The Allan McKay Podcast

A lot of the time, we don’t care about building relationships. We just want instant results. We just want to get a response from the first person to whom we reach out. We don’t want to introduce ourselves to a client and make us the priority. We don’t even want to concern ourselves with the value we can give to them. This is called a transactional relationship. We don’t even realize how many people are doing the same thing: They fire out result oriented emails.

There is that naivete about the job approach. A lot of us don’t think about other people. We’re so focused on our needs, we’re creating more space between us and that other person. The key thing here is: The more we build connections, the more we build relationships, the stronger they become. You become more favorable and dependable. 

In this Podcast, Allan McKay deconstructs the main reason why you may not be getting the response you want -- from your clients or potential employers -- as well as how to avoid transactional conversations and how to stand out in your outreach emails.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/309/.

Direct download: Ep309_-_Why_youre_not_landing_clients-2.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Stuart Lippincott is a motion graphics designer and NFT artist. He is known as @Stuz0r on social media. 

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews motion graphics designer Stuart Lippincott about NFT’s as a side hustle, establishing the rates you’re worth, attracting better clients, working remotely and how your brand determines your prices.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/308/.

Direct download: Ep308_-_Stuart_Lippincott_-_Landing_Work_Through_Social_Media.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Clinton Jones is a Director, Content Creator, VFX Artist and Photographer. He has worked at Rocket Jump and at Corridor Digital. On his YouTube Channel, where he is known as Pwnisher, he launches challenges for his community, as well as creates tutorials. His YouTube Channel has a massive following of over 557K subscribers, while his Instagram has 110K followers.

Currently, Clinton is working on co-writing his first feature film, creating content and making art.

In this Podcast, Allan and Clinton talk about the importance of getting out of your comfort zone, how to know when to pursue new opportunities, how not to burn bridges; as well as answer the burning question: Is an official diploma important for an artist’s career?

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/307/.



Direct download: Ep307_-_Clinton_Jones_-_Leaving_Corridor_Digital.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Taking pride in your work and in your process is so critical! You want to have people want to work with you again. If you don’t get it -- if you still don’t care -- that is an issue for any Supervisor.

This seems like simple stuff. It goes back to the idea of self-management. You have to anticipate the notes. You have to know how to evaluate if the shot is good enough before you show it to the rest of the team. The more you take pride in your work, the more you’re able to take an initiative, the more wins you get. 

In this Podcast, Allan shares his experience working with junior artists as a Supervisor and the initiative that was missing in their work -- potentially costing them jobs -- and gives advice on how to get the wins you want!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/306/.

Direct download: Ep306_-_Taking_pride_in_your_work.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Tarsier is an independent game studio situated in Malmö, Sweden. They are the developers of Statik and the award winning Little Nightmares franchise. 

Founded in 2004 as Team Tarsier, the team eventually changed their name to Tarsier Studios when they released their first two projects involving SCE properties in 2009. They’ve shipped the following games: Little Big Planet (1, 2 and 3), Rag Doll Kung Fu, Tearaway Unfolded, Little Nightmares (1 and 2), Statik, The Stretchers.

In this Podcast, Tarsier’s creative team talks about the inspiration behind their award winning Little Nightmares franchise, adapting production to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the future of games in VR.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/305/.

Direct download: Ep305_-_Tarsier_Studios_-_Little_Nightmares.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Wes Ball is a Director, VFX and graphic artist. He’s directed The Maze Runner trilogy and currently has several projects in development, including the next installment of the Planet of the Apes franchise.

Wes graduated from the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. In 2003, his short film A Work in Progress won a Student Academy Award  from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His animated short Ruin got the attention of executives at 20th Century Fox and earned him his first feature directing job: The Maze Runner. After the success of the film, Ball started his own production company OddBall Entertainment.

In this Podcast, Allan interviews Wes about the passion, perseverance and courage that it takes to be an artist, the importance of building and maintaining authentic relationships, and offers an inside look into his creative process and the vision for the future of filmmaking.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/304/.

Direct download: Ep304_-_Maze_Runner_Director_-_Wes_Ball.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dottie Starling is a Visual Effects Supervisor, CGI artist and digital modeler. Through both her freelance VFX career and her work with production houses such as Cinesite, Asylum, and Wildfire VFX, Dottie has worked on countless blockbuster motion pictures including Titanic, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, 007's Die Another Day, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Ocean’s Thirteen and Tropic Thunder.

Dottie has also worked with digital effects on the Academy Award-winning 12 Years a Slave, Oldboy, Selma, and the New Orleans-filmed television series Scream Queens. She has recently finished supervising Amazon’s original series Underground Railroad directed by Barry Jenkins.

In this Episode, Allan McKay interviews VFX Supervisor Dottie Starling about the path to becoming a Supervisor, the most crucial skill for the job, the challenge of creating visual effects that support the story (and the director’s vision), as well as her experience supervising Amazon’s original series Underground Railroad directed by Barry Jenkins.

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

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

Kode Abdo -- AKA BossLogic -- is a graphic artist from Melbourne, Australia. He first started drawing when he was 6 years old. After transferring his skills to a digital platform, BossLogic was able to expose his work to a wider audience, a move that came with great success. As an artist, he has his own style of visual stories. His thirst for knowledge is something that never goes away, so he keeps challenging himself and building the building blocks to get to where he needs to be. He loves doing collaborations with other talented people, learning from their take on design.

BossLogic has created official posters for some of the biggest blockbusters like Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far from Home and Aladdin; for studios like Marvel, Disney and Warner Bros. He has collaborated with the Russo brothers, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jim Lee. After a shoutout by Jake Gylenhall on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, he ended up creating a poster for Gylenhall’s Broadway Play Sea Wall / A Life.

In this Podcast, Allan and BossLogic talk about the power of the origin story, the permanence of the imposter syndrome in every artist’s life, perfectionism as the destroyer of creativity and hustling for a good cause.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/303/.

 

Direct download: ep303_-_BOSSLOGIC.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Matthew Encina is a content creator, educator and creative director with over 15 years of experience of directing, designing and animating. 

He previously served as the Chief Content Officer at The Futur and a Creative Director at Blind. He has taught through video content, articles interactive workshops, and as well as speaking engagements, helping grow The Futur YouTube channel to over 1 million subscribers. He focuses on the subjects of creativity, organization and process. Matthew studied Graphic Design at the Art Center College in Pasadena, CA.

In this Podcast, Allan and Matthew talk about embracing growing pains, leaning into your fears and surrounding yourself with mentors that challenge you to get out of your comfort zone.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/302/.

Direct download: ep302_-_The_Courage_to_Level_Up_-_Matt_Encina.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

How do you land your dream job at your dream studio? You start by having a killer reel. The more you look at the history of the studio, the more you can understand who they’re looking to hire. If you look at what this studio does a lot of, that’s going to dictate what their needs may be. Your reel needs to reflect that.

Be the one person that’s 100% aligned with the type of work that your dream studio does, so you can stand out. When you put yourself in the shoes of the person hiring, you make yourself memorable. So research the place you want to work for. If this is your dream job -- you have to align your work with them 100%.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay breaks down the science behind a great reel that can land you your dream job, at your dream studio.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/301/.



Direct download: Ep301_DreamJob_PUB.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Michael Janda is an executive level creative leader with more than 20 years of experience in both in-house creative departments and agencies working with some of the greatest brands in the world. In 2002, he founded the creative agency Riser, a nationally recognized agency creating high-profile work for clients including Disney, Google, ABC, Fox, Warner Bros., NBC, TV Guide and numerous other notable companies. The company’s 3 year growth rate of 235% in 2013 resulted in a ranking on Inc. 5000 (#1657). Riser’s work quality and successful business practices yielded some of the most coveted awards in the industry including Webbys, FWA, Awwwards, AIGA and Addys.  

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

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

Allan McKay is an Emmy-Award winning Visual Effects (VFX) Supervisor and Technical Director. He is responsible for many visual effects sequences including hit projects like Transformers, Blade, The Last Airbender, Star Trek, Superman, Flight, The Equalizer, and dozens of other films, as well as many of the top video games worldwide including Halo, Destiny, Call of Duty, Bioshock, Prototype, Half-Life, Team Fortress 2, and dozens of others. 

Allan has over two decades of experience working in the visual effects industry for many leading studios such as Industrial Light & Magic, Pixomondo, Blur Studio, Atomic Fiction, Prime Focus, Ubisoft, Activision and dozens of others.

In addition to his VFX work, Allan runs many online courses, as well as a mentorship with over 1,000 members. Throughout the past two decades he has appeared as a speaker at events in over 15 different cities including Paris, Sydney, Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver, Singapore, Helsinki, as well as master classes at SIGGRAPH.

His hit podcast is rated in the top 50 podcasts in the careers section of iTunes where he interviews many award winning artists and directors in the creative industry, focusing on both creativity and drive, as well as boosting your career and success within the creative industry.

In this Podcast Michael interviews Allan about his decades-long career in visual effects, the lessons of perseverance and failing up, the importance of communication skills, as well as some social network hacks to get the attention of VIP’s.  

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/300/.



Direct download: Ep300-Janda_PUB_v2.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Glenn Stearns was born to alcoholic parents, diagnosed dyslexic, and failed 4th grade. He fathered a child at the age of 14 and graduated high school in the bottom ten-percent of his class. While some of his friends lost their lives to drugs and alcohol, and others spent time in prison, Glenn's path intersected with mentors who gave him motivating examples of how to not meet the fate of his friends and instead take control of his destiny. He took that life-changing encouragement and ran with it. Glenn became the first person in his family to attend college and graduated with a degree in economics from Towson University. Inspired by stories of people who took risks and achieved their grandest ambitions, he then moved to California where he slept on the kitchen floor of a one-bedroom apartment that he shared with five other recent grads. While waiting tables, Glenn continued to search for new opportunities to rise above his humble beginnings. 

