Scott Altman | Film Director | Animator | No Shame Podcast #108

We’re joined by award winning director & animator Scott Altman for episode #108 of Paddy Holohan’s No Shame Podcast. Scott is on the show to discuss some of his recent projects surrounding the homeless crisis in Ireland along with touching on his impressive career to date. This episode of the podcast is an extremely relevant discussion on the Ireland of today, encouraging plenty of discussion & debate, saddle up. 

In 2013, Scott Altman won the Wide Eye Media (formally Carlton Screen Advertising) Director of the Year award for his cinema advert to promote Hot Press magazine. That year Altman worked with Kanye West and soon after set-up Defunct Films where he has directed and executive-produced hit pop videos for Shift K3Y, Philip George & Anton Powers and Jax Jones, that have received millions of views online and been Top 20 most downloaded videos on iTunes. More recently Scott was commissioned by Saatchi & Saatchi to direct a series of adverts to promote new soft drink FreshBe, and directed a pilot involving actors Alan Ford (Snatch), Adam Fogerty (Legend), Natasha Byrne (Holby City) and new talents. 

Watch Episode #108 of Paddy Holohan's No Shame Podcast below:



Scott grew up with a talent for art & began working in Ardmore studios while still in school. He studied animation in Ballyfermot & upon graduation received funding from the Irish Film Board to complete his first film, about a rat who snorted crack- cocaine.

Altman found it difficult to break onto the Irish animation scene & began working on the toll bridge beside the Three Arena, (the Point Depot). One night after completing a shift he wandered onto the movie set of ‘Evelyn’ in his uniform & was mistaken for security by the crew. Within 20 minutes he was guarding Pierce Brosnan, keeping the growing crowd at bay. This added fuel to the fire & encouraged Scott to follow his heart & pursue his dreams.

Scott eventually got contract work in Ireland as an animator but when those projects where completed he went travelling with his friends on a world trip for a year. Altman’s first stop was in LA, he was staying near Skid Row, an area inhabited by thousands of homeless people. At 23 years of age this was Scott’s first real experience with homelessness. After a year of travelling with long spells in Australia & New Zealand Altman returned to Ireland. His time was brief however, with a lack of jobs & frustration mounting, he booked a one way ticket to Bangkok, Thailand had an excellent VFX scene. Within a week he’d landed the job he wanted, which would see him stay in Bangkok for year.



Scott’s work in Bangkok didn’t go unnoticed & MTV came calling. Altman worked on the MTV awards & spent the next few weeks located in their Camden office in London. This was a milestone for Scott as he’d grown up admiring everything MTV created. He spent the next 2-3 years raising his profile with MTV while working on side projects too. Some of the music videos Scott created for Digitalism & Seasick Steve received widespread praise. Scott received representation soon after & his transition into the directing world was complete. 

As a young director Altman received a lot of rejection, which was gut wrenching at times, but he dug deep, never gave up & got stronger at his trade, eventually making him one of the strongest candidates for any project he pitched for. One particular music video from Shift K3Y put Altman on the map as the guy who created the Ibiza styled videos. This was a popular trend in the music industry at the time & everyone wanted Scott to recreated to same style, with a fraction of the budget. By this stage of his career the digital age was in full swing & declining budgets, along with unrealistic client expectations left Altman exhausted & drained mentally.


Listen to/download Episode #108 of Paddy Holohan's No Shame Podcast below:




    Scott realised it was time for a change, stripped everything back & began working on his own projects independently. He reached out to Glen Hansard with an idea for his Christmas Eve busk on Grafton Street. The project ultimately led to the feature documentary ‘WE WILL SING’ which has just been released Independently this Christmas, with all proceedings going to charity.

    At the same time of filming ‘WE WILL SING’ the Apollo house movement was kicking off & Altman began documenting the whole story. Realising how bad the magnitude of homelessness had gotten in Ireland, Scott spent the next 6 months shooting around Dublin capturing the stories of the those who’ve fallen on rough times. This led to his new feature Documentary ‘HOME’ which has recently been screening at Irish film festivals & won best short documentary at the Dublin Independent Film Festival.

    Altman discusses the task of releasing projects of this nature independently & Paddy touches of the industry of Homelessness highlighting that many CEO’s of various charities are still on salaries in excess of 100k. A major problem with the homeless situation is the fact that it’s a profitable market for the government, with the monopoly of state funded charities housing homeless people in state owned land & accommodation.


    Scott is currently shooting a feature film in LA which he hopes to have completed by January 2020. Altman is also in talks with established producers in the UK,Ireland & America regarding film & TV projects. The future is bright for an Irish lad who worked his ass off, never gave up on his dream & is now ready to take full advantage of the opportunity he’s created for himself. 

    We look forward to seeing where Scott’s career goes from here. If you haven’t checked out his work make sure you do, His work on Kanye West’s ‘Blkkk skkn head’ is amazing & his documentary features on the homeless crisis capture the true essence of Dublin in 2019.

    The full episode #108 of Paddy Holohan’s No Shame Podcast is available now across all the usual platforms including iTunes, Spotify & Youtube. Finally we’d like to sign off on our last post of  the decade by wishing you all a very Happy New Year. Your support is essential to the success of the show, we have some big plans for 2020 & can’t wait to share them with you all, No Shame.


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