Episode 379 – CTO Epic Games – Kim Libreri


Episode 379 – CTO Epic Games – Kim Libreri

Epic Games CTO Kim Libreri is responsible for continuing Epic’s tradition of fusing state-of-the-art technology with the pinnacle of visual artistry, and for defining the studio’s Unreal Engine as the platform of choice for all types of interactive experiences including games, movies, visualization, augmented reality and virtual reality. 

Prior to joining Epic Games, Kim was the Chief Strategy Officer at Lucasfilm, where he was responsible for the company’s STAR WARS technology strategy and innovations in interactive storytelling, including the highly-awarded 1313 prototype. Kim’s career in digital technology and visual effects spans over 20 years, and he has credits on more than 25 films including SUPER 8, SPEED RACER, POSEIDON and THE MATRIX TRILOGY. He led the development team for the award-winning WHAT DREAMS MAY COME, as well as for the original MATRIX, developing the now-legendary Bullet Time technology. 

Kim is a respected member of many visual effects bodies, including the visual effects branch of the Academy. He has received numerous awards for his work and contributions to Motion Picture technology including an Oscar nomination in 2006 and two Academy Awards in 2000 and 2015.

In this Episode, Epic Games CTO Kim Libreri talks about his groundbreaking work on the Bullet Time technology for THE MATRIX, why innovation is a must in a film career, performance art and interactivity, the evolution of digital humans – and why greatness cannot be achieved without randomness.


Kim Libreri on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kim-libreri-790a716

Kim Libreri on IG: https://www.instagram.com/kimlibreri/?hl=en

Kim Libreri on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0508912/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

Kim Libreri at RealTime: https://realtimeconference.com/kim-libreri/



Hi, everyone! 

This is Allan McKay. Welcome to Episode 379! 

I’m speaking with Epic Games CTO Kim Libreri. I’m really excited to speak to Kim. He’s pretty much the face for Unreal Engine. We talk about:

  • Starting out in VFX;
  • His first job in computer graphics;
  • Why innovation is a must in a film career;
  • Whether having a coding ability makes a difference;
  • The progress in the visual effects industry;
  • Working on THE MATRIX – and the Bullet Time technology;
  • How the bidding process crushes innovation;
  • Problem solving of Epic;
  • The revolution of the Unreal Engine;
  • Virtual art departments and the advent of AI;
  • The evolution of digi humans;
  • Performance art and interactivity;

We get into a lot of great stuff!

Let’s dive in!



[00:59]  Have you ever sent in your reel and wondered why you didn’t get the callback or what the reason was you didn’t get the job? Over the past 20 years of working for studios like ILM, Blur Studio, Ubisoft, I’ve built hundreds of teams and hired hundreds of artists — and reviewed thousands of reels! That’s why I decided to write The Ultimate Demo Reel Guide from the perspective of someone who actually does the hiring. You can get this book for free right now at www.allanmckay.com/myreel!

[1:27:30] One of the biggest problems we face as artists is figuring out how much we’re worth. I’ve put together a website. Check it out: www.VFXRates.com! This is a chance for you to put in your level of experience, your discipline, your location — and it will give you an accurate idea what you and everyone else in your discipline should be charging. Check it out: www.VFXRates.com!


What did you think? I hope you enjoyed this Episode!

I want to thank Kim for joining the Podcast. This was so fun and informative!

Next week, I’m doing a solo Episode on the subject of Positive Outcomes of COVID-19 for VFX. This is a chance to focus on something positive that came out of the pandemic.

Please share this Episode with others. Thank you so much for listening!

Rock on!


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