At 25, after working as a loan officer for 10 months, Glenn formed his own mortgage company Stearns Lending. By 2010, Stearns Lending reached nearly $1 billion a month in funding while experiencing record growth. Stearns not only survived the 2007 mortgage-lending crisis, it emerged as one of the top lenders in the country. Glenn attributes his resilience to putting “people before profit” and having transparent integrity in lending standards. Since 2010, Stearns Lending has funded over 150-billion dollars in loans, making the corporation America’s #1 Wholesale Lender in 2013. The company has helped nearly 1,000,000 families achieve home ownership. In 2014, Blackstone purchased the majority share of Stearns Lending for an undisclosed sum.

Glenn is also the founder of Anivive Life Science, Stearns Wholesale, Stearns Holdings, Stearns Ventures, Artemis Holdings, TriVerify, TriMavin, United Housing Services, Inc., and Mortgage Services Providers Holdings. He is an investor in Indi.com and Lender Price and the largest shareholder of California-based Infinity bank.

In 2011, he was inducted into The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. This Award is given to individuals in recognition of personal and professional success despite humble and challenging beginnings, in addition to personal initiatives and accomplishments in giving back to others. In 2013, he became the youngest Member elected to the Horatio Alger Association’s prestigious Board of Directors.

Glenn and his wife Mindy are very active in the community having been honored for their dedication to community service and philanthropy with Muhammad Ali’s Parkinson’s Foundation “Couple of the Year” Award, Starkey Hearing Foundation’s “American Couple of the Year,” Orange County’s “Giving is Living Award” and the Orangewood Children’s Foundation’s “Golden Heart Award”.

In this Podcast, Glenn shares his wisdom about getting out of your comfort zone and leadership, resilience and failure; his thoughts about “overnight success” stories and the boundaries between mentors and friends, as well as his definition of the American Dream.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/299/.



Direct download: Ep299_GlennStearns_PUB.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

When it comes to VFX Work, Bryan Hirota has seen a lot in his career, from his first VFX job at Visual Image to currently being a VFX Supervisor at Scanline VFX. He’s worked at studios like Pixomondo, Prime Focus VFX, CIS Hollywood, Blue Sky - VIFX. His projects include The Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Godzilla vs Kong, The Suicide Squad, Aquaman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Green Lantern, Tree of Life, Watchmen, Tropic Thunder, Pirates of the Caribbean, X-Men, Armageddon, The Relic and many more.

In this Podcast, Allan interviews Bryan about his experience working with Zack Snyder on Justice League, reworking the film for the 2021 Cut for HBO Max, Scanline’s shots on Godzilla vs Kong, as well as Bryan’s advice for VFX Artists and Supervisors.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/298/.

Direct download: Ep298_BrianHirota_PUB.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Platige Image S.A. is a Polish VFX company that specializes in computer graphics, 3D animation and digital special effects. It was founded in Warsaw in 1997, by Jarosław Sawko and Piotr Sikora. The studio employs a staff of over 150 artists, including directors, art directors, graphic designers and producers. 

Over its 20-year history, Platige has built an impressive portfolio of short animations, cinematics, commercials and feature films with titles like Netflix’s Love, Death + Robots and The Witcher; Wonderwoman; Lars von Trier’s Antichrist and Melancholia; Cathedral, Fallen Art and many others. Their work has garnered numerous prestigious awards and distinctions, such as a BAFTA, an EFA, a Goya Award and SIGGRAPH Awards, as well as nominations for an Oscar, the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

In this Podcast, Allan interviews Platige’s VFX Supervisor Matt Tokarz and VFX Producer Krzysztof Krok about their experience working on The Witcher for Netflix and the fact that Platige owned The Witcher’s IP.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/297/.

Direct download: Ep297_-_Platige_-_The_Witcher.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

We have these barriers that we put on ourselves because we set our reality to be around these limitations. We tell ourselves we can’t do something. Or that art doesn’t pay. Or that the industry sucks. These are the constraints -- or excuses -- we put on ourselves to dismiss the possibility of what could be real. That becomes our reality. So how many things like this are you telling yourself? 

Most of you don’t want to step out of your comfort zone. But if you do get triggered, it might be good to lean into those uncomfortable spaces and pains. When you dismiss ideas, chances are you just don’t want to put in the work. 

It all starts with asking the right questions and setting the right goals:

  • What if it were possible?
  • What would it look like?
  • And what would I need to do to get those results?

In this Podcast, Allan talks about examining your limiting thoughts and resistance, setting higher goals, building winning habits -- and overcoming those barriers that once seemed impossible.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/296/.



Direct download: ep296_-_Blowing_Up_Your_Freelance_Prices.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In this Podcast, Allan McKay talks about the key takeaways from his interview with Hugo Martin, the Creative Director of DOOM and DOOM Eternal, about the benefit of getting out of your comfort zone, how to be a creative leader, and how to rise above the chaos -- and to succeed.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/295/.

Direct download: Ep295_-_DOOM_ETERNAL_-_Hugo_Martin.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Lotta (aka Charlotta) Forssman is a VFX supervisor based out of NYC. For nearly a decade, she has been part of Molecule VFX and has worked on shows like Ballers (HBO), The Good Cop, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Master of None (Netflix). She has been a Supervisor for Apple TV’s Dickinson since Season 1.

In this Podcast, Allan and Lotta talk about the path to becoming a VFX Supervisor, how to communicate with other creatives about visual effects; her experience as a woman artist in the industry and some of her projects, including DICKINSON for Apple TV+.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/294/.

Direct download: Ep294_-_Lotta_Forrsman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The Unreal Fellowship is a 30-day intensive blended learning experience designed to help experienced industry professionals in film, animation, and VFX learn Unreal Engine, develop a strong command of state-of-the-art virtual production tools, and foster the next generation of teams in the emerging field of real-time production. 

During the program, Fellows learn Unreal Engine fundamentals, model ingestion, animation and mocap integration, lookdev, lighting setups, and cinematic storytelling.

Brian Pohl is a Technical Program Manager at Epic Games. He helps artists and clients get the training they need to integrate the Unreal Engine into their creative pipelines. Pohl also acts as the academic Dean for the Unreal Engine Fellowship Program.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Brian about virtual productions and the tool Unreal Engine provides, as well as the Unreal Fellowship, a training program that teaches artists the fundamentals.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/293/.



Direct download: EP293_-_UNREAL_FELLOWSHIP_-_Epic_Games_-_Brian_Pohl_V01.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Marty Neumeier is a best-selling author and speaker who writes on topics of brand and design. Today Marty spends most of his time lecturing all over the globe about the role of creativity and innovation in the creation of relevant and meaningful brand experiences. 

Marty has written several best-selling books including The Brand Gap which outlines how to bridge the distance between business strategy and design; ZAG which introduces “onliness” as the true test of a brand strategy; and The Designful Company which offers leaders a blueprint for building a culture of innovation through design thinking. ZAG was named one the “100 Best Business Books of All Time.”

In 2013, Marty published Metaskills: Five Talents for the Robotic Age, a deep dive into the future of workplace creativity. He then wrote The 46 Rules of Genius as a “quickstart guide” to “Metaskills.” His latest book The Brand Flip is the long-awaited sequel to The Brand Gap. It offers a simple formula for addressing the changes brought by social media and the rising power of customers.

Marty was also commissioned by Google Brand Lab to write the Dictionary of Brand, a relational glossary containing 500 interconnected terms in brand strategy, advertising, design, innovation and management. The Dictionary of Brand is the first step in creating a “linguistic foundation” -- a set of terms that allow specialists from different disciplines to work together in a larger community of practice.

When Marty is not lecturing or writing, he is facilitating inspirational workshops or providing consulting services to companies the likes of Apple, Google, Microsoft, Skype, Twitter and Patagonia.

In this Podcast, Allan and Marty talk about the difference between brand and personality, which skills make up the best leader, the importance of empathy and the power of a well-written email.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/292/.

Direct download: ep292_MartyNumeier.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Rhett Dashwood (aka Mankind) is an award winning Creative Director with experience in a broad range of creative media, including digital, animation, branding, print, film making and concept art. He has worked with the following studios and agencies during his 15+ years in the industry: Emery / Frost, Tribal, AKQA, Exit Films, DDB and many more. He is currently Creative Director of Dashwood. 

As a Digital Artist, Rhett creates work under the name of Mankind. On his Instagram page (@Mankind), Rhett publishes his own art and curates the art of other digital artists. His YouTube channel is dedicated to everything art, including his expertise on crypto art and NFT’s.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Rhett Dashwood (aka Mankind) about the hot topic of crypto art and NFT’s, the history behind it and the post-COVID-19 surge; how to start selling your digital art -- and why the cliche of a “starving artist” is on its way out.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/291/.

Direct download: ep291_-_Rhett_Dashwood.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Doug Roble is the Senior Director of Software R&D at Digital Domain and leads a world-class team of software developers. An original member of Digital Domain, Doug has been writing software and conducting research to advance the artistry and technology for feature films since the studio’s inception.

Doug was awarded two Academy Sci-Tech Awards: one for “Track”, an integrated software program that extracts critical 2D and 3D information about a scene and the camera used to film it; and the second for his work on the fluid simulation system at Digital Domain which incorporates innovative algorithms and refined adaptations of published methods to achieve large-scale water effects.

He has participated in SIGGRAPH nearly continuously, in one form or another, for 25 years, including leading multiple courses, papers and presentations. An accomplished orator and advocate of technological advancement, Doug speaks regularly at premier conferences and events including TED 2019, and keynotes at the Symposium on Computer Animation and the DigiPro Conference. Also, he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Graphics Tools for several years.

Doug is an active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Visual Effects branch. He is the chair of the Sci/Tech Awards and a member of the Sci/Tech Council.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay and Doug Roble discuss the future of visual effects, machine learning, digital humans — and what it means for VFX Artists.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/290/.

Direct download: ep290_DougRoble_PUBLISH.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

JangaFX was founded in 2016 by Nick Seavert, an entrepreneur who is well versed in both startups and real-time VFX. JangaFX was initially bootstrapped with credit cards, software sales, and many thousands of man hours instead of outside investments. The company’s core motive is to provide real-time VFX tools to artists and designers who work in video game or film industries. 

