The Allan McKay Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

I get asked a lot the following questions:

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She is now a freelance Concept Designer.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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