Hernandez: Hollywood’s Go-To Special Effects Guru

He may not be a household name, but you’ve most likely seen Tulio Hernandez’s work on the big screen.

The 50-year-old Venezuelan-born special effects guru has been part of some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, including  Avatar, Spider-Man 2, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Night at the Museum.

Tulio Hernandez

Hernandez came to the United States in 1978 from his native Maracaibo with plans to attend college and ultimately graduated with a degree in tourism and hospitality. But it was a fateful encounter with a friend that launched his special effects career.

“In 1988, a friend wanted to open a vegetarian restaurant,” he recounts. “He asked me to help him, but this friend was also making a movie and seeing them work I felt as if someone had hit me on the head and I said: this is what I want to do.”

Eleven years later, he realized he’d most definitely made the right decision.

“But what marked my path was the film Komodo, in 1999, when I saw my name on the credits and felt I had made the right decisions in my life,” Hernandez said in an interview with Efe.

Hernandez, whose other projects include Skyline, Knight and Day and Fast & Furious, says credits his Latino background for his exceptional work.

“My vision of reality is quite particular. I always see it with visual effects, I look at the environment and think how to put it on the computer,” Hernandez said, “Being Venezuelan, the Latin touch is in everything I do.”