The first tool by JangaFX called VectorayGen was released in 2017. EmberGen is a standalone real-time volumetric fluid simulation tool built for generating flipbooks, image sequences, and VDB files.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Nick Seavert about his starting JangaFX and the challenges he experienced, the multiple applications of EmberGen and the company’s collaboration with Otoy.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/289/.

 

Direct download: ep289_-_Embergen_PUB_v2.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Lux Machina Consulting is a design, management and technical consulting firm focused on complex, large scale live shows, film production and installations.

Lux Machina uses innovative techniques and technologies from various markets to connect artists with their audiences like never before. The company prides itself on the balance between technical and artistic decisions, and works to maximize their clients’ resources to build their visions effectively and efficiently.

Since its inception, Lux Machina has collaborated on such groundbreaking projects as The Mandalorian, The Irishman, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Rogue One; as well as consulted for clients that include Lucasfilm, Epic Games, ARRI Camera and many others.

In this Podcast, Allan interviews the team at Lux Machina -- Co-CEO Phil Galler and CTO Kris Murray -- about the company’s history, its most groundbreaking projects, as well as the biggest challenges and the future of virtual production.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/288/.

Direct download: Ep288_LuxMachina_PUB.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

A lot of us quit doing what we love for the wrong reasons, because other people poison our minds by telling us we have to go get “a real career”. When we aren’t getting that traction in the beginning (which is normal in our career), we start feeding off these doubts instilled in our minds and we give up too soon. 

But we are all on our own journey. If others are projecting their fears or failures onto us, -- instead of supporting us -- why would we want that around? You’re the average of five people with whom you spend the most time with. So always be surrounded by people who are better than you, those who inspire and encourage you to do better, to do more. And when you have such a support system -- then the sky's the limit!

In this Podcast, Allan McKay discusses the importance of having a support system that makes you average up, not down; how and where to find it and how to overcome the inner critic that holds you back.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/287/.

Direct download: Ep287_SkyIsTheLimit.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

If you aren’t willing to do the work -- and be anything else than an artist -- then you are going to fail. And that’s the brutal truth! That is because you aren’t just an artist. Being an artist is just your skill or your trade. You still need to do the other stuff. 

The reason so many people give up on their career is because they give up the minute it gets tough. You need to learn to manage yourself to be able to step up and look at what is working and what isn’t. Make no mistake: You are a business, you have a reputation. You are a brand. 

In this Podcast, Allan McKay confronts the excuses with which artists sabotage their careers and gives advice on how to make a choice to confront those excuses -- and to actually succeed! 

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/286/.



Direct download: Ep286_Why90PercentFail.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Beeple is Mike Winkelmann, a graphic designer from Charleston, SC, USA who does a variety of digital artwork including short films, Creative Commons VJ loops, everydays and VR / AR work.  

After he began releasing a set of widely used Creative Commons VJ loops he has worked on concert visuals for Justin Bieber, One Direction, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Eminem, Zedd, deadmau5 and many more.   

One of the originators of the current "everyday" movement in 3D graphics, he has been creating a picture everyday from start to finish and posting it online for over ten years without missing a single day. Mike has also created several short films which have screened at a variety of festivals.

Allan McKay interviews Beeple about finding inspiration for his daily art, the importance of discipline, building an audience and the myth of perfection.  

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/285/.

Direct download: ep285_Beeple.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

There is an example in marketing: If you have a migraine and you head to a pharmacy, you’ll see one medicine that says, “Cures All Aches and Pains” and another that says, “Cures All Migraines”. They both do the same thing and they’re made by the same company. But their marketers know that the medicine that’s the most specific -- is the one that will stand out.

Meanwhile, a lot of artists have this gut reaction that specializing is bad and that it’s better to generalize as much as you can. The truth is that you can specialize in multiple things but what you’re really trying to do is to stand out. By specializing, you aren’t eliminating opportunity -- you’re eliminating competition.

Sometimes to be exceptional, you need to get specific. And there are different ways to stand out in your industry or how people remember you. It’s about getting your client confident that you’ll get the job done on time. Your messaging can change with every single client. When it comes to having a conversation, you can find out what their specific problem is -- and plant that seed that you’re the person to solve that problem. 

In this Podcast, Allan talks about the importance of specializing, how to have different niches, how to adjust those niches for different clients -- and how to become memorable as the go-to person for a specific job. 

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/284/.

 

Direct download: Ep284_Standout.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Hugo Guerra is a Portuguese born award-winning Director and VFX Supervisor. After finishing his Fine Arts degree, he worked in Portugal and Sweden before moving to the UK where he was a freelancer for several years. 

He joined The Mill in 2010 as a VFX Supervisor and as Head of the Nuke Department. Over that time, Hugo was a Lead Artist and Onset Supervisor for several productions, including Codemaster's Bodycount, Ubisoft's Rainbow Six, the VES awarded Audi “Hummingbird”, Activision's Call of Duty, and BBC Music God Only Knows among others.

In 2014, Hugo joined Fire Without Smoke as a Director and Visual Effects Supervisor, working on trailers for CCP, Ubisoft, Deep Silver, Square Enix, Sony, Warhammer and many others.

Most recently Hugo worked as a VFX Supervisor for Sony Playstation San Diego and is currently working as a Film Director for Rebellion Games. 

He is also a Visual Effects Society Jury member and created Hugo's Desk, the largest YouTube channel about Nuke compositing.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay and Hugo Guerra tackle the subjects of having a business mentality as an artist, learning to negotiate and the importance of knowing your worth.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/283/.

Direct download: Ep283_HuegoGuerra_PUB.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Most of us initially set small goals that we find socially acceptable. We’re too afraid to set bigger goals, or we don’t have them anymore because we find them to be impossible. The goals that we do say outloud are the ones that we find socially acceptable, without being laughed at. And that sucks! We’re afraid to dream big or to dream what we aspire to be.  And it’s not because we decided that we weren’t good enough. It’s because others decided that we weren’t good enough. 

What if we stopped others from pushing their fears and insecurities, their limited mindsets onto our hopes and dreams? And what if we decided that dreams are also as good as the strategy we put in place and its execution? 

In this Podcast, Allan McKay shares his expertise about how to set your Someday Goals and how to stay focused and actually achieve them.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/282/.

 



Direct download: ep282_BuildingBiggerGoals_PUB.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

A native Californian, David Tanaka attended the University of California at Berkeley where in 1989 he earned his bachelor's degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Film Theory. Upon graduating, he worked for post-production facilities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, quickly gaining experience through corporate advertising and industrial documentary assignments.

In 1990, he joined Industrial Light & Magic, Lucas Digital Ltd., and served as a Senior Visual Effects Editor for fifteen years. His credits include Jurassic Park, Forrest Gump and Star Wars. In 2005, he accepted a Staff Post-Production Editor position for Pixar Animation Studios, handling trailer, international and marketing post-production pipeline matters on Cars, Ratatouille, WALL•E, Up, Toy Story 3, Cars 2 and Brave.

In 2007, David was elected to the board of the Visual Effects Society's Northern California Section. In 2011 he was elected as Sectional Chairman and sincerely looks forward to the social and professional opportunities the Visual Effects Society provides for his fellow colleagues in the entertainment industry.

Father of two (Mitchell, age 13, and Benjamin, age 10), he loves sharing the craft of film production, editing and visual effects with his family in the form of personal video projects and online challenges. Over the past few years, they have won international acclaim for internet competitions sponsored by Dreamworks Entertainment, Paramount Pictures and the Pepsi Corporation. All in the name of fun, David enjoys exposing his sons to not only the rewards, but also the hard work associated with his craft, while they together explore the ever-evolving frontier of multimedia.

In addition to the Visual Effects Society, David is also an honorary member of Swords to Plowshares: A Veterans' Rights Organization for his psa producing contributions.

In this Podcast, Allan interviews David about his career, his experience working for both ILM and Pixar; as well as the importance of building a personal brand and relationships as a VFX artist and / or freelancer.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/281/.

Direct download: ep281_DavidTanaka_PUB.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Evercast combines video conferencing and HD live streaming in one web-based platform allowing for a secure, real-time collaboration — whether your team is across town or around the world.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay talks to Brad Thomas and Roger Barton, two of the Founders of Evercast, about the inception of the company, its journey through challenges -- to becoming today’s groundbreaking technology for creatives working remotely.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/280/.



Direct download: ep280_evercast_PUB.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

A lot of us have this myth in our head that if we work hard and stay out of trouble, good things will come our way. That is a mistake. The truth is that it doesn’t work that way. Nobody is paying attention. The other part of it is that we typically wait for our annual review.  

Most people if they don’t get what they want, they build a strategy: To get their reel around and get a better offer, then go back to their current boss with that offer. The reason this doesn’t work is because if the employer gives you that money, they’re rewarding you for blackmailing them.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay shares some strategies that guarantee a pay rise without any risk, including how to make yourself irreplaceable and when the right time is to ask for a promotion.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/279/.



Direct download: ep279_YourNextPayRise.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

2020 will go down in history as a big “What the Fuck?” Year! We’ve all experienced different things, but I don’t think many of us have had positive experiences. But to put things in perspective, we’re given an opportunity for a do-over. We’re all in this situation. When I realize that, it’s a bit more reassuring. How can we leverage things out? How can we turn this around?

Maybe we haven’t done as much, but there is always time to hit the reset button. This is so critical right now! There isn’t a better time to do something we’ve wanted to do -- than right now! If we haven’t utilized 2020 yet, we can still start tomorrow. In times of turmoil, some people or businesses shut down while others blossom. For those of us who’ve had some success in 2020, set your goals even higher. For those of us who’ve had a shitty year, use this opportunity -- to hit the reset button!

In this Podcast, Allan McKay reflects on the year 2020 -- it’s unprecedented challenges and impressive victories -- and gives advice on how to move forward in a positive, hopeful, productive way!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/278/.

Direct download: ep278_f2020.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Connie Siu is the Writer and Director of short film Jeffrey. She holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, graduated cum laude from SFSU with a BA in Fine Art, and attended UCLA’s Producers Workshop Program. Connie is the former Chairman and co-founder of the San Francisco Chapter of Siggraph, the former Vice-Chair of the U.S. Sports Film Festival, and served as Executive Director of the Pre-Visualization Society. 

