#78: Lauren McCallum, Head of European Production at Scanline VFX

This week my guest is Lauren McCallum, who has worked in the VFX industry for over 15 years. And you might be thinking niche or not applicable to me, but I really urge to listen to this because Lauren’s advice and perspective on a whole array of topics is just phenomenal, frankly.

Lauren is currently Head of European Production at Scanline VFX, who have worked on films like Black Widow, Joker, Stranger Things 3, Captain Marvel and Black Panther.

She also worked at MPC as Head of Production on films like The Jungle Book, Spectre, The Martian and Blade Runner 2049 and as Managing Director at Mill Film where she launched studios in Montreal and Adelaide. And before that she was a visual effects co-ordinator at Framestore, where she worked with closely with Alfonso Cuaron on Gravity.

This is an episode for anyone struggling to maintain work life balance. Lauren and I talk about burnout, setting boundaries, redefining success and overcoming imposter syndrome. 

Lauren is also a champion for diversity and inclusion within the industry and in 2019 was named on the UK’s OUTstanding LGBTQ+ Role Models List. We talk about the value of bringing your whole self to work, and how creative industries in particular can facilitate the kind of inclusion and acceptance that enables that. We talk about a transgender toolkit that Lauren worked on and disseminated whilst at Mill Film. 

We  also talk about what it takes to make original and extraordinary visual effects and the lasting influence of Jurassic Park. 

So it’s a wide-ranging, but hopefully inspiring chat. I know I got a lot from it.