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Allan McKay is an award winning Visual Effects Supervisor and Technical Director in Hollywood - join Allan as he interviews many of the leading experts in Hollywood about their careers, pitfalls and what they took to succeed, while also gaining a lot of core knowledge to help build your career, money and success and skills to make the biggest impact in your career AND in your life!
 
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show series
 
Lotta (aka Charlotta) Forssman is a VFX supervisor based out of NYC. For nearly a decade, she has been part of Molecule VFX and has worked on shows like Ballers (HBO), The Good Cop, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Master of None (Netflix). She has been a Supervisor for Apple TV’s Dickinson since Season 1. In this Podcast, Allan and Lotta talk about the …
 
The Unreal Fellowship is a 30-day intensive blended learning experience designed to help experienced industry professionals in film, animation, and VFX learn Unreal Engine, develop a strong command of state-of-the-art virtual production tools, and foster the next generation of teams in the emerging field of real-time production. During the program,…
 
Marty Neumeier is a best-selling author and speaker who writes on topics of brand and design. Today Marty spends most of his time lecturing all over the globe about the role of creativity and innovation in the creation of relevant and meaningful brand experiences. Marty has written several best-selling books including The Brand Gap which outlines h…
 
Rhett Dashwood (aka Mankind) is an award winning Creative Director with experience in a broad range of creative media, including digital, animation, branding, print, film making and concept art. He has worked with the following studios and agencies during his 15+ years in the industry: Emery / Frost, Tribal, AKQA, Exit Films, DDB and many more. He …
 
Doug Roble is the Senior Director of Software R&D at Digital Domain and leads a world-class team of software developers. An original member of Digital Domain, Doug has been writing software and conducting research to advance the artistry and technology for feature films since the studio’s inception. Doug was awarded two Academy Sci-Tech Awards: one…
 
JangaFX was founded in 2016 by Nick Seavert, an entrepreneur who is well versed in both startups and real-time VFX. JangaFX was initially bootstrapped with credit cards, software sales, and many thousands of man hours instead of outside investments. The company’s core motive is to provide real-time VFX tools to artists and designers who work in vid…
 
Lux Machina Consulting is a design, management and technical consulting firm focused on complex, large scale live shows, film production and installations. Lux Machina uses innovative techniques and technologies from various markets to connect artists with their audiences like never before. The company prides itself on the balance between technical…
 
A lot of us quit doing what we love for the wrong reasons, because other people poison our minds by telling us we have to go get “a real career”. When we aren’t getting that traction in the beginning (which is normal in our career), we start feeding off these doubts instilled in our minds and we give up too soon. But we are all on our own journey. …
 
If you aren’t willing to do the work -- and be anything else than an artist -- then you are going to fail. And that’s the brutal truth! That is because you aren’t just an artist. Being an artist is just your skill or your trade. You still need to do the other stuff. The reason so many people give up on their career is because they give up the minut…
 
Beeple is Mike Winkelmann, a graphic designer from Charleston, SC, USA who does a variety of digital artwork including short films, Creative Commons VJ loops, everydays and VR / AR work. After he began releasing a set of widely used Creative Commons VJ loops he has worked on concert visuals for Justin Bieber, One Direction, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj,…
 
There is an example in marketing: If you have a migraine and you head to a pharmacy, you’ll see one medicine that says, “Cures All Aches and Pains” and another that says, “Cures All Migraines”. They both do the same thing and they’re made by the same company. But their marketers know that the medicine that’s the most specific -- is the one that wil…
 
Hugo Guerra is a Portuguese born award-winning Director and VFX Supervisor. After finishing his Fine Arts degree, he worked in Portugal and Sweden before moving to the UK where he was a freelancer for several years. He joined The Mill in 2010 as a VFX Supervisor and as Head of the Nuke Department. Over that time, Hugo was a Lead Artist and Onset Su…
 
Most of us initially set small goals that we find socially acceptable. We’re too afraid to set bigger goals, or we don’t have them anymore because we find them to be impossible. The goals that we do say outloud are the ones that we find socially acceptable, without being laughed at. And that sucks! We’re afraid to dream big or to dream what we aspi…
 
A native Californian, David Tanaka attended the University of California at Berkeley where in 1989 he earned his bachelor's degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Film Theory. Upon graduating, he worked for post-production facilities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, quickly gaining experience through corporate advertising and industrial docu…
 
Evercast combines video conferencing and HD live streaming in one web-based platform allowing for a secure, real-time collaboration — whether your team is across town or around the world. In this Podcast, Allan McKay talks to Brad Thomas and Roger Barton, two of the Founders of Evercast, about the inception of the company, its journey through chall…
 
A lot of us have this myth in our head that if we work hard and stay out of trouble, good things will come our way. That is a mistake. The truth is that it doesn’t work that way. Nobody is paying attention. The other part of it is that we typically wait for our annual review. Most people if they don’t get what they want, they build a strategy: To g…
 
2020 will go down in history as a big “What the Fuck?” Year! We’ve all experienced different things, but I don’t think many of us have had positive experiences. But to put things in perspective, we’re given an opportunity for a do-over. We’re all in this situation. When I realize that, it’s a bit more reassuring. How can we leverage things out? How…
 
Connie Siu is the Writer and Director of short film Jeffrey. She holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, graduated cum laude from SFSU with a BA in Fine Art, and attended UCLA’s Producers Workshop Program. Connie is the former Chairman and co-founder of the San Francisco Chapter of Siggraph, the former Vice-Ch…
 
Originating from a very successful career as an advertising photographer, Mark Toia was coerced into directing TVCs by his clients. Being pursued by advertising agencies and production companies globally, he has a lengthy list of repeat business 8th the world’s largest companies that most could only dream of. Mark’s prowess and success is due to hi…
 