Jeffrey is a short film that was shot as a virtual production in 2020. It’s a love story whose main character Jeffrey repairs the Dead so they can move on to the Beyond. Due to a series of magical events, he meets a woman and for the first time experiences the innocence of first love. 

In this Podcast, Connie Siu is joined by the creative team behind Jeffrey:

  • Virtual Lighting Supervisor Paul Debevec
  • VFX Supervisor Joel Hynek
  • Line Producer Allison Vanore
  • Associate Producer Gena Kay 
  • And Phil Galler and Poom Wattanapan of Lux Machina

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Writer and Director Connie Siu and the creative team behind Jeffrey about the film’s innovations and challenges.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/277/.



Direct download: ep277_Jeffrey_Pub.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Originating from a very successful career as an advertising photographer, Mark Toia was coerced into directing TVCs by his clients. Being pursued by advertising agencies and production companies globally, he has a lengthy list of repeat business 8th the world’s largest companies that most could only dream of.

Mark’s prowess and success is due to his ability to reinvent himself over and over again. He’s always looking for new inspiration, constantly finding new technologies to aid his work and learning new crafts to help create images that have compelling screen presence, not to mention more on-screen value. After a decade of experience as a director of auto commercials, Mark has brought his expertise to feature films. His first feature Monsters of Man will premiere December 8th, 2020.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Mark Toia, the Director of Monsters of Man, about his insight and expertise directing, financing and distributing his first feature film, the future of virtual production and the myth of “a starving artist”.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/276/.

Direct download: Ep276_MarkToia_Podcast.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Roman Belov is the Founder of KeenTools, a Blender add-on for 3D modelling of human faces and heads based on photos. The models can be used for sculpting, animation, tracking or anything else in Blender or facial tracking with FaceTracker in Nuke; or to be exported for further modifications in any other 3D software.

In this Podcast, Allan interviews Roman about the origins and development of this software, its current usage and its potential, as well as the future of cloud based innovations.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/275/.



Direct download: Ep275_-_KeenTools_PUB_V3.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

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

In 2002, he founded the creative agency Riser, a nationally recognized agency creating high-profile work for clients including Disney, Google, ABC, Fox, Warner Bros., NBC, TV Guide and numerous other notable companies. In addition to his robust experience managing creative and marketing teams, Michael is the author of the book Burn Your Portfolio: Stuff They Don’t Teach You in Design School, but Should. Since its publication in 2013, Burn Your Portfolio has been one of the top selling books in the industry and has been published in English, Russian, Chinese Traditional and Chinese Simplified. His work and business has been featured by Print Magazine, HOW Magazine, Utah Business Magazine and BusinessQ Magazine, where he donned the cover of the December 2012 issue highlighting their article for Utah’s Coolest Entrepreneurs.

Tom Ross is the founder and CEO of Design Cuts in London, England. Tom and Mike started their Podcast Biz Buds, a value-packed weekly discussion during which they share their journeys from struggling freelancers to both running multi 7-figure businesses, and the lessons picked up along the way.

In this Podcast, Mike, Tom and Allan talk about working remotely, the most important set of skills for artists, successful branding, niching and how COVID-19 has affected the industry -- for the better!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/274/.



Direct download: ep274_-_Janda_Ross_PUBLISH.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Let’s talk about it once and for all: How to get paid by your client and how to avoid getting screwed over; and what to do if you do get screwed over. Artists often tell the sob story of, “Art doesn’t pay and you get screwed over”. But a lot of the time, you need to do things yourself from the beginning. It doesn’t have to do with just art. It’s true for any industry. So level up and get your business hat on!

All you want to do is do your artwork. But we do need to realize that we’re also running a business and we need to take those steps; to make sure we’re protected and we’re taking seriously.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay dives into a few key subjects of how to get paid by your client, what to do when they refuse to pay, and most importantly -- how to protect yourself ahead of time.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/273/.

Direct download: ep273-ClientRefusesToPay.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

With wisdom from the best and the brightest in the industry, The VES Handbook is a visual effects bible that belongs on the shelf of anyone working -- or aspiring to work -- in VFX. The book covers techniques and solutions all VFX artists, producers, and supervisors need to know, from pre-production, to digital character creation and compositing of both live-action and CG elements. 

In-depth lessons on stereoscopic moviemaking, color management and digital intermediates are included, as well as chapters on interactive games and full animation authored by artists from EA and Dreamworks respectively. Written by 88 top leading visual effects practitioners and covering everything about visual effects from pre-production, production, and post-production, The VES Handbook is a must-have book for every VFX artist.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews a panel of leading VFX Supervisors who have contributed their expertise to the 3rd Edition of The VES Handbook, along with the Co-Editor and the Chair of the VES Society Jeff Okun about the current and future state of the industry.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/272/.

Direct download: ep272_VES-Publish.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Quixel Megascans is a massive online scan library of high-resolution, consistent PBR calibrated surface, vegetation and 3D scans, also including desktop applications for managing, mixing and exporting your downloaded scan data. It’s the product of 5 years of scanning and is a collaboration with top game and film studios worldwide.

Quixel was founded in 2011 by Teddy Bergsman and Waqar Azim based on the vision of substantially speeding up how creators build digital environments, by giving them access to a vast and ever-expanding library of 3D building blocks and easy-to-use tools to greatly simplify the creative process.

In this Podcast, Allan interviews Teddy Bergsman about the history of the company, its tools and acquisition by Epic Games; as well as the impact and the future of machine learning.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/271/.



Direct download: Ep271_Quixel.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Crafty Apes is a full service, boutique VFX company based in Culver City, CA & Atlanta, GA. The company was launched in July of 2011 by three visual effects veterans Jason Sanford, Chris LeDoux and Tim LeDoux. Believing that strong 2D compositing is the backbone behind quality visual effects, Crafty Apes was formed to primarily offer high-end compositing services for feature films and television clients. 

Crafty Apes specializes in compositing effects and visual effects supervision. By paying extra attention to the detail and integration that 2D work requires and by working with the best technology available spread among a select group of artists, Crafty Apes can deliver a superior product to higher end clients in a shorter time period.

Their recent credits include: The Babysitter: Killer Queen, Lovecraft Country, Doctor Strange, Hidden Figures, Lalaland, Fist Fight, Pete's Dragon, Captain America: Civil War, Killing Reagan, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Dirty Grandpa, Allegiant, Insurgent, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Black Mass, The 33, Foxcatcher, 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, The Monkey King, White House Down, Single Mom's Club, The Last Stand, A Madea's Christmas and many more.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay speaks with Executive Producer Matt Akey and VFX Supervisor Aldo Ruggiero at Crafty Apes about the future of the VFX industry post the novel coronavirus, the new technological demands, artistic trends and innovations. 

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/270/.

Direct download: ep270_CraftyApes.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Andrey Lebrov is a CG and VFX Director, as well as a Co-Founder of Out of Nothing, Ltd.

Andrey was born in Ukraine, raised in Liepaja, Latvia. He began working as a freelancer at the age of 15 as a Photoshop Artist. He eventually immigrated to the U.K. to pursue better opportunities in visual effects. Andrey is a self-taught CG Artist. He launched his YouTube Channel to share what he’s learned in CG and cinematography.

In this Podcast, Andrey shares his journey of learning, perseverance and success as a CG and VFX Artist.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/269/.

Direct download: Ep269_AndreyLebrov.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Writer, Director, Producer HaZ Dulull started as a VFX Artist on feature films such as The Dark Knight and Hellboy 2. He quickly progressed to a VFX Supervisor role and was nominated for several VES awards on shows like Planet Dinosaur (BBC) and America: The Story of US (Discovery). His creativity and smart approach to production also led him to become a VFX Producer on series like Poldark Season 1 and The Aliens.

In between VFX jobs, HaZ created a number of short films. His shorts Project Kronos, I.R.I.S and Sync all tapped into his love for grounded sci fi and served as proofs of concept for feature films. They also became internet sensations, launching his career as a visionary filmmaker. His debut feature film The Beyond, which he wrote, directed and produced, was released by Gravitas Ventures in January 2018 on all digital platforms.

HaZ's second feature (which he co-wrote, directed and co-produced) 2036 Origin Unknown, is a sci fi thriller starring Katee Sackhoff. The film enjoyed a limited theatrical release in the US before being released digitally in the summer of 2018. Early in 2018, HaZ also directed four episodes of the Disney action-comedy, 8-part limited series Fast Layne. He also serves as a creative consultant on the series. In 2020, Haz has released a short film Battlesuit and has been in production for Mutant Year Zero, four quadrant action adventure, based on the popular video game of the same name.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Filmmaker HaZ Dulull about his beginning as a VFX Artist and how that knowledge helped him into directing, how he learned on the job, the importance of thinking as a producer, the secret to getting sponsorship for your projects -- and so much more!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/268/.

Direct download: ep268_Haz.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Gerald Undone is a YouTube creator whose channel is dedicated to different technologies used in the creative process. He tests a variety of tech and gadgets, reviews those products from a value perspective and provides tutorials and guides for content creation using that same gear.

In this Podcast, Gerald Undone shares his experience with building a successful YouTube channel, finding a like minded community of creatives, the importance of narrowing down your brand and having side passions.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/267/.



Direct download: ep267_GeraldUndone.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:04am EDT

Instagram is the number one platform to get exposure and to build your name, to build a following and to get known, and of course, to land clients as well. But how do you take advantage of this if no one is seeing your posts? If you’re posting with bad hashtags, your posts are going to get pushed to the side. A lot of us like using lots of hashtags, but that means that our posts will get lost in the shuffle because some of the hashtags weren’t laser focused -- while the right hashtags will increase visibility. That’s what you need to realize:

Hashtags are everything!

In this Podcast, Allan McKay breaks down the science of using hashtags and the secret to how to build successful posts. Hashtags: What they are, why you need them and how to use them as a frigging ninja!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/266/.

