Study of Power

November 2017 ––
The fine folks at 72andSunny came to Munkowitz late in 2017 with a bold idea – they wanted to examine the relationship between Humans and technology and explore the notion that together, this union is more powerful than ever. They wanted Munko to create a series of films that spotlight the all-new INFINITI QX50 through the relentless cycle of man pushing machine—and machine pushing man.

You see, the drive to innovate is innately human – and it has been since the dawn of man. We were always inventors, building newer and better tools to fuel our societies. The technologies we create have always been an extension of the people we are. In other words... machines reflect the humans who dream them up. They are our extra limbs. Our superpower. Our evolutionary legacy. No machine represents that more elegantly or self-awarely than the new Infiniti QX50.

The Approach

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Light is the single most predominant way that humans engage with technology – so, whether we’re seeing people or machines, we’re using light as a dynamic visual unifier. We’re representing technology through light – be it illuminated data forms, graphic overlays, or car shots lit with moving light sources – using these lit elements to give the technology a vital pulse of energy. Also, we’re representing humans through light – be it the glint of light we see reflected in an eyeball, or the light of an x-ray illuminating our anatomy. So light becomes the connective tissue between our human and technological elements, shaping both the energetic throughline of the experience and the visual style of it with a dynamic, future-forward aesthetic.

Our design lives at the intersection of candid humanity and slick, kinetic technology. It captures the feeling that humans and machines are elementally connected, with warm, grounded imagery offset by a high-end sense of futurism. Moving light sources that travel along surfaces – from the glossy surfaces of the car, to the textured surface of skin – is suggestive of movement, progress, and connection. Even the most tech-forward moments, such as moments where we visualize data as light, can be seen through a human lens by using shallow depths of field and abstracting the CG so that it feels photographic. This is especially true of elements that are filmed practically – like brain synapses firing, which can be achieved with projected laser light and some vibrant material studies. 
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The Science Lab

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By creating a practically-shot data layer in our film, we connect the high-tech futurism of the car with something tactile and real. These filmed elements punctuate the connection between the human that thinks and the machine that reacts, filling our edit with technological moments that retain a touch of humanity. Strobes, acrylics, and other light aberrations showcase the transfer of information at lightning speed, as well as flash frames, specular materials, data fabric, lasers, vibrations, and fibre optics. We chose to film the reaction between a laser projector and glossy, reflective and transparent surfaces to represent brain synapses, and to visualize how fast data can travel.

Using special streak filters to affect the light, we see the energy and electricity of thought, showing the connection between the human brain and the language of machines. Since our film required many fast cuts, it was so important that we had a rich library of footage that we can use to stitch everything together. Populating that library with filmed footage rather than solely CG assets gave us much more freedom in the way we created texture and contrast in the edit.

To accomplish this, Munko tasked frequent collaborator Peter Call Me The Clark to concoct a series of practical experiments to capture, and trusted his young understudy to direct the second camera unit with all the fancy shit. They brought in super ultra-uber talented Production Designer Philip Messina to collaborate with the team as well, and Mr. Messina opened his bag of tricks and together they all made some Scientific Magic Hour. Consistenly and without fail, the second monitor showing the happenings from the Science Lab was the favorite screen to get lost in during the shooting ceremonies – always the client pleaser. 

Infiniti QX50 Credit List

Director: GMUNK
Managing Partner: Oliver Fuselier
Executive Producer: Brad Johns
Head of Production: Amy DeLossa
Line Producer: Lee Trask
Prod. Supervisor: Melissa Jacobs
Asst. Prod. Supervisor: Manar Humidan
Asst. Prod. Supervisor: Stacy Bergstein
1st AD: Ryan Lippert
2nd AD: Erik Marshall
Director of Photography: Chris Probst
1st AC: Niranjan Martin
1st AC B Unit: Bradley Rochlitzer
2nd AC: Jeremy Cannon
Practical Wizardry: Peter Clark
Production Designer: Philip Messina
Asst. Art Director: Paul Richards
Propmaster: Chris Wright
Asst. Propmaster: Curtis Harrison
DIT: Jesse Tyler
Crane Tech: Nazariy Hatak
Crane Tech/Driver: Brian love
Head Tech: Jay Sheveck
Gaffer:  Spencer Scranton
Best Boy Electric: Anthony Najem
Electric: Armen Gurdzhyan
Electric: Brandon Alperin
Electric: Mike Mauceri
Fisher Light Tech: Vincent O’Carroll
Fisher Light Tech: Fernando Espiritusanto
Key Grip: Eric Budlong
Best Boy Grip: Brian Deutsch
Grip: Kaiyoti Pesente
Grip: Jim Wickman
Grip / Driver: Mike Mull
Hyphenate: Alfonso 'Ponch' Arellano
Scenic: Max King
Key Costumer: Julie Block
2nd Costumer: Dana Peterson
Key Make-Up: Keiko Wedding
2nd Make-Up: Haruyo Sawada
Gang Boss: Rob Harper
Craft Service: Paloma Aguirre
Stage Manager: Richard Gray
VTR: Adrian Delgado
Script Supervisor: Debbie Wright
Manicurest: Thao Nguyen
Projector Project Manager: Adam Sivertsen
Projectionist: Christian Shen
Projectionist: Kenny Miller
AV Tech: Asa Borquist
Laser Tech: Adam LaBay
Turntable Tech: Andrew McCown
Turntable Tech: Juan Sylvestre

Post Production

VFX Supervisor: Kevin Lau
Lead Designer: Toros Kose
Editor: Graham Chisholm
Sound Design & Original Music : CypherAudio
Post Producer: Kat Friis
Timber Producer: Rebecca Jameson
Practical Editor: Peter Clark
Practical Music: EnterNull


Female Driver: Ashlynn Yennie
Male Driver: Edward Verdugo
Vitruvian Man: Nick Denbeigh


Head of Global Marketing: Melissa Bell
Head of GLBL. Mktg. Campaigns: Sophia Formosa
Manager, Global Marketing: Stewart Sze To
Senior Analyst: Shanshan Li

Agency – 72andSunny
Producer: Elizabeth Corsini
Creative Director: Sean Matthews
Creative Director: JC Abbruzzi
Designer: Gideon Gillard
Writer: Cory Conrad
Creative Director: Nate Virnig
Group Production Director: Angelo Mazzamuto
Group Creative Director: Gui Borchert