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Meet Pierce Gabriel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Pierce Gabriel.

Pierce, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
At the age of 12, I decided I would work in film. I was a certified Final Cut Professional at 13 and left school to pursue a full-time career at 16.

By 18, I moved to LA with nothing but $1500 and an eight years old VW Jetta. At the time, this felt like enough to make me invincible; it took until my 13th parking ticket for the first twinge of fear and realization of how fragile my position in life was. I worked at Madame Tussauds for three months before landing my first editing job. By the end of the first week, this ‘editing’ job was revealed to be an animation job. YouTube tutorials whilst my co-workers were not looking gave me the education I needed to keep the job and turned into a successful animation career.

Despite significant career progression in LA, the reality of being underage in a workforce a decade older than me resulted in isolation. I decided to move to London, where I studied fashion communication at the prestigious Central Saint Martins – for the soul purpose of receiving a UK visa. To make ends meet while living with the strict student work visa requirements, I decided to start directing music videos. I received commission after commission of ultra low rate videos, which I would also hand in as coursework.

After visa complications, I‌ returned to LA for a three month waiting period for my next UK‌ visa. During this time, I‌ worked as an editor and VFX artist for YouTube Rewind 2016. The confidence of creating work for billions of viewers at the age of 20 indirectly lead to a hobby as a tattoo artist. I began a period of odd international yearly migration – I‌ would spend three months a year in Los Angeles, work on high budget commercial banded content, and return to nine months in London for unadulterated creative freedom. Creating a body of portrait photography, tattoo clients, and experimental installation film kept me creatively stimulated, while the commercial work in LA kept me financially and professionally afloat.

Eventually, this lopsided work/life relationship took its toll, and I sought ways to unify my creative passion and professional opportunity. I began to expand my directing portfolio working on fashion and commercial commissions in addition to my more experimental music video world. Although currently directing is incredibly stimulating – If my scattered and ever-evolving creative career is any indication of what’s to come, I‌ have no doubt I‌ will eventually move to a new creative passion.

I’ve always said I‌ don’t believe in five years plan; even if I‌ don’t know what I’ll be doing five years from now, I‌ know it will be different and new – so maybe the idea of the unknown is my true five years plan.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Having moved internationally on average once a year my entire adult life is riddled with both pros and cons. It has given me a unique creative path and offered wide insights into cultures, communication, and aesthetics that are unparalleled. A complete lack of professional and emotional base offers both isolation and freedom – which really are different sides of the same coin. This lack of base is what draws me to Los Angeles – a city so transient that someone who spends less than half a year in town, can maintain a strong social network and feel accepted as a local.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I would rather make something bad than something boring. This no-nonsense outlook on creativity leads me to charge headfirst into the unknown, utilizing any technology to achieve my goals. I would say my technology agnostic approach to human expression sets me apart. I’ve created interactive stage shows, virtual reality music videos, and social media campaigns for hair care companies. While my body of work seams completely unrelated, each project utilizes extensive post-production to achieve ‘super-real’ qualities.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
My ability to have quality contestation with anyone. From client execs to gaffers, ultimately everyone just wants to feel understood.

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