Gabe Askew’s Ten By Ten Q&A:

A few storyboard images and sketches from Gabe Askew.

What was your process like for coming up with the concept for the video?
With all my work I start with a definite theme, something I can describe in a few sentences. In this case the theme was about taking responsibility over my life when things go wrong. And how, like it or not, a large amount of my life revolves around money. I then built visual metaphors around that theme without worrying about how the message became obscured. I try to find a balance of recognizable and opaque symbolism. And the narrative is really only a way of loosely connecting those symbols together. A lot of this development happens in drawing the storyboards with about half of those boards being pulled out.

How long did this piece take you to make?
I’ve been slowly working on it for about six months between paying work. Though I worked on it with the band they had no funding for the piece.

What was the most challenging thing about making it?
Character animation! I suck at character animation, but I didn’t want to run away from it. I wanted to do a character driven piece and so I tackled it. I hope it’s passable.

And of course the shear immensity of a five and half minute long piece with 70 shots was a bit of a challenge.

This piece has a very different feel from the Two Weeks video. While both were made with 3D, the Two Weeks video appeared to be stop-motion and this one is much slicker and harder-edged… Why did you choose to work in a different style?
The Two Weeks video focused on some very personal feelings that I think worked best presented in a shoe-box diorama style. As if looking into someone’s box of memorabilia. The Ten by Ten video needed to have a style that was not as grounded in reality because of the journey the character went on. And beyond that, I get motivated by trying new things and experimentation rather than perfecting a single style.

You’ve recently signed up with Hornet, Inc. – can you talk briefly about your career so far, what your plans or goals are?
Last year was a crash course in commercial production and representation for me. And I’m still figuring it out. But I’m most of the way through my first couple of spots and loving it. Collaborating with other artists and the back and forth with clients is exhilarating. And at every chance I get I slip in a ridiculous looking farm animal.

What’s coming up for you? Anything exciting?
Aside from professional work I’ve already got more personal work cooking. Shorter and sweeter I hope, but these things tend to grow.

Directed and animated by Gabe Askew
Record Label: Lujo Records
Additional modeling, shading, and rigging by Austin Hernandez and James Atilano.

Bluebrain is Ryan Holladay and Hays Holladay.