Don MacBain’s three plus decades of proficiency in producing include experiential special venue development and work in virtually every type of film & media production. These encompass live-action, visual effects, animation, the many facets of CGI, digital capture and motion capture, for commercials, large format films, feature films, theme parks, themed entertainment, museums and special installations. These he has done in 2D, 3D (stereoscopic), on flat and domed screens, and where appropriate, allowed for 4D asset placement as well as integrated ridefilm seat or ride platform motion.
He co-creates with the individuals responsible for conceiving the venue and/or oversees the media, which can place him anywhere in the process from concept through installation. Often called upon to be the problem solver, Don gets to investigate and integrate leading-edge technology, supervising the talented personalities needed in every aspect and step of the process to successfully develop and realize world class media in alignment with the client’s desires. He is the planner and liaison that oversees all concerns, understands the production options, puts in place the necessary approaches and workflows, and manages the budget and schedule. Of equal concern, Don makes sure the team’s needs are addressed, and that the client understands the process and is aware and up to date each step of the way.
In 2017 he completed producing the final live action elements for the pepper’s ghost and pre-show greenscreen segments going into the Ferrari Experience queue areas at PortAventura’s Ferrari Land, near Barcelona, Spain. 2016 was spent researching and formulating how to use the state-of-the-state of mid-sized (or ‘heavy-lifting’) drones, in order to capture photographic hi-resolution imagery that could match and seamlessly fit into a high-end flying dome theater experience. See his Portfolio page – Flying Dreams , for more on this. This work was done for Mousetrappe, who had the vision to allow and properly develop a here-to-fore mostly untried and more cost-effective method for use in these type of flying ridefilms.
Immediately prior to this Don completed overseeing the creation of 122 individual media and interactive installations for the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum in Midland Texas. His producing includes that for Design Companies (The Petroleum Museum being for Jack Rouse and Associates) as well as for a variety of studios big and small, including work for Rhythm & Hues, Sony Pictures and DreamWorks.
The last few projects have all been themed environment related. His last live-action feature was in 2013, “African Safari 3D”, an nWave Pictures / Studio Canal film which he co-produced. On the animation side he produced the all CG showpiece for Wells Fargo Corporation, a 90 second “living painting” of their iconic Stagecoach team, for which he also wrote the music.
He was digital media and post Producer for “Flying Over Italy” (a Dome experience) and “Driving with the Champion” at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi (theme park opened in 2010). He did the preliminary budget and development analysis on “Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D”, a Walden Media / New Line Entertainment release. In 2012 he oversaw a preliminary shoot with Metallica, demonstrating to the band how they would look in high-resolution, high frame-rate 3D captured photography. The tests convinced the band to proceed with their subsequent feature film “Through the Never”. His 3D experience runs back to the mid 90’s with an early 3D visitor’s center special venue film installation “Ahead of Time”, for LG Headquarters in Seoul & Busan, South Korea. Also in the 90’s he worked on the effects in “Wings of Courage” in IMAX 3D for Sony Pictures Classics.
Don served as Producer on “Shrek 3D” (PDI/DreamWorks), which was proving ground and basis for the Shrek 4D attraction that went into Universal Studios, and was Production Supervisor for the Miniature Unit on “Starship Troopers” (Sony Pictures ImageWorks) which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
Much prior to this he was christened into the visual effects industry and in the late 80’s he began working at Lucasfilm Commercials, following famed Director/DP’s Vilmos Zsigmond and Haskell Wexler’s move there from their company CDI (being their Production Manager).
Don began his career in special venue media very early (1992), with three Showscan attraction films featured at Huis Ten Bosch, a Dutch-themed park in Nagasaki, Japan. That led to four ride films for D3Boss, a self-contained two-seated gyro-sphere attraction. He transitioned from Production Manager to Producer at Boss Films Studios and followed that with the move to Sony Pictures ImageWorks as the digital age began. Don subsequently honed his feature animation skills at PDI/DreamWorks as VFX Producer for feature films and as CG animation Producer. He’s found it invigorating and gratifying to move through the various incarnations of media creation and photographic capture and post, as the technical methods utilized in storytelling ever continue to progress.
Don is a member of the Themed Entertainment Association, the Visual Effects Society, the Producers Guild of America, and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). He is also an accomplished composer and musician, having produced an album as well as the score for a feature film (see his Music Portfolio page).
Work history and letters of recommendation are available below. Please use the Contact page if you would like to discuss a potential project or get in touch with any questions or comments.