Direct download: Ep266_IGHashtags_PUB.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Looking back at the beginning of his own career, Allan examines what he should’ve done differently: Instead of sending out his reel over and over, he could’ve been asking for feedback: “I realize my reel sucks. Tell me what an ideal reel would be to you.”

The key factor here is empathy. By putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, you’re able to get the most wins. You’re able to start thinking differently: What is it like for them? What are their needs? And what are their pain points? As soon as you put yourself in the shoes of the other person -- look at what they want, what they need and like -- it will help you get better at what you’re doing.

In this Podcast, Allan talks about the power of empathy: How to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and identify their needs -- and how to make empathy work for you! 

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/265/.

Direct download: Ep265_PowerOfEmpathy_PUB.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

American author, game designer, graphic novelist and screenwriter Jordan Mechner is best known as a pioneer of cinematic storytelling in the video game industry and as the creator of Prince of Persia, one of the most successful and enduring video game franchises of all time. His other games include Karateka, The Last Express, Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.

Karateka was published by Broderbund in 1984 and became a #1 bestseller. One of the first games to combine arcade action with realistic animation and cinematic storytelling, it created a new template that other early fighting games would follow. Inspired by the 1,001 Nights tales he had known as a child, Mechner completed Prince of Persia for the Apple II in 1989. Published by Broderbund and subsequently adapted onto nearly every computer and console platform of the 1990s, Prince of Persia is recognized as a major influence in the development of the action-adventure video game genre.

In 2001, Mechner joined forces with Ubisoft to reinvent his decade-old, best-known classic for a new generation of console gamers. Developed at Ubisoft's Montreal studio with Mechner as game designer, writer, and creative consultant, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was a breakout hit of 2003, winning two Game Developers Choice awards and sweeping the 2004 Interactive Achievement Awards (DICE) with 12 nominations and 8 awards. Its success relaunched Prince of Persia as a global franchise including toys, graphic novels, LEGO sets, and over 20 million games sold to date.

In 2010, Mechner became the first game creator to successfully adapt his own work as a feature film screenwriter with Disney’s Prince of Persia. Mechner received screen story and executive producer credit. With box-office receipts of $335 million worldwide, Prince of Persia set the record for the world's highest-grossing video game film adaptation until 2016.

In this Podcast, Allan deconstructs his previous Podcast with Jordan Mechner, the Creator of Prince of Persia -- and the actionable steps you can apply to your creative career.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/264/.

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

Because of the change that’s happening due to COVID-19 and quarantine, a lot of us had to shift to working from home. The day that the quarantine happened, everyone started to shut down. It got scary for a minute. But it’s really interesting how every studio was able to pivot and adapt to what was going on. And this is not just visual effects. This is worldwide! It’s reflecting on everything. The entire world had to learn to roll with the punches. 

The advantages are that you’re no longer stuck in a city where you have to work. That means you don’t have to live in an expensive city. You can move to cheaper cities or countries. That also means that those of you that didn’t have an opportunity to work for ILM before, you now have a chance to do that. You don’t need a work visa. Bit by bit, things are becoming global.

In this Podcast, Allan takes a look at the consequences of having to work from home post COVID-19, breaks down different ways VFX artists can make it happen and the positive outcomes of transitioning into a truly global industry.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/263/.



Direct download: Ep263_WorkFromHome_PUB.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Chris Nichols is the host of CG Garage and Martini Giant Podcasts. He is a CG veteran and Director of Chaos Group Labs. 

In 2015, Chris founded the Wikihuman project, a first-of-its-kind panel of academic and industry experts to explore the combination of art and technology in creating a believable digital human. With a background in both VFX and design, Nichols has worked for Gensler, Digital Domain, Imageworks, and Method Studios. His credits include Maleficent, Oblivion, Tron: Legacy

Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics. They create technology that helps artists and designers create photoreal imagery and animation for design, television, and feature films. Chaos Group’s physically-based rendering and simulation software is used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies, and visual effects companies around the globe. 

In this Podcast, Chris and Allan talk about digital humans, virtual production, the effects of COVID-19 on the industry and the evolution of their Podcasts.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/262/.



Direct download: Ep262_ChrisNichols_PUBLISH.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What if you had control over your time? What if you could track it and adjust your behaviors to increase your productivity? This system, developed by Allan McKay, takes about 5 minutes a day to do. It’s something that’s been adjusted and perfected over many years.  

In this Podcast, Allan McKay shares an every-day organizational system that he’s developed to increase his productivity, as well as the daily nine questions he asks to manage himself better.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/261/.



Direct download: Ep261_OneNote.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Rosana Sullivan is a Director, Storyboard Artist, Writer, and Executive Producer. Since 2011 she has worked for Pixar Animation Studios. In 2019 she wrote and directed her first animated short film, Kitbull, for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 92nd Academy Awards.

Sullivan worked as a lead character designer at Ooga Labs and a 2D artist at Kabam before joining Pixar Animation Studios in 2011. With Pixar, she has contributed to the 3D animated films Monsters University, The Good Dinosaur, Piper, and Incredibles 2. She was nominated for a 2015 Annie Award for outstanding achievement in storyboarding in an animated feature production for her work on The Good Dinosaur.

In February 2019 she wrote and directed her first animated film, a nine-minute traditionally animated short called Kitbull, which is part of the SparkShorts series. In April 2019 she published an autobiographical picture book, Mommy Sayang, describing the life of a girl and her mother in a Malaysian village. This story, along with others that she has written, was inspired by her mother's roots in Malaysia.

In this Podcast, Rosana gives insider tips on making a successful demo reel, talks about having side passion projects and braintrust for creatives, as well as her experience working at Pixar and her Oscar nominated short film Kitbull.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/260/.



Direct download: Ep260_RosanaSullivan.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Rise FX was founded in 2007 by Sven Pannicke, Robert Pinnow, Markus Degen and Florian Gellinger in Berlin. Today, this award-winning company -- with offices in Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne -- has roughly 100 permanent staff members in addition to 100 freelance artists, which makes it one of the biggest VFX studios in Central Europe.

Rise FX acts as collaborator for episodic series, as well as television and feature film, from early concept to mastering, concept art and previs, every day on set, during effects production and animation, as an advisor for the Digital Intermediate process. Rise FX has partnered with directors like Tom Tykwer (Babylon Berlin, A Hologram for the King, Cloud Atlas), Guy Ritchie (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), Gore Verbinski (A Cure for Wellness), studios like Marvel (Captain America 1-3, Iron Man 3, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy), Netflix (Dark), Sony Pictures (The Dark Tower), Europacorp (Renegades). It also produces more and more animated features (Richard the Stork, Dragon Rider). Its sister production company Rise Pictures develops its own original content and co-produces films and series for an international audience.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Rise FX’s Supervisors Andreas Giesen and Korbinian Hopfner about the secret to a great reel, the importance of starting out as a generalist, the soft and hard skills crucial for a successful VFX Artist, and much more.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/259/.

Direct download: ep259_RiseFX.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Emmanuel Shiu is a Concept Designer and Illustrator for film and video games. His credits include films Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Blade Runner 2049 , Ready Player One; The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Cloud Atlas, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Looper, Superman Returns and Hellboy; and video games including Lost Planet 3, Star Citizen and Destiny 2.

Emmanuel began his career in CG as a Generalist at Lucasfilm. He then went on to work as a Matte Painter and Matte Painting Supervisor at The Orphanage, and as a Concept Artist at ImageMovers Digital.

In this Podcast, Emmanuel talks about the importance of creating your personal art, as well as gives tips on how to build and maintain professional relationships and how to leverage your skills in a new career or specialty.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/258/.

Direct download: Ep258_Emmanuel_Shiu_Publish_v02.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

To work in another country or to get a work visa, you need to qualify for it. Before an employer can hire you, you have to fit the criteria to get the work visa in the first place. Most of us realize that when it’s too late: When you need the job, or even have the job offer -- but we don’t qualify for the visa. Then it’s back to square one.

So how do you go about getting a work visa, to work and live in the U.S.? if you’re from a different country, there is a lot of complexity around it and it’s good to understand how this works. In this Podcast, Allan shares his expertise with several types of U.S. visas: how they work, the qualifications you need and what you can do right now, to be proactive with your visa application.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/257/.

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

Just because you send in your demo reel doesn’t mean that it’s going to be seen by anybody. Even if it does, who says it will be watched all the way through? Most reels are skipped over just because there is one wrong thing on there. We don’t realize that the people reviewing the reels at first may not know much about your industry, or discipline, or the talents you have. They just enter your reel into a database, and when it’s time to hire specific talent, they load up hundreds of reels and forward them to those people who are going to review them. This means that it’s critical to rise above the noise, make your reel stand out and be able to demonstrate that you have the talent above everyone else on that spreadsheet. 

When your reel gets to the decision makers, it comes down to this: They have little information to go by and have lots of reels to review. So there are multiple reasons why your reel could be skipped over. People who are in disbelief about this have their own resistance. But for those of us who actually want to get a job, we have to know the situation and put in the work.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay goes over the anatomy of a killer reel -- from which shots should be on your reel to how long it should be, which crucial information should be included and which items are of little importance -- everything that will help you get that first job as a VFX artist.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/256.



Direct download: Ep256-RulesOfTheReel.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

People are afraid of being judged but it’s little things that build up over time: For example, if you’re shy, try going out to a bar and talking to people. These are little things you could do to get out of your comfort zone and push through your pain points. It takes trial and error.

If it scares you -- that’s good! That means that the more you do this, the less it will scare you. More importantly, you’ll get better at that thing because you’ll have more data to go on. You will know what worked and what didn’t. It’s the feedback that will help you grow. Part of that is not being afraid to experiment. That’s what will help you get better. The more data you have, the more you’ll be able to tweak things.

It’s all about trying new things and seeing what works and what doesn’t. Look at everything as data!

In this Podcast, Allan talks about experimentation, how to use it to get you out of your comfort zone and to provide data for your growth and success.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/255/.

