Indie-rock band the Academic hosts live animation performances on Google Slides

(A frame the Academic Google Slide video)

Popular Irish Indie-Rock band the Academic and our friends at BBDO New York—the same ensemble behind 2017’s acclaimed Live Looper—have just pulled off one of the most innovative musical events to help launch the band’s latest EP. 

On July 15th, the Academic hosted the world’s first live animation music video via Google Slides, creating an interactive audio and visual experience for fans. Three exclusive performances featured the new single, Not Your Summer.

Today, to share the experience further, The Academic have just launched a music video (an edited screen capture of the live performance), and a brand new behind-the-scenes video. Watch below:

Created by BBDO New YorkCapitol Records, and Open The Portal animation studio, the musical experience was built out in real-time with a team of animators and all four band members themselves collaborating behind the scenes to create and delete slides every second. The resulting animation tells a visual story loosely based on the song’s lyrics about the isolation and internal conflict experienced by many last year. Take a look at the BTS video:

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By using Google Slides, The Academic, who’ve been unable to perform live in front of audiences throughout the pandemic, were still able to provide a unique live experience for fans to help launch their latest EP. The band members even interacted with guests in real-time by typing in the slides during the 15-minute pre-show.

“One of the things we’ve missed most throughout this pandemic has been interacting with our fans and creating unforgettable moments for them through music. We were thrilled to collaborate with BBDO and Open The Portal to create this totally new, virtual musical experience in Google Slides. Not only was it a clever way to say ‘hi’ to our fans, but we live for finding these new techy ways to make our music stand out from the rest,” said Craig Fitzgerald, lead singer, The Academic.

“The strong, universal feeling of ‘I need to get away from me,’ is one that transcends this moment in time. We used that emotion of not feeling happy with, and needing a break from, yourself as a thread throughout the experience. The main character literally breaks away from his own alter ego, resulting in an exciting chase across different pages in Google Slides, while featuring the platform’s many capabilities in creative ways,” said Bart Mol, SVP, Senior Creative Director, and Live Animator, BBDO NY. 

The effort is an evolutionary follow-up to BBDO NY & The Academic’s 2017 ‘Live Looper.” The equally innovative live musical performance was hosted on Facebook Live, turning the platform into a global stage, and ultimately winning top industry accolades including Gold at Cannes Lions, D&AD, One Show, and Webby’s, among others.


BAND: The Academic

  • Craig Fitzgerald                     Lead Vocals, Guitar
  • Matthew Murtagh                  Guitar
  • Stephen Murtagh                   Bass
  • Dean Gavin                             Drums
  • Carl Brogan                             Band Manager

RECORD LABEL: Capitol Records

  • Tom Paul                                General Manager
  • Alia Aldeghather                    Product Manager

ANIMATION: Open The Portal

  • Trever Stewart                       Co-Director, Technical Director, Live Animator
  • David Braun                           Animation Director
  • Barrett Slagle                         Executive Producer
  • Xenia Balashov                      1st AD, Art Director


  • David Lubars                         Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide
  • Bart Mol                                 SVP, Senior Creative Director, Live Animator
  • Pol Hoenderboom                 SVP, Creative Director
  • Mike Woodall                         Co-Director, Senior Producer, Live Animator
  • Andrew Osborne                   Head of Content Operations
  • James Young                         Head of Digital Operations
  • Alex Gianni                             EVP, Director of Content Production
  • Chava Quinn                          Producer
  • Benner Rawley                      Copywriter
  • Maya Iwata                             Art Director
  • Phillip Savage                        Livestream Tech Director
  • Jimmy McGee                       Quality Assurance 


  • Jonathan Hsu                        Supervising Producer
  • Allie Kolb                                Senior Post Producer
  • Morgan Ammons                  Live Animator
  • Alex Mirza                              Live Animator
  • Kevin Bostic                           Live Animator
  • Jason Kim                               Live Animator, Editor
  • Alex Lubars                            Editor

STREAM: Bowstring Studios

Sean Quinn                             Managing Producer for Live Stream Equipment Manager

BTS Video


  • Mike Woodall                         Director
  • Jonathan Hsu                          Supervising Producer
  • Allie Kolb                                 Senior Post Producer
  • Jason Kim                                Editor