how to create a shadow of many elements (ap2)

i’ve got a few characters in the scene and a cycle for one of them from the template library, which is packed in a group and resides in the next separate layer.

i’d like to create the same shadow effects for the whole lot. i’ve tried with grouping of all element layers but the ‘overall’ group won’t accept a peg to do scaling and skewing of the shadow.
i simply can’t find a common layer to manipulate the shadow effect for the whole characters’ set.

does anybody know a suitable workaround?

it’s the quadmap that’s holding the transformation handles.
anyway, the overall shadow is hard to achieve due to the widespread characters. the controls bounding box can’t be adjusted that exactly.