Episode 76 – Dreamworks Director Andrew Schmidt talks his career at Pixar, Dreamworks, Amblin and beyond
Check out www.VFXRates.com
Andrew L. Schmidt is a Director of Trollhunter (DreamWorks Animation). With a 20-year experience in the industry, he has a long list of credits to his name: The Iron Giant, Monsters, Inc; Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille and many more. Andrew has worked at studios like Amblimation, DreamWorks, Warner Brothers and Pixar. Guillermo del Toro’s Trollhunters is his first directing credit.
Andrew L. Schmidt on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2112570/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
Trollhunters on IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1734135/
Andrew’s talk at IAMAG Master Class: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/iamagmasterclasses17/
Andrew Schmidt quoted in the New Yorker’s article The Fun House: Life at Pixar: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/05/16/the-fun-factory
Episode 76 – Interview with Andrew L. Schmidt
[-1:21:11] Hey! This is Allan. Just a quick thing to check out: www.vfxrates.com. This is a website that I created to solve a massive problem that we all have: What should we be charging? This is the giant mystery that we all have and most people feel very uncomfortable talking about is what we should charge as a freelance rate. And the worst part is when we go apply for a job and if we ask for too much, we risk alienating the employer and never getting that call back. Whereas we play it safe and ask too little, we not only get taken advantage of, but on top of that, we leave a lot of money on the table, which potentially over a span of a few years, can add up to 10’s of thousands of dollars.
[-1:20:32] So this is chance for you to go to the website www.vfxrates.com. Put in bits of information, like your city, your experience, your discipline, software, little things that are important, to figuring out what you should be charging as your base rate when you’re talking to an employer. This is based on a lot of experience, but more importantly, it’s based on the braintrust of the industry experts from different fields that we’ve pulled together to collect a very accurate way to generate what you should be charging.
[-1:20:00] The best part is not just what you should be charging — but what you could be charging by tweaking a few things: how you present yourself, building a brand, learning to negotiate better. Also, there are factors like building an irresistible reel, learning to approach employers the correct way; learning how to network. I want to share all of this information for free! Go to www.vfxrates.com — and find out what you should be charging for your hourly VFX rate.
[-1:19:31] Alright, welcome to a brand new Episode. It is with Andrew Schmidt who is a good buddy of mine. I’ve known him for three years. We met at the very first IAMAG Master Class in Paris. Andrew is a super great guy. I was really excited to do this because Andrew has a vast amount of experience within the industry at DreamWorks, [also at] Pixar for quite some years. Before that he worked on projects like one of my favorite movies The Iron Giant, Prince of Egypt. What I’ve loved is that each year that I’ve attended the IAMAG Master Class, Andrew’s talks have been some of my favorite because they have so much more substance. Usually, they take you on a bit of a journey through his career, his insights, but more importantly, a lot of the life lessons he’s learned on his journey. I thought it would be really great to talk to him because not only is he able to talk about his humble beginnings and how he got started but also about some of the transitions he’s experienced recently.
[-1:18:03] In case I haven’t mentioned it yet, he is one of the directors of Guillermo del Toro’s Trollhunters for DreamWorks Animation. He’s also worked on some of the amazing classics that we all love like The Incredibles, Finding Nemo; Monsters, Inc.,; Up and on, and on, and on. We also talked about Family Guy because he contributed to its Season 1. We talk about a lot of stuff. I knew this would be a killer!
[-[1:17:29] One thing that I will mention is that the audio quality on this Episode isn’t the greatest, and I apologize for that. However, what I recommend to you is to not focus of the level of quality of the audio — but focus on the level of quality of the content! I always take pride in having great quality to my Episodes.
[-1:16:53] If you enjoy this talk, I believe you can get Andrew’s IAMAG Master Class talk. I’ll leave a link if you want to access that. I think it’s $10. And of course, in the show notes, you can find more information about him: allanmckay.com/76.
[-[1:16:31] Allan: Do you want to give a bit of a background, how you found your passion for animation?
