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Bradley G. Munkowitz aka GMUNK

Super inspired young man just making shit all the time: Meet designer and director Bradley G. Munkowitz at a new episode of Keenly Preesents!

My name is Bradley G. Munkowitz. I am a designer and director, currently living in London. I’m from San Francisco. I make stuff all the time. I’m a represented director so it’s kind of like i’m like a freelance director in a way, because my schedule is never fixed. But I travel a lot and no two days are really the same.

Can you remember your first intense experience with film?
When I was in college and I learned Photoshop for the very first time or I saw Photoshop, what I could do for the very first time, I got really excited. You know I grew up with a PC and doing all sorts of PC-paints and computer-games and stuff, all 8 bit. So when I started to little see into like the 16 bit and 32 bit monitors and pallets and millions of colors, editing photos … and that whole thing kind of blew my mind. Then I knew that I wanna to get into the, you know get into it, really do it as a career of some sort. So my career has been design, animation, film and photography. It has been all of those.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a kid, I was into like dungeons and dragons, in fantasy-games, roleplaying-games, lots of creative endeavours always. I was definitely a super creative kid. So it’s definitely the right choice. Oceanography: I was just enamoured by the ocean. I was super into the ocean. But, you know. I don’t know. I think I was more in design and creativity I guess more than the ocean.

What was your first film?
So, ”She Dumped Me For A Roofer”–  which is on my website – that was a cartoon I made in like 1998 I think. It’s a flash-animation-cartoon. My girlfriend in college broke up with me. She cheated on me, broke up with me and I made a cartoon about it. I made like a 15 minute cartoon. Pretty sick and twisted. I actually entered it in “Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Animation Festival” and got in. And it was very exciting. 
And I would do flash-sites. I would always make flash-websites. That was kind of how I made a brand for myself back in the day. I’d make these really weird flash portfolio-websites and updated with content every single month or two. You know just super inspired young man just making shit all the time.
And then you know I’ve just always stayed true to that. Stayed true to that idea of personal branding, personal projects. I try to keep it. It’s just me and I have reps and the reps handle everything. And I just wave my hands around and we make stuff. It’s good.

Is there anything in your job so far what made you feel unsure?
You spend a lot of time putten into creative and a lot of energy into something and there’s so much to it. When you’re crafting a story and a film. You shoot it some way and then it get’s edited in a different way. It’s like: Well that’s not how you intended to shoot it and how you intended it to be edited. There’s definitely director’s cuts often these days. And that’s tough. It’s tough to let go. It’s tough to let go of like a vision and just kind of open it up. It’s something that I’m learning. That I’m learning to accept. With every big commercial job I understand the game a little bit more. There needs to be this separation between personal working and commercial work. So I’m definitely navigating that balance more and more as I get older and more experienced as a director. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from being diverse. I just try to double every little thing I can that’s different. So playing with lights, playing with lasers, playing with materials, playing with photography, playing with design, playing with motion graphics, playing with motion graphics on materials, playing with projection, fabrication, robotics, architecture. And through collaboration with all these people from these disciplines and myself, you just make stuff. So being diverse and playing in all those different mediums that to me is the most inspiring thing, because you’re learning.

Some words to future designer?
I would say: develop healthy habits. I’ve been doing this since 1998 so that’s a long time. With longevity you get reputation, a body of work, a legacy. It’s just time grants that, because there’s more time to accumulate projects, achievements, directions that you want to take you career. So to have that longevity you need to be healthy, you need develop habits for staying inspired. Just finding what works for you in a lot of ways.

You just gonna get into this routine, build a space around you that’s inspiring, develop those habits, that keep you inspired, stay curious, collaborate, keep your network healthy, keep in touch with your people, that are your parallels in a lot of ways. You kind of gonna fly together in parallel. We’re like flocking design birds. We gonna flock together. Have a competitiveness about you. Strive to be the best. Find ways to motivate yourself that way. Have friendly competitions with peers. You gonna exercise and work on your energy. You gonna bring your energy to it and gonna make sure that this energy is sustainable. I think that’s really important. I think people overlook that a lot. And than consume.

Consume everything. Consume everything that makes your heart sing.

You know only the freaks will survive. You know only the freaks can get to the highest level. Only the freaks basically just have to live and breathe it and know that they’re put on this earth to do that. You know what I mean? And that’s important.