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User Preferences: Tech Q&A With GMUNK

<p>Each week we chat about the tools of the trade with one outstanding creative to find out exactly how they do what they do.</p>

Each week we chat about the tools of the trade with one outstanding creative to find out exactly how they do what they do. The questions are always the same, the answers, not so much. This week: Bradley G. Munkowitz (aka GMUNK).

Who are you and what do you do?
Name’s Bradley G. Munkowitz, known as GMUNK in some small circles. I’m a design director living in Venice Beach, CA, working tirelessly to create fresh and imaginative campaigns in the commercial arena, although lately I’ve been working on a greater majority of passion projects that are keepin’ me happy and sane.

What kind of hardware to you use?
Mac Pro monster running OSX, Wacom pen, clinically clean desk and keyboard (designers are neat freaks), big fatty 27’’ screen and lots of coasters around the desk, each holding a custom-crafted beverage for maximum output.

What kind of software do you use?
Most of the Adobe suite: Photoshop, Illustrator, AfterEffects… and then Final Cut Pro and Autodesk Maya when I’m nasty.

For the entirety of 2010, Munkowitz led a black-ops team of GFX all-stars deep into the darkness at Digital Domain crafting over 12 minutes of holographic content for the feature film TRON: Legacy

What piece of equipment can you simply not live without?
My headphones (Sony MDR-F1—they rock my world). Without the tunes in my ears, there is no jam. As for the genre of music I enjoy, I prefer dirty synthesizers, breakbeats and the smooth progressive house on friskyRadio.

If money were no object, how would you change your current set up?
I would immediately quit my job and go back to school forever, preferably moving to London or Amsterdam. I’d first roll as a master’s student getting a couple degrees in Filmmaking, Design and Animation. I’d move up the genius ranks until I eventually became a faculty member and, with my unlimited funds, would build the most kick-ass ILM-esque filmmaking and animation facility for my minions to utilize to conquer the world… This path would make me a very happy Munkowitz.

Is there any piece of technology that inspired you to take the path you did?
Definitely Adobe Flash. After college, where I did a double major in graphic design and filmmaking, I immediately gravitated to Flash, as it allowed me to craft immersive interactive experiences utilizing both my design and photographic talents. I ended up crafting a whole body of work using the technology and have since taken that knowledge and pushed it into the commercial-making realms, where I’ve migrated more to visualFX pipelines via Autodesk Maya and high-end compositors like Nuke and Flame, although the frame by frame animation I did in flash still serves as the foundation of my animation and editorial style.

For the entirety of 2010, Munkowitz led a black-ops team of GFX all-stars deep into the darkness at Digital Domain crafting over 12 minutes of holographic content for the feature film TRON: Legacy

What is your favorite piece of technology from your childhood?
PC Paint, kids!! That’s what got me started designing on the computer…but that’s ghetto…hmm. I’d say the super-8 film camera enabling all those homemade fantasy-horror flicks my older brother and I gleefully used to make. Low-tech, yes, but goddamn, I loved fuckin’ with the intervalometer on that bad boy. Frame-rate spazz never looked so good!

What fantasy piece of technology would you like to see invented?
Definitely the brain scan to holographic output—any idea conceived in the cranium gets output visually in front of you as a holographic render, where others can interact and help further craft the latent idea. And of course, their ideas are also interpreted from a supplemental scan and integrated properly into the visualization where deemed necessary. Fantasy indeed, although someday it’s gonna happen that thoughts are visualized and interacted with in fabulously divine new ways.

Photo courtesy John Davey