Take 10 Challenge: Imagination

By Terri Stone

Although Günther Gheeraert is a veteran filmmaker, he experienced some firsts while working on the Take 10 challenge. “When Adobe chose me for this project, I was very interested because it was the first time that I worked with stock video,” he says. And it wasn’t just one Adobe Stock video—he had to use ten, and they had to express his interpretation of the concept “imagination.”

Another first for this Paris-based film director was the soundtrack. “Music is very important in my visual works,” says Gheeraert. “It’s the music that gives the mood of the film and it’s the basis on which I start to put images. So usually, I work with musicians in pre-production, before having any image of the film.” But to add to the challenge, we surprised Gheeraert with a track from Butterscotch, a musician who mixes beatboxing, singing, and instruments in her work. She wrote the original lyrics in addition to composing and performing the track. “When I heard the final music,” he says, “I was really happy because it wasn’t like my usual music themes. It is good for experimentation!”

“I had to completely reinvent my workflow for this project,” he explains. “At the beginning it was very hard. I was in my way of thinking as a film director, choosing rushes to make a story. But I quickly understood that wouldn’t work. I thought that the best way would be to create an abstract film. I mixed all the assets to find a look and began to create shapes and mechanisms of animation. All the video was created little by little with experimentations. It was pleasant because it was very different from my usual process. In the end I found a simple, graphic style with a principle of animation around infinite loops.” 

Click to see Günther Gheeraert’s original video made from Adobe Stock assets with soundtrack by Butterscotch.

Gheeraert designed the loops in Adobe After Effects CC with simple layers and masks. “All the assets are linked with these animations with alpha matte. The challenge was to order, mix, and modify the assets to create a cool style.”

He punctuated the looping graphics with text that highlight key words in Butterscotch’s lyrics. “I worked on a very simple technique of animation,” he says. “I created a path for a entire word in Illustrator, then I imported it into After Effects.”

In the end, Gheeraert’s response to the “imagination” theme of the challenge was inventive and inspiring. What will you make with the video and audio assets? Visit the contest page to download them. Gheeraert will review contest entries and choose 10 winners.