Crazy Horse Effects, Inc (CHE) was known in the industry for creating inspiring imagery to tie seamlessly with the greatest photography in the film business. As of 2016, Crazy Horse Effects is currently not operating as a VFX facility but rather the founders Paul and Christina Graff are supervising and producing visual effects as department heads directly for the studios. CHE is Paul and Christina Graff.
We believe there is a connection between poetry and realism. So while we are in the business of providing photorealistic effects, it often takes an artistic brush to apply the physics of light and color before a shot can command the moment and work properly within the context of the story.
Our credo is simple: keep the crew small and exquisite, the lines of communication between director and artist short and our eyes and minds open in order to consistently provide the highest quality of work. Our core expertise is in providing complex 2.5 and 3D environments and extensions as well as working with creatures. We grew out of the close collaboration between highly talented matte painters and compositors. We provide the full range of VFX from conceptualizing and strategizing during pre-production to on-set supervision and continuing through post-production and final delivery.
Then and Now:
Doing visual effects is a little like making music. CHE is somewhere between a chamber orchestra and a rock band. Every instrument is different, everybody matters. In an industry that is quickly changing and always looking for the latest thing, we are trying to keep in touch with traditional skills of making images with impact, that have been a fundament of human history since the cave paintings. We craft contemporary, natural art. We believe that anything that is truly done well has permanence and will stand the test of time.
Co-Founder, Senior VFX Supervisor and President of Crazy Horse Effects, Inc (CHE)
Paul Graff is currently working as Senior Visual Effects Supervisor on Stranger Things Season 3 as he did for Season 2. Paul is available for hire directly by studios as VFX Supervisor or Consultant.
Paul began his career as a VFX artist in Berlin, Germany. After several exciting years as the VFX Supervisor for Robert Stromberg's company Digital Backlot, Paul started his own company Crazy Horse Effects, Inc (CHE). CHE specializes in CG environments, compositing, matte paintings, concept art and VFX Design. THERE WILL BE BLOOD, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, STRANGER THINGS SEASONS 2 & 3, GAME OF THRONES, and others feature Paul as overall VFX Supervisor or CHE facility VFX Supervisor. Since his arrival in Los Angeles, he has garnered many awards including four Emmys and four Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards. Additionally, he received four Emmy and five VES nominations.
Co-Founder, Senior VFX Producer and CFO of Crazy Horse Effects, Inc (CHE).
Christina Graff recently completed work as Senior Visual Effects Producer on Stranger Things Season 2 and is available for hire directly by studios as VFX Producer, Consultant or Post Producer.
Christina’s career began editing award winning documentaries and features in Berlin, Germany. After moving to Los Angeles in 2001, Christina transitioned to producing visual effects for Robert Stromberg’s Digital Backlot including THERE WILL BE BLOOD, THE GOLDEN COMPASS and JOHN ADAMS. In 2008 Christina founded Crazy Horse Effects (CHE) along with Paul Graff. Among some of the films and TV series featuring her work as overall VFX Producer are STRANGER THINGS SEASON 2, SNOWDEN and WATER FOR ELEPHANTS and as CHE facility VFX Producer: BOARDWALK EMPIRE and LIFE OF PI. She has won one Emmy of her own, received additional Emmy and Visual Effects Society nominations and was instrumental in obtaining numerous other wins for CHE.
In 2001, after moving to the United States from Berlin, Germany (where both Paul and Christina Graff worked in the local film and television industry - VFX and editing), Paul was given his first VFX job as a senior compositor on the movie CORONADO. Embracing the creative attitude and meticulously high quality standards of Academy Award-winner Volker Engel and Marc Weigert's company UNCHARTED TERRITORY, Paul moved on to become a lead compositor and compositing supervisor; ultimately winning his first EMMY with Uncharted Territory for the mini-series THE TRIANGLE. During Peter Weir's MASTER & COMMANDER, Paul met 5-star matte painter & VFX Designer ROBERT STROMBERG. The two teamed up with Christina for a host of projects ever since then.
While Robert was deeply involved in the creation of alien environments for Jim Cameron's AVATAR, Paul and Christina Graff were in charge of operations at Digital Backlot. The company took on THERE WILL BE BLOOD, 3:10 TO YUMA and finally JOHN ADAMS with Robert as Visual Effects Designer, Paul as Visual Effects Supervisor and Christina as Visual Effects Producer. Their efforts were rewarded with several award nominations and even some wins: EMMYs (Paul Graff, Christina Graff, Robert Stromberg) for the HBO mini-series JOHN ADAMS which consequently won VES AWARDS in 3 categories.
Paul and Christina had grown the company - moving out of their living room and into a studio, engaging highly talented artists and creating a friendly, cohesive environment where their work shined. Shortly after the completion of JOHN ADAMS, Digital Backlot was dissolved and Paul and Christina Graff incorporated CRAZY HORSE EFFECTS, Inc (CHE). Continuing the same journey under a new flag, CHE established its new name by creating visual effects for numerous outstanding films and television series including TROPIC THUNDER, THE ROAD, THE PACIFIC and BOARDWALK EMPIRE. CHE collaborated heavily with HBO on the design and creation of the Atlantic City Boardwalk for Scorsese's pilot: BOARDWALK EMPIRE. At the same time, CHE continued working once again with director Scorsese on SHUTTER ISLAND and Peter Weir on THE WAY BACK.
A strong tide of projects flowed continuously through CHE - A GAME OF THRONES, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, WALL STREET: MNS, LIFE OF PI, GANGSTER SQUAD and BLACK SAILS - so much so that in 2010, Crazy Horse Effects doubled in size and moved into a larger facility in Venice, California. And in 2012, CHE opened an office in New York called Crazy Horse East. Since 2010, the additional room and staff enabled CHE to take on entire projects from pre-production through post production, including on-set supervision. CHE has since contributed creative ideas and provided VFX Supervision/Production for numerous films and television programs, picking up several awards along the way.
At the beginning of 2016 it was time to try something new. Paul and Christina decided to pare down operations at the CHE facilities and begin working directly for the studios as Senior VFX Supervisor/Producer. As a team, Paul and Christina led Netflix’s STRANGER THINGS season two’s visual effects department to an Emmy and a Visual Effects Society award nomination. Paul is currently charging forward with season three. At some point further down the road, CHE will enjoy the pleasures of creating shots in-house again.