The Allan McKay Podcast

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

* Bio Written By: Soho VFX

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

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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

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

In 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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

Michael Wortmann is a VFX Supervisor. Since graduating from the Filmakademie in Wurttenberg, Germany, in 2009, Michael has pursued a truly international career by working for companies like Animal Logic in Australia, Weta Digital in New Zealand, Chimney in his native Germany and many more. His credits include large budget films like Prince of Persia, Harry Potter, X-Men: First Class, John Carter, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Atomic Blonde, and most recently, Black Panther

In this Podcast, Michael talks about his journey of becoming a VFX Supervisor, the benefits of changing companies every few years -- and the most essential skills for standing out as a VFX artist.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/124/.

Direct download: ep124_MichaelWortmann_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Tomasz Wyszolmirski is the Founder of Dabari, a Polish studio specialized in high quality CGI stock footage and images for a variety of subjects like industrial processes, transport and animation. 

Since its founding in 2009, Dabarti has grown a team of five people and produced over 3,000 clips for various clients. In addition, Tomasz has written Dabarti Capture, an in-house tool for generating Surface Normal, Albedo and Depth textures from multiple photographs.

In this Episode, Tomasz talks about his experience launching and managing a successful studio, the tools and software they utilize and the importance of scripting for visual effects artists.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/123/.

Direct download: ep123_TomaszW_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Brandon Jarratt is a Technical Director at Walt Disney Studios. He has worked on big budget features like Moana, Big Hero 6, Zootopia. He is currently working on Wreck-It Ralph 2.

Upon receiving his degree in Computer Science from the Texas A&M University, Brandon studied CG animation at the University’s Visualization Lab. In 2012, he worked as a TD Intern at the Walt Disney Studios; and soon after finishing his Masters Degree, he was offered the job of a Technical Director.

In this Episode, Brandon discusses the balance between technology and art in visual effects -- and the additional skills one needs to break into the industry as a TD. 

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/122/.

Direct download: ep122_BrandonJarratt_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Sergio Páez is a Storyboard Artist and Director who has worked at companies like Lucasfilm, Sony, Pixar. His credits include Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels, Jonah Hex. He has recently finished writing and directing a short film in VR. 

Sergio is also a founding member of Storyboard Art, an online community of storyboard artists and other storytellers. He has co-authored a book Professional Storyboarding: Rules of Thumb, a go-to reference for story artists.

In this Episode, Sergio talks about his journey as a storyteller, how to become a director -- and the importance of passion, discipline and balance for an artist.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/121/.

Direct download: ep121_SergioPaez_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

For many of us, we want to make massive changes. We want the success we see others have. But it’s hard to connect the dots that what works for others, could work for us. Or that in a creative industries such as Visual Effects, Games, Design or TV -- that the money, lifestyle, or even the tools others use might even apply.

This series of Podcasts -- and the accompanying Guide -- is your path to setting yourself up for big changes NOW and making massive impact in your career, life -- and getting you on track for getting the success that you want!

Download the videos, exercises, and video tutorials as well as other resources INSTANTLY by going to www.allanmckay.com/bestyearyet/. Trust in the system, do the work, double down on the results that work for you and most importantly START NOW -- not tomorrow!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/120/.

Direct download: Ep120_Breaking_Bad_Habits_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

For many of us, we want to make massive changes. We want the success we see others have. But it’s hard to connect the dots that what works for others, could work for us. Or that in a creative industries such as Visual Effects, Games, Design or TV -- that the money, lifestyle, or even the tools others use might even apply.

This series of Podcasts -- and the accompanying Guide -- is your path to setting yourself up for big changes NOW and making massive impact in your career, life -- and getting you on track for getting the success that you want!

Download the videos, exercises, and video tutorials as well as other resources INSTANTLY by going to www.allanmckay.com/bestyearyet/. Trust in the system, do the work, double down on the results that work for you and most importantly START NOW -- not tomorrow!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/119/.

Direct download: Ep119_Self-Audit_2017_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Justin Goby Fields is a concept artist and owner of IronKlad Studios. After his career in graphic design and training at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, he has worked at such studios as Sony ImageWorks, Imaginary Forces, Aaron Sims Company, Amalgamated Dynamics and several others. Some of his film credits include Jupiter Ascending, Noah, The Wolverine, Ragnarock, Noah.

In this Episode, Justin talks about his career and gives advice to up-and-coming VFX artists on how to stand out and succeed in the games and film industries.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/118/.

