GitHub: What is GitHub?


Through a blend of styles, some comedic charm, and the aid of a rubber duck, we set out to help the world’s biggest software development company, GitHub, unleash their raison d’être to the masses. The result was this explainer film that remains true to the brand’s quirky wit and famously fun roots, flexing virtually every one of BUCK’s muscles along the way.

A Story for the Wizards of Code

GitHub is a company loved and used by millions of developers worldwide. Their tendrils of code spread to every corner of the earth (even to Mars!) and impact practically every aspect of technology that we interact with.

There are GitHub stories everywhere and they wanted to put a fresh spin on them for a new, broader audience of potential clients while still retaining their core followers.

Updating their explanatory ‘What is GitHub?’ video to celebrate the brand and set the stage for future ambitions was the first step in that process. Sending that story into the creative stratosphere was the next.

Rubber Ducky

Geeky Powerhouse

Codifying the Strategy

Strategy was the bedrock of this film, and in that phase we were aiming to define what the final product would be: Is this an explanation of the new features or a celebration of their achievements? Could it be both? Is a film the best way to communicate their story?

We threw all of these questions at the client, talking to key stakeholders, partners, developers, and even GitHub’s own creative team to create a solid base of understanding from which to work from.

This close sense of collaboration, which even included external creative writers working with our creative team, led us to explore and define our territory.

It challenged us to think beyond our notion of traditional storytelling and to look in unexpected places, ranging from developer meme culture to classic novel structures, to children’s series’, and beyond.

Rub a Dub GitHub

GitHub means many things to many people, but instead of highlighting just one particular thing, we wanted to include EVERYTHING.

We needed a sturdy raconteur, and we made GitHub’s brand persona, the ‘Geeky Powerhouse,’ our main spokesperson, personified by British comedian Phil Wang. Phil’s nerdy but cool, smart but self-deprecating character embodies GitHub’s essence.

But he needed a co-pilot, an additional character that he could tell the story to, so that the audience could more closely identify with the narrative. Enter: A Rubber Ducky.

This was no garden variety rubber duck, though. This was a custom-made and designed, 3D-printed duck that we spared no expense on. Yes, we were scrupulous with the details. And yes, it was yellow and rubbery. But oh so premium.

So, why the Rubber Duck? The symbolic choice stems from the world of developers, where ‘Rubber Duck Debugging’ is the act of explaining your code to a rubber duck on your desk to check on any flaws in your code. This thematic device became our conduit to make the developer community, GitHub’s core fanbase, part of our story, and added an extra splash of fun (and surrealism) to the journey.

The dialogue between our Geeky Powerhouse and the Rubber Duck helped push our process along threefold: 1) We could explain difficult technical details conversationally, 2) We could wax lyrical about big ambitions and achievements and 3) The cherry on top, it gave the audience an instantly memorable character.

Beautiful, Organized Chaos

The film was broken up into four main chapters that each touched on a different aspect of GitHub: A short, technical ‘How To,’ a celebration of some projects and their developers, the brand's societal and cultural relevance, and its future ambitions. To create boundaries between each section we decided on a mixed-media approach and applied a distinct stylistic choice to each story beat.

With our two heroes we travel from the concrete world of live-action (which we handled in tandem with production company The Panics), through to a steady and impressive array of 2D, 3D, and cel animated environments.

Each beat could ostensibly breathe and live on its own, but they coalesced to form a collective story with multiple, unique, artistic parts. And the recipe would not have been whole without the signature sound and musical touch of our very best friends at Antfood.

Giddy with GitHub

From start to finish, we worked as GitHub’s strategic partners, helping them to define the ask, the goal, and the final product.

There was a creative camaraderie that sparked exceptional collaboration, and immediately built trust that helped us push past necessary hurdles (the Rubber Duck as a hero didn’t exactly float their boat initially.)

We stuck to our guns and trusted our approach, and the film’s epic illustration of how one company supports hundreds of millions of mini teams ultimately reflected our own process on what turned out to be one of our personal favorites of the year.



Executive Creative Director

Vincent Lammers

Executive Producer

Chance Woodward

Creative Director

Richard Gray

Associate Creative Director

Jen Zheng


Carolina Brandão

Production Coordinator

Bénédicte Gold-Dalg

3D Supervisor

João Rema

Art Director

Fabrizio Lenci

Animation Director

Daniel Rodrigues

Brand Strategist

Tina Surelia

Cel Animation Lead

Tucker Klein

3D Sequence Leads

Beatrice Viguier

Manon Sailly

2D Animation Lead

Dries Van Broeck

Jardeson Rocha


Gregg Clamper

Jen Zheng

Richard Gray

Ward Graumans

Additional Writing

Asli Zeren


Christo Silveira

Jen Zheng

Juan Behrens

Nanda van Dijk

Otilija Morozaitė

Santiago Gonzalez


Adolfo Correa

Bernd Bousard

Colin Bigelow

Daniel Amdemichael

Estefan Richter

Ester Rossi

Gabriel Silveira

Glen Miralles

Joao Lavieri

Léa Zhang

Melissa Ya

Mijke Coebergh

Rasmus Stenberg

Rémi Borowczyk

Sandro Rybak

Scarlett Starling

Tessa Chong

Yana Abramova

Yujia Cao

Concept Art

Christo Silveira

Vanessa Cheung

3D Animation

Ida Zhu

Jonas Nunes

Joshua Delaney

Katherine Guggenberger

Yat Fung Leung

Rigging Supervisor

Ernesto Ruiz Velasco


Fabio Wasques

Filipe Machado


Anton Tokar

Jonas Nunes

Yat Fung Leung


Juan Carlos Barraza Mendoza


Juan Carlos Barraza Mendoza


Beatrice Viguier

Charlotte Vallet

Manon Sailly

Sam Smith

3D Artists

Beatrice Viguier

Charlotte Vallet

Jonas Nunes

Kat Smith

Manon Sailly

Ruxin Liang

Sonal Jadhav

2D Animation/After Effects

Ameed Shahid

Andrés Cuevas

Dries Van Broeck

Eliott King

Erik Righetti

Greta Sennekamp

Jardeson Rocha

Laurentiu Lunic

Otilija Morozaitė

Philip von Borries

Robin Desnoue

Simon Schu

Yat Fung Leung

Cel Animation

Daiqi Cui

Matty Deans

Ruoyu Wen

Santiago Gonzalez

Shelby Chan

Tinghe Yang

Tucker Klein

Yinan Liang

FX Artists

Hogan Williams


Daniel Rodrigues

Greta Sennekamp

Jardeson Rocha

Otilija Morozaitė

Santiago Gonzalez

3D Producer

Jamey Kitchens

Resource Coordinator

Dawn Lonowski

Noemi Pal

Sarah Pinhancos

Associate Resource Manager

Mayele Yebo

Associate Resource Manager

Iasha Chapman

Live Action

Line Producer

The Panics

Director of Photography

Job Kraaijveld


Franziska Loeding

Live Action Director

Joe Roberts


Music Studio



Editorial Studio

The Panics


Benjamin Putland


Andrey Golubyev


Color Studio



Barry Clarke