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162 -- Optimized Learning

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...


161 -- The Hustler’s Mindset

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,...


160 -- The First Step to Your Dream Job

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...


159 -- Interview with the Creator of Jar Jar Binks

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...


158 -- How to Change Careers After 30

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 --...


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 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...


156 -- The One Thing More Effective Than Your Reel

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


155 -- Directors of the Feature Film KIN

TWIN ( 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...


154 -- Q & A with Allan McKay

This Episode came from a Survey that Allan McKay held on the subject of: What’s holding you back? This Podcast is more of a tough love. In it, Allan McKay tackles the answers on the subjects of resistance and obstacles like: - Lack of experience; - Lack of time; - Lack of discipline; - Not having the connections; - Not speaking English; - Living outside of the industry. So dig past the BS you’re telling yourself and start to figure out how to take action toward your dream job! For...


153 -- Ryan Connolly -- Making of Short Film BALLiSTIC

Ryan Connolly is a filmmaker and a founder of 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 most recently -- BALLiSTIC. Ryan first studied filmmaking and storytelling 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. Nowadays, Film Riot...


152 - More Than One Kind of Demo Reel

Over the course of your career in Visual Effects, you will have several types of reels: from your Student Reel, to a Generalist Reel, to a Specialist and Supervisor and Studio Reels. Every reel will have a specific purpose. The evolution of your reel depends on where you want to go in your career. In this Episode, Allan McKay goes through the evolution of your Demo Reel -- and all the different types of Reels you’re going to build over the course of your career! For more show notes, visit...


151 -- Insights into Hiring with Realtime UK

Realtime UK was founded in 1996 by Tony Prosser who had a desire to create some of the most exciting marketing films in the world. It’s an ambition that has been shared with Director Ian Jones and Art Director Stuart Bayley, who thrive on collaborating with our the studio’s clients on discovering new ways to make their vision a reality. Realtime UK continues to create original work in games, commercials and television, while being true to its motto: Passionate about creating inspiring...


150 -- How to Stalk People (and Get the Contacts)

A lot of us wait until a job is over and we dust off our reel and start applying for jobs again. A good metaphor here is: You want to build your well before you’re thirsty. Don’t wait until the desperate moment when you need a job. You can be the greatest artist in the world. But if no one knows you, why does that matter? It’s important to build and nurture authentic relationships in the business. What if you had the ability to pull up anyone’s email address? Any studio head, any supervisor...


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...


148 -- Kevin Baillie -- Atomic Fiction

Kevin Baillie is a Co-Founder and VFX Supervisor at Atomic Fiction, a VFX company with studios in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Montreal. His career began when he joined Lucasfilm’s JAK Films division at the age of 18, as a pre-vis artist on Star Wars Episode I. After Lucasfilm, Kevin supervised at ImageMovers Digital and helmed VFX at the Orphanage on critically-acclaimed movies such as Hellboy, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Night at the Museum, Superman Returns, Harry Potter...


147 -- Bobby Chiu -- Schoolism -- PART II

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,...


146 -- Framestore’s Recruiter Kathleen Ruffalo

Kathleen Ruffalo is the Crew Manager for Framestore. She is in charge of recruitment, management and team development at both the Los Angeles and Chicago offices. After years of production experience, Kathleen joined Framestore in 2012. Since then, she has become an integral part of growing the creativity and culture within Framestore. She casts a wide array of skill sets that match the industry’s ever-changing and evolving technologies. In this Episode, Kathleen talks about becoming an...


145 -- HALON Entertainment -- Brad Alexander

Brad Alexander is a co-founding partner at HALON Entertainment, a full-service visualization company that provides a state-of-the-art platform of cutting edge technology, to bring their clients’ creative vision on screen. Brad has worked on such legendary features as War of the Worlds, Transformers, World War Z; as well as spent 4 years as a CG Supervisor on James Cameron’s Avatar. Prior to co-founding HALON, Brad studied at Full Sail in Florida; but before graduating, he was recruited by...


144 -- Soho VFX -- Berj Bannayan

Founded in 2002 by partners Berj Bannayan, Allan Magled and Mike Mombourquette, Soho VFX began as a boutique studio. From the beginning, the studio's specialty was the production of high quality photo-realistic visual effects. In 2005, Soho VFX landed itself a leading visual effects role: the creation of the elastic Mr. Fantastic in Marvel's The Fantastic Four. Since then, Soho VFX has helped superheroes come to life in several other Marvel productions. In 2007, Soho VFX expanded its...


143 -- Scanline VFX Sup Ivo Klaus -- PART II: Industry Advice

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 talks about the importance of having a generalist background, scripting experience, problem...