicated comic strip Bear with Me that appears on Go Comics and in the New York Daily News. His book Molly and the Bear was published in 2016.

In this Episode, Bob talks about his journey from traditional to computer animation; gives advice on finding your mentors and taking the passion for your art -- and putting it into a discipline.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/134/.

Direct download: ep134_BobScott_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Ryan Connolly is a filmmaker. He is also a founder and host at 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 several others.

Ryan began studying storytelling on his own before pursuing his formal training 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. By now, Film Riot has over half a million followers and it continues to build its audience and community.

In this Podcast, Ryan talks about clocking in your 10,000 artist hours, using failures as opportunities to learn -- and gives advice and resources to aspiring filmmakers and storytellers.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/133/.

Direct download: ep133_RyanConnolly_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Over the course of her decade long career in visual effects, Katharine “Kat” Evans has worked for large studios like ILM, Tippett Studio, Giant Killer Robots and several others. Her credits include films like Hellboy, Matrix Revolutions, Fantastic Four, Transformers, Rango, Lucy and the Iron Man franchise. 

Kat received her MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She began her career as a Roto Paint Artist, then moved on to Match Moving and Camera Layout. Since 2017, Kat has been focusing on a new career in User Experience Design (UX). 

In this Podcast, Kat talks about switching careers after being an already established VFX artist -- and offers valuable advice on how to make the transition intelligently and successfully. 

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/132/.

Direct download: ep132_KatEvans_ExitingIndustry_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Thierry Lafontaine is a Character Designer and Illustrator for both film and children’s books. He also teaches at the Imaginism Studios and runs a 30-day training program at the Schoolism House, in Sainte-Julienne, Quebec. Thierry studied art at Sheridan College. He lives and works in Toronto. 

In this Episode, Thierry talks about his journey of becoming an artist, the discipline and mindset that it took to succeed -- and the experience of the immersive art program at his Schoolism House.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/131/.

Direct download: ep131_ThierryLaFontaine_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

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 part one of his interview with Allan McKay, Bobby talks about his background, making art his profession, learning to work remotely, following trends -- and reaching the level of success where he had to learn to say “no”.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/130/.

Direct download: ep130_bobbyChiu_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Jason Martin is a Senior Creature Lead at id Software. Prior to that, he has worked at Blur Studio. Over the course of his decade long career, Jason has worked on projects like Doom, Warhammer Online, Bioshock 2, Wolverine, Resident Evil and many others.

Born to parents who were animators and CG artists, Jason got introduced to  the arts early on. After college, however, he joined the U.S. Air Force. After leaving the military, he pursued his studies at the Vancouver Film School. With that training and freelance experience, he was able to join Blur Studio where he went from being a freelancer to a Lead Character Artist.  

In this Episode, Jason talks about his experience and discipline, the importance of leadership, the hard and soft skills that get you hired -- and how to stand out in the industry as a VFX artist.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/129/.

Direct download: ep129_JasonMartin_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Willy Sussman is one of the leading Immigration Attorneys in New Zealand and a Partner at Bell Gully, a full-service firm with offices in Aukland and Wellington. He has assisted many of New Zealand’s most notable clients to obtain Visas and Permanent Residence in New Zealand, including employees for Weta. Willy also advises clients on other matters like taxation.

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018 and Chambers Asia Pacific 2018 have both named Willy as a leading individual for tax. World Tax 2015 has named him as a leading tax practitioner for both large corporations and private clients. 

In this Episode, Willy discusses the categories of Work and Residence Visas (including for spouses), requirements and restrictions for each category -- and provides valuable advice on how to pursue employment and approach Immigration of New Zealand. 

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/128/.

Direct download: ep128_WillySussman_mixdown_v2.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Over the course of her decade long career in visual effects, Katharine “Kat” Evans has worked for large studios like ILM, Tippett Studio, Giant Killer Robots and several others. Her credits include films like Hellboy, Matrix Revolutions, Fantastic Four, Transformers, Rango, Lucy and the Iron Man franchise. 

Kat received her MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She began her career as a Roto Paint Artist, then moved on to Match Moving and Camera Layout. Since 2017, Kat has been focusing on a new career in User Experience Design (UX). 

In this Podcast, Kat talks about her experience as a woman artist working visual effects, the challenges of the industry and switching careers.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/127/.

Direct download: Ep127_WomenInVFX_With_Kat_Evans_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

For many of us, January is the time to front load the year and identify the successes we want to achieve in 2018. 

In this Episode, Allan McKay talks about making the long-term investment in yourself, creating the change you want to see in your career, sticking to it through the hard times -- embracing and learning from failures -- and attacking your goals with URGENCY!

This is where your Luke Skywalker begins: You will become a Jedi overtime; you will go through struggles -- but you will also meet Yoda!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/126/.

Direct download: Ep126_GrowthThroughStruggle_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Chris Do is the Founder and CEO of Blind, a motion design firm. The studio has worked on projects for Xbox, Riot Games, A&E, Spike TV, ESPN, Google, Honda, Audi; as well as music videos for Coldplay, Justin Timberlake and Raveonettes. Since its founding in 1995, Blind has evolved into a brand design consultancy firm. 

Prior to founding Blind, Chris received his BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. He has taught at the California Institute of the Arts, SIGGRAPH, Otis College of Design, CalState Northridge and several other places. Chris has also founded TheFutur, an educational platform where creative professionals learn business principles. 

In this Episode, Chris talks about finding his purpose and founding a successful company; as well as the importance for artists to acquire business and marketing skills, to build their community and brand.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/125/.

Direct download: ep126_ChrisDo_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EST