Direct download: Ep255_ExperimentationEqualsWins.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

This Podcast is in response to someone’s message, “How do I get things done? And how do I stay motivated?” You have to start thinking like a producer. You have to ask yourself the questions, “Where can my time go so I get more bang for my buck? Where can I make the most amount?” It’s about making decisions on where the core of your time goes and what’s your Return On Investment (ROI) is.

The more you question these things, the more creative you get. There are different ways you can leverage things to your advantage. You’ll start to look at your habits and realize where you’re leaking time -- and coming up with solutions.

In this Podcast, Allan answers the crucial question of, “How do I stay motivated?” by tackling the bigger question of what your bigger purpose is -- your WHY -- and also gives a few hacks to get a lot more done in your day.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/254/.

Direct download: Ep254_StartWithWhy.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Marc Rienzo is a Director, VFX Supervisor and Artist. He has over 20 years of experience of working in visual effects, including for studios like Marvel, Disney, ILM, Weta Digital, Digital Domain, Sony Imageworks, and PDI Dreamworks. He’s been a creative Nuke Artist for 18+ years in both film and commercials.

Marc has worked on multiple projects including Spider-Man: Far from Home, Thor: Ragnarok, TRON: Legacy, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Mulan; I, Robot; Beasts of No Nation and many others. His work has received several nominations from the Visual Effects Society.  

In this Podcast, Marc talks about his experience as a VFX Artist and Supervisor, his past and current projects, and the importance of hard and soft skills for an artist.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/253.

Direct download: Ep253_MarcRienzo_PUB.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

There are mixed feelings around the topic of a formal college education versus online courses. Colleges are really expensive and they tend to not be pushing the envelope in terms of what you can do. When you invest in yourself, you want to have access to the best people in the world on any given subject. You want to learn the condensed version of their knowledge in a limited amount of time. Also, it could be cheaper by a thousand times than going to a college.

In this Podcast, Allan addresses a very common question: the pros and cons of college versus online education -- and how to pick the best learning route for yourself.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/252.

Direct download: Ep252_CollegeVsOnlineCourses.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Have you ever reached out to someone and asked them for help -- and never gotten a response? This Podcast is about how to get a better result: How do you get people to want to invest in you, especially when they’re busy?

When you approach someone, you have to put in the effort to demonstrate that you’ve put the thought into it yourself -- and that you’re committed and that you will see it through. The more you do that, the more the other person is going to come onboard.

In this Podcast, Allan talks about how to approach busy and successful people, how to establish an authentic relationship with them that makes them invest in you enough -- to help you.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/251/.

Direct download: Ep251_HowToGetPeopleToHelpYou.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

It is so critical to know when you are reaching out to people who are extremely busy. If you put yourself in the other person’s shoes when you communicate with them -- and understand how they’re going to react -- that’s worth its weight in gold. And it helps you communicate better with them, knowing what their needs and problems are.

It’s something you have to be strategic about:

- How do you get their attention?
- How do you get them to read your message?
- And most importantly, how do you get them to respond?

In this Podcast, Allan McKay talks about the subject of how to contact hard-to-reach people -- Heads of studios, HR Managers -- and gives tips on how to get them to respond.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/250/.

Direct download: Ep250_HowToReachBusyPeople.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Louis Castle Louis Castle is a prolific American video games designer. He is known for co-founding Westwood Studios and for his work on the Command & Conquer real-time strategy series. In 2017, he became the head Amazon Game Studios Seattle.

As the co-founder of Westwood Studios, Louis was instrumental in the launch of the C&C series, one of the leaders in the 1990s RTS boom. He co-founded Westwood Studios in 1985. After its purchase by EA in 1998, he held various senior positions at that company. In 2008, he collaborated with Steven Spielberg on the Boom Blox and Boom Blox Bash Party video games for the Nintendo Wii console, based on Spielberg’s design ideas. Since 2010, Louis held a number of roles, including at GarageGames and Zynga. 

Louis Castle is a BAFTA and GDC Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

In this Podcast, Louis talks about founding Westwood Studios, the games he’s created throughout his impressive career, as well about the importance of passion, fearlessness and perseverance in an artist’s career.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/249.

Direct download: ep249_LouisCastle.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Maxon Computer is a leading developer of 3D software best known for its flagship 3D modeling, painting, rendering and animation software Cinema 4D. Red Giant is a creator of unique tools for editors, VFX artists, and motion designers. In December 2019, the two companies reached an agreement to merge under the media and entertainment division of Nemetschek Group to better serve the post production and content creation industries.

Maxon and Red Giant are well known and established in the digital content creation (DCC) industries, and share synergies in philosophy and long-term goals. Both companies have earned a peerless reputation for the quality and accessibility of products, and uncompromising commitment to service and support of the artistic community. 

Maxon was formed in 1986 with a passion for providing extremely powerful, though exceptionally accessible 3D software solutions. Artists across the globe rely on Maxon products to create cutting-edge visuals. In April of this year, Maxon acquired Redshift, developer of the GPU-accelerated Redshift render engine. 

Since 2002, Red Giant has built its brand through award-winning products such as Trapcode, Magic Bullet, Universe, PluralEyes and its line of innovative visual effects software. Their unique, industry-standard tools are staples in the fields of film, broadcast, and advertising. Red Giant has differentiated itself in the industry through its artist-driven approach to software creation and its popular training and award-winning short films.

The two companies provide tools for a who's who of production companies including ABC, CBS, NBC, HBO, BBC, Sky, Fox Networks, Turner Broadcasting, NFL Network, WWE, Viacom, Netflix, ITV Creative, Discovery Channel, MPC (Moving Picture Company), Digital Domain, VDO, Sony, Universal, The Walt Disney Company, Blizzard Entertainment, BMW, Facebook, Apple, Google, Vitra, Nike and many more.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Global Head of Community and Customer Experience Paul Babb and Aharon Rabinowitz, Global Head of Digital Experience, about the history and merger of the two companies, their leading products and subscriptions and the upcoming trends.

For more shownotes, visit: www.allanmckay.com/248/

 

Direct download: Ep248_MaxonRedGiant.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Todd Sheridan Perry works in the film industry as a freelance VFX Supervisor / CG Supervisor as well as digital artist, screenwriter, editor and director. He is a classically trained artist, as well as both a traditional and digital animator. His diverse background in video games, film and television has led him to play key roles in projects ranging from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers to Final Destination 5, The Immortals, Men In Black 3, Total Recall, Resident Evil 5 and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Todd has also worked as a CG Supervisor on Marvel’s Doctor Strange – a project nominated for a Best Visual Effects Oscar.

Todd has been animating since he was 8 years old, inspired by Star Wars, but his professional career began when he moved to Los Angeles in 1995. A couple years later, riding the wave as visual effects migrated from optical to digital, he started the visual effects house Max Ink Cafe with multi-award winning producer Jennifer Champagne. Todd has been awarded an Emmy for his work on the mini-series The Triangle, while working with award-winning supervisors Volker Engel and Marc Weigert. He was also nominated for a VES Award for The Kite Runner with CafeFX. While at CafeFX, he also acted as Lighting Supervisor on Frank Darabont’s take on the Stephen King short story The Mist.

Todd has contributed articles to Animation Magazine for the past 15 years. With over 500 article reviews on both software and hardware used in the visual effects industry, he’s been able to keep abreast of the developing technologies that contribute to visual effects. Todd is working on numerous personal short films and animation projects through his visual effects company, TeaspoonVFX, and has been consulting on screenplays and development for multiple features.

In this Podcast, VFX Supervisors Todd Sheridan Perry and Allan McKay discuss the industry-wide impact of Covid-19 and its consequences; and how working remotely has proven itself to be effective for both artists and studios, during the transition and going forward.

For more information, visit www.allanmckay.com/247/.

Direct download: Ep247_TSP_PUB.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Looking back at the beginning of his own career, Allan examines what he should’ve done differently: Instead of sending out his reel over and over, he could’ve been asking for feedback: “I realize my reel sucks. Tell me what an ideal reel would be to you.”

The key factor here is empathy. By putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, you’re able to get the most wins. You’re able to start thinking differently: What is it like for them? What are their needs? And what are their pain points? As soon as you put yourself in the shoes of the other person -- look at what they want, what they need and like -- it will help you get better at what you’re doing.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay talks about the power of empathy: How to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and identify their needs -- and how to make empathy work for you!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/246.

Direct download: Ep246_ThePowerOfEmpathy_Final.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Looking at other people’s work can be really inspiring. If you’re looking at it from a place of “Where I want to go” -- rather than comparing yourself to everyone else -- you’re going to be fine. If, however, you’re looking at everyone else and thinking, “Why aren’t I there?”, that could be a problem. We shouldn’t compare ourselves to everyone else. You don’t know what struggles they’ve had. You only see the end result but not what it took to get there

In order to not get overwhelmed, it’s important to set goals. Figure out where you want to be. Figure out what your ideal job and life would be like when you get to that point. Once you get clarity on that, you can start eliminating what you don’t want. The more you know what you want, the more you can eliminate what you don’t want and to recognize the opportunities when they line up.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay talks about how to keep focused on your goals without getting overwhelmed, how to use other people’s wins as inspiration, and gives you actionable steps to continue succeeding.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/245.

Direct download: ep245_Overhwelm.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

American author, game designer, graphic novelist and screenwriter Jordan Mechner is best known as a pioneer of cinematic storytelling in the video game industry and as the creator of Prince of Persia, one of the most successful and enduring video game franchises of all time. His other games include Karateka, The Last Express, Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.

Mechner began his career as a video game creator in the 1980s in high school in Chappaqua, New York, on a 16K Apple II computer bought with his earnings producing and selling Mad Magazine-inspired comics and drawing caricatures at local fairs. He developed and programmed his first game Karateka, while a student at Yale University. Inspired by his film studies and vintage Disney animation, Mechner developed a rotoscoping process to capture Super 8 film footage of his friends and family members, a first step toward the motion capture technology widely used in today's video games. Karateka was published by Broderbund in 1984 and became a #1 bestseller. One of the first games to combine arcade action with realistic animation and cinematic storytelling, it created a new template that other early fighting games would follow

After graduating from Yale, Mechner upgraded from 8mm to VHS to create the rotoscoped animation for his next game Prince of Persia. Inspired by the 1,001 Nights tales he had known as a child, Mechner completed Prince of Persia for the Apple II in 1989. Published by Broderbund and subsequently adapted onto nearly every computer and console platform of the 1990s, Prince of Persia is recognized as a major influence in the development of the action-adventure video game genre.

