Craig left UCLA to become one of the youngest executives in the financial industry. Fed up with internal politics and an SEC investigation of his superiors, Craig left Columbia to start a consulting firm. Craig was able to land clients such as KCET the major PBS station in Los Angeles, Deluxe Laboratories, and the New Getty Center.

After moving to south Orange County, Craig received a call that a small emerging studio was seeking someone who had knowledge of technology, the entertainment industry and wasn't easily star struck. This small studio turned out to be DREAMWORKS SKG.

On Craig's second day he had a chance meeting with David Geffen in the elevator. Craig was still wearing a suit and tie in a place where jeans with holes and converse all stars were the power attire. Mr. Geffen pointed out that Craig had pressed the wrong floor as the top floor of that building was the Geffen Foundation.

Later when Craig was to be interviewed by the three principles, Mr. Geffen poked his head out his office and simply said, "yeah, he's ok."

While under contract at Dreamworks, Craig became aware that the first ever Dreamworks Employee film festival was going to be held in just over two months.

A self taught computer animator, Craig wrote, directed and animated The Fish. A film that almost never was… one week before the festival, Craig brought his animation and editing system into Modern VideoFilm. Back then there had been only one computer generated film TOY STORY, so the process was still being refined. The computer images needed to be transferred to digital videotape before they could be transferred to 35mm film.

Somehow the hard disks crashed and the finished film was lost. But Craig was never one to miss a deadline. He found a store near his home that sold animation systems and asked if he could use the store's many computers to re-render his film. Luckily the entire store was going to be closed for a week while the staff attended Siggraph.

Craig loaded the raw animation files and started the rendering. He returned every eight hours over the next three days recreating the raw footage of the film.

After a brief re-edit, he moved his system again back to Burbank for the transfer.

The day before the festival, Craig was allowed to screen the film in Steven Spielberg's private screening room at the Amblin complex. The Fish was well received and was screened the next night to the entire Dreamworks staff in Universal's huge Hitchcock Theatre. Later it was requested to be screened in Park City Utah for the SlamDunk Film Festival that bridged Sundance and Slamdance.
Chat about Craig
Craig Lew
writer, author, animator, filmmaker
Craig Lew
writer, author, animator, filmmaker