Andrew: Yeah. I am not one of those people who watched cartoons thinking that’s what I want to do. I never studied it in school. My interest was in film and adventures: Frankenstein, Dracula. I wanted to get into visual effects. And that lead to a small college in Michigan. I didn’t do well academically in the beginning. And that lead to taking some art classes. That was in my late teens, early 20s. They had a fine arts program there, so I studied fine arts. I started taking film classes, matte painting and things like that. Touched on some animation. That was just the beginning.
I had a dear friend who had gone abroad. She was traveling in Scotland and came across a 2D studio which was starting called Amblimation, which was a Steven Spielberg studio. So I finished college with a visual arts degree. I did construction for a year. Then Jamie Bolio called saying, “Hey, I’m in London. I’m working at a studio here and I’m looking for people.” So I sent in my live drawing portfolio. So I packed two suitcases and moved to London and started working at A Amblimation.
[-[1:13:29] That studio folded into DreamWorks. A bunch of people moved to LA and formed DreamWorks. That’s how I ended up in Los Angeles, back in ’96.
[-[1:13:14] Allan: I’ve been doing a little of bit of 3D. I think I started doing my first big project in ’96. Such a long time ago! I love that. You were okay at Amblimation. That’s where a lot of the animators came from [at DreamWorks]. I’m just kind of curious, what’s the hierarchy like when it comes to in-betweeners and key framers? Back then, if you were more of an in-betweener, how many key framers were typically in the studio? Because typically, these days, a lot of them get outsourced.
Andrew: Yeah. There was typically a team for a character and a supervisor. So there was a supervising animator and several other animators. They handled the bulk of the work. I don’t know, maybe [there were] 5-6 in-betweeners.
[-[1:11:31] Allan: Initially, for you to supply your live drawing portfolio, was it pretty easy to get your foot in the door that way? Or was it more luck? Let’s say for anyone else who was applying, what were the key things that got you in? Obviously, talent would be one of them.
Andrew: I think it’s a little bit of everything. It’s not going to be one thing. My live drawing portfolio was pretty strong. Also, this was at the time there some films [were doing really well]. So they were really looking for people from all over. So there was the luck of that. Then there was me, on top of being prepared, being persistent. And then there was knowing someone in the studio. He could say, “I know this guy. He’s pretty good.” So there were few different things.
[-[1:10:05] Allan: And I think that you had a plan. Half the time, it comes down to that. Especially in animation! Especially back when things were booming. Getting some mainstream feature animation, with key players like Disney producing all the content. You never did any short films early on in your career, did you?
Andrew: No. I admire people who have done that. But I didn’t. I don’t know why. I’ve been in the industry and working non-stop soon after I got in.
[-[1:09:16] Allan: That’s a good problem to have! What is your opinion: Do you think it’s a good idea for those starting a career to look into doing short films, as a way to build [it]? So not necessarily for the sake of passion but more because this is something that would help establish them?
Andrew: In my personal opinion, I think so, yes. I don’t know what Pixar’s hiring practices are now. I can talk about what they used to be. That’s what impresses me now: You have to show them some professional work or student work that’s quite strong. The level of dedication that it takes to do that — it’s really impressive.
[-[1:08:08] Allan: I think you’re right. From the hiring standpoint, it shows that they’re able to go through an entire production, wear many hats, and figure out what their strengths are. I definitely gives complete transparency about who they are and what they can do.
Andrew: You can even tell if they’re a strong storyteller.
[-[1:07:23] Allan: Cool! This is such an open-ended question: What do you think the industry is like these days, compared to back then? What are some of the big difference you found, how much digital animation has changed from ’95 (which is Toy Story and that was a big establishment). Obviously, it’s boomed so much and changed so much over the years. How do you think it compares to now?
Andrew: Some of the talent now is incredible! Just at a student reel level, it’s amazing how [talented] some people are! But that’s a good question. I was a junior artist back then.
[-[1:06:30] Allan: I’ll say this, you’re right. You go to CG Talk or Art Station a few years ago and the stuff that people are putting out there as a student reel is depressing for me. It’s just like, “Holy crap!” When we were starting out, we would have, like, POV-Ray and these really crappy, difficult to use programs. These days, you can open the package and get the feel for it pretty quickly. Back then, you’d have to render something just to see what it would look like.
