Men of Film By Connor Ga r re t t
Chris Ledoux Chris Ledoux’s impressive career spans decades and includes VFX supervision and compositing on 12 Years A Slave , The Greatest Showman , Doctor Strange , B etter Call Saul , and a seemingly endless list of film and television shows. He currently runs Crafty Apes, a visual effects and production company with 170 employees. “Early on, Pan’s Labyrinth was my first breakthrough in the industry. Two companies were working on these two movies. One was a superhero flick, the other was a weird little movie called Pan’s Labyrinth . I chose the obscure one, thankfully,” says Ledoux. “Having a company is a little different, but one of our proud moments came when the director of 12 Years A Slave came to us with a problem. He wanted everything to be shot in one take, so the issue was the length of the shot couldn’t be done with the length of film the canister could hold. My brother Tim and I stared at this problem until we cracked the code. We found a way to string three different takes into one shot. Without getting too technical, we had to find a way to isolate different pieces of the scenes.” With experience extending beyond cinema, Ledoux has also directed many music videos and led special effects teams for U2, Chris Cornell, and Paramore, just to mention a few. “If you knock on the door long enough, someone has to answer. I came from a tiny town in Kodiak, Alaska. I felt millions of miles from working in film. Luckily, I had parents who believed anything was possible. They were right. If you really want to make it, you can. I moved from a small fishing town and made it in L.A,” says Ledoux. “That’s also what I love about living in Atlanta now. You have every opportunity. There are plenty of creators. I’d also just tell someone looking to come to either, or break into the industry, don’t be a character in someone else’s script. Don’t try to conform. It’s like crabs in a barrel. Most of the people who try to limit you are from within your own inner circle.” Ledoux’s company Crafty Apes has recently worked on or is in production with Legacy , Pandora , Mulan for Disney, Star Trek: Picard , Stranger Things , and Star Trek: Discovery . “We just had five films in Sundance. We did the Tammy Baker story, a documentary on Aretha Franklin, and currently, we’re doing a lot of stuff with Marvel and a lot with Netflix,” says Ledoux. “You hire good
Wayne Overstreet Wayne Overstreet, founder of Overstreet Productions, has been in the film and television industry for roughly two decades, carving out an incredible reputation and resumé in the process. Most recently, he started Go Media, which stands for Gibson and Overstreet. “Prior to that, it was Overstreet Production and Post. We also launched Mediavestor to bring accredited investors to filmmakers. It helps each side trust each other. We vet projects and investors. Before Overstreet, I spent 17 years at Wolff Bros Post. I was the general manager there before working at Creative Chaos. “Initially, I started in music with the objective of doing positive music. I started as Akon’s road manager. The label dropped him and didn’t know what to do with him. I thought if they couldn’t figure out what to do with him, then it was pretty hopeless. That was my transition into film. My goal was to create edifying content. I got a taste of long content and my objective was to be a multimedia content company with a positive take on things,” explains Overstreet. “I’ve done some original content. Recently, I was an executive producer on Hell on the Border , which was a limited theatrical release that’s currently streaming on demand.” Overstreet formed Go Media with business partner Len Gibson from an opportunity provided through a DCR Finance Company. “They made a 10- year commitment to do post-production in Georgia. Our plan is to do it ourselves as well as utilizing partners throughout the state. Our mission is to grow the infrastructure of the state to help make Georgia a filming hub. Right now, it’s more of a location. Through financing and being able to do post-production, we can build the infrastructure and make a pipeline to train up these college grads. Companies like Turner Broadcasting have also contributed to training a whole legion of the talented professional pool Atlanta has to offer. On top of that, you have SCAD, Georgia State, AIU, and Georgia Tech pumping out fresh talent all the time. Right now, a lot of Tech kids have to leave to go to Silicon Valley. DCR does gap financing and we’re doing workforce development with Go Media,” says Overstreet.
I’d tell someone looking to break into the industry, don’t be a character in someone else’s script. Don’t try to conform. – chris ledoux | @craftyapesvfx
people and you treat them properly. Do good work for your clients. Follow fundamentals and you’ll expand. “We were an artistic-centric company. We were all visual effects people who had to learn the business side. We started as a couple of guys in a room. Jason Sanford and I came together and thought we could streamline the effects. VFX is a young industry, which means there are always new ways to approach things. It’s about neuroplasticity. In football, Bill Walsh came up the West Coast offense. You see it often times with these younger coaches who come up with new solutions. You can’t get stuck in paradigms.” @CraftyApesVFX
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