Interview with Jeremy Lee CEO of Rawr Pictures | Malaysia

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Jeremy Lee

Jeremy Lee is the CEO and Creative Director of Rawr Pictures from Malaysia, spanning a long and successful career of over 19 years. Specializing in quality animation and visual effects supervision, he has brought to life countless animated advertisements for an illustrious clientele that includes international and local brands such as LEGO, Mister Potato, Hotlink, and Nestle.

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your creative background.

I am Jeremy Lee, CEO and Creative Director of Rawr Pictures in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. With over 19 years in the animation industry, I specialize in creating vibrant and impactful animations and visual effects. My journey began with a Diploma in 3D Animation from Dasein Academy of Art, leading to various roles that shaped my expertise in film direction, visual storytelling, and creative leadership.

Throughout my career, I've been driven by a passion to empower lives through engaging content. I strive to entertain, inspire, and connect audiences worldwide.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a creative?
My choice to pursue a creative career was driven by an intrinsic love for storytelling and the magic of animation. The ability to bring characters to life and craft worlds that evoke emotions and provoke thought is profoundly fulfilling. This path allows me to explore endless possibilities, where each project is a canvas for innovation and expression. Ultimately, it's about connecting with people's hearts and minds through the universal language of visuals.
3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

Rawr Pictures is an award-winning animation studio renowned for its dynamic 2D and 3D animations. As Founder, CEO, and Creative Director, I lead a talented team and oversee both creative and operational aspects of the studio.

We specialize in crafting animations and visual effects for TV, film, and online media, tailoring each project to meet our clients' unique needs. Our work stands out for compelling storytelling, technical excellence, and innovative visual design, all designed to captivate and inspire our audience.

4What does “creativity” mean to you?
Creativity is the soul's ability to see beyond the visible, transforming the mundane into something extraordinary. In my profession, it's about problem-solving, innovation, and imagining stories that haven't been told in ways that haven't been seen. Creativity in animation involves harmonizing art and technology to tell stories that resonate on a deeply human level.
5To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?
A creative idea or design stands out for its originality, relevance, and impact. It should challenge the status quo, push boundaries, and provoke thought or emotion. In animation, a creative design is not only visually appealing but also purposeful, enhancing the narrative and engaging the viewer in a meaningful way, making a lasting impression on the audience.
6Tell us about your creative and/or design process.
Our creative process at Rawr Pictures starts with understanding the core message and audience. We brainstorm and sketch initial concepts, then refine these into detailed storyboards and visuals. Collaboration is key, involving feedback from different departments to further refine the concept. Technology then brings our visions to life, ensuring that every frame is crafted to perfection. This iterative process ensures that our final product not only meets but exceeds the expectations of our audiences.
7What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?
My favorite part is the concept development phase. It's a phase full of possibilities, where ideas bloom and creative synergy among team members is palpable. This phase is transformative, as it sets the direction and tone of the project, and there's a real thrill in seeing a simple concept evolve into a tangible, moving story that will eventually reach and impact audiences around the world.
8Describe your creative style and its main characteristics.
My creative style is defined by vivid storytelling combined with rich, detailed animations. It features dynamic visual narratives that are both emotionally engaging and visually stunning, often infused with cultural nuances that resonate on a universal scale. Creativity in storytelling and character design is a key element of my style. I focus on crafting unique characters whose distinctive characteristics captivate audiences, offering surprises, entertainment, and heartfelt moments. My goal is to create an enjoyable experience that not only touches hearts but also leaves a lasting impression on viewers.
9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your creativity process?

Absolutely! Malaysia's rich cultural heritage, especially its multi-ethnic society, profoundly influences my creative process. Our country is a vibrant tapestry of multiple ethnicities, each with its distinctive traditions, stories, and artistic expressions, providing an inexhaustible source of inspiration. This diverse cultural landscape not only influences the narratives we craft but also enriches the visual styles and thematic elements of our animations.

By incorporating these multifaceted cultural and racial elements, we introduce a broader range of character designs and narrative depth that allows us to celebrate and share Malaysia's unique heritage with a global audience. Through our work, viewers around the world can experience the rich diversity and harmony that define Malaysia.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2024 MUSE Creative Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
Thank you! Winning the MUSE Creative Awards 2024 is an extraordinary honor and milestone for Rawr Pictures and our dedicated team. This recognition is a powerful testament to the quality of our studio's work and our commitment to excellence and innovation in animation. It affirms that our efforts to push creative boundaries and deliver compelling visual stories not only achieve their intended impact but are also celebrated on an international stage. This accolade enriches our portfolio, enhancing our credibility with existing and future clients by showcasing our studio's capacity for innovative ideas and high-quality production. It fuels our passion and inspires us to continue to create groundbreaking work that resonates globally, inspiring us to uphold and exceed the high standards we set for ourselves in the creative industry.
11How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

Winning the MUSE Creative Awards has been a pivotal development for both my career and our studio at large. This recognition has significantly enhanced our studio's visibility, elevating our profile within the international creative community. It has opened doors to numerous international collaborations, allowing us to engage with a broader network of creative minds and industries.

Furthermore, this accolade has attracted a diverse pool of talented individuals who are keen to contribute to our projects, enriching our team with fresh perspectives and new ideas. The award has also instilled greater confidence in our clients, affirming the quality and reliability of our work. Overall, the recognition has not just validated our past efforts but has spurred us on to pursue even more ambitious projects and creative explorations.

