We had the good fortune of connecting with Jake Akuna and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jake, what are you inspired by?
I’ve always been inspired by magic. I’ve been practicing and performing magic off and on (and even professionally for a brief period of time), ever since the fifth grade, but as I got older, life sort of drew me away from the spotlight and my need to be on stage faded. As I came up in the film industry, I sort of fell into the world of visual effects and found a new passion for creating CGI (computer generated images) for film and television; creating something from nothing but software and imagination. Only recently, my wife pointed out something that never actually crossed my mind… That I’m still performing magic. Except, now, my magic wand is a mouse and a keyboard.
What should our readers know about your business?
VFX2GO is a small visual effects company in Burbank. In almost all respects, we are “the little guy,” but we create visual effects for big productions. Our work ranges from micro-budget short films to international Netflix Originals and no matter the production, the key to delivering quality effects while staying under budget is thorough planning. I think we developed this strength working on micro-budget productions, where the budget has no room for error and you have to find a way to make a dollar out of fifteen cents.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My first stop is always the Tam O’Shanter, in Atwater Village for their sandwich bar. Their prime rib sandwich on a brioche bun is to die for! Another hidden gem is Red Door, in Toluca Lake. If you’re looking for a laid back, experience with great food and even better drinks, the entrance to this place is literally a hidden red door, only accessible from an alley. Best kept secret in town! Lastly, I would end the tour with a night at Hollywood’s legendary Magic Castle. Amazing food, strong drinks (FYI, the NPH Old Fashioned sneaks up on you) and phenomenal performances by some of the world’s greatest magicians.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to producer, mentor and DJ, Kutmaster Spaz. Among the many reasons I owe my career to him, he gave me my start in television and his friendship, guidance and belief in me has driven me to get to where I am today.
John Gardiner, William Rot, Cherie Pavico-Tsukayama , Christian Yi