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.
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