Animation, in my opinion, is such an oversaturated industry. And because of that, when you’re applying for work, you’re going to have to find some ways to stand out. Otherwise, you’re going to get lost in the noise of so many talented people. Earlier on, it was quite difficult to find where there was work. Obviously, now there is quite a lot of work. So that’s the advantage.
Andrew: Yeah. I think you make a really good point. There are some drastic changes. Nowadays, just a demo could look fantastic.
[-[1:04:58] Allan: Touching on that subject, are there any major misconceptions that people have in their head. Like using the software packages that are the best and if you are not using those, you’re not going to do as well. Or, you have to go to school to get a job in the industry. Whatever kind of BS that people typically think is the way, and it’s completely opposite.
Andrew: It’s the person behind the camera who’s getting the shot. Obviously, they use some tools to get the shot.
[-[1:04:08] Allan: There is a pretty famous story about Stephen King doing a Q&A after a presentation. Someone raised their hand and asked, “What pen do you write with?” Do you have any advice for people starting out? Ways to make themselves stand out?
Andrew: I think there is something to be said — one of the things that I’ve discovered while at Pixar — is finding your strength and building your reel with that strength: to a certain type of acting, or action shots, things like that. Back at Pixar, people had the breadth of knowledge and experience I haven’t had. You just need to have a talent. You need to be good at something. You need to keep finding your weaknesses and try to strengthen [in those areas].
I didn’t understand a lot about storytelling, so I took a course: about writing and building a scene. My art background was in fine arts. Then I started doing animation which is illustration. I didn’t know anything about illustration, so I took some courses to fill in those gaps. I think that’s something that you can do. You don’t need to be a jack of all trades. But if you’re trying to build a career, you’re going to need a lot of bricks.
[-[1:01:31] Allan: I think that’s a very valuable advice. Lately, it’s been coming up a lot. I’m going to segue to a Tony Robbins’ conversation I heard the other day about growth and reciprocity; self growing and giving back. A lot of people learn a lot and they switch off: I’ve got my bag of tricks. And that’s where they stay. The ones who actually succeed, go through this ping-pong effect of growing then giving back [through] teaching ([which] is a form of processing information). Then growing again. If you keep looking for the next level, you stay hungry.
Andrew: I was thinking about the Michael Caine book. He talked about it. What we do as artists, we’re in a community, collecting things from other artists. But it’s a community. A community is not about taking things from other people. There is certain amount of sharing you need to do as well.
[-[59:40] Allan: Absolutely! Looking at surrounding areas, I came up with a slightly tacky term: Your Trifecta. In other words, the three areas that compliment what you do the closest. If you do animation, you might want to look into comedy writing, acting, other areas. That’s exactly it. With effects, we say it’s scripting, lighting and compositing.
Andrew: Maybe life drawing to understand motion.
Allan: I even feel that with your career, it’s better to be at the bottom of the barrel. You have buddies who pump you up and tell you how great you are. I’d rather people around people who push me up.
Andrew: That’s what it’s about. There is a certain glass ceiling. The people are great, the projects are great. I just felt like I need to be out there. You’re not going to grow if you don’t push against your comfort zone. Sometimes, you just need to take a beating, figure out what you did wrong and not repeat the mistakes. You are not going to grow unless you get out there.
[-[56:25] Allan: I was watching one of Anthony Buordain’s shows. He was back in San Francisco because he was finishing his Jiu-Jitsu training. Or it was BJJ. He decided to do a few episodes in that area. For you, you just decided you wanted to try boxing? How did that come about to be? I think it’s really important for you to have an inkling for something different.
Andrew: I’ve done martial arts throughout my life. I was a big Bruce Lee fan. A lot of that was from sitting at the computer a lot of the time. It was about this complacency in life and my career. I didn’t want to [hit fifty] and be out of shape. I’m not quite sure what drew me to boxing. I guess I’ve always been interested in it, but didn’t have the balls to go out and do it. I found a club that wasn’t hardcore. I didn’t want to take too many blows to my head. But part of that was about fear and facing that fear. And how I feel after I come out facing something I don’t enjoy to do. And after a while, the tension of fear goes away and you begin to enjoy yourself. You push yourself in ways you didn’t expect.
[-[53:31] Allan: Were there any differences you’ve noticed like clarity of thinking or feeling more pushed at work, more energy?
