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Andrew MacDonald — VFX Creative Director/Supervisor/Flame Artist


 Andrew MacDonald’s adventurous career packs as many twists and turns as a Hollywood movie. Coming from humble origins in the north of England, Andrew moved to London’s Soho district to begin his career in optical effects, before getting into VFX and being lured to Hollywood to work for big VFX companies, including Digital Domain and Method.

In this rollercoaster of a podcast, Andrew talks about the ups and downs of his life and the ebbs and flows of the VFX industry. He shares stories of working with directors including Tony Kaye, Terry Gilliam, and David Lynch, speaks about how taking risks — including sneaking into a Welsh party — led to career success, and ultimately reveals how he’s found contentment and happiness.


 Andrew MacDonald on LinkedIn >

Andrew MacDonald on IMDb >


0:03:25 How Andrew got started in the industry

0:07:36 Joining Rushes post-production and meeting Tony Kaye

0:12:03 Founding Hughes MacDonald

0:16:13 Leaving Hughes MacDonald

0:19:04 Fear and Loathing in Wales — with Scott Ross

0:23:15 Andrew's American adventure begins

0:28:26 Back from the brink in Las Vegas

0:33:17 The rise of the boutique VFX studio

0:38:54 Joining and leaving Method and founding Kilt

0:42:45 Dealing with a personal tragedy

0:45:41 Crossing paths at FotoKem

0:52:06 Furlough and finding happiness

0:55:50 In praise of Flame artists

1:00:58 Why filmmaking is making a comeback 

About the author

Christopher Nichols

Chris is a CG industry veteran and Director of Chaos Labs. He can also be heard regularly as the host of the CG Garage podcast which attracts 20,000 weekly listeners. With a background in both VFX and Design, Chris has worked for Gensler, Digital Domain, Imageworks and Method Studios. His credits include Maleficent, Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.

Originally published: August 28, 2023.
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