Direct download: ep116_JustinGobyFields_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

For many of us, we want to make massive changes. We want the success we see others have. But it’s hard to connect the dots that what works for others, could work for us. Or that in a creative industries such as Visual Effects, Games, Design or TV -- that the money, lifestyle, or even the tools others use might even apply.

This series of Podcasts -- and the accompanying Guide -- is your path to setting yourself up for big changes NOW and making massive impact in your career, life -- and getting you on track for getting the success that you want!

Download the videos, exercises, and video tutorials as well as other resources INSTANTLY by going to www.allanmckay.com/bestyearyet/. Trust in the system, do the work, double down on the results that work for you and most importantly START NOW -- not tomorrow!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/117/.

Direct download: Ep117_Your_Social_Capitol_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

For many of us, we want to make massive changes. We want the success we see others have. But it’s hard to connect the dots that what works for others, could work for us. Or that in a creative industries such as Visual Effects, Games, Design or TV -- that the money, lifestyle, or even the tools others use might even apply.

This series of Podcasts -- and the accompanying Guide -- is your path to setting yourself up for big changes NOW and making massive impact in your career, life -- and getting you on track for getting the success that you want!

Download the videos, exercises, and video tutorials as well as other resources INSTANTLY by going to www.allanmckay.com/bestyearyet/. Trust in the system, do the work, double down on the results that work for you and most importantly START NOW -- not tomorrow!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/116/.

Direct download: ep116_Mastering_A_New_Skill_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Unit Image is a high-end 3D animation and VFX Studio based in Paris, France. It is specialized in full CGI and special effects for video games and commercials. 

Since being founded in 2010 by Maxime Luère, Léon Bérelle, Dominique Boidin and Rémi Kozyra, the studio has been creating impressive images and raising the bar with the quality of their award-winning work. The most work includes films for Ubisoft, Activision, Square Enix, Michelin, Cartier and many more. The studio has created trailers for video games Good and Evil 2, The Division, The Crew, Call of Duty, For Honor, ZombiU and several others.

In this Episode, the creative team at Unit Image talks about the studio’s history and its groundbreaking work in commercials and video games.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/115/.

Direct download: 115_UnitImage_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

For many of us, we want to make massive changes. We want the success we see others have. But it’s hard to connect the dots that what works for others, could work for us. Or that in a creative industries such as Visual Effects, Games, Design or TV -- that the money, lifestyle, or even the tools others use might even apply.

This series of Podcasts -- and the accompanying Guide -- is your path to setting yourself up for big changes NOW and making massive impact in your career, life -- and getting you on track for getting the success that you want!

Download the videos, exercises, and video tutorials as well as other resources INSTANTLY by going to www.allanmckay.com/bestyearyet/. Trust in the system, do the work, double down on the results that work for you and most importantly START NOW -- not tomorrow!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/114/.

Direct download: ep114_Frontloading_Your_Payraise_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

For many of us, we want to make massive changes. We want the success we see others have. But it’s hard to connect the dots that what works for others, could work for us. Or that in a creative industries such as Visual Effects, Games, Design or TV -- that the money, lifestyle, or even the tools others use might even apply.

This series of Podcasts -- and the accompanying Guide -- is your path to setting yourself up for big changes NOW and making massive impact in your career, life -- and getting you on track for getting the success that you want!

Download the videos, exercises, and video tutorials as well as other resources INSTANTLY by going to www.allanmckay.com/bestyearyet/. Trust in the system, do the work, double down on the results that work for you and most importantly START NOW -- not tomorrow!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/113/.

Direct download: ep113_Jumping_On_Trends_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In-Ah Mellor (Roediger) is a Senior Animator who has worked at places like Framestore, Sony, Double Negative, MPC and several others. After extensive studies of 2D and 3D animation -- at Gobelins, L’école de L’image in Paris, France and Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, in Germany -- her first job was working on Harry Potter, the Goblet of Fire at Framestore in London. Some of her credits include films like The Smurfs, Hotel Transylvania, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Where the Wild Things Are, Guardians of the Galaxy and many others.

Throughout her career, In-Ah has received multiple awards, including VES Award Nomination for her work on the character of China Doll in the 2014 feature Oz the Great and Powerful. She has been teaching at several schools and workshops. Currently, she resides in Vancouver, Canada and teaches character animation at VanArts.

In this Episode, In-Ah and Allan discuss subjects like working overtime, tips for a successful reel and how -- and when -- to negotiate a salary raise.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/112/.

