Team Maple

Chris van Dyck

Head of Studio
Senior VFX Supervisor

CVD VFX founder, Chris van Dyck is a Vancouver-based VFX Artist and Supervisor with over 17 years in the industry. He brings experience from some of the top studios around the world: WETA Digital, Industrial Light & Magic, Method, Rising Sun Pictures, Animal Logic, MPC and Prime Focus. Some of his most notable credits include: The Hobbit Trilogy, Warcraft, Thor 2, Life of Pi, TRON: Legacy, Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince, Iron Man, Frank Miller’s 300, Game of Thrones and Stranger Things.

Chris has conducted lectures for the VES, SIGGRAPH, and the Art Institute, been published by Digital Fusion on the topic of Digital Compositing, published by SIGGRAPH on the film industry in Vancouver and has taught Digital Compositing for over 7 years at the following schools: VanArts, Think Tank and Lost Boys.

Tara Conley

Head of Production

Tara got her start in the film industry in 2003, joining Rainmaker’s Post Production team as a Scanner Assistant, and quickly jumped into the role of VFX Coordinator. After 4 years in the VFX industry she rose through the ranks becoming a VFX Producer at Zoic Studios before making the move out East to join the team at Rodeo FX. While she had started in 2009 as the sole Producer with a team of only 15 people, by the time of her departure the once small local French company, had become a world class facility, with offices in Montreal, Quebec City, and Los Angeles and over 300 employees. Tara had the opportunity to work on such blockbuster shows such as Game Of Thrones, Pacific Rim, and Immortals. In 2016 Tara returned home to the West Coast, after being head-hunted by Image Engine. She joined their team in the role of Senior Visual Effects Producer, and over the course of three years was credited on shows such as Spiderman Far From Home, John Wick 3, Thor, and Jurassic World. Tara joined CVD VFX in July 2019 in the role of Head Of Production. She brings with her a proven track record in leadership, and strong relationships she has built within the industry. Her calm and personable approach has been a great addition in guiding our team as we formed the Vancouver footprint of Crafty Apes.

Carlo Monaghan

VFX Supervisor

With over 12 years of visual effects experience, this Australian native honed his career at one of Australia’s most reputable companies, Fuel VFX, as a flame and compositing artist working on high-end commercials and feature films. Carlo is a sought after collaborator and supervisor who has worked at top studios and projects around the globe including Weta Digital, ILM, MPC, Method, and Image Engine. He recently completed work on the award nominated project Ford vs Ferrari, and has credits as both artist and in technology roles on movies such as Ready Player One, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Captain America: Civil War, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, just to name a few.

With his equal expertise in artistry and technology, Carlo is excited to contribute to the growth and success of the company.

Michelle Kee

VFX Producer

After a childhood of bouncing between Singapore to UK to California to Singapore, Michelle settled in Vancouver, BC. She attended Simon Fraser University earning a BFA in Film Production while also working on production shoots around the city where she tried every role from PA to SPFX assist. Realizing that physical strength was not one of her fortes, she transferred her production skills into VFX where she honed her jokes and management skills on movies that her stoic father had actually heard of. Michelle joined CVD VFX in 2016 when the studio was in its infancy – with a team of six and a fresh Shotgun site still set to default. With a keen focus on efficient production workflows, Michelle evolved to be the Producer and Bidding Producer of Crafty Apes Vancouver.

Sara Moore

VFX Producer

Sara started her career in film working as a coordinator at Rainmaker entertainment in 2011. From there she moved to MPC while working on major hits such as Man of Steel, Maleficent and The Lone Ranger. She then was recruited to join Scanline VFX as they were ramping up their Vancouver office managing their front-end CG and asset departments while spear-heading shows such as Captain America: Winter Soldier, Godzilla, Divergent and Heart of the Sea. She was quickly promoted to produce major movies such as Fast and Furious 7 and Game of Thrones which was awarded the Emmy in Outstanding VFX for The Children in Season 4. Sara has been producing for the last four years at major studios including Framestore and Method before joining the Crafty Apes Vancouver team. She is an active member of the Producers Guild of America.

Monday Meeting & Chill

Maple Pear Upside Down Cake

This is one of those desserts that looks fancier than it is (especially if you take a little time with the pear arranging), which I think is often what you want on Thanksgiving: something impressive that’s not going to kill you. It’s also great at room temperature, so you don’t need to stress about any last-minute timing.

This recipe is by Mark Bittman


11 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4cup packed brown sugar
3 to 4 pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small pan over medium heat; add maple syrup and brown sugar and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook for another 2 minutes; remove from heat and set aside. When mixture has cooled a bit, pour it into a 9-inch baking pan and arrange pear slices in an overlapping circle on top.

With a handheld or standing mixer, beat remaining 8 tablespoons butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, one egg at a time, continuing to mix until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture in three batches, alternating with milk; do not overmix. Carefully spread batter over pears, using a spatula to make sure it is evenly distributed. Bake until top of cake is golden brown and edges begin to pull away from sides of pan, about 45 to 50 minutes; a toothpick inserted into center should come out clean. Let cake cool for 5 minutes.

Run a knife around edge of pan; put a plate on top of cake and carefully flip it so plate is on bottom and pan is on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.