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  • Writer's pictureDavid Gidali

Ep-22: Janelle Croshaw Ralla - 'parallel universe ski bum', mom & VFX supervisor (HER, CAPT. MARVEL)

Updated: Nov 11, 2019

She stumbled into visual effects almost by chance when she was barely 18. Today she works with filmmakers such as Spike Jonze, David Fincher, Chris Milk and Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Cpt. Marvel). Now with her second child on the way, we talk about career, motherhood and her other life goals.

Janelle Croshaw Ralla is an award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor who repeatedly breaks new technical frontiers: from aging Brad Pitt on “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, bringing Tupac back to life for a special Coachella concert, helping Spike Jonze create the technically ambitious “Welcome Home” Apple spot, to most recently, de-aging Samuel L. Jackson in “Captain Marvel”.

Working on such an impressive slew of groundbreaking projects at studios like Digital Domain, Method, Framestore and MR. X is something many VFX supervisor would wish to accomplish over the span of their entire career, but she is just getting warmed up.

I had the extreme honor and pleasure to have her over for a lighthearted conversation about her impressive professional journey thus far (including some hypothesis and 'what-if's), her internal drive and creative collaborations, reflecting back on early career moves through an experienced lens, and how motherhood is slowly reshaping her dreams and ambitions.

"I really feel like we could make beautiful imagery that could help visualize what's going on, and what's going to happen in the next hundred years with the planet, that [could be] really meaningful. There's really cool stuff that we can do with computers and technology to help, and I'm sure it's happening. I've been thinking a lot about trying to get into more of that, out of "the Hollywood" and into activism a little more."

Episode Links:

Welcome Home making of:

David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button making of:

This Orville Redenbacher TV ad was considered a "failed test" of the CG aging technology developed for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It served as a valuable learning experience paving way to the stellar results in the actual film. Janelle Croshaw Ralla was compositing sup on both projects:

Opening and closing song: "14 Days" by Akın Sevgör.

Stay tuned to our next episode of The Post-Post Podcast in (roughly) 2 weeks!

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