In 2001, Mechner joined forces with Ubisoft to reinvent his decade-old, best-known classic for a new generation of console gamers. Developed at Ubisoft's Montreal studio with Mechner as game designer, writer, and creative consultant, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was a breakout hit of 2003. Its success relaunched Prince of Persia as a global franchise including toys, graphic novels, LEGO sets, and over 20 million games sold to date

In 2010, Mechner became the first game creator to successfully adapt his own work as a feature film screenwriter with Disney’s Prince of Persia produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, and Ben Kingsley. Mechner received screen story and executive producer credit. With box-office receipts of $335 million worldwide, Prince of Persia set the record for the world's highest-grossing video game film adaptation until 2016.

A lifelong journal-keeper, Mechner has published his game development diaries from the 1980s -- The Making of Karateka and The Making of Prince of Persia -- along with Prince of Persia's Apple II source code — lost for 20 years, then found in 2012 on a set of 3.5" floppy disks. Mechner's books include the 2013 New York Times best-selling, Eisner Award-nominated graphic novel Templar, a swashbuckling adventure about the historical Knights Templar, illustrated by LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland.

Mechner's work as an author, screenwriter, and filmmaker, along with his video games, reflects his passion for deep historical research and world-building, and interest in time and memory. In this Podcast, game designer, graphic novelist and screenwriter Jordan Mechner shares his experience as a multihyphenate, the ups and downs of the creative process, how to make production constraints work in your favor -- and his experience creating Karateka, Prince of Persia and other projects.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/244.

Direct download: Ep244_JordanMechner_PUB_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

How confident are you that your reel is going to stand out of thousands of reels? Where do you stand in that spectrum?

This is the big problem: We just send in our reel and we feel that someone owes us a job. And then we get upset when we get rejected. We get frustrated when we don’t get a call. When everyone is applying for the same position on the website, maybe you should be going against the grain.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay talks about ways to stand out when applying for a job -- how to think outside the box -- and gives you actual strategy tools to have a better change of getting hired.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/243.

Direct download: ep243_GoingAgainstTheGrain.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

There may be things in your life that you find to be a fun hobby. And you think, there is no way in the world to make money at it! And maybe 3D is just a hobby and we tinker with it on the side. But for a lot of us, we call it a hobby because we don’t think there is any chance in the world we could make a living at this thing. A lot of the time, we convince ourselves not to do something because there are so many people out there doing it. So why should we?

A lot of times when you think of your hobby, you think no one would buy your product. But if you find something you are passionate about, you could go to make a living at it. Whenever I meet people who say, “No one would pay me to do this thing”, all I have to say is the person who invented a Pet Rock is a millionaire. There is so much opportunity out there! If you’re interested in something, surely there will be other people who would be interested as well.

So look at your long term goals: How happy are you going to be 5 years from now? What if you went after your passion? What if you started to say, “This is the year I’m going to try!” Make that commitment to yourself to buckle down, build a plan and try?

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/242.

Direct download: Ep242_GetPaidForYourPassion_PUB.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In the beginning of our career, we’re really hungry and we want to learn everything: all the tutorials, all the training, we want to learn every part of what we’re doing. However, after we get that first job, everything tends to stop. We think that we’ve made it and we don’t need to continue learning anymore.

And a lot of the time, it’s the soft skills that we tend to neglect: Leadership skills, productivity, managing time and business mindsets. It’s only 11% of professionals who continue to seek knowledge after they begin their career. They are the ones who become the industry leaders and go on to have fruitful careers.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay explains why he invests in his learning every year, how much he spends on training -- and how to get the most out of your money and your courses.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/241/.

Direct download: ep241_HowMuchISpendOnTraining.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Christian Alzmann is a Concept Design Supervisor at Lucasfilm who created the concept drawing for Baby Yoda, along with several other main characters on The Mandalorian. He studied illustration at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Upon graduating he was immediately hired into ILM's Art Department where he eventually became a Senior Art Director.

Since then, Christian has worked on numerous film projects including A.I., Men in Black 2, Van Helsing, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars Episode Two, War of the Worlds, the fourth installment of Indiana Jones, Transformers and Terminator Salvation.

As a visual storyteller Christian has also illustrated book covers for Science Fiction and Fantasy novels. His clients include Harper Collins, Penguin Books, IDG and Future Publishing. Christian's artwork has been featured in Star Wars Mythmaking: Behind the Scenes of Attack of the Clones, Van Helsing: The Making of the Legend, Inside Men in Black II, Exposé.

In this Podcast, Christian talks about the importance of studying the fundamentals as an artist, how to reach your dream job, how to communicate with clients -- and shares his experience working on The Mandalorian’s Baby Yoda, as well as several other projects.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/240/.

Direct download: ep240_ChristianAlzmann_PUBLISH_v2.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Szymon Biernacki is a Freelance Visual Development and Concept Artist based in Poland. He is currently an Art Director at Spa Studios. His credits include being a Production Designer on the movie Klaus.

In this Podcast, Szymon shares his insight on becoming a full-time artist, switching careers; the challenges of being a freelancer and working remotely; the hard and soft skills of being a Production Manager; as well as his experience of working on Oscar-nominated animated feature.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/239/.

 

Direct download: ep239_Szymon_Biernacki_PUBLISH.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Corridor Digital is Visual Effects Studio based in Los Angeles. They’re best know for creating short-form viral videos, as well as producing and directing the web series Rush and YouTube Red’s Lifeline. The company has also create tv commercials for companies like Google and Machine Zone. 

Founded in 2009 by Sam Gorski and Niko Pueringer, the company now produces five YouTube Channels. The Corridor Digital Channel alone has 7 million subscribers. It has won awards at several Streamys, including the "Visual and Special Effects Award" in 2017. Their second channel Corridor Crew consists of behind-the-scenes content and has over 3 million subscribers. In 2019, Sam Gorski co-authored Top 10 Games You Can Play In Your Head, By Yourself.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews the Corridor Digital Co-Founder Niko Pueringer and Video Director Wren Weichman about the origins of the company, the importance of having the business mentality, the value of creative control and the stories behind some of their viral videos.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/238/.

Direct download: Ep238_CorridorCrew_Publish._v2mp3.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Ben Burns is a brand strategist, an award-winning designer and an expert in user experience. As the Digital Director of Blind, he oversees the intersection of design and technology in all client work. He is also the Chief Creative Officer at The Futur.

Prior to joining the team at Blind, Ben founded Burnt Creative, a brand experience agency in Richmond, Virginia. He also served on the executive board of the Richmond AIGA chapter as Vice President. 

He received his BA in Media Arts with a focus on New Media from the University of South Carolina and a Masters Certificate in Cyber Security from Armstrong Atlantic University. Since then, Ben has enjoyed working with brands like DreamWorks, Paramount Pictures, AMC, TBS, (Olympic) Team USA, Laika, Hyatt, as well as several exciting startups. 

Ben is a veteran having served 5 years in the Army National Guard, earned the rank of Sergeant. In a brief intermission from the creative sphere, he also spent a few years chasing drug dealers as a decorated Narcotics Agent with a multi-jurisdictional narcotics agency.  

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews the CCO of The Futur Ben Burns about the importance of niching down and becoming a successful brand, the insight to building relationships and the three most common pain points for creatives.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/237/.

Direct download: Ep237_BenBurns_Publish_v2.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

One of the big frustrations that we all have is -- we want more money. Anytime we want a pay bump, we have to wait for our annual review and see if we get a salary increase at our main job. Yet we spend our spare time doing something more creative because we aren’t being challenged at work. We go home to do the work that we find fulfilling in the first place.

This Podcast is about is ways to leverage that creative outlet. If you’re already doing something you’re passionate about, here is your chance to turn it into a small business; one that you can automatically run and get some pocket money. What would you do with an extra $1,000 a month?

In this Podcast, Allan McKay gives actionable tips for building your side hustle and teaches how to leverage your current skills to make money on the side.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/236/.

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

Seth C. Polansky, a contracts, intellectual property and start-up specialist founded his professional firm in 2005. Seth Polansky LLC is a small law firm specializing in art, contracts, corporate, and general personal affairs. Based in Silver Spring, Maryland, Seth Polansky LLC accepts clients from around the world regarding contract, art and IP issues.

As an adviser and counselor to business, Seth has repeatedly negotiated successful outcomes with domestic and international entities – including the US government, UK government and multiple state agencies. He has counseled small businesses and artists in securing copyright, trademark and other intellectual property protection, and aided them in navigating contracts. He has helped countless families by securing their peace of mind through wills, trusts and prenuptial agreements, and has offered assistance with disputes.

His professional highlights include being a General Counsel for Cellcrypt, a multinational conglomerate and leading provider of voice encryption technology; working as a Director of Contracts for one of the world’s largest tech companies CSC; and serving as a Deputy General Counsel for The GAVI Fund, a nonprofit funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Seth is a LinkedIn Learning author. He teaches a Contracting for Creatives Course on Lynda.com. He is also an Executive Producer of documentary Eye of the Beholder: The Art of Dungeons and Dragons.

In this Podcast, Seth talks about the most common mistakes artists make in negotiating contracts, explains what makes a valid contract -- and gives resources for one; breaks down the rules of fair use, covers some of the IP laws and many other topics.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/235/.

Direct download: Ep235_SethPolansky_Final_1.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The mission of Monsters Aliens Robots Zombies (MARZ) is to deliver feature-film quality visual effects on television timelines by harnessing GPU clusters, game engine technology, AI and senior industry talent. Leveraging these pillars allows us to consistently execute with both speed and quality for our premium television projects.

Lon Molnar is the Co-President of MARZ. With more than 20 years of experience, Lon has contributed a vast amount of visual effects to film and television as an artist, VFX Supervisor, and former CEO of the award winning VFX company Intelligent Creatures.

