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!
352 – Activision Blizzard – Executive Principal Recruiter for Art in Animation and Creative Robin Alan Linn
Activision Blizzard’s history goes back more than 40 years. Two incredible gaming brands Activision and Blizzard Entertainment merged, bringing together the best creative talent in gaming. The acquisition of King in 2016 further strengthened the company’s vision to bring the world together through epic entertainment. Their professional gaming properties include the Overwatch League™, the Call of Duty League™, Hearthstone® Grandmasters, and the World of Warcraft® Arena World Championship, among others. Activision Blizzard Esports also operates Tespa™, the leader in collegiate esports.
In this Episode, Activision Blizzard King’s Executive Principal Recruiter for Art in Animation and Creative Robin Alan Linn talks about the importance of niching down, how to stand out in the age of social media, how to ace the most difficult interview question, the importance of empathy, vulnerability and imperfection – and so much more!
For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/352/.
351 – CBS VFX – Ava DuVernay's ONE PERFECT SHOT
When Oscar®-nominated, Emmy® award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay teams with some of cinema’s most noted directors in the new HBO Max original docuseries One Perfect Shot, movie lovers will see dazzling, unprecedented views inside memorable shots from film history. The series provides a never-before-possible perspective on filmmaking, allowing directors to step into their favorite shots and take viewers on amazing 360º views of their visions. DuVernay and her production company, ARRAY Filmworks, selected CBS VFX (www.CBS-VFX.com) to produce these visually breathtaking moments.
Created for television by DuVernay and inspired by a popular Twitter account of the same name, each episode of One Perfect Shot arms one acclaimed director with an arsenal of visual tools to pull back the curtain on their most iconic shots. Filmmakers share their obstacles, challenges, lessons and triumphs as they detail the road to their one perfect shot. The series features prolific filmmakers Patty Jenkins, Aaron Sorkin, Kasi Lemmons, Jon M. Chu, Malcolm D. Lee and Michael Mann, as well as blockbuster films including Wonder Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Harriet, Crazy Rich Asians, Girls Trip and Heat.
Making the incredible images in One Perfect Shot required CBS VFX to use more than 25 years of visual effects innovation. Much of the work integrates the visual effects company’s proprietary Parallax virtual production system, which brings three-dimensional technology and an intricate level of detail to virtual locations. Combining Parallax with new tools in the Unreal Engine from Epic Games – including real-time rendering and ray tracing – led to remarkable production flexibility.
The digital production techniques from CBS VFX incorporated into One Perfect Shot represent an evolution of the work the visual-effects studio has done to replicate real-world locations in virtual sets and improve virtual production – which has been particularly important during the challenges of the pandemic.
CBS VFX has developed groundbreaking technology and created visual effects for multiple series across many networks, including Apple TV’s upcoming Roar, The Offer for Paramount+, This Is Us on NBC, Netflix’s Dead to Me, and Big Shot on Disney+. CBS VFX maintains a dedicated virtual production soundstage, and its team is available to television production professionals for live demonstrations of virtual production, digital set extension and realtime pre-viz technologies.
In this Episode, Allan McKay interviews Craig Weiss, Executive Creative Director at CBS VFX and Jim Berndt, Head Virtual Production at CBS VFX about their work on One Perfect Shot created for HBO Max by Ava DuVernay, the creative process and challenges of short deadlines, the promise of virtual production and realtime — and the future of VR; as well as their work on some technologically innovative projects.
For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/351/.
350 - F is for Family - Showrunner Mike Price
Mike Price is a Writers Guild Award and three-time Emmy Award-winning Writer and Producer. He is the Executive Producer and Showrunner of the acclaimed Netflix animated comedy series F is for Family, which he co-created with series star Bill Burr.
He is also a Writer and Co-Executive Producer on The Simpsons, having written over 20 episodes of the show – and served as a script consultant on The Simpsons Movie.
In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Emmy Award-winning Writer, Producer and Showrunner Mike Price about his work on The Simpsons and F is for Family, the influence of improv on his work, the dread of the blank page and how COVID-19 has changed the writers’ room.
For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/350/.
