Hi, I’m Allan McKay
Award winning VFX Supervisor and Technical Director in Hollywood, CA
Typically, everyone wants their careers to skyrocket. But they aren’t willing to put in the work, or even to think strategically about it. We are all guilty of learning all the latest design tools and watching thousands of Z-Brush tutorials or similar – thinking this is going to drastically benefit us.
But when it comes to our career, most of us don’t want to put in the time.
Learning to negotiate high-salaries, obtain visas to work in other countries, build your brand in the industry, or get consistent freelance offers daily – or simply even just how to build a resume that really promotes you the way that you want. These are all life skills and just the tip of the iceberg of what I want to share with you.
More recently, I launched my Podcast show, which is now ranked in the top 100 on “What’s Hot” section of iTunes, which still blows my mind! Where I’ve gotten to interview people like X, Y , Z and share a lot of insights on subjects like X,Y,Z. For me this has been something that has been so great and fulfilling to get to do, and hear how this is affecting others lives and careers! It’s definitely been so much work to do this consistently, but I’ve been loving every minute of it.
In the past I’ve been contributing high-end courses to Gnomon, CG Society, FXPHD, Digital Tutors, Autodesk and other training facilities. As well as more recently unrelated to film, I’ve had the opportunity to give various talks to many mastermind groups in Los Angeles on marketing and branding.
The other project I’m particularly proud of is my Technical Director Mentorship, which I started last year. And it’s been a chance to work closely with a select amount of people over the span of a year, doing live sessions, reviews, webinars, and delivering the latest training every 2-3 weeks (there’s now over 700+ hours of video training in the membership vault and growing).
This has been something I’ve devoted all of my time to for the past year, and had to turn down a lot of really great movie projects to do so, but seeing a lot of artists getting their dream jobs, as well as getting to build new friendships and share my knowledge with others has been so rewarding. I’m truly loving life right now and every day keeps getting better and better. I devote most of my free time to sharing with others and helping build and strengthen their careers and I want to keep doing this.
Stick around this site as I’m literally sharing new content every week if not multiple times per week, and I truly hope that this is a resource that can really benefit you!
So, a bit about me – I’ve been working in Visual Effects for over 20 years now, coming originally from Australia back in the 90’s, I work mainly as a VFX Supervisor and FX Technical Director these days in Los Angeles.
Some of the more recent projects I’ve worked on include Transformers 3, The Equalizer, Star Trek Into Darkness, Flight, Superman, Metallica, 2012, The Last Airbender, Daybreakers, and many others..
I’ve worked on a few awesome projects in the past decade or so that won various awards I was tied to, from Emmy’s, Oscar’s, VES awards, ProMax and one I’m particular proud of was in 2007 I was awarded as an Autodesk Master, which I’m really honored to receive.
I’ve gotten to work with some amazing studios, and amazing directors over my career from Michael Bay, Tim Miller, Roland Emmerich, Robert Zemeckis, M Night Shamayalan, Brian Singer and studios like Industrial Light + Magic (ILM), Blur Studio, Prime Focus, Catastrophic FX, Atomic Fiction, Pixomondo, and lots of others.
Some of the game projects include Call of Duty, Halo, Prototype, Team Fortress 2, Destiny, Bioshock, and lots of others. I’m not a huge gamer, but I’ve definitely loved getting to work on some of these titles!
I started building tutorials, training content, writing for magazines like 3D World and others in the 90’s as well as now being published in quite a few books, and for over the past decade I’ve been having a blast getting to speak allover the world at various big conferences like SIGGRAPH, Autodesk University and various other ones, as well as collaborating with Autodesk on a lot of projects where I’ve gotten to travel.
One thing I’ve really enjoyed is training with studios, as it’s a chance to meet new teams and work with them for a few days or weeks on various problems or areas they want to learn more about, and help them grow their skill-sets within their team. I’ve gotten to do intense training sessions, talks etc. at ILM, Ubisoft, Activision, Frantic Films, Prime Focus, Remedy Games and many others – and it’s always been such a great experience getting to do this! If this is something you might ever be interested in, let me know!
The new creative industry podcast is very dear to my heart. Published weekly, this show allows me to introduce you to the top creatives, technical wizards and business people within the Design, Games, VFX and other creative fields in our industry. We discuss everything from career strategies, case studies on film, new technologies, workflow and core strategies to build a successful career and lifestyle around what we love to do.
Some of the subjects covered range from exciting interviews with artists and supervisors from Digital Domain, Weta, ILM and many other studios, as well as software developers at Autodesk, Next Limit, Activision, Microsoft etc. Emmy award winning artists on their workflow and how they’re able to work on blockbuster films, from home or anywhere in the world. The key mindsets for a successful career and much much more.