Roman Belov is the Founder of KeenTools, a Blender add-on for 3D modelling of human faces and heads based on photos. The models can be used for sculpting, animation, tracking or anything else in Blender or facial tracking with FaceTracker in Nuke; or to be exported for further modifications in any other 3D software. In this Podcast, Allan interview…
 
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, W…
 
Let’s talk about it once and for all: How to get paid by your client and how to avoid getting screwed over; and what to do if you do get screwed over. Artists often tell the sob story of, “Art doesn’t pay and you get screwed over”. But a lot of the time, you need to do things yourself from the beginning. It doesn’t have to do with just art. It’s tr…
 
With wisdom from the best and the brightest in the industry, The VES Handbook is a visual effects bible that belongs on the shelf of anyone working -- or aspiring to work -- in VFX. The book covers techniques and solutions all VFX artists, producers, and supervisors need to know, from pre-production, to digital character creation and compositing of…
 
Quixel Megascans is a massive online scan library of high-resolution, consistent PBR calibrated surface, vegetation and 3D scans, also including desktop applications for managing, mixing and exporting your downloaded scan data. It’s the product of 5 years of scanning and is a collaboration with top game and film studios worldwide. Quixel was founde…
 
Crafty Apes is a full service, boutique VFX company based in Culver City, CA & Atlanta, GA. The company was launched in July of 2011 by three visual effects veterans Jason Sanford, Chris LeDoux and Tim LeDoux. Believing that strong 2D compositing is the backbone behind quality visual effects, Crafty Apes was formed to primarily offer high-end compo…
 
Andrey Lebrov is a CG and VFX Director, as well as a Co-Founder of Out of Nothing, Ltd. Andrey was born in Ukraine, raised in Liepaja, Latvia. He began working as a freelancer at the age of 15 as a Photoshop Artist. He eventually immigrated to the U.K. to pursue better opportunities in visual effects. Andrey is a self-taught CG Artist. He launched …
 
Writer, Director, Producer HaZ Dulull started as a VFX Artist on feature films such as The Dark Knight and Hellboy 2. He quickly progressed to a VFX Supervisor role and was nominated for several VES awards on shows like Planet Dinosaur (BBC) and America: The Story of US (Discovery). His creativity and smart approach to production also led him to be…
 
Gerald Undone is a YouTube creator whose channel is dedicated to different technologies used in the creative process. He tests a variety of tech and gadgets, reviews those products from a value perspective and provides tutorials and guides for content creation using that same gear. In this Podcast, Gerald Undone shares his experience with building …
 
Instagram is the number one platform to get exposure and to build your name, to build a following and to get known, and of course, to land clients as well. But how do you take advantage of this if no one is seeing your posts? If you’re posting with bad hashtags, your posts are going to get pushed to the side. A lot of us like using lots of hashtags…
 
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 ge…
 
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: Th…
 
Because of the change that’s happening due to COVID-19 and quarantine, a lot of us had to shift to working from home. The day that the quarantine happened, everyone started to shut down. It got scary for a minute. But it’s really interesting how every studio was able to pivot and adapt to what was going on. And this is not just visual effects. This…
 
Chris Nichols is the host of CG Garage and Martini Giant Podcasts. He is a CG veteran and Director of Chaos Group Labs. In 2015, Chris founded the Wikihuman project, a first-of-its-kind panel of academic and industry experts to explore the combination of art and technology in creating a believable digital human. With a background in both VFX and de…
 
What if you had control over your time? What if you could track it and adjust your behaviors to increase your productivity? This system, developed by Allan McKay, takes about 5 minutes a day to do. It’s something that’s been adjusted and perfected over many years. In this Podcast, Allan McKay shares an every-day organizational system that he’s deve…
 
Rosana Sullivan is a Director, Storyboard Artist, Writer, and Executive Producer. Since 2011 she has worked for Pixar Animation Studios. In 2019 she wrote and directed her first animated short film, Kitbull, for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 92nd Academy Awards. Sullivan worked as a lead c…
 
Rise FX was founded in 2007 by Sven Pannicke, Robert Pinnow, Markus Degen and Florian Gellinger in Berlin. Today, this award-winning company -- with offices in Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne -- has roughly 100 permanent staff members in addition to 100 freelance artists, which makes it one of the biggest VFX studios in Central Europe. Rise FX a…
 
Emmanuel Shiu is a Concept Designer and Illustrator for film and video games. His credits include films Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Blade Runner 2049 , Ready Player One; The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Cloud Atlas, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Looper, Superman Returns and Hellboy; and video games including Lost Planet 3, Star …
 
To work in another country or to get a work visa, you need to qualify for it. Before an employer can hire you, you have to fit the criteria to get the work visa in the first place. Most of us realize that when it’s too late: When you need the job, or even have the job offer -- but we don’t qualify for the visa. Then it’s back to square one. So how …
 
Just because you send in your demo reel doesn’t mean that it’s going to be seen by anybody. Even if it does, who says it will be watched all the way through? Most reels are skipped over just because there is one wrong thing on there. We don’t realize that the people reviewing the reels at first may not know much about your industry, or discipline, …
 
People are afraid of being judged but it’s little things that build up over time: For example, if you’re shy, try going out to a bar and talking to people. These are little things you could do to get out of your comfort zone and push through your pain points. It takes trial and error. If it scares you -- that’s good! That means that the more you do…
 
This 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 wh…
 
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 in…
 
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 t…
 
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 …
 
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…
 
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 le…
 
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 Nem…
 
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 rangin…
 
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 ge…
 
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…
 
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