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The Allan McKay Podcast

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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238 -- Corridor Crew

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/.

1hr 8mins

17 Mar 2020

Rank #1

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195 -- How I Would Start My Career in 2019

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/.

1hr 30mins

21 May 2019

Rank #2

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219 -- Head of ILM Rob Bredow

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/.


5 Nov 2019

Rank #3

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227 -- How to Get Things Done

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/.


31 Dec 2019

Rank #4

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223 -- Blackmagic Design

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/.

1hr 3mins

3 Dec 2019

Rank #5

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211 -- Why FX Technical Directors Have the Coolest Job in the World!

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/.


10 Sep 2019

Rank #6

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240 -- Christian Alzmann (Making Baby Yoda)

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/.


31 Mar 2020

Rank #7

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201 -- Should You Go to School for VFX?

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/.

1hr 1min

2 Jul 2019

Rank #8

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233 -- Matti Haapoja

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/.


11 Feb 2020

Rank #9

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207 -- How Old is Too Old for VFX?

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/.


13 Aug 2019

Rank #10

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217 -- Instagram for Artists

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/.


22 Oct 2019

Rank #11

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221 -- Michael Janda

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.

1hr 16mins

19 Nov 2019

Rank #12

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204 -- Lucas Ridley

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/.

1hr 25mins

23 Jul 2019

Rank #13

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209 -- Fired and Homeless

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/.


27 Aug 2019

Rank #14

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236 -- Side Hustle

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/.


3 Mar 2020

Rank #15

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237 -- Ben Burns -- The Futur

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/.


10 Mar 2020

Rank #16

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205 -- Working from Home

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/.


30 Jul 2019

Rank #17

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202 -- How to Take Your Career to the Next Level

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/.

1hr 9mins

9 Jul 2019

Rank #18

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218 -- The 4-Minute Mile

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/.


29 Oct 2019

Rank #19

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234 -- Lon Molnar -- MARZ

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/.

1hr 3mins

18 Feb 2020

Rank #20