Syneos Health – Akebia Therapeutics

A collaboration with the Syneos Health team gave us the opportunity to turn a pharma ad into a cinematic experience.
We were thrilled to visualize the science behind some impressive anemia research. Matching the tenacity and detail found in the Akebia and Syneos teams inspired a creative treatment that involved an elegant tone of music and movement. We paired this dance movement with a dynamic color palette and lighting changes to humanize the choreography of cell pods.To further infuse the piece with humanity and texture, we fully embraced the performing arts motif by filming in the historic Detroit Music Hall Theater. This location paired with camera movement and choreography helped express the science behind the new medication.
Elegant. Dynamic. Easy to understand. We created a film that is both informative and interesting.
Project Name
Akebia Therapeutics
Project Year
Story Development
Creative Development
Video Production
Post Production
Custom Music
Talent Management
Partnering with the Serif team was an extremely positive experience. Their energy and enthusiasm for our request was apparent from the first meeting. I appreciated that they’re strategically focused, but never lost sight of telling an engaging story. They more than delivered on the goal to make an emotional connection with our audience — through the story and the stunning cinematic footage.
Harvey Austin
Senior Producer
Movement shot on 35mm Film
We created visual intrigue with complex dance and camera movement. This helped us build dynamic character pods that represented different cell groupings. We also manipulated lighting and color through wireless syncing with the soundtrack to showcase transitions and inflection points in the story. To pair the texture of the theater with a truly unique look, we leveraged 35mm film to capture key transition scenes throughout the edit.

The result of all these visual cues helped us craft a sub-narrative and visual intrigue that fascinate and inform through visual beauty.
This project reminded me of why I got into creative services – it combined all forms of art. Cinema, performance, color theory, sculptural art and music! It touched on all the senses, while working to fascinate health professionals on the science of this new medication.
Doug Joseph
CEO & Founder of Serif
Director’s Treatment
Having a fleshed out treatment allowed us to previsualize the concepts and execution so everyone from the client to the dancers could understand the end goal. Having drawn on a wide body of works, we were able to draw inspiration from film, dance, and contemporary industrial and fashion design. This treatment gave every person who contributed to the project a benchmark to base their work on.
Safety and Greatness

Having such a dynamic creative vision was made infinitely more complex with the dangers of Covid-19. A true testament to tenacity was our dancers commitment to their art and their patience working through new protocols, Covid testing, and understudy contingencies.

The dancers and the crew truly made this creative film great. Our producers and client partners were equally graceful as we navigated new terrain to keep everyone safe. In addition to the creative results, the way we met these new challenges head on to move heaven and earth for the client is something we will always be proud of.

Full-Stack Production in a Historic Detroit Theater
Produced in the Midwest with an international cast, and crew from NYC and LA. We had a composer from Italy, a voiceover artist from New Zealand, and dancers from all over the world. This synthesis of cultures and viewpoints helped create a multidimensional production that rivals the quality of coastal media hubs. From pre-production through post, Serif showed that agencies in the heart of America are a force to be reckoned with.
Organizing and executing such a complex and visually beautiful film, while keeping everyone safe amidst a global pandemic, makes this project a truly remarkable endeavor.
Christina El-Haddad
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