Direct download: ep112-In-ah_Mellor_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

For many of us, we want to make massive changes. We want the success we see others have. But it’s hard to connect the dots that what works for others, could work for us. Or that in a creative industries such as Visual Effects, Games, Design or TV -- that the money, lifestyle, or even the tools others use might even apply.

This series of Podcasts -- and the accompanying Guide -- is your path to setting yourself up for big changes NOW and making massive impact in your career, life -- and getting you on track for getting the success that you want!

Download the videos, exercises, and video tutorials as well as other resources INSTANTLY by going to www.allanmckay.com/bestyearyet/. Trust in the system, do the work, double down on the results that work for you and most importantly START NOW -- not tomorrow!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/111/.

Direct download: Ep111_Creating_Mass_Opportunity_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

For many of us, we want to make massive changes. We want the success we see others have. But it’s hard to connect the dots that what works for others, could work for us. Or that in a creative industries such as Visual Effects, Games, Design or TV -- that the money, lifestyle, or even the tools others use might even apply.

This series of Podcasts -- and the accompanying Guide -- is your path to setting yourself up for big changes NOW and making massive impact in your career, life -- and getting you on track for getting the success that you want!

Download the videos, exercises, and video tutorials as well as other resources INSTANTLY by going to www.allanmckay.com/bestyearyet/. Trust in the system, do the work, double down on the results that work for you and most importantly START NOW -- not tomorrow!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/110/.

Direct download: Ep110_Your90DayYear_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Philip Trott has been recognized as a leading expert in both personal and business immigration. He has been listed in the Citywealth Leaders List 2017 as a leading immigration lawyer. He is a parter at Bates Wells & Braithwaite Law Firm in London, U.K.

Philip heads a team of seven lawyers that provides specialist immigration advice to commercial, charity and individual clients. He is also a member of the Law Society Brexit task force involved in the making representations to the government.

In this Episode, Philip explains the types of U.K. Visitor visas and the evidence required to support each type of application.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/109/.

 

Direct download: ep109_PhilipTrott_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

For many of us, we want to make massive changes. We want the success we see others have. But it’s hard to connect the dots that what works for others, could work for us. Or that in a creative industries such as Visual Effects, Games, Design or TV -- that the money, lifestyle, or even the tools others use might even apply.

This series of Podcasts -- and the accompanying Guide -- is your path to setting yourself up for big changes NOW and making massive impact in your career, life -- and getting you on track for getting the success that you want!

Download the videos, exercises, and video tutorials as well as other resources INSTANTLY by going to www.allanmckay.com/bestyearyet/. Trust in the system, do the work, double down on the results that work for you and most importantly START NOW -- not tomorrow!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/108/.

Direct download: Ep108_FindingYourPurpose_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Dave Walvoord is a VFX Supervisor at DreamWorks who has worked on films like How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, Shark Tale, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. He was the Head of Lighting for the Academy-nominated film Kung Fu Panda 2.

After receiving a Masters degree in Visualization Science from Texas A & M University, Dave Dave joined Blue Sky Studios where he worked on projects like Fight Club and Star Trek: Insurrection. He served as a Supervising TD on Ice Age and as a Digital Effects Sup for the Academy Award winning short film Bunny

In this Episode, Dave talks about the lessons he’s learned throughout his career as a VFX Sup and the advice he would give to any up-and-coming artist.  

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/107/.

 

Direct download: ep107_DaveWalvoord_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Redshift is the world’s first fully GPU-accelerated biased renderer. It is built to meet the specific demands of contemporary high-end production rendering. It provides the most features and flexibility among all GPU renderers. 

In this Podcast, Allan McKay talks with Nicolas Burtnyk, Co-Founder and CEO, as well as Rob Slater, Co-Founder and VP of Engineering. They discuss the benefits of GPU vs CPU rendering, the software Redshift currently supports and the renderer's future direction.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/106/.

Direct download: ep106_RedshiftDevelopers_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Ruben Mayor is a Senior FX TD at Weta Digital. Over the course of his career, he has traveled the world while working for giant studios like Sony Pictures Imageworks, The Mill, Mr. X. Ruben has worked on high profile films like Avengers: Infinity War, War for the Planet of the Apes, Dr. Who, Resident Evil, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and many more.

Ruben began his career in 2011 when he worked for nWave Digital Studios in Belgium. Before he discovered his passion for visual effects, he was an engineer for BMW.

