The Allan McKay podcast is a creative and career related podcast focused on artists in Design, Film, Visual Effects and Video Games. Typically ranking in the top 50 in the career section of iTunes.

In the last few months the downloads have averaged around 40,000 downloads per month. Each episode typically is myself, interviewing other artists in the film or games industry, designers, or book authors, developers or entire software or film or game teams. Episodes range from interviews with Blizzard, Blur, Autodesk, ILM, Pixar and others.

As well as solo episodes I put out focused on specific hands on subjects to do with building your career and improving other areas of your professional and personal life. Our careers are so important yet typically neglected and this podcast is for me an opportunity to share with others and help build a platform around bettering yourself and getting the results that you deserve.

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Episode 298 — Zack Snyder’s JUSTICE LEAGUE — Scanline VFX

  Episode 298 — Zack Snyder’s JUSTICE LEAGUE — Scanline VFX When it comes to VFX Work, Bryan Hirota has seen a lot in his career, from his first VFX job at Visual Image to currently being a VFX Supervisor at Scanline VFX. He’s worked at studios like Pixomondo, Prime Focus VFX, CIS Hollywood, Blue […]

Episode 297 — Platige Image — The Witcher

  Episode 297 — Platige Image — The Witcher Platige Image S.A. is a Polish VFX company that specializes in computer graphics, 3D animation and digital special effects. It was founded in Warsaw in 1997, by Jarosław Sawko and Piotr Sikora. The studio employs a staff of over 150 artists, including directors, art directors, graphic […]

Episode 296 — Blowing Up Your Freelance Prices

  Episode 296 — Blowing Up Your Freelance Prices We have these barriers that we put on ourselves because we set our reality to be around these limitations. We tell ourselves we can’t do something. Or that art doesn’t pay. Or that the industry sucks. These are the constraints — or excuses — we put […]

Episode 295 — DOOM ETERNAL – Hugo Martin

  Episode 295 — DOOM ETERNAL – Hugo Martin Welcome to Episode 295! This is Allan McKay.  I want to break down a discussion I had with Hugo Martin, the Creative Director for DOOM and DOOM Eternal, and all the key takeaways I learned from speaking to him. I’m really excited about this. It’s a […]

Episode 294 — Dickinson VFX Supervisor – Lotta Forssman

  Episode 294 — Dickinson VFX Supervisor – Lotta Forssman Lotta (aka Charlotta) Forssman is a VFX supervisor based out of NYC. For nearly a decade, she has been part of Molecule VFX and has worked on shows like Ballers (HBO), The Good Cop, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Master of None (Netflix). She has been a […]

Episode 293 — Unreal Fellowship — Brian Pohl

Episode 293 — Unreal Fellowship — Brian Pohl The Unreal Fellowship is a 30-day intensive blended learning experience designed to help experienced industry professionals in film, animation, and VFX learn Unreal Engine, develop a strong command of state-of-the-art virtual production tools, and foster the next generation of teams in the emerging field of real-time production.  […]

Episode 292 — Marty Neumeier

  Episode 292 — Marty Neumeier Marty Neumeier is a best-selling author and speaker who writes on topics of brand and design. Today Marty spends most of his time lecturing all over the globe about the role of creativity and innovation in the creation of relevant and meaningful brand experiences.  Marty has written several best-selling […]

Episode 291 — NFT & Crypto Art Explained — Rhett Dashwood (aka Mankind)

  Episode 291 — NFT & Crypto Art Explained — Rhett Dashwood (aka Mankind) Rhett Dashwood (aka Mankind) is an award winning Creative Director with experience in a broad range of creative media, including digital, animation, branding, print, film making and concept art. He has worked with the following studios and agencies during his 15+ […]

Episode 290 — Digital Domain — Doug Roble

  Episode 290 — Digital Domain — Doug Roble Doug Roble is the Senior Director of Software R&D at Digital Domain and leads a world-class team of software developers. An original member of Digital Domain, Doug has been writing software and conducting research to advance the artistry and technology for feature films since the studio’s […]

Episode 289 – EmberGen

  Episode 289 – EmberGen JangaFX was founded in 2016 by Nick Seavert, an entrepreneur who is well versed in both startups and real-time VFX. JangaFX was initially bootstrapped with credit cards, software sales, and many thousands of man hours instead of outside investments. The company’s core motive is to provide real-time VFX tools to […]

