Republic adds creative directors Lewis and Tunstall to design studio roster
Veteran talents, formerly at ReelFX, add depth and versatility to the growing studio’s design, VFX and animation capabilities.
The two join visionary Creative Director Jesse James Jones, Jr. and their core group of designers, animators, art directors and visual effects artists, and are already currently leading projects inside the studio's pipeline.
“I’m thrilled to finally be able to share the news of the addition of these two powerhouse talents to our team,” states Amy Aitken, Republic Design’s Executive Producer. “The work they’ve done individually, as well as jointly, is nothing short of breathtaking, and the broad scope of projects they’ve handled shows they’re both capable of helming projects of all shapes and sizes. Just like Jesse, Barrett and Patton have tremendous reputations in our industry, and in the short time they’ve been with us I can already see them elevating our team’s capabilities, workflow and chemistry. I can’t wait to see how far they’re able to push our team.”
Lewis joins Republic after most recently working across town at ReelFX and its sister companies ATK PLN and Flight School. An award winning artist, which includes an Emmy for “Outstanding Art Direction” from Atlantic Festival’s 2021 virtual conference, he’s created impactful art and music since childhood. After attending Houston's prestigious HSPVA arts magnet and receiving his degree in CG animation from the Art Institute, he began his career at growing studio ReelFX in 2001 as a character animator.
Craving more direct collaboration with clients, Lewis transitioned to the finishing side, becoming a VFX Supervisor, working on high-profile commercials and feature films such as Spy Kids 2, Disney’s The Wild and The Book of Life. He rose to the Creative Director role in 2011, where his leadership impacted multiple divisions of a much larger ReelFX and its sister companies. There he also directed and composed music for countless notable projects.
“It’s an honour to join the ranks of such talented and authentic humans,” says Lewis about joining Republic’s roster. “They are the embodiment of a full-spectrum creative studio, and I’m ecstatic about the level of magic that we’re already conjuring with this incredible group of artists. I’ve followed Jesse’s work for a long time, and reuniting with Patton once again is a true joy.”
A fellow alumnus of ReelFX, Tunstall grew up in New Orleans, where surviving hurricane Katrina helped instill the core skill-sets needed for modern problem solving at a young age. Combining these talents with an early passion for computer graphics, he developed a unique perspective on where technology and art meet, and landed a position at 3D model-house TurboSquid while still in high-school. He later attended Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL, and then returned to New Orleans, working at Bayou FX as both a 3D and compositing artist. In 2012, he moved to Dallas to join his wife at ReelFX, where he pushed the limits of their studio and sister companies as a digital artist and CG supervisor.
Most notably, Tunstall reverse engineered Animal Logic’s own LEGO lookdev, all within confines of the graphics card for several global marketing campaigns. Leaving there in 2021, he took advantage of his knowledge of coding, GPU rendering, virtual computing and jumped into the cloud with the founding of his own award winning VFX studio, WhammyFX.
“I have to say, teaming up with Barrett and Jesse under the Republic banner has my creative juices flowing,” he notes. “Barrett and I have done some amazing work together in the past, and to be able to parlay those experiences with the reputation of Republic and their crew is pretty impressive. I’m really excited to see where this collaboration takes all of us.”