Illumina is the leader of genomic sequencing, pioneering technology to help solve humanity’s most complex problems. For their first ever brand film we wanted to avoid the traditional hype film so prevalent in the world of tech. Instead, we set out to capture the soul of the company and pursued deeper truths through fluid, animated visuals that lead the audience on a journey from dream to reality.

An Abstract Story

Author Arthur C. Clarke once said that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” To us, Illumina is that.

It was the beginning of summer. The LA days were long and hot. Then, like a breeze, a brief wafted through the door—a brief full of excellent writing, exciting gifs, and beautiful gradients — telling the story of a brand who wants nothing less than to change the world. Our collective eyebrows raise.

The Story of the Genome

We embarked on a journey to reimagine storytelling for this complex topic and to appeal to scientists and regular people alike. A story to inspire the next generation of researchers to focus on this life-saving field aiming to find a cure for any kind of cancer — the same field that brought us the COVID-19 vaccine in record time. Now we’re excited.

Genomes tell a story beneath the surface. Like screenplays, they hold the potential and possibilities to be captured. And, like a good script, they are a starting point. We needed to go deeper to express their ultimate potential.

The Bio-Tech Film Reinvented

To capture the soul of Illumina, we wanted to avoid the traditional hype film so prevalent in the world of tech. Instead, we pursued deeper truths through fluid animated visuals that lead the audience on a journey from dream to reality.

The Look & Feel

Inspired by a conversation between the analog and the digital—the human and the computer—we employed a mixed media approach that unites the elegant fluidity of keyframe animation and the luxe feel of CG, creating a unique, slightly tangible visual language inspired by cinematic illumination.

Our task was to craft visuals that are abstract in their form but not their meaning. They should entice and engage viewers through their fluid motion, wondrous transitions, and unexpected moments in a story that touches the heart.

The goal was not to decide on the “how” but to understand the “why.” Each shot was a puzzle to solve, leading to the biggest question: how do we connect it all? A small yet fierce team of designers and animators helped bring each of these aspects to life. Combining techniques in 2D, 2.5D and 3D design and animation, each shot was a world in and of itself.

Narrative & Flow

The spoken word and the visuals became a dance — where one supports and never overpowers the other. Word and image flow as one to underscore the complexities and benefits of genome sequencing.

Breaking our story into chapters echoing the sequencing process, we pulled viewers along a journey fueled by dynamic tension between the elegant and energetic, linked by fluid transitions both logical and magical.

It’s our hope that this film leaves the viewer with optimism.



Executive Producer

Kitty Dillard

Creative Director

Dan Marsh

Associate Creative Director

Liron Eldar-Ashkenazi


Mackenzie Alexander

Art Director

Kevin Heo

Lead 3D Animator

Taylor James

2D Animation Lead

Gilles Desmadrille


Tucker Klein


Freya Yeh

Gunnar Pettersson

Hannah Sun

Kevin Heo

Twisha Patni

Yukyung Lee

Zack Williams

3D Animation

Auron Luxe

Emiko Inskeep

Hannah Sun

Hernan Lindenbaum

Rifat Muharram

2D Animation

Fabien Rousseau

Hannah Sun

Jordan Scott

Po-Chen Chia


Billy Kostka

Assistant Editor

Oliver Lin


Executive Design Director

Justin Walsh

Executive Creative Director

Asan Aslam

Creative Director

Matthew Jacob McFerrin

Patrick Glorieux

Executive Producer

Benton Roman

Live Action

Line Producer

Rebecca Maar

Director of Photography

Mihai Malaimare

Production Supervisor

Cheryl Guzmán


Dan Marsh

1st AD

Mike Alberts

Head of Production

Trish Rigby


Music Studio



Phil Kay

Audio Mix

Barking Owl



Michael Dwass