Episode 288 — Lux Machina

  Episode 288 — Lux Machina Lux Machina Consulting is a design, management and technical consulting firm focused on complex, large scale live shows, film production and installations. Lux Machina uses innovative techniques and technologies from various markets to connect artists with their audiences like never before. The company prides itself on the balance between […]

Episode 287 — The Sky’s the Limit

  Episode 287 — The Sky’s the Limit A lot of us quit doing what we love for the wrong reasons, because other people poison our minds by telling us we have to go get “a real career”. When we aren’t getting that traction in the beginning (which is normal in our career), we start […]

Episode 286 — 90% of Artists Fail

  Episode 286 — 90% of Artists Fail If you aren’t willing to do the work — and be anything else than an artist — then you are going to fail. And that’s the brutal truth! That is because you aren’t just an artist. Being an artist is just your skill or your trade. You […]

Episode 285 — Beeple — Mike Winkelmann

  Episode 285 — Beeple — Mike Winkelmann Beeple is Mike Winkelmann, a graphic designer from Charleston, SC, USA who does a variety of digital artwork including short films, Creative Commons VJ loops, everydays and VR / AR work.   After he began releasing a set of widely used Creative Commons VJ loops he has worked […]

Episode 284 — Stand Out!

  Episode 284 — Stand Out! There is an example in marketing: If you have a migraine and you head to a pharmacy, you’ll see one medicine that says, “Cures All Aches and Pains” and another that says, “Cures All Migraines”. They both do the same thing and they’re made by the same company. But […]

Episode 283 — Hugo Guerra

  Episode 283 — Hugo Guerra Hugo Guerra is a Portuguese born award-winning Director and VFX Supervisor. After finishing his Fine Arts degree, he worked in Portugal and Sweden before moving to the UK where he was a freelancer for several years.  He joined The Mill in 2010 as a VFX Supervisor and as Head […]

Episode 282 — Building Bigger Goals

  Episode 282 — Building Bigger Goals Most of us initially set small goals that we find socially acceptable. We’re too afraid to set bigger goals, or we don’t have them anymore because we find them to be impossible. The goals that we do say outloud are the ones that we find socially acceptable, without […]

Episode 281 — David Tanaka

  Episode 281 — David Tanaka A native Californian, David Tanaka attended the University of California at Berkeley where in 1989 he earned his bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Film Theory. Upon graduating, he worked for post-production facilities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, quickly gaining experience through corporate advertising and […]

Episode 280 — Evercast

  Episode 280 — Evercast Evercast combines video conferencing and HD live streaming in one web-based platform allowing for a secure, real-time collaboration — whether your team is across town or around the world. In this Podcast, Allan McKay talks to Brad Thomas and Roger Barton, two of the Founders of Evercast, about the inception of […]


Episode 279 — Your Next Pay Rise

  Episode 279 — Your Next Pay Rise A lot of us have this myth in our head that if we work hard and stay out of trouble, good things will come our way. That is a mistake. The truth is that it doesn’t work that way. Nobody is paying attention. The other part of […]

Episode 278 — F*** 2020!

  Episode 278 — F*** 2020!  2020 will go down in history as a big “What the Fuck?” Year! We’ve all experienced different things, but I don’t think many of us have had positive experiences. But to put things in perspective, we’re given an opportunity for a do-over. We’re all in this situation. When I […]

Episode 277 — JEFFREY — The Creative Team

  Episode 277 — JEFFREY — The Creative Team Connie Siu is the Writer and Director of short film Jeffrey. She holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, graduated cum laude from SFSU with a BA in Fine Art, and attended UCLA’s Producers Workshop Program. Connie is the former Chairman […]

Episode 276 — Mark Toia — Director

  Episode 276 — Mark Toia — Director Originating from a very successful career as an advertising photographer, Mark Toia was coerced into directing TVCs by his clients. Being pursued by advertising agencies and production companies globally, he has a lengthy list of repeat business with the world’s largest companies that most could only dream […]

