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In Conversation With Isobar’s James Mackin


3D designer shares how his role allows him to use his imagination and revel in dreams every day

In Conversation With Isobar’s James Mackin

In DENTSU CREATIVE US's latest employee spotlight, James Mackin mused about designing sets for Stephen Spielberg, (possibly) outgrowing his childhood dream of Pokémon training and feeling valued after his Creative Champion nomination.  

Q> How would you explain your job to a small child? 

James> I get to feel almost as young as you do! I use my imagination to dream every day. Each of my dreams get to come to life through 3D models which live and play in the digital world. 


Q> Tell us about your favourite project you’ve worked on and why? 

James> So far, my most favourite project had to do with creating a 360 video within Unreal Engine. A satellite flies around in space and repairs others in need of assistance. I had the pleasure of modelling, animating and lighting some of the key elements in it. It is the first part of a larger campaign, and I can't wait to see what comes next. 


Q> How is your job uniquely creative? 

James> I have to constantly think about all my design elements, not only in a 2D composition but how they live in a 3D space. I take consideration of every angle you might view the work at, creating something that has almost an infinite number of unique compositions. 


Q> Tell us about your career path. 

James> I started my career in California honing my creative skills in the entertainment industry. However, I found that it was not the place I wanted to be forever. So, I picked up shop and moved back east to Michigan where I've been lucky enough to continue my creative passions with Isobar. So far it has been some of the most rewarding work I've done with every day being a whirlwind of exciting creative challenges. 

Q> Congratulations for being named a Creative Champion! What was that experience like?

James> Being named a Creative Champion was a wonderful surprise and honour. It has made me feel like a cherished and important member of the team. I honestly just can’t wait to see what awaits my future within this stellar team. 


Q> What was the most interesting job you’ve ever had? 

James> I once got to work on set with Steven Spielberg. It was definitely one of my personal highlights. The project I worked with Spielberg on was a little different as he was not playing the role of director. Instead, he was acting! He and Yi-Mou Zhang were recording an intro for an experience in Universal Studios Beijing. I was not privileged at the time to speak to Spielberg directly, but I helped design the set he walked on and visualized key moments that were created in the final post-production. 


Q> What was your dream job when you were younger? 

James> I wanted to be a Pokémon trainer. 


Q> What TV show are you currently binging? 

James> Arcane on Netflix was the latest show I binged watched. It has some beautiful environments and animation. 


Q> Bucket list item? 

James> I'd love to see the Northern Lights in Alaska. 


Q> One thing that makes you happy? 

James> A dozen doughnuts any time. 

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Dentsu Creative US, Mon, 13 Dec 2021 20:14:09 GMT