The Brief

BBC Sport came to us to create a 2D animation to be used as part of a video short for LGBTQ History Month. The animation was to feature Carl Nassib’s coming out story as the first openly gay NFL player on an active roster. The video was to convey the brave and inspiring message of being true to who you are and was aimed at young adults in search of personal role models. The video was to be interspersed with real life footage of Carl Nassib as he powerfully explains why he decided to come out on social media to his fans. The goal was to raise awareness within the LGBTQ+ community and empower young audiences who may be struggling with their sexual identity. 

Our Response

Working closely with BBC Sport, we created a compelling animation that highlighted the sports star’s coming out story along with developing a narrative that would instantly connect with young adults.

For this project we focused on emotive visual storytelling and character animation to bring the brief to life. The animation features vivid parallax effects, sharp edges, bold colours, and animated lightning, creating a visually appealing experience and impactful short video. 

Overall the BBC animation successfully celebrates embracing one’s true identity. Empowering younger individuals to be themselves with the ultimate goal of promoting a more inclusive society for everyone.


Delivered on time and within budget 

A celebration of LGBTQ History Month

An inspiring and powerful message for young fans 

Style exploration

When creating the characters for the video, one of the most important aspects was getting the likeness of Carl Nassib just right. Figuring out how best to depict Carl was an interesting process and once that went through a couple of iterations before deciding on the final character animation. We worked from photos of the sports star as well as NFL footage to create an animation that accurately resembled him. 

BBC Sport were fans of our previous sports animation project for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and wanted the video to take on a similar style. We crafted sharp and angular vectorized characters, drawing inspiration from high-end editorial magazine illustrations for the overall character design and visual style. The project had a short turnaround time and the process moved quickly from storyboard to animation with a simplistic style. Our aim was to create a video that was both minimalistic yet impactful.

lighting effects

The lighting added the perfect finishing touch to the project giving the video more dimension and movement. We added lens flare lighting effects to create the camera flashes adding a more dynamic feel and visual depth to the story. 

The video ends with the young teen character alone on his phone watching a video of Carl Nassib publicly announcing he is gay.  We felt this was the perfect ending to the video short conveying the immense impact Carl Nassib’s decision has had for young people around the world. 

This was a project that was very near and dear to our hearts and one we could thoroughly get our teeth stuck into. With the NFL being the most popular sport in North America and surging in support in the UK, it was also a wonderful experience for us to craft a project that would have global impact and visibility. 

Ultimately, we are extremely proud to have been a part of this project and creating an inspiring message for young adults as part of LGBTQ History Month. 

Streaming now on BBC Sport 

Want an animation video that packs a powerful punch for your next project? Then get in touch.

What our client Said

“Producing our first ever animated video was a scary proposition and uncharted territory for us as an agency. Working with The Animation Guys they put us at ease, listened to our ideas and made the process come to life. They’re genuinely decent, honest and hard-working people that ultimately produce first-class animation videos. We couldn’t be happier with our final product and no doubt will return to them for a follow up video at some point! Fully recommend.”

Beth Hellowell

Managing Partner @ Signify Digital

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