Episode 275 — KeenTools Founder Roman Belov

  Episode 275 — KeenTools Founder Roman Belov Roman Belov is the Founder of KeenTools, a Blender add-on for 3D modelling of human faces and heads based on photos. The models can be used for sculpting, animation, tracking or anything else in Blender or facial tracking with FaceTracker in Nuke; or to be exported for […]


Episode 274 — Mike Janda and Tom Ross — The Business of Design

  Episode 274 — Mike Janda and Tom Ross — The Business of Design Michael Janda is an executive level creative leader with more than 20 years of experience in both in-house creative departments and agencies working with some of the greatest brands in the world. In 2002, he founded the creative agency Riser, a […]

Episode 273 — When Clients Refuse to Pay

  Episode 273 — When Clients Refuse to Pay Hello, everyone! This is Allan McKay. Welcome to Episode 273! I want to talk about what to do if you aren’t getting paid by your client. I want to share as many insights as I can. I’m excited for this one! This is a question I […]

Episode 272 — VES Handbook Round Table

  Episode 272 — VES Handbook Round Table With wisdom from the best and the brightest in the industry, The VES Handbook is a visual effects bible that belongs on the shelf of anyone working — or aspiring to work — in VFX. The book covers techniques and solutions all VFX artists, producers, and supervisors […]


Episode 271 — Quixel Megascans

  Episode 271 — Quixel Megascans Quixel Megascans is a massive online scan library of high-resolution, consistent PBR calibrated surface, vegetation and 3D scans, also including desktop applications for managing, mixing and exporting your downloaded scan data. It’s the product of 5 years of scanning and is a collaboration with top game and film studios […]

Episode 270 — Crafty Apes — Aldo Ruggiero and Matt Akey

  Episode 270 — Crafty Apes — Aldo Ruggiero and Matt Akey Crafty Apes is a full service, boutique VFX company based in Culver City, CA & Atlanta, GA. The company was launched in July of 2011 by three visual effects veterans Jason Sanford, Chris LeDoux and Tim LeDoux. Believing that strong 2D compositing is […]

Episode 269 — Andrey Lebrov

  Episode 269 — Andrey Lebrov Andrey Lebrov is a CG and VFX Director, as well as a Co-Founder of Out of Nothing, Ltd.  Andrey was born in Ukraine, raised in Liepaja, Latvia. He began working as a freelancer at the age of 15 as a Photoshop Artist. He eventually immigrated to the U.K. to […]

Episode 268 — HaZ Dulull — Film Director

  Episode 268 — Hasraf “HaZ” Dulull Writer, Director, Producer HaZ Dulull started as a VFX Artist on feature films such as The Dark Knight and Hellboy 2. He quickly progressed to a VFX Supervisor role and was nominated for several VES awards on shows like Planet Dinosaur (BBC) and America: The Story of US […]

Episode 267 — Gerald Undone

  Episode 267 — Gerald Undone Gerald Undone is a YouTube creator whose channel is dedicated to different technologies used in the creative process. He tests a variety of tech and gadgets, reviews those products from a value perspective and provides tutorials and guides for content creation using that same gear. In this Podcast, Gerald […]

Episode 266 — Instagram Hashtags

  EPISODE 266 — Instagram Hashtags Instagram is the number one platform to get exposure and to build your name, to build a following and to get known, and of course, to land clients as well. But how do you take advantage of this if no one is seeing your posts? If you’re posting with […]


Episoder 265 — The Power of Empathy

  Episoder 265 — The Power of Empathy Looking back at the beginning of his own career, Allan examines what he should’ve done differently: Instead of sending out his reel over and over, he could’ve been asking for feedback: “I realize my reel sucks. Tell me what an ideal reel would be to you.” The […]

Episode 264 — Deconstructing Prince of Persia

  Episode 264 — Deconstructing Prince of Persia  American author, game designer, graphic novelist and screenwriter Jordan Mechner is best known as a pioneer of cinematic storytelling in the video game industry and as the creator of Prince of Persia, one of the most successful and enduring video game franchises of all time. His other […]

Episode 263 — Work from Home

  Episode 263 — Work from Home Because of the change that’s happening due to COVID-19 and quarantine, a lot of us had to shift to working from home. The day that the quarantine happened, everyone started to shut down. It got scary for a minute. But it’s really interesting how every studio was able […]