Andrew: Well, I mean, I definitely got in shape. But there is also this mentality of this energy you get. You feel like you’ve accomplished something. Maybe it’s an ego thing. Things that bothered me, that worried me, why not just do it. It shuts down the voice in my head: “You can’t do that. You’ll never be good at that.” It’s easy to listen to that voice. Nothing bad is going to happen. It’s not that “nothing bad is going to happen”. Nothing is going to happen! That’s not a way to live a life.
[-[52:00] Allan: I guess it’s a psychological wall that artists and entrepreneurs must face. You’re the one taking risks. Psychologically, you’re trained to stay with what’s safe. Anytime a great opportunity comes up, you might be excited but bit by bit you start convincing yourself to stay safe. Everyone I consider successful, every time I ask if there was a place of risk, when everything in your life starts changing — everyone gets a smile on their face because they can relate to that. For you, were there any massive breaks, where you struggled a bit but then grew into a new place.
Andrew: Pixar definitely! It was heaven. It’s a great place to learn and explore and it’s very safe. I learned so much there. And I have friends there and I miss them! But then I was getting hungry. I think complacency is death to an artist. I was missing feeling challenged. I felt like a had a certain level of skills and I really wanted to put them to work. I was lucky that I didn’t have kids, so I wasn’t restricted financially. Someone gave me a really great advice: You need to find a pull, something that’s going to get you to the other side, not just a push.
That’s where luck stepped in. Rodrigo Blaas who’s been at Pixar for quite a while. He did a short film called Alma about a little girl and a doll short. Because of that film, Rodrigo got contacted by [Guillermo] del Toro. [Then] he asked me to go work with him. We jumped at the opportunity. He left Pixar to go to DreamWorks. That was my pull: It was my chance to work on something edgy, different stuff than what Pixar does. And I had a chance to direct! They were putting faith in me. I’ve directed some commercials. There was a chance I could’ve failed, but I couldn’t pass it up. I left a very high paying job with bonuses. I took a pretty hefty pay cut, just to move in Los Angeles. But I found the work much more fulfilling, much more challenging.
[-[45:58] Allan: What was going through your mind at that time? I imagine it was pretty emotional.
Andrew: Something like, “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!” Something like that.
Allan: Yeah. There is no undo button for decisions like that. Was there a moment you decided it was the right move?
Andrew: That was part of the thing that made make the move: I never had any doubt! I had some apprehension, I had some doubt. There was some nervousness about it. It was going to be a great project.
[-[45:13] Allan: We’ll talk about DreamWorks in a moment. But I’d love to talk about some of the previous projects you’ve done. Prior to Pixar, you worked on Iron Giant. That was a classic and an important film.
Andrew: I finished Prince of Egypt and I was preparing to work on The Road to El Dorado. There was some, I don’t know, some resistance. I thought I had a decent reel. But a friend who was working on Iron Giant called me up, “Hey, man. You want to do this film?” I got a chance to become an animator. That was another chance for me to work on something that really pushed me. I was able to get some good scenes to animate and make some good connections.
[-[42:25] Allan: I have to say, I had no idea you worked on Family Guy. What was that experience like?
Andrew: It was bizarre and I enjoyed it too! The first season was interesting. At the time, the animation was getting sent to Korea to get animated. I’m guessing it’s easier at this time. It was fun.
[-[41:28] Allan: Going on to Pixar, it’s a pretty monumental part of anyone’s work history. What was it like when you initially approached them? Because they’ve just finished Toy Story. Monsters, Inc was their next project, right?
Andrew: It’s so long ago, I’m trying to place it. I think Monsters, Inc was their third film, that’s when I came on. Also because I worked with Brad, he knew my work. I had my third rejection letter then I got a call from Brett Varon I sent some of my stuff. One thing I’ve learned sometimes “no” from a studio doesn’t mean “no”. The door is not open right now, but keep trying. I knocked again and this time the door opened. I didn’t have any CG experience. [In] Prince of Egypt, I has some. I went through a 10-week training program. It took me about three years to feel good about CG.
[-[38:44] Allan: Yeah, what was it like for you to go from not having any CG experience at all to going into a whole new world? Once you learn one or two packages, you know all of them. For you, how intimidating was it?
