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Mikal Vega — Actor/Performance Capture Director


Strap in for a tour de force podcast episode. Mikal Vega’s inspirational story begins in small-town Ohio, where he played Dungeons and Dragons and made movies with his grandma. After serving in the military, he received a break into movies via a role in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. From here, Mikal’s combat experience and creative skills landed him directorial roles on mocap for games, including Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Call of Duty: Vanguard, and Diablo 4.

Mikal talks about how spiritual awakenings have helped him through tough times, his discovery that destruction and creativity can achieve the same end goal, and how he’s passing what he’s learned on to others via his Vital Warrior project. Listen for advice on how to get ahead in the creative field — as well as how to deal with whatever life throws at you.


Mikal Vega on IMDb >

Mikal Vega on Instagram >

Mikal Vega on LinkedIn >

Vital Warrior >

Message in a Bottle on YouTube >


0:04:56 Making movies with grandma and joining the military

0:12:04 A spiritual awakening on duty

0:18:44 Creativity vs. destruction

0:22:06 A big break via "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"

0:29:44 Realizing how creativity can have power

0:35:39 Moving into directing

0:41:26 Receiving a "Call of Duty" into videogames

0:47:50 Finding signs that you're on the right path

0:53:17 How games writing has changed

1:00:00 Getting through tough times

1:05:31 Why games can be better than films or television

1:14:33 Mikal's Vital Warrior project

1:21:04 Martial arts for the brain

About the author

Christopher Nichols

Chris is a CG industry veteran and Director of Chaos Labs. He can also be heard regularly as the host of the CG Garage podcast which attracts 20,000 weekly listeners. With a background in both VFX and Design, Chris has worked for Gensler, Digital Domain, Imageworks and Method Studios. His credits include Maleficent, Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.

Originally published: October 17, 2022.
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