Rank #1: 169 -- Animator and Director Mike Morris
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/.
Nov 27 2018
Rank #2: 142 -- Kat Evans -- Discussing 15 Years in VFX
Over the course of her decade long career in visual effects, Katharine “Kat” Evans has worked for large studios like ILM, Tippett Studio, Giant Killer Robots and several others. Her credits include films like Hellboy, Matrix Revolutions, Fantastic Four, Transformers, Rango, Lucy and the Iron Man franchise.
Kat received her MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She began her career as a Roto Paint Artist, then moved on to Match Moving and Camera Layout. Since 2017, Kat has been focusing on a new career in User Experience Design (UX).
In this Podcast, Kat talks about her career in visual effects, as well as shares her insight on how to break into the industry, how to avoid working overtime and how to communicate with clients.
For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/142/.
May 29 2018
Rank #3: 125 -- Chris Do -- Founder of Blind
Chris Do is the Founder and CEO of Blind, a motion design firm. The studio has worked on projects for Xbox, Riot Games, A&E, Spike TV, ESPN, Google, Honda, Audi; as well as music videos for Coldplay, Justin Timberlake and Raveonettes. Since its founding in 1995, Blind has evolved into a brand design consultancy firm.
Prior to founding Blind, Chris received his BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. He has taught at the California Institute of the Arts, SIGGRAPH, Otis College of Design, CalState Northridge and several other places. Chris has also founded TheFutur, an educational platform where creative professionals learn business principles.
In this Episode, Chris talks about finding his purpose and founding a successful company; as well as the importance for artists to acquire business and marketing skills, to build their community and brand.
For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/125/.
Jan 30 2018
Rank #4: 130 -- Bobby Chiu -- Schoolism
Bobby Chiu is an Artist, Teacher and Motivator. He started his career in digital art at the age of 17, designing toys for Star Wars and Pixar. One of his first jobs as a Character Designer was on Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. After that, he worked on films Men in Black 3 and Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Bobby shares his talent through teaching up-and-coming artists, making tutorials and interviewing other artists. Over a decade ago, Bobby co-founded Imaginism Studios. Since then, the Studios have worked with clients like Disney, DreamWorks, Blue Sky, Riot Games, Blizzard and many others. He also founded Schoolism, an online learning community for artists.
In part one of his interview with Allan McKay, Bobby talks about his background, making art his profession, learning to work remotely, following trends -- and reaching the level of success where he had to learn to say “no”.
For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/130/.
Mar 06 2018
Rank #5: 133 -- Director Ryan Connolly -- Film Riot
Ryan Connolly is a filmmaker. He is also a founder and host at Film Riot, an online resource and community for filmmakers. Ryan is also the owner of production company Triune Films where he produces weekly online content and films like Tell, Losses, PROXiMITY, and several others.
Ryan began studying storytelling on his own before pursuing his formal training at Full Sail University in Florida. After graduating, he started working at a PC game company Alienware. He eventually left that job to start Film Riot. By now, Film Riot has over half a million followers and it continues to build its audience and community.
In this Podcast, Ryan talks about clocking in your 10,000 artist hours, using failures as opportunities to learn -- and gives advice and resources to aspiring filmmakers and storytellers.
For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/133/.
Mar 27 2018
Rank #6: 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/.
May 21 2019
Rank #7: 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/.
Jul 09 2019
Rank #8: 124 -- Michael Wortmann -- VFX Supervisor -- Black Panther, Game of Thrones, Atomic Blonde
Michael Wortmann is a VFX Supervisor. Since graduating from the Filmakademie in Wurttenberg, Germany, in 2009, Michael has pursued a truly international career by working for companies like Animal Logic in Australia, Weta Digital in New Zealand, Chimney in his native Germany and many more. His credits include large budget films like Prince of Persia, Harry Potter, X-Men: First Class, John Carter, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Atomic Blonde, and most recently, Black Panther.
In this Podcast, Michael talks about his journey of becoming a VFX Supervisor, the benefits of changing companies every few years -- and the most essential skills for standing out as a VFX artist.
For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/124/.
Jan 23 2018
Rank #9: 136 -- Scanline FX Sup Ivo Klaus
Ivo Klaus is a VFX Supervisor who has been working at Scanline VFX in Munich, Germany for over 13 years. He has worked on and supervised such large budget feature films like Tomb Raider, Transformers: The Last Knight, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Snowpiercer, Looper, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, 300 -- and many, many more.
In this portion of his interview with Allan McKay *, Ivo gives advise on professional tools for VFX artists, the do’s and don’ts of demo reels and some insider tips for anyone seeking employment at Scanline VFX.
For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/136/.
* NOTE: The second part of Ivo’s interview -- with more valuable information -- to be published at a later time!
Apr 17 2018
Rank #10: 178 -- Does Art Actually Pay?
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/.
Jan 22 2019
Rank #11: 157 -- The Hyper Focus Method
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/.
Sep 11 2018
Rank #12: 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/.
Sep 10 2019
Rank #13: 166 -- Master Negotiator Brandon Voss
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/.
Nov 06 2018
Rank #14: 212 -- Image Engine -- VFX Sups
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/.
Sep 17 2019
Rank #15: 191 -- Private Career Intensive
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/.
Apr 23 2019
Rank #16: 213 -- Ruairi Robinson -- Director
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/.
Sep 24 2019
Rank #17: 149 -- Should I Be a Generalist or a Specialist?
The big question is: Should I be a generalist or a specialist? That’s one of the most common questions I get. It applies to every creative industry: games, film, design. This is something you should relate to: Should you niche to a specific subject or should you raise your hand to every job that comes along because you’re a generalist?
By specializing, the advantage right away is that you’re in a much smaller sandbox. The goal here is to become the go-to person, on your client’s rolodex, or for your city -- or the entire world. The more specialized you are, the more you can command the fees you deserve. You’re also making a successful brand out of your name.
At the same time, it’s better to start out as a generalist and evolve into a specialist overtime. By having the understanding of all other areas, it’s more about understanding the pipeline: Where your work is coming from and where it’s going.
In this Episode, Allan McKay talks about the difference between being a generalist and a specialist, the importance of knowing your place in the pipeline, of finding your niche and building your brand.
For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/149/.
Jul 17 2018
Rank #18: 131 -- Thierry Lafontaine -- From Wine Expert to Master Artist
Thierry Lafontaine is a Character Designer and Illustrator for both film and children’s books. He also teaches at the Imaginism Studios and runs a 30-day training program at the Schoolism House, in Sainte-Julienne, Quebec. Thierry studied art at Sheridan College. He lives and works in Toronto.
In this Episode, Thierry talks about his journey of becoming an artist, the discipline and mindset that it took to succeed -- and the experience of the immersive art program at his Schoolism House.
For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/131/.
Mar 13 2018
Rank #19: 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/.
Jul 02 2019
Rank #20: 126 -- Self-Investment
For many of us, January is the time to front load the year and identify the successes we want to achieve in 2018.
In this Episode, Allan McKay talks about making the long-term investment in yourself, creating the change you want to see in your career, sticking to it through the hard times -- embracing and learning from failures -- and attacking your goals with URGENCY!
This is where your Luke Skywalker begins: You will become a Jedi overtime; you will go through struggles -- but you will also meet Yoda!
For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/126/.
Feb 06 2018