Mike WALLEN

CCO | OMELET

In addition to leading Omelet’s creative department, Mike oversees the development of original strategic entertainment content within Omelet Studio, which is responsible for original content and media innovation for all clients and partners.

Before joining Omelet, Mike ran Fox Mobile Studios, a unit within 20th Century Fox tasked with developing and producing premium content for mobile and digital distribution platforms worldwide.  

Mike is also the co-creator, writer, and executive producer of several animated adult comedies with networks that include Adult Swim, 20th Television and Spike TV, and was Creative Director for the wildly successful Bratz brand, across all major consumer product categories.

 

questionnaire

1.) What was your very first job? My first job in the creative world, was working for famed illustrator and fine artist, David Willardson.  I was your quintessential studio grunt.  Delivering artwork to studio execs, prepping art boards for Dave and his illustrators, cleaning everything from their work stations to their air brushes.  For me, I didn’t care what I was asked to do.  Just having the exposure to the level of craft and talent both inspired and terrified me.  

 

2.) Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails. 

I am the Chief Content Officer at Omelet.  In this role, I manage our creative department, and the creative output of the organization. Additionally, I manage Omelet Studio, our content group which is focused on developing strategic and innovative content for clients, as well as original entertainment IP. 

 

3.) How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today? 

My father was an Creative Director and marketing executive.  So I grew up in a house where creativity wasn’t just encouraged, but it was revered.  I was always designing and illustrating, from an early age.  At the age of 16 (and with the aid of an incredibly supportive and encouraging high school art teacher) I went full tilt into art and design.  I spent nearly all my available downtime with my head pointed down at my sketchbook.  From high school art classes, to the sleepless nights at Art Center, I found an a passion and purpose in the field of creative problem solving.    

 

4.) In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant? 

From a practical standpoint, It comes from reading/listening/watching a ton of material.  Articles, books, podcasts, talks, films, award shows.  At a baseline, it's important to see what the best, brightest and most profound thinkers out there are saying/doing/thinking.   In this practice of constant consumption, I always find something that keeps me pushing.  But truthfully, I’m always surprised where the most profound inspiration comes from. It’s usually far off the path of where you expect to find it.  For me, It’s when I allow myself to get lost in my interests, especially those that have nothing to do with marketing or advertising.  It comes from being empathetic to the perspective of others.  To being present in conversation or observation, and listening with all you’ve got.  

 

5.) If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be? Over the course of 18 months, I produced a feature length documentary called License To Operate which follows a group of former gang members in Los Angeles who work in partnership with community leaders and law enforcement on a mission to break the cycle of violence that they were once a part of creating. This film and the men and women involved showed me the true meaning of redemption, hope, and change. How in a time when we couldn’t be more divided, we can only truly achieve progress when we put our differences aside and work together. And how the efforts of a few can change the direction of an entire city.   It’s not often that I walk away from a project feeling changed at the cellular level.  This commitment of time, effort and resources has proven to be the single best investment I’ve made thus far in my career. 

jury

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