12What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?

Malaysia's unique position in the creative industry is profoundly influenced by its identity as a melting pot of cultures. This rich tapestry of ethnicities and traditions not only fosters a vibrant and diverse creative scene but also provides a boundless reservoir of stories, myths, and artistic perspectives. This diversity is our greatest asset, infusing our creative outputs with depth and variety that resonate on a global scale.

It allows us to approach projects with a unique blend of cultural richness that is distinctly Malaysian, yet universally appealing. Our ability to draw from a myriad of cultural influences and interpret them through animation and storytelling enriches the global creative landscape, setting Malaysia apart as a hub where traditional narratives meet contemporary creativity.

13Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?

In the next 5-10 years, the creative industry is poised to undergo a significant transformation, heavily influenced by the integration of cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and emerging platforms such as the Metaverse and Web3.0. These innovations will revolutionize the way we create and interact with content, enabling more immersive and interactive experiences that extend beyond traditional media boundaries. The Metaverse, in particular, will offer a new digital frontier where creative content can live in a fully immersive, 3D virtual space, providing unprecedented opportunities for creators to engage with audiences in real-time, interactive environments.

Furthermore, the adoption of Web 3.0 technologies will enhance how we manage, distribute, and monetize creative work, enabling more direct and equitable interactions between creators and consumers. This shift will not only expand the creative possibilities but also democratize access to these experiences, fostering a more inclusive ecosystem.

Alongside technological advancements, the global narrative within the creative industry will increasingly focus on inclusivity, representing diverse voices and stories from various cultures and backgrounds. This commitment to diversity will enrich the content landscape, making it more reflective of the global audience it serves. By embracing these technological and cultural shifts, the creative industry will continue to innovate and influence, driving forward a new era of digital and narrative evolution.

14If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Creative Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?
If you are a student entering this industry or aspiring to submit to the MUSE Creative Awards, my advice would be to embrace a mindset of continuous exploration and learning. The creative field is dynamic and ever-evolving, so nurturing your curiosity and a lifelong learning attitude is crucial. Dive deeply into the traditions and techniques of your craft, as understanding these foundations is essential. However, equally important is your willingness to challenge and disrupt these norms to foster innovation, don't hesitate to push the boundaries of what is possible and what is not.
15What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?

To enhance your skills in the creative industry, I recommend diving into online courses that cover a range of topics from basic techniques to advanced concepts in design and animation. Engage in workshops to gain hands-on experience and valuable feedback. Also, actively participate in creative communities for peer insights and support. Broaden your perspective by exploring diverse media and art forms, which can enrich your creativity and inspire new ideas.

Lastly, stay informed about emerging technologies like VR, AR, and developments in areas like the Metaverse, which can provide you with a competitive edge. This blend of structured learning, practical experience, and continuous exposure to new technologies and artistic expressions will prepare you to excel in the creative field.

16 Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

In the early days of my career, I faced significant doubts about my chosen path. There was a time when the uncertainty was so overwhelming that I seriously considered changing careers altogether. This period of indecision taught me the importance of resilience and the value of not giving up easily. Choosing to persevere in the field of animation, driven by a deep-seated passion for storytelling and visual creativity, was a pivotal decision.

I am incredibly grateful that I followed my heart and stayed the course. Embracing my true passion not only led to a fulfilling and exciting career but also taught me the power of persistence. It has shown me that facing challenges head-on, with determination and resolve, can lead to profound personal and professional rewards. This journey has affirmed the importance of never giving up on your dreams, no matter the obstacles.

17What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

My key to success lies in a relentless pursuit of excellence, a steadfast belief in the power of storytelling, and a commitment to thinking creatively and innovatively. Daring to think differently from others is at the heart of our approach. Additionally, I adhere to the core values of Ambition, Innovation, Diligence, and Integrity. These principles have not only guided me but have also shaped the ethos of our studio.

In every project, we strive for authenticity and aim to create narratives that truly resonate with audiences. This mindset involves continually pushing the boundaries of creativity and technology to bring new, impactful stories to life.

Parting words of wisdom? Never shy away from challenges.

18Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?
I would like to express my profound gratitude to the team members at Rawr Pictures who were directly involved in the making of The Muralz: Year of The Flying Dragon video. Their dedication and hard work made it possible for us to win the 2024 MUSE Creative Awards.

Winning Entry

The Muralz: Year of The Flying Dragon | MUSE Design Awards

‘The Muralz - Year of The Flying Dragon’ is a heartfelt 7-and-a-half-minute 2024 Chinese New Year video presented by Rawr Pictures, from Malaysia, in association with PETACE & Penang Global Tourism... (read more here.)

The Muralz: Year of The Flying Dragon | MUSE Creative Awards

Jeremy Lee

Jeremy Lee is the CEO and Creative Director of Rawr Pictures from Malaysia, spanning a long and successful career of over 19 years. Specializing in quality animation and visual effects supervision, he has brought to life countless animated advertisements for an illustrious clientele that includes international and local brands such as LEGO, Mister Potato, Hotlink, and Nestle.

Read more about the interview with Boxuan Lin of Warm Corner Design here.