Episode 380 – Positive Outcomes of COVID-19


Episode 380 – Positive Outcomes of COVID-19

COVID-19 created havoc in people’s lives and for a while, we thought it would shut down the VFX industry. But it turned out to have the opposite effect. As productions shut down, the studios sent artists home and their equipment to their homes, allowing for artists to work from home. That also means that studios could now hire from artists from anywhere, turning the industry into a truly global one. Which also meant incredible opportunities for artists anywhere.

In addition, VFX has become a booming industry. That gives opportunities for smaller studios to compete. There is so much work out there – and not enough artists to do that work. Which means that artists are in demand. The technological innovations, like virtual production, got sped up. For the studios, their overhead has gone down.

For artists, VFX has become a healthier culture. Because artists work from home, they can spend time with their families and no longer need to commit long commutes to work. Because artists now have stations at home, they can also become freelancers. Of course, this should inspire artists to learn new skills (i.e. Unreal Engine) and grow; or to even launch their own studios. 

If you’ve always dreamed of being a VFX artist, now is the time for you! In this Podcast, Allan McKay talks about the positive outcomes of COVID-19 on the VFX industry – from both an artist’s and a studio’s perspective – and why now is the perfect time to learn, innovate and leverage the career you’ve always wanted!


COVID-19 and the Future of VFX – Todd Sheridan Perry: www.allanmckay.com/247

Unreal Fellowship – Brian Pohl: www.allanmckay.com/293

Tarsier Studios – Little Nightmares: www.allanmckay.com/305

Henrique Reginato – NOX Visual Effects: www.allanmckay.com/362

Fellowship – Unreal Engine: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/fellowship



Hi, everyone! 

This is Allan McKay. Welcome to Episode 380! 

This is a solo Episode. I want to focus on the positive outcomes of COVID-19 on visual effects. There has been a lot of tragedy that happened during COVID, but there have been some innovations and positive changes in visual effects. I want to talk about:

  • How studios transitioned their artists to remote working;
  • The positive effects of that on the quality of lives of artists;
  • The artists’ ability to live and work remotely from anywhere;
  • The flexibility of becoming freelancers;
  • The overflow of new content – and the high demand for VFX artists;
  • Artists becoming in demand of their lives and careers;
  • Technological advances during COVID-19 and the advent of virtual production; 
  • The demand for artists to learn new skills like Unreal Engine.

I’m super excited to do this one!

Let’s dive in!



[01:26]  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!

[10:20] 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!


Okay, what did you think? I hope you got a lot from this Episode.

Next week, I’m interviewing Jonathan Stephens, the Chief Evangelist and Marketing Director at EveryPoint. We get into a lot of innovations in tech.

Until next week –

Rock on!


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