349 - Blur - Head of Character Effects Kemer Stevenson
Kemer Stevenson is the Character Effects Supervisor at Blur Studio in Los Angeles, California. With more than 15 years of experience in feature film, marketing and communications, he has previously worked for DreamWorks Animation, Rhythm & Hues, Republic Studios. His credits include: Trolls, Penguins of Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon franchise; Monsters vs. Aliens, The Incredible Hulk.
In this Podcast, Allan McKay and Blur Studio’s Head of Character Effects Kemer Stevenson talk about the importance of learning, the humility of not knowing; the outcomes of COVID-19 and working remotely.
For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/349/.
348 - Foundation - DNEG’s VFX Sup Chris Keller
DNEG (www.dneg.com) is one of the world’s leading visual effects (VFX) and animation studios for the creation of feature film, television and multiplatform content. DNEG employs nearly 7,000 people with worldwide offices and studios across North America (Los Angeles, Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver), Europe (London) and Asia (Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Mumbai). DNEG’s critically acclaimed work has earned the company six Academy Awards® for Best Visual Effects and numerous BAFTA and Primetime EMMY® Awards for its high-quality VFX work. Upcoming DNEG projects on behalf of its Hollywood and global studio and production company partners include Dune (October 2021), No Time To Die (October 2021), Ron’s Gone Wrong (October 2021), Last Night In Soho (October 2021), Ghostbusters: Afterlife (November 2021), The Matrix 4 (December 2021), Uncharted (2022), Borderlands (2022), Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2022), The Flash (2022), and Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023).
Chris Keller is a Filmmaker and Visual Effects supervisor with VFX credits that include Pacific Rim Uprising, Assassin’s Creed, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Man of Steel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and Netflix’ Triple Frontier. Most recently, he supervised Foundation for Apple TV+.
Chris has written and directed several award-winning short films. His new horror short Father was released in October 2018 after more than 40 screenings. The Last Dance, a touching Sci-Fi love story which was produced with support by DNEG, has recently completed its festival run. It is his most ambitious film to date.
In 2015, Chris released his horror short 20 HZ which has been praised for its atmosphere and assured direction. His film Life External won 3rd prize out of 217 submissions at the renowned Sci-Fi London 48hr Film Challenge 2014. The year before, his romantic short Valse garnered numerous awards, most notably Grand Prize at the 2013 Movie Machine Digital Cinema Festival. In 2012, he won the “Million Hits Viral Competition” with a spec beer commercial.
In 2016, Chris published a series of carefully designed viral videos showing a giant sea monster in the river Thames that received dozens of millions of views and generated massive hype in the UK’s capital.
At present, Chris is in post production with his next short (a live action / animation hybrid), and is developing more short, TV and feature scripts to direct in the future.
In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Chris Keller DNEG’s VFX Supervisor and Filmmaker about his work on Foundation, his own short films, the importance of making your own work, the imposter syndrome and how to get out of a creative rut.
For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/348/.
347 – Perfectionism is the Enemy
Perfection is our inability to balance out our priorities or see the big picture. We get so fixated on everything being perfect, we fall behind our responsibilities, eventually failing to deliver anything at all. This is a huge problem for a lot of junior artists who make this mistake which stops them from succeeding. Borrowing from what Allan McKay has learned as a VFX Supervisor, Producer in film, as well as a Studio Owner, he talks about:
How to manage projects successfully and how to grow as a creative; How to complete projects faster and become a better artist; How to think bigger and where to put your time; How to know how to make the biggest impact and earn a reputation for nailing projects. Perfectionism is not the pride in our work – it’s the downfall of us! The faster we iterate, the faster we improve. Once we release a product, we can always do a postmortem: what worked, what didn’t and where you can improve the next time. Meanwhile, with perfectionism, nothing is good enough. And because of that – nothing is ever done!
In this Podcast, Allan talks about the danger of perfectionism, how to not find yourself stuck in the cycle of endless iterations and move forward to becoming a better artist – and gives actionable tools to avoid the dangerous space in which nothing is good enough and nothing gets done.
For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/347/.
Honestly loving Allan’s insight to the VFX industry. I wish I would have found this early in my career.
Loving this ✊
This is a quality content! I never listen to podcasts, but I never get bored listening to his! Everything minute is so full of valuable information. #VFX1