Andrew: It was confidence shaking. I mean, I really felt I was going to be fired. Pixar has a different mentality than any different studio. It just shakes your skill when you feel like your skills have reached a certain level but then there is a whole new skill. “I know I can do better than this! How do I do that?” But everyone else is struggling, also going through the same thing.
[-[37:04] Allan: And you said it took you three years to feel like you got it?
Allan: During that time, was there a lot of friction?
Andrew: I had many, many days of frustration.
[-[36:23] Allan: I think that’s such a critical thing when you get those rejection letters, no doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough. It means keep trying. For me, it means that I just need to keep getting better. Even when I had that persistence, there were times I was going to give up. If anything, it’s an endurance test for this industry. Because if you’re going to quit — you’re just not right for this industry. This is a career, it’s not a job.
Andrew: You’re looking to build and grow and that takes persistence. The first thing that hits you is: “I’m not good enough. They don’t want me.” It brings up all that doubt. Sometimes it helps if the studio gives you some advice. Pixar used to do that.
[-[34:08] Allan: That’s a good point. Were there any mentors that you’ve had around you? I feel that you can still get so much from those relationships. Are there people you look to for inspiration.
Andrew: Oh, yeah! Kristof Serrand, early on. Trying animation, I remember I’d bring some work and he’d just flip through it and throw it into the trashcan. It was painful. He was just being honest: You can do better. He didn’t just dismiss me. He gave me pointers.
[-[32:30] Allan: One thing you mentioned is working abroad. You’re so well traveled. I think it’s a critical thing. It recalibrates you. What’s your opinion? How impactful is it on artists to travel and work in other cultures / countries?
Andrew: I think it’s vital. It’s vital for human beings to learn about cultures and stories. When I went to Amblimation, it was multi-cultured. People of different nationalities and it was an eye opening experience. You learn how different everybody is, but how everyone is pretty much the same. We have the same motivations and desires. We realize we can relate to each other. We can learn to communicate better. Communication is what we do. We communicate an idea to put it on the screen.
[-[29:12] Allan: I think working in countries where your native language isn’t spoken, you learn how to communicate. You’ve got to start how you can say something and how it can be misunderstood. It alienates you and adapt. You grow as a human being.
Andrew: You’re enriching yourself.
[-[27:53] Allan: We’ve both read Creativity, Inc. It was a fascinating book to read. That did get me excited to learn more about the culture of Pixar. I remember Digital Domain let of a thousand people after Titanic was done in 1996. It reinforces the mentality that this is a service-based industry. You are supplying a service. Pixar is one the most profitable companies on the planet and they’re making their own content. ILM was a service providing industry. With you, guys, having that more family oriented mindset is really great. And that also means that every time the project is over, you don’t lose what you’ve learned when the new team gets built. It’s frustrating because you have to learn the same mistakes over and over and over.
Andrew: Yeah, when you work with people for a long time, you learn their strengths, you learn their weaknesses, where they need to grow, where they see you can grow. There is something about it that’s more efficient. I think it makes for better storytelling to keep people longer.
[-[25:39] Allan: What do you think were some of the things you took from one of the leading animation studios in the world? Were there a lot of things that carved out who you are? I love the story of the braintrust. You’ve got a director but you also have a support team that isn’t going to tread on your toes; but they’re there to help your vision be as strong as you can be. What was some of the stuff you took after that experience?
Andrew: Ah, well, a lot of memories, of course, and friendships. Stayed in touch with a lot of people. Trollhunters is getting a lot of attention for its visual quality because it’s a tv show. A lot of that comes from Rodrigo and myself. He’s the showrunner and has done a lot of the shots. He wants to get good quality up there, not sell ourselves short. I can’t stand that “It’s good enough” mentality. I learned about getting good people around you, good team, and getting out of their way and allowing them to do what they do best. And giving them that support. You get a lot of friction jobs where people try to stop you from doing your best. Sometimes, the nature of production interferes with people getting stuff done. Pixar was about removing those roadblocks, so that creative people could do what they really do best.
Allan: Take pride in their work.
Andrew: Take pride in their work, and go the extra mile to get the ownership of what they are doing.
