My Economy

How CGI has changed the business of animal handling and casting

Andie Corban Feb 12, 2020
HTML EMBED:
COPY
pxhere
My Economy

How CGI has changed the business of animal handling and casting

Andie Corban Feb 12, 2020
pxhere
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Greg Tresan opened two businesses in the 1990s, a dog kennel and an animal casting business for the film industry. He and his wife now run both businesses on their 15-acre farm in Georgia.

“We use every piece of this 15 acres because we’ve got a lot of animals,” Tresan said. They currently have around 60 animals, from dogs to deer to rats.

Over the past 25 years, Tresan has watched technology like computer-generated imagery change how animals are used on set.

“One of the common things we see today in most of the high-budget movies is that they want to scan our animals,” Tresan said.

Around 180 cameras simultaneously take images of his animals so that they have every angle digitized.

Greg Tresan with one of his dogs.
Greg Tresan, owner of Animal Casting Atlanta, with one of his dogs. (Courtesy photo)

“Sometimes the animal character is altered. For instance, in Black Panther, while we scanned a rhinoceros for the movie, what we used on set was a big horse.”

While CGI is putting some animal trainers out of business, Tresan said his company, Animal Casting Atlanta, is booming.

“If all I did was handle chimps and apes, I would be out of business,” he said. “But for farmyard-type animals, we’re still able to provide most of the action that’s needed.”

This series only works with your help. Let us know how your economy is doing using the form below, and your story may be featured on a future edition of “My Economy.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.