What 20 Years of Failing in VFX Has Taught Me

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Throughout my career I’ve had a lot of successes. But what most people don’t realize, and what most of us in general try not to dwell on — is that we have a lot of failures too. A lot of mistakes, a lot of life lessons that were learned through making the wrong decisions, falling flat on our face, burning bridges and having doors slammed shut in our face.

What a lot of us don’t care to realize, is failure is part of the process. We need to fail, we need to make mistakes, all of this is data we use and apply to better our successes down the line. And, those really painful mistakes, the ones we will never forget — are the ones that ensure that we don’t make the same mistakes again, and again and again.

Embrace your failures, learn from them and better yourself! Use them to make better decisions down the line and avoid repeating them in the future! It’s natural to shy away from the events that we didn’t have wins, but these are just as critical to lean into as they’re the pains that will guide our successes in the future.

I hope you find this talk valuable. It’s one I was excited to do, as well as insecure about ever posting.



P.S.: This applies to everyone in the creative field such as 3D (Zbrush, Vray, 3DS Max, Maya, Houdini, Cinema 4D, C4S, Blender, Modo,) Design (Photoshop, After Effects, Nuke, Digital Fusion, Blackmagic, daVinci, Resolve, Flame, Inferno). Students from Gnomon, Creative Live, Video Copilot, Film Riot, TheFutur or any other online education, nofilmschool or any other film school.

Youtube comments:

Fatutta Gabriele
Thanks Allan, I like the honesty with which you talk about these topic like failures, money etc.. I'm really inspired by your words and by the way you have dealt the obstacles you have found in your life. Thanks again,Gabriele
Mo Sabri
damn he's surprisingly fat
Ruiming Chen
I’m just a vfx fan and I found your channel from a vfx breakdown video. Vfx aside, I really love the stories you share with us. They are very relating and inspiring for me greatly. Thank you!
Igor Puskaric
That was great! Thanx for sharing! :D
Mason Williams
Thanks man...really inspired content that you're providing...appreciated!
Anthony Lynch
37:25 did i hear that correctly? you quit school at age 14? That's awesome actually
Omar Buckley
Great talk bro.
rozbeh ariya
funny thing is i started watching this video on a fly i was watching another video from your channel before that , and it was 3 am , i told my self im gonna watch it later and go to sleep , and suddenly its an hour later and i watched it all , your such an encouraging figure to me allen , get that 4 hour next year and i will watch every second and treasure every word you say , i wish you the best of luck and thank you again for sharing this invaluable information
David Nguyen
Allan,Been a huge fan of your stuff since you first threw out your FumeFX tutorial WAY back. I sorta grew up with your tutorials and your talks and ran into you a few times at a few conventions and gatherings but at that time I wasn't in VFX.The reason why I'm reaching out; I saw your talk about what you learned in 20 years. And you spoke about the back talk and how it affected your future. I'm glad to see someone who went through something similar is still trying. I got scared and went into a dark place when I thought there was nothing left for me.I'm hanging in there, and a lot of it was thanks to watching you grow as well. I hope we can work together one day. I'm still very new to all of this but I'll catch up soon and would be a huge honor to learn under you one day.
Michael Akinfenwa
Thank you Allan, your story teaches me a lot of things,thanks
Parth Prajapati
Awesome speech To booster up
Johan Rabeherisoa
Very inspiring and motivational. Thanks Allan
Aaron Lorenzana
Really inspirational talk thank you
Visual Talisman
Allan please check your email, I need some help. My mail id is: [email protected] Name: Navin KennedyPlease check it out sir.
walid walidos
just keep being wonderful....bless you
Game Render
Great stuff. thanks man
Thanks Allan, This is very valuable and truly inspiring!
Thank you for sharing! I can totally feel the enthusiasm. Glad to know that after several decades of experience, you are not jaded.Keep it up!
ralf amine
tank you very much....its really helpfull... :)
Sumit Sharma
I just want to tell you you are my inspiration, and i believe you inspire many people. I want to become like you in the future, give other free lessons and informations. I see you as a mentor :D hope meet you someday in future.