[-[22:36] Allan: That’s always been my philosophy. Once the project is done, you can’t change it. Even for the crappiest tv commercials I’ve done, I’ll see stuff and be like, “Oh! They used the wrong element in comp!” Or they decided that would do. And I’ve gone through a phase too. It’s only in the last six years that I’ve gotten the passion back. Once it’s up there, you can never go back. It’s part of history. Especially, when it’s a project that’s going to affect people.
Andrew: It’s better when people care about what they’re doing. When they care, they put extra effort into it. I would get myself to care about it.
[-[20:40] Allan: With Trollhunters, you’ve been tied to that project for a while. I like the fact that whenever we’ve hung out, things have changed drastically every time. Three years ago, you were at Pixar but thinking about other options. The next time, you were working at DreamWorks. For you now, having spent two years on the project, how do you feel now? What are some of the challenges you’re going through?
Andrew: It’s been great! I’ve learned so much! Yeah, constantly learning. I find that I am challenged. I get to use a lot of the skills that I’ve developed in writing, acting, animation, storytelling. I’ve never been admittedly a great decision maker. As a director, you’ve got no choice. You have to make decisions and there is a hundred of them. You have to get rid of the fear that you would be making a wrong choice, because chances are, you will. You have to learn to live with it, learn from it, correct it or let it go. It’s been a great learning process for me. I don’t work directly with Guillermo, he comes through and gives me some notes occasionally. I learn from my friend Rodrigo about camera, staging, composition. I view it as a chance to go to a directing school.
[-[17:48] Allan: Why go to a directing school, if you can learn on the job? That’s great. With your team, what is it like having such a fresh new team of people to work on something as ambitious as this? Again, it’s Netflix.
Andrew: It’s been a great experience. There is a certain excitement about the project. So people are pushing themselves to come up with great ideas. I like to keep those channels open. I work really closely with my editor Graham Fisher. From the beginning, I didn’t think I knew what the process would be like. I’ve established the grammar for it from DreamWorks. It’s not a dictatorship. It’s a team effort. And I think it makes the project more fun because everyone is in on it. It’s a small team, really. We have a small director team. But it’s not a huge crew, so everyone is involved in everything.
[-[15:29] Allan: Yeah, I like that. When you have small teams, nothing gets lost in conversation. You’re in constant communication.
Andrew: And you can chat with someone quickly.
Allan: What are some of the challenges on a project like this?
Andrew: For me, it was switching from features, with big budgets, to tv which has much smaller budgets. And much more demanding schedule. And not just for one episode. When you finish one episode, there is another one after that. So you can’t get bogged down. It will throw the whole thing off. You’re juggling six or seven episodes at a time: reviewing the script, script analysis, getting ready to shoot it, reviewing animation. You’re jam-packed back to back and trying to make decisions that are smart but also economical.
[-[13:39] Allan: I see Ron Perlman is doing a voice for one of the characters. That doesn’t surprise me at all. How well has it been received so far? The first season has been out for while.
Andrew: It’s been received well. Netflix doesn’t have numbers. They just have a general idea. Twitter has been exploding. The IMDb reviews have been great.
[-[12:49] Allan: Who are all the directors besides yourself?
Andrew: Elaine Bogan, Rodrigo Blaas, Johane Matte.
Allan: In general what’s coming for you? Obviously, you’re going to be speaking in Paris pretty soon. What other stuff do you have coming up, other than getting into street fights and starting your own Fightclub.
Andrew: Don’t talk about Fightclub. That’s rule number one. We are buried in season two for Trollhunters. Definitely looking forward to Paris!
[-[12:02] Allan: What’s your talk going to be on? Your first talk was on deconstructing a lot of great performances. I found that to be really original. The last talk was relaxed. But I loved that you could talk about your experience at Brick Lane, Pixar, then throw in some Bruce Lee in there as well. Everything you had to say was so relevant.
Andrew: This year will be on experience as a first-time director. Just that transition from my comfort zone to being very uncomfortable, learning lessons the hard way. A lot of the stuff I’ve talked about here.
[-[10:17] Allan: I’m really looking forward to catching up. I think your talk is going to be amazing.
Andrew: I hope I can see [your talk]. We have to leave Sunday. That’s the other problem with working on television: getting time off.
