Jeff Lew - The Director
When I was a kid, I used to play with my Dad's video camera to make home movies for fun and for school. I knew what I wanted to do for a living. I wanted to be a director, I wanted to make movies.

I went to college for engineering, but while in New York, I dabbled in acting, trying to get into the film industry. It was fun, but I didn't get many roles. I had the crazy idea of one day making my own animated movie and casting myself in the lead roles to further my acting career. However, the first priority when I graduated was getting a job.

When I graduated from college, the web was in its infancy. I knew engineering wasn't for me, so I read a few books and got a web design job at a fun place. My supervisor taught me all sorts of 2d graphics skills. At home, I read books on 3d animation and created a character that I could practice animation on. His name was Killer Bean. I made a 3 minute short called "Killer Bean: The Interrogation." The short had some small cult success on the internet, but it was mostly a training tool for me in 3d animation.

After about a year I landed my first 3d animation gig. My animation career was a lot of fun. I worked on the Spiderman themepark ride-film, X-Men, Kung Pow. Looney Tunes:Back in Action. All the while, I was working on my next short in my spare time. The first short, Killer Bean 1, was to learn 3d animation. My goal for the second short was to learn about filmmaking. After 3 years, I completed "Killer Bean 2: The Party." It became an internet hit, being viewed over 1 million times in 6 months. I got my 15 minutes of fame and was offered a job to work on the Matrix Reloaded.

I became the lead animator for Matrix Reloaded. It was a long and tough multi-year project. I learned a lot of things from the experience. I learned about art, about computer animation techniques, about what goes into making a movie - from previs, to post production, to politics. But the most important thing I learned is that I still wanted to make my own movie. So rather than rolling over to Matrix Revolutions, I quit to pursue my dream.

From there, I worked on my 3rd installment of Killer Bean, the biggest one yet: "Killer Bean Forever." It was originally meant to be a 45 minute episode to sell on DVD. But as I was writing the script, I asked myself, "Why limit yourself? You want to make movies. You're not getting any younger. Why not just go for it all?" In a way, Killer Bean has brought me full circle. I created Killer Bean to learn animation, so that I could make my own movie. And now, I am making my movie, starring none other than Killer Bean. I guess he has earned the role.

The past 4 years have been... "interesting". I won't say "hard" because saying that would be complaining. And if you're going to complain about doing something, just do something else. No, these past 4 years have been challenging, but rewarding. My life's savings and my wife's life savings have been used up. These past 6 months we've been living on credit cards. But we both believe in this movie, in this dream.

I learned more in these past 4 years than I learned anywhere else. I was 30 when I started it. Now I am reaching 35. My movie is nearly done, and I believe it was totally worth it. Looking forward to the next one! ;)