Inspired by the magic of Toy Story, Lon attended the Vancouver Film School with the single goal of opening up his own VFX studio. As he built his resume, he became dissatisfied with working on VFX for tv, and set his sights on feature films. He became a VFX generalist, working in animation, lighting, compositing and modelling, while using a vast array of software. After serving as the CG Supervisor on the groundbreaking films Chicago and The Cell, he fulfilled his earlier dream and opened up Intelligent Creatures in 2002. Working with talented creators like Mark Forster, Darren Aronofsky, Alejandro González Iñárritu, David Tattersall, Oliver Stone and others, Lon quickly built the Toronto-based VFX house into an award-winning studio.

Intelligent Creatures lent its creativity to dozens of projects such as Mr and Mrs Smith, The Witch, and Babel. They built robust pipelines to tackle critically-acclaimed projects, such as the Watchmen's famous Rorschach mask of moving inkblots. Some of their later work, such as the award-winning series Orphan Black and the Emmy-nominated Curiosity: Battlefield Cell pushed the boundaries of visual effects on TV

Fifteen years after the formation of Intelligent Creatures, Lon recognized that unlike when he had started in the industry, TV was no longer the "lesser" medium for VFX. When he spoke to Jonathan Bronfman, the two found themselves sharing symbiotic ideas. They saw a gap that others didn't. What if, they asked, we can build a company that focuses on serving only one market, and defines the standard of excellence in that market? That was the beginning of MARZ. the boundaries of visual effects on TV.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Lon about the history of MARZ and the company’s commitment to technology and talent, a philosophy that ensures high quality effects for television timelines.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/234/.

Direct download: Ep234_MARZ_Content_v2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Matti Haapoja is a YouTuber and a freelance Director of Photography. He has worked with some global brands such as Nike, San Pellegrino, Epidemic Sound, Rhino, and Visit Norway.  Originally from Finland, he is now based out of Toronto, Canada. 

Matti launched his YouTube Channel, originally called Travel Feels, in 2016. Initially, it was a creative outlet to feature his cinematic travel videos. But once he realized that there was a fast growing YouTube filmmaker community, he began sharing his filmmaking know-how, experience and tips. Since 2017, Matti became a full-time YouTuber and his Channel’s name became eponymous.

Matti continues to contribute knowledge to the filmmaking community via his online courses and free content.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay and Matti Haapoja give advise on how to be a successful business and a brand, the benefits of social media -- as well as the power of having an audience -- and the importance of learning throughout one’s career.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/233/.

Direct download: Ep233_Matti_1.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Vico Sharabani is a Creative Entrepreneur, award-winning Creative-Director, Director, and Producer. He is also the Founder and CCO of The-Artery, a New York based media production company that creates high-end visual content for brands, feature films, commercials, digital experiences, art instillations and more.

As one of the most notable Flame artists in the world, Vico is the winner of the first ever Autodesk Flame Award recognizing his vast contributions to the VFX industry over the past 25 years. Vico’s portfolio includes a wide range of commercials for fortune 500 companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Nike and AT&T, music-videos for Beyoncé, Coldplay, Niki Minaj, KanYe West, and work on dozens of films such as Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, Ocean’s 8, Tower Heist and Sex and The City, to name a few.

Servicing the advertising and entertainment industries for 30 years, Vico is heavily involved in the management of projects across creative, production and technical endeavors. He is also involved with the TED community “Ads Worth Spreading”, Co-Organizer of TED X East, and completing the EMBA program at the Berlin School Of Creative Leadership.

The Founder of The-Artery Vico Sharabani talks about the evolution of the VFX industry, the importance of acquiring new skills -- but not letting each solitary capability to define an artist -- and finding your own way of being successful!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/232.

Direct download: ep232_Artery_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Having unrealistic expectations of yourself -- that everything is going to be flawless and you’re just going to win -- is the easiest way to derail yourself and see yourself as being a failure. It’s these micro wins that we should be celebrating. But how many of us give up on something because we didn’t get traction right off the bat? With that mindset, we’re more likely to set ourselves up to fail.

It’s all about perseverance. The people that have success are the ones that didn’t give up. They kept at it and looked at failure as part of the process. The more we see wins and losses as just data, the more we can analyze them to get better results. We need to cut our losses and double down on what works. Experience is just learning from our mistakes. This is why experience is everything.

If you want to be good -- you’ve got to be prepared to fail! In this Podcast, Allan talks about using failure as data to get better -- and the importance of perseverance!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/231.

Direct download: Ep231_WhyDoIFailAtEverything_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

A lot of us tend to struggle in the beginning of our career. And the thing is a lot of us are clueless as to why that’s happening. You have to start thinking differently. Sending out your reel is just not enough.

When it comes to the beginning of our career, it’s about figuring out what else we can do. How can we get that first win? How do we get our foot in the door, no matter what it takes? It’s not about cutting a reel, sending it out and keeping this linear path. It’s about doing whatever it takes, hustling and entering through the side door; rather than expecting to be hired just because you showed up.

In this Podcast, Allan talks about breaking into the industry, seizing opportunities that have long-term benefits to your career, leveraging your skills -- and figuring out ways to stand out.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/230.

Direct download: EP230_WhyYouAreStuck_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Before joining Mr. X, Trey Harrell was a 15-year ad industry veteran. Trey’s forte for balancing the technical with the artistic has garnered numerous ADDY (American Advertising Federation) and New York Art Director’s Club Awards for his work as both an Art Director and Creative Director for broadcast, web and print ads.

Trey joined Mr. X in 2010 to work exclusively as the Lead Lighting TD on Tron: Legacy. Supervising the lighting department for many years, he’s been instrumental in re-engineering Mr. X’s lighting and rendering pipeline. Since joining the team at Mr. X, Trey has won two Canadian Screen Awards for Achievement in Visual Effects, including a 2013 CSA award for Resident Evil: Retribution, and a 2014 CSA Award for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. For his work as a CG Supervisor on Guillermo’s Del Toro’s television series, The Strain, Trey received a Visual Effects Society nomination in 2016. He also acted as the Digital Effects Supervisor on Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. He continued to exceed the client’s expectations with his work on Guillermo del Toro’s feature The Shape of Water

Mr. X’s VFX Supervisor Trey Harrell talks about the skills that a filmmaker must acquire, how having a versatile background guarantees longevity in the business -- and why you mustn’t build your entire career on a single piece of software!

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/229/.

Direct download: ep229_TreyHarrel_v4c_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Superheroes, fantastic beasts, dinosaurs of the 21st century, and galaxies undiscovered. Cinesite is an award-winning digital entertainment studio with over 25 years of experience and work on hundreds of film, TV and streaming productions. Its visual effects and animation artists breathing life into filmmakers’ visions. Cinesite’s skilled artists and engineers work closely with filmmakers and studios to achieve the impossible, whether through complex visual effects or conceiving and realizing entire animated films.

They tinker, mold, and craft to blow things out of the water -- sometimes literally. Cinesite makes this magic happen from its studios in London, Montreal and Vancouver; and since 2015 they have also welcomed the VFX masters at Image Engine Design (Vancouver) and Trixter (Munich & Berlin) to the Cinesite family.
 
Recent credits include No Time to Die (of the James Bond franchise, to be released in April 2020), Avenue 5, The Northwater, Fate: The Winx Saga. Other credits include: Rocketman, Avengers: Infinity War, Murder Mystery, Adrift, Ant-Man & the Wasp and Mary Poppins.  


Cinesite is a supporter of Access VFX, a non-profit organization comprised of 40 leading companies which helps people get into the industry and focuses on actively pursuing and encouraging inclusion, diversity, awareness.

Allan McKay interviews Cinesite’s Head of Assets Tim Potter and VFX Supervisor Salvador Zalvidea about the direction of the industry, how to break into VFX and get great insights into compositing and the end of the pipeline.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/228/.

Direct download: ep228_CinSite_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

This is for anyone who wants to get more done in their day or who deals with the frustrations of having a demanding job and family -- and not having enough energy to get it all done. What happens when you have side projects, or if you’re working in a different industry and want to change to another career? Building a reel and looking for work takes time and energy; and a lot of the time, we don’t have any energy left by the end of the day.

This Podcast offers some hacks and techniques to get more stuff done in your day! Allan takes a look at how you can plan your day, how to deal with failure -- and offers some fail proof systems to have in place.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/227/.

Direct download: ep227_HowIGetThingsDone_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

With nearly 25 years in the special make-up effects industry, Justin Raleigh has managed and art directed the creation of the special make-up and specialty costumes for some of the most groundbreaking projects of recent years, including Aquaman, Tron Legacy, Westworld, Stranger Things, The Knick and American Horror Story. He is the Owner and CEO of Fractured FX, Inc. is an Emmy and MUAHS Guild Award-winning special makeup effects studio.

The Fractured FX team is dedicated to creating the most realistic, unique and innovative prosthetic makeup effects, animatronics, creatures, specialty costumes and props in the industry. It is leading the way in technology from in house 3D printing, 3D design, scanning, and advanced proprietary materials. The drive for perfection and innovation is what brings some of the largest directors and productions companies from around the world to trust in Fractured FX.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay and Justin Raleigh talk about the special effects side of things -- rather than visual effects -- and how the technology is bridging the two aspects of the VFX industry.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/226/.

Direct download: ep226_JustinRaleigh_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Once again, Allan McKay does a Q & A session to answer some burning questions. (Check out his previous Q & A Session here: www.allanmckay.com/154.)

In this Podcast, Allan tackles the subjects of switching careers, the “industry standard” software, how old is too old to go into VFX -- and how to approach leaders for advice or favors.

For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/225/.

Direct download: Ep225_QandA_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Bio by www.ILM.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Direct download: Ep216_DanKatcher_mixdown.mp3
Category:careers -- posted at: 3:00am 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 and Evolve, an online community that provides world class art education for artists, whether they’re trying to get back into art or are working professionals. Founded in 2010, Pencil Kings has established a library of courses on illustration, comics, digital media, entertainment art.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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