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BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 8, 2022 — Crafty Apes, a full-service visual effects powerhouse with seven production facilities across North America, is the recent recipient of the prestigious Epic MegaGrant. Awarded by Epic Games, this substantial grant will provide dedicated resources for Crafty Apes to continue recent efforts integrating UE into their filmmaking process.

Using funding from the Epic MegaGrant, Crafty Apes will partner with Louisiana Entertainment to continue to build a junior VFX workforce program to deliver on their new CG animated short, Before the Beard, Before the Belly, created as a proof of concept for a feature film titled The Legend of Santa Claus. Once the short is complete, it will be ready to be rendered in Unreal Engine 5, utilizing ray tracing techniques and RTX technology.

“We believe that real-time rendering and virtual production, powered by the Unreal Engine, is the foundation for the future of filmmaking. The Epic MegaGrant will allow us to prove that,” says Crafty Apes co-founder, Chris LeDoux.

Since opening their Baton Rouge studio in 2020, Crafty Apes has leveraged Louisiana Entertainment’s sponsorship to build a dedicated VFX apprenticeship program that has helped train six junior compositing artists. In the current phase of the apprenticeship program, the artists are learning an Unreal for VFX pipeline. This support has been integral in supporting Crafty Apes’ efforts in recruiting for their Louisiana locale, and training industry-ready artists who can offer high-end visual effects and creative services to feature films, commercials and video game clients.

“Since expanding to Louisiana under our Entertainment Job Creation Program, Crafty Apes has trained and hired talented artists in an impressive portfolio of VFX projects that continues to grow in our state. We congratulate the company on this award, which will enable it to continue providing industry-leading services here,” said Chris Stelly, Executive Group Director for Entertainment & Digital Media at Louisiana Economic Development.

Ultimately, the Epic MegaGrant will increase Crafty Apes’ ability to visioncast and execute hybrid production pipelines where both traditional visual effects and virtual production solutions are used in tandem as a creative and budgetary solution for Crafty Apes’ many film, streaming and television clients globally.

About Crafty Apes

Crafty Apes is a full-service visual effects company started in Los Angeles, with additional studios in Atlanta, New York, Baton Rouge, Albuquerque, Montréal and Vancouver. Beginning as a VFX studio for film and TV, Crafty Apes has grown to include a talented roster of creative and production supervisors that offer set supervision. Film credits include The Batman, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and TV credits include Star Trek: Picard, The Orville, Barry, Westworld, Moon Knight, Stranger Things, The Staircase and many more.