The animation studio Panic has created a workplace safety short film for employees of the streaming platform Netflix. The studio managed to bring the serious topic to life in a humorous and entertaining animation that clearly conveys the message and creates positive emotions, offering a fresh perspective on the instructional video.
Workplace safety is a topic that is important in any company, and Panic’s task was to create an informational video that every Netflix employee, whether they work in Los Angeles, Brazil, or South Korea, would watch to the end without scrolling. This encouraged the animation studio to approach the task creatively, creating witty episodes and unusual characters who tell what to do in different emergency situations.
The animated characters have been drawn in simple and geometric shapes, and this abstract visual language has made it possible to depict the diverse family of Netflix employees without getting stuck in stereotypes. The main messages of the video are highlighted with a thoughtful design of the text, which is integrated into the animation, becoming an essential part of it. The bright colors used in the video help to attract attention and also create a positive mood.
Netflix’s safety department at the company’s headquarters in Los Angeles approached the US representatives of Panic when the project was still only at the idea level. The streaming platform was convinced to form a joint cooperation by the unexpected ideas of Panic on how to portray such a serious topic in an exciting way. «Developing the animation was easy and challenging at the same time. Easy — because the client trusted us completely. Challenging — because we set the goal to surpass ourselves, entering a territory that we had not fully mastered before,» says Gints Gūtmanis, the artistic director of Panic. «This cooperation proves that our competence is quite competitive in the international market,» says Edijs Vucēns, creative director of the project. «It’s very healthy to «measure» how we look globally,» Edijs continues.
Panic reveals that there were quite a few challenges in the process of making the short film. For example, it was important to maintain a consistent visual and animation style, which is not easy when you have around thirty people working on the project. Adapting the video to different cultures, or localising it, was also a difficult task. The producers of Panic had the opportunity to see how the localisation of films and series is done at Netflix and to work with their localisation and dubbing teams. In the process, it was important to create a system where the texts and the lengths of each episode would be consistent, as well as to make sure that the texts sound good.
Elīna Alaine, the customer service manager of Panic, says that the organisation culture of Netflix, where everyone has their own voice, was present in the cooperation. «Respectful, inclusive communication that promotes the development and use of the potential of each team member. We worked together as one team,» comments Elīna. «Such a relationship dynamic motivates not to stop, to try out new techniques and ultimately to reach higher standards of design, animation and collaboration. The secret ingredient in the work process is good humour.»
More information about the project — on the Panic website.