Why does Marvel & Stranger Things look so good? Find out on C-Level: Guest Chris LeDoux Crafty Apes

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Why does Marvel & Stranger Things look so good? Find out on C-Level: Guest Chris LeDoux Crafty Apes

– People look at us like we’re nuts and they’re like, the thing is, I love it. They’re like, well don’t you just wanna go home sometime and watch television? I’m like no, I wanna make television. – [DeBlasio] On this episode of “C Level”, I sit down with my good friend Chris LeDoux, founder and VFX Supervisor of Crafty Apes, the VFX company behind “Stranger Things”, “Jumanji”, “Doctor Strange” and many more. For the very small percentage of people that don’t know who Crafty Ape is and who you are, gimme a little of the background. How did you get started, where are you from, what’s Crafty Apes about? – Originally from an island in Alaska called Kodiak Island and that’s where I originally hailed from and my family hails from ’cause it’s a family business and I had moved to San Francisco in 2004 and did my first visual effects job there for movie called “Sin City”. – Yup, very familiar, yeah. – And it was fun because I loved it, fell in love with the business and in 2005, moved to Los Angeles. So in 2005, moved to Los Angeles, spent about a year in a random city called Santa Maria, where we made “Pan’s Labyrinth” and did some other movies and then went back to L.A. and then in 2007, we started the, sorry, 2011 we started the company. We started in, actually, technically for three months, we started in Venice at this 200 square foot trailer park. Very humble beginnings. – A lot of people had those humble beginnings. – It was just me, Tim and Jason and Mark in an office and couple months later, we went to Culver City and while we were there, one of our first clients was Lionsgate and Tyler Perry specifically. So that started drawing me to Atlanta and I started filming here in 2012, 2013 and while I was here, I started learning about the actual tax credit and how it worked and I started, you can almost smell the buzz in the air, feel it. There was like man, there’s something happening here and I looked around, there wasn’t any other really VFX companies of a certain caliber and went back to California and I told everyone I said hey, I think we should expand to Atlanta, let’s go for it and it took some convincing, there was some back and forth but my brother Tim was strongly on board with it and he’s the one who actually did the first operation out here. So we got a call in March of 2014 for a pilot and it was a colleague of ours who was doing a TV show and said hey, I heard you guys were in Atlanta and we’re like, totally. And we filed the paperwork, Tim and our other colleague Josh jumped in a truck and drove across the country with a bunch of computers and we started downtown. And I’m not even, it was close to underground and close to gunshots and they did the pilot and then I was already doing a TV show that was based out of here but we weren’t here officially yet. I started filming in May and I was like okay, we gotta be out here. I called my wife and she’d just given birth to our child. By the way, we’re moving to Atlanta. – And pump, here it is! – Let’s just get all of the change out of the way at once! And she was born and raised in L.A. for 39 years, never lived anywhere else and so– – So what was she thinking that Atlanta was like? – She had been here before and she’s in production also so she loved it, she actually prefers it now. So it’s been great, there is that, it must have been like the gold rush in Alaska in 1910 or 1849 gold rush. There’s a certain buzz in the air here, there’s a certain ambition, there’s a certain person that it attracts, there’s a certain twinkle in their eye. So the kind of people you’re around. I wanted to be in L.A. because there’s more creative people in L.A. than anywhere in the universe, just shoved into one spot and I loved it for that reason and in Atlanta, you have all these ambitious people, a variety of industries and with film in general, because we’re interested in all filmmaking.

#ChrisDeBlasio #ChrisLeDoux #Marvel #CraftyApes #Agency850

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