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BWW Blog: How a Single Phone Call Got Dane Hallett to Hollywood

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The “Hero’s Journey” begins with answering the “Call to Action”. For concept artist Dane Hallett, the journey began with literally answering a call. 

BWW Blog: How a Single Phone Call Got Dane Hallett to Hollywood


The "Hero's Journey" begins with answering the "Call to Action". For concept artist Dane Hallett, the journey began with literally answering a call.

Hallett knew from a young age that he wanted to work in the film industry. He was self-taught in many forms of drawing and art, and had experience in prop-making. By age 17, he was living on his own with his brother and sister and had to take on odd jobs to make ends meet.

"I did a whole bunch of different stupid jobs, all of which I was hell bent on taking something from that I could use, knowing what I wanted to do." He tells me in our recent interview, "I engineered everything toward that [trying to break into the film industry]. I ended up working at a call center, which I just thought was my lowest end."

Hallett recalls that he earned a reputation for going off-script and chatting too long with each customer. He spent most of his time there drawing; after nine months, he had had enough.

"It was just so mundane, and a horrible job." He remembers, "I fully lied [when I quit] because I didn't want to do the extra two weeks. I told them I got my dream job working in Hollywood on films."

He normally took only domestic calls, but a commercial call was assigned to him as his last on the final day working at the center. Serendipitously, as Hallett went off-script, he learned that the person on the other line was working on the 2007 Wolverine film.

"I logged into private time, and told him I was trained in special effects, and I was looking to get into the industry; can I work with you?" Hallett was told that there were no jobs open, but given two numbers of the heads of production and special effects to call and double check.

Both said they were full, but Hallett persisted and asked if he could simply take them to lunch to "pick their brain about the industry." They politely declined, but said "send in your CV and we'll see what happens."

Two weeks later, he was sweeping the floors in the special effects department on the Wolverine film.

"From then on, I used that same attitude and passion to keep rising through the ranks. I haven't stopped working since."

Since that fateful day, Hallett has gone on to work on such iconic films as Mad Max: Fury Road, Mortal Kombat, Marvel Studios' Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, among others. He is best known for his work on Alien: Covenant, and has published a collection of his artwork with co-artist Matt Hatton. The book, titled Alien Covenant: David's Drawings, can be found here.

Aside from his amazing story, what most stood out to me about Dane was his passion for what he does. "I've always known what I love," he tells me, "and I consider myself to be very blessed. I still have moments of doubt. But doubt speaks to your ability to understand your weaknesses."

You can view more of Dane's work and keep up with what he's up to on his Facebook (here) & Instagram (here) pages, as well as his website, danehallet.com.

"The difference between the person who succeeds and the person who doesn't is this: when you ask yourself in doubt, 'what am I even doing this for?' You say to yourself, 'I remember. And I'm going to keep doing it.'" Dane Hallett understands that persistence is a superpower essential to the "Hero's Journey". And now, after talking with him, so do I.


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