VFX supervisor, JAMM Los Angeles | Age 28
If you’ve seen the arresting, spinning and memorable visuals featuring Donald Glover for the season 2 promo of the FX hit Atlanta then you’ve seen the acclaimed work of VFX supervisor/lead compositor Patrick Muñoz. “It was pretty challenging to do, as we had a small budget and we weren’t exactly sure how to do it, so we did some tests and FX loved the whole idea,” explains Muñoz, who also came up with the concept. “For the shoot, we had Donald fall in one direction, then the other, then reversed one shot, and then I did a two-plate morph, and re-stabilized it and re-comped it. And we shot in the real environments. There was no green screen at all.” The inventive, tricky camerawork is a direct homage “to the way they shot The Matrix,” he adds. “I was just nine years old when I saw it at a military base in San Diego and it was a life-changing moment.”
The son of a naval administrator, he decided “right then” he'd be charting a different course, and that led to the Art Institute in San Diego, where he studied animation before switching to a matte painting and compositing focus. After a stint as a runner at The Mill, he apprenticed as a Flame assistant and learned the art of being a creative professional in a high-pressure, client-focused setting. His talent and work ethic was noticed by the team at JAMM, where he made the move to full-time Flame artist in early 2015. “It was this brand new studio, and a great opportunity,” he says of the Santa Monica-based house, and Muñoz quickly left his stamp on a myriad of projects and creative challenges.
In addition to the Atlanta spot for FX Networks, he devised edgy, experimental visuals for director Carl Rinch and Saatchi & Saatchi for their 25x25 Director’s Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival. He was also the lead Flame artist on the wacky Skittles spot Umbilical Cord and on Stubhub’s Sommelier, Pottery and Hardware spot, where he created “a continuous pour for the wine shot and did a lot of clean-up on the glass. I love intricate camerawork that messes with the viewer, and I love dark and moody.” He’s currently working on two holiday spots for Alexis, “doing car beauty, clean up and sky replacement on Flame” and would eventually love to become a CD.