Meet the Studio: Shotgun Visits Crafty Apes

They aren’t that big, but man, they’re bursting with talent

The talented crew at Crafty Apes, a VFX studio with facilities in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York, keep things light and fun for their artists while working on acclaimed shows like "La La Land."


Video transcript available below

 


Video Transcript

CHRISTOPHER LEDOUX: I've always found storytelling very inspirational. Visual effects is an interesting part of that. Because it's so new, it's constantly being reinvented. My name is Christopher Ledoux. I'm a VFX supervisor, producer, and co-owner, partner of Crafty Apes Visual Effects. Our primary focus here at Crafty Apes is feature film visual effects as well as television visual effects. The opening shot for La La Land was the most challenging shot in the film.

SARA TREMBLAY: It was a ridiculous amount of frames and painting out and doing a lot of invisible effects.

CHRISTOPHER LEDOUX: It had to appear with no cuts. Eight or nine thousand frames, if not more in total, which equates to minutes on screen that it's one shot.

SARA TREMBLAY: We took out a lot of the stripes that they put on the cars for traction for the dancers. We had to make those invisible.

CHRISTOPHER LEDOUX: There's a lot of CG going on in there. There's green screen and with Shotgun we were able from the very get-go to track everything. Without Shotgun, none of this would happen. Maya is our main piece of CG software. It's tried and true. It does its job. It rocks. It helps us make awesome CG. I have three brothers. They all work here at Crafty Apes.

MARK LEDOUX: Working with my brothers is honestly awesome. They're great guys even if they weren't my brothers. Something that is really cool about Crafty Apes actually is we operate like the Greeks where this general would be in the battlefield with them at the front lines. I think it's one of the best parts about working here.

CHRISTOPHER LEDOUX: I'm really proud of all of you. It's been a pretty kick ass year.

SARA TREMBLAY: Crafty Apes is fun, it's exciting. We aren’t that big of a company, but man, we are definitely bursting with talent and we're known for putting out great work again and again and again. TV and film can do long hours and a little chaotic, but here we've somehow managed to keep it fun and light. You can tell all the artists love what they do. It's a place where they're able to grow, so I think we've definitely built a company that feels like a family.

 
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