Episode 262 — Chaos Group — Chris Nichols

  Episode 262 — Chaos Group — Chris Nichols Chris Nichols is the host of CG Garage and Martini Giant Podcasts. He is a CG veteran and Director of Chaos Group Labs.  In 2015, Chris founded the Wikihuman project, a first-of-its-kind panel of academic and industry experts to explore the combination of art and technology […]

Episode 261 — How I Organize My Day

  Episode 261 — How I Organize My Day What if you had control over your time? What if you could track it and adjust your behaviors to increase your productivity? This system, developed by Allan McKay, takes about 5 minutes a day to do. It’s something that’s been adjusted and perfected over many years.   […]

Episode 260 — Rosana Sullivan — Pixar

  Episode 260 — Rosana Sullivan — Pixar Rosana Sullivan is a Director, Storyboard Artist, Writer, and Executive Producer. Since 2011 she has worked for Pixar Animation Studios. In 2019 she wrote and directed her first animated short film, Kitbull, for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film […]


Episode 259 — Rise FX

  Episode 259 — Rise FX Rise FX was founded in 2007 by Sven Pannicke, Robert Pinnow, Markus Degen and Florian Gellinger in Berlin. Today, this award-winning company — with offices in Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne — has roughly 100 permanent staff members in addition to 100 freelance artists, which makes it one of the […]

Episode 258 — Emmanuel Shiu

  EPISODE 258 — EMMANUEL SHIU Emmanuel Shiu is a Concept Designer and Illustrator for film and video games. His credits include films Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Blade Runner 2049 , Ready Player One; The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Cloud Atlas, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Looper, Superman Returns and Hellboy; and video […]


Episode 257 — Work Visas in USA

  Episode 257 — Work Visas in USA To work in another country or to get a work visa, you need to qualify for it. Before an employer can hire you, you have to fit the criteria to get the work visa in the first place. Most of us realize that when it’s too late: […]


Episode 256 — Rules of the Demo Reel

  Episode 256 — Rules of the Demo Reel Just because you send in your demo reel doesn’t mean that it’s going to be seen by anybody. Even if it does, who says it will be watched all the way through? Most reels are skipped over just because there is one wrong thing on there. […]



Episode 255 — Experimentation Equals Wins

  Episode 255 — Experimentation Equals Wins People are afraid of being judged but it’s little things that build up over time: For example, if you’re shy, try going out to a bar and talking to people. These are little things you could do to get out of your comfort zone and push through your […]

Episode 254 — Start with Why

  Episode 254 — Start with Why This Podcast is in response to someone’s message, “How do I get things done? And how do I stay motivated?” You have to start thinking like a producer. You have to ask yourself the questions, “Where can my time go so I get more bang for my buck? […]

Episode 253 — Marc Rienzo — Mulan

  Episode 253 — Marc Rienzo Marc Rienzo is a Director, VFX Supervisor and Artist. He has over 20 years of experience of working in visual effects, including for studios like Marvel, Disney, ILM, Weta Digital, Digital Domain, Sony Imageworks, and PDI Dreamworks. He’s been a creative Nuke Artist for 18+ years in both film […]

Episode 252 — College vs Online Courses

  Episode 252 — College vs Online Courses There are mixed feelings around the topic of a formal college education versus online courses. Colleges are really expensive and they tend to not be pushing the envelope in terms of what you can do. When you invest in yourself, you want to have access to the […]

Episode 251 — How to Get People to Help You

  Episode 251 — How to Get People to Help You Have you ever reached out to someone and asked them for help — and never gotten a response? This Podcast is about how to get a better result: How do you get people to want to invest in you, especially when they’re busy? When […]

Episode 250 — How to Reach Busy People

  Episode 250 — How to Reach Busy People It is so critical to know when you are reaching out to people who are extremely busy. If you put yourself in the other person’s shoes when you communicate with them — and understand how they’re going to react — that’s worth its weight in gold. […]

Episode 249 — Louis Castle — Amazon Games Studios

  Episode 249 — Louis Castle — Amazon Games Studios Louis Castle Louis Castle is a prolific American video games designer. He is known for co-founding Westwood Studios and for his work on the Command & Conquer real-time strategy series. In 2017, he became the head Amazon Game Studios Seattle. As the co-founder of Westwood […]

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