WHAT THE MAN WHO ‘GROOMED’ KING KONG CAN TEACH YOU ABOUT A SUCCESSFUL CAREER

To understand what it takes to have a thriving career in the fast-changing economy of the 21st century, go to the movies. Or, more precisely, give a little bit of thought to how the motion picture business has changed over the last century.

Consider three movies with the same title. The 1933 version of King Kong was considered a technological marvel, depicting what was a stop-motion puppet climbing to the top of the Empire State Building. Its crew numbered 113 people. A 1976 version of King Kong used a technician in an ape suit and a 40-foot tall robot to portray the Great Ape—and, as it happens, also had exactly 113 crew members.

But a 2005 version of King Kong, directed by Peter Jackson, was a little more complicated. Kong was played by an actor, Andy Serkis, who wore motion-capture equipment to bring the ape to life. And its crew numbered no fewer than 1,659 people, including jobs like “data wrangler” and “stereoscopic compositing lead.”