[-[8:41] Allan: I’m excited just because there are so many awesome people coming this year. Neil Blevins will be there. He’s bringing Kat [Evans]. I’ve been wanting to have her on the Podcast. She’s such a ballbuster. She’s in a male dominated industry but doesn’t take crap. And she’s really opinionated, so I think she’d have so much to say. Ryan Church, Dan Roarty, Mike Blum, Ash Thorp. Just in general, this time is going to be great! I’m psyched. I’m hoping to still be in LA, at least once a month. I want to drop by DreamWorks, when I do I’ll let you know I’m in the building.
Andrew: Please do.
Allan: I’ll see you in a few weeks. The audio is a bit iffy, but I’ll try to make it work. Do you have a personal website?
Andrew: I do not. It’s another thing I’ve got to do a bit: Do a bit of self-promotion.
[-[5:11] Allan: I’m curious, is that something you want to do, establish your presence as a director?
Andrew: I think so.
Allan: It’s a critical part. I’d be happy to help any way that I can.
That is it. Again, I apologize for the audio quality but I hope you were still able to pull some diamonds in the rough from this Episode. I want to thank Andrew again. I personally found this talk to be really inspiring.
If you want information on Andrew’s links or the talk he gave at IAMAG Master Class, go to allanmckay.com/76.
I’ll have another Episode coming out next week. I’ll leave it to be a surprise. Also, I’ve started doing a lot of Facebook streams. I do a lot of career intensives online, but these are more off-the-cuff. So, to be a part of that, you need to follow my public Facebook page. I’ll leave a link for that as well.
I’ll be back with a new Episode next week. Until then — rock on!
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Let's Be Friends
“If only there was more time in the day”
“How do you find the time to get so much done”
“I would learn a new skill.. if I had the time”
For many of us, finding time and energy to do more is one of the hardest things we have. Time is finite and we can either be pro-active with our time, or reactive. Meaning – we are constantly running around, jumping from one thing to another, and never really feeling in control.
Allan specifically wrote this guide, after the thousands of responses he received to his contributions on productivity on his Podcast, as well as articles he’s written on the subject, and interviews he’s given.
Allan has interviewed the New York Times Best Selling Authors David Allen (Getting Things Done) and Laura Vanderkam as well as dozens of other experts on the subject – as well as applying many of his best practices.
So how does someone who runs a studio, manages multiple teams, works in production, shoots, runs a hit Podcast, writes articles, multiple courses and a mentorship and more, manage their day?
Find out, and how YOU can apply this to your work and personal life. Grab the guide (It’s FREE).
Whether you’re in games, film or design this guide is focused on giving you the answers and knowledge to confidently seek out the set-up and hardware you need to get the speed and reliability to create the most jaw-dropping visuals you can create. Without being bogged down by slow hardware, or investing in the wrong areas that ‘cost a fortune’ and don’t really make much of an impact on speed and stability.
Allan goes through how to start TODAY applying many unique approaches to building a successful career, and taking control of your year so far.
Gain access to the free guide, videos and other resources now.
From learning to front load your pay raise, to hosting networking events and positioning you as an authority. Allan goes through many tactics and ways to take control, and make this your BEST YEAR YET!
How much should I charge?
If I ask too much, will I scare them off?
What are the key things that I’m doing wrong?
Money, negotiating, probably two words that build the most tension just at the thought of, other than public speaking.
This guide was designed for Artists – whether you’re a Designer, Illustrator, Matte Painter, Animator, FX, whatever! We all need to get hired for productions, and we all need to get what we’re worth.
But, most of are afraid of missing the mark, and scaring away our employers. Or, just not sure how to even start the conversation. Worse, we’re not sure what we’re actually worth, or we just plain don’t want to be in a tense back and forth negotiation.
Realistically – a good negotiator never needs to haggle, they never have a moment of tension, they never are in an uncomfortable situation. It’s actually very seamless, easy and kind of fun. But, it does require understanding many of the fundamentals that this guide covers in-depth. Negotiating your worth the wrong way can cost you tens of thousands of dollars per year, and it’s the most critical thing we all shouldn’t ignore.
Get the guide now, and never leave money on the table again!