A UCLA alumnus, Akin rose through the creative scene in early ‘00s Brooklyn under the tutelage of veteran artist Todd Shearer, and started his own company, All of Us Design, which became the springboard for a career in production design for feature films, television, commercials, and music videos.
Few genres offer a production designer the opportunity to run wild like the horror film. For proof, look no further than McKenzie’s work on this atmospheric psychological chiller about a security guard tasked with guarding a neglected apartment complex, only to find out that there’s something very unfriendly lurking in the shadows.
The brutal world of college hazing goes under the microscope in this harrowing drama featuring Nick Jonas. Bringing the world of collegiate Greek life to the screen might not seem like a big challenge, but any detail slip could have subtracted from the film’s gritty realism.
Richard Wright’s classic of American literature was translated for the new millennium with this HBO Films production about Bigger Thomas, a young man who rubs shoulders with the upper class of Chicago only to pay a very high price. The production design serves as a backdrop for the modernized story and works in tandem with some bold and striking creative decisions from the costumes to the music as well.
This very dark, eccentric comedy from indie director Todd Solondz is broken up into four stories and also serves as a sequel of sorts to his breakthrough hit, Welcome to the Dollhouse. Charting a series of dysfunctional dog owners united by the presence of a dachshund, it allows McKenzie to completely inhabit four different cinematic worlds as well.
The directing and screenwriting debut for actor Paul Dano focuses on a family in 1960s Montana put under stress by a hazardous change in employment for dad Jake Gyllenhaal. A hit at Sundance, the film is a showcase for both spectacular scenery and period detail combining to put you in the heart of a bygone era.