In this Podcast, Ruben Mayor talks about the lessons he’s learned throughout his career: to always learn and improve your skills; to work hard and to take risks!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/105/

Direct download: Ep105_RubenMayor_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Victor Navone is a Supervising Animator at Pixar Animation Studios. Since 2000, he has worked on such high budget animated features as Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars 2 & 3, WALL-E, Brave, Inside Out and many more. 

After graduating from the University of California, Irvine, Victor began working as a 3D artist at Presto Studios, a video game company. He continued to study 3D character animation in his spare time. In 1999, Victor’s first animated short Alien Song, which was a result of some animation and lip sync tests, went viral. When it caught the attention of Edwin Catmull, the President of Pixar Animation Studios, Victor was invited for an interview. He joined the company in 2000.

For his work on WALL-E, Victor has won an award from the Visual Effects Society. He has taught at Animation Mentor and Animation Collaborative. 

In this Episode, Victor talks about his career -- with its victories and detours -- tools of a successful artist and insider tips for a demo reel that’s guaranteed to get you noticed!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/104/

Direct download: ep104_VictorNavone_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Having the hunger, the passion -- the fire under your butt -- is a driving force that’s essential for success!

In this Episode, Allan McKay talks about change as the catalyst for new levels of growth in your career, artistry and finances; as well as how to welcome and create change -- while making sure you have a failsafe environment for success.

After listening to this Episode, you will learn to:

- Identify the way you measure progress. 

- Make sure you aren’t overwhelmed by grandiose goals. 

- Eliminate excess.

- Force yourself to have massive changes. 

- Create new environments and friendships.

- Grow and achieve new levels of success!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/103/

Direct download: ep103_ForcedExile_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Bay Raitt is a designer, sculptor, character lead, animator, animation director and graphic novel creator. He was one of the first 30 employees hired at Weta Digital. As a Creature Facial Lead, he was responsible for building the facial system for Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. In 2003, Bay received a VES Award for Best Character Animation in a Live Action Motion Picture, for his work on Gollum.

Bay began his career working for Steve Oliff doing color separations for Image Comics. He has also worked for Protozoa, Nichimen Graphics, Weta Workshop and Valve Corporation. His current project is Nanite Fulcrum, a first of its kind, fully immersive Virtual Reality comic, based on the screenplay by Bay. 

In this Episode, Allan McKay and Bay Raitt discuss the history of CG animation, its future platforms (including VR) -- and how to get your dream job!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/102/

 

Direct download: Ep102_BayRaitt_mixdown_v3.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Ben Snow is a Senior VFX Supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic. Since joining ILM in 1994, he has worked on such influential films as Twister, The Mummy, Pearl Harbor, Star Wars, Iron Man, Avengers and many more. He has also worked a VFX Supervisor on King Kong, at Weta. Ben recently finished working on Darren Aronofsky’s film mother! which is his second collaboration with the director since feature film Noah

Born in Australia, Ben studied computing and film at the University of Canberra. His first job was at a graphics company in London, U.K. He later helped set up a computer animation department for Conja, a company in Sydney, Australia. There, he worked on a title sequence for the television series Beyond 2000.

Currently, Ben is collaborating on a virtual reality Star Wars experience called Secrets of the Empire. Throughout his career at ILM, he has been honored with four Academy Award nominations, VES and BAFTA nominations for Achievement in Visual Effects.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay and Ben Snow talk about his career at ILM, the development of the VFX industry -- including virtual reality -- and the best tools that get you hired!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/101/

Direct download: ep101_BenSnow_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Allan McKay is an Emmy-award winning VFX Supervisor and Technical Director. Over the course of his career, which spans over almost two decades, he’s worked on films like Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Superman, Flight, Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Equalizer and so many more! He’s also created effects for video games like Halo, Call of Duty, Half-Life, Bioshock, as well as multiple commercials.

Fred Ruff is the founder of Refuge FX, a Portland based visual effects studio responsible for projects like Grimm, Last Knight. He has over two decades of experience in computer graphics, visual effects and software development. He’s worked as a Lead Product Designer at Autodesk. He currently serves on the advisory board for Turbosquid, the world’s leading 3D model marketplace. Fred launched Refuge FX in 2013. 

In this Podcast, Fred Ruff interviews Allan McKay about his career -- from starting as a generalist to becoming a studio owner and VFX Supervisor -- as well as the importance of branding and treating yourself as a one-person studio.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/100/

Direct download: ep100_AllanMcKay_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT