Axis Studios SIGGRAPH 2018 Panel

A world-first panel on the past, present and future of video game cinematics

The client

Axis Studios is an impressive venture. Its 300 artists, technical directors, animators, innovators and more work across Axis Animation, axisVFX and Flaunt Productions in three locations – Glasgow, London and Bristol – sharing work and expertise on some of the world’s biggest and most impressive projects.

The studio’s output is a riot of colour and imagination, and its company culture varied and progressive. It’s truly one of the most exciting ventures operating out of the UK today.

Across its three facilities, Axis Studios produces VFX, animation and art for such projects as Channel 4 and Netflix’s Kiss Me First, Aardman Animation’s Early Man, SYFY’s Happy!, and an ever-growing list of AAA gaming projects like Halo, The Elder Scrolls and Warhammer 40k.

The brief

Axis Studios sought a major presence at SIGGRAPH 2018. The studio wished to use the event as an opportunity to discuss its expertise and promote its work in the video game animation sector.

Grammatik worked closely with the creative team at Axis to develop and pitch a concept based around the video game trailer and cinematic, and how the content created for this niche has started to evolve into a genre of its own. ‘The Past, Present and Future of the Videogame Cinematic’ was born.

The concept was ultimately selected by the SIGGRAPH jury to stand as one of the event’s most prestigious sessions: a SIGGRAPH Panel.

The strategy

Concepting and pitching the Panel

We collaborated with the senior creative team at Axis to define a topic that would give Axis the opportunity to shout about what it does best, while also appealing to the SIGGRAPH audience at large. Over multiple discussions we landed on The Past, Present and Future of the Video Game Cinematic: a concept that we then put through the rigorous submission process for the SIGGRAPH 2018 Panels.

Getting everybody on board

Although Axis wanted its voice to be heard, the studio was well aware that it was not the only creative force working in the area. Over multiple discussions we brought six other studios and game developers onto the panel: Blizzard Entertainment, BUNGiE, Riot Games, Digic Pictures, Blur Studios and Platige Image – making this the first time the creative teams had ever spoken together!

Finding the moderator

Once we had the topic of the Panel and our experts locked down, we needed to find a moderator who was knowledgeable in the video game sphere but could also direct a complex conversation between multiple respondents. We liaised with prominent video game personality and journalist Geoff Keighley, who ultimately became the moderator and presenter of the Panel.

Thinking through logistics

Grammatik's team took point on all logistics and planning. We worked to finalise timelines, suggest questions for the moderator, prepare imagery and video for a shared introductory showreel, and prep everything in the SIGGRAPH Speaker Preparation Room ahead of the event. We also ensured Axis was supplied with social media and content to make some noise about the exciting event.

The Results

A world-first panel

Geoff Keighley as moderator

High engagement on social

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