Written by co-founder Martine Stephen, in the first person.

XTATX Studio was born out of Ellwood-Leo and my complimentary skills.

Driven by purpose, my creative mind met with Ellwood-Leo’s boundless artistry.

Being a self-taught photographer, filmmaker and visual designer, I have a natural sense of how things should or could look. My eye allows for visually pleasing aesthetics. I also have a strong penchant for the world of impact. Working in this field over the years, I have developed a knack for communicating it. I have the strategy, the ideas and the vision for impact focused projects.

Ellwood-Leo comes from a highly artistic background. Having studied fine arts, music, audio production and graphic design, he has the concrete tools to add value and finesse to the projects on which we collaborate.

As we spent more and more time together, opportunities arose in which we would feed into each other’s work. I was making a short documentary and Ellwood-Leo supported by mixing and mastering the audio. He had graphic design and logo creation briefs, and I would weigh in with the concept creation. Realising the sum of our inputs were greater than the parts, we realised we had a solid foundation of skills to work with. 

At the time, we were happy collaborating in this way. We also got creative in the evenings with collage making, playing with the worlds that would emerge from our combined imaginations. One day, Ellwood-Leo was approached for a graphic design brief, creating an event brochure for an international conference in Geneva, and a company was required to invoice for the job. We spent a good amount of time discussing the pros and cons of each possible company status we could go for. Finally, we opted for a company limited by guarantee keeping our options open with the possibility of opening a not for profit arm down the line. As this discussion was taking place, we had to decide on a name… 

XTATX Studio… What does it mean? How do you even say it?

Pronounced “ex-ta-tex”, we were on a mission to find a unique sounding name. We looked into palindromes, liking the playful options that would be available in the animation of our logo. We also liked what palindromes communicated and represented: a mirror effect reflecting the same on each side. If you input creative and positive energy into your activity, creative and positive energy will result. In other words, what you put in is what you get.

XTATX Studio was registered on the 11th November 2019 with a small portfolio of work to show. 

Our pre-registration early work allowed us to discover where our passions were and what future XTATX studio could aim for. In particular, we expanded our portfolio of video and sound production, as well as logo and brand design. 

In the early stages, we created a short video for Hudson McKenzie, an award winning law firm in London. Using a bank of imagery, we selected and edited the videos and animated text to produce a beautiful final video.

Ellwood-Leo and I have always been dedicated to Nature, to giving back instead of taking, so we also worked on an experimental short film made in Epping Forest for Earth Day 2020 and a beautiful music video Drop in the Ocean. These two projects in a way defined our future direction: to move beyond the noise, to inspire, to educate, to make an impact in a way that matters.

I was also in the final production stages of a short documentary made with my colleagues at Batfish Films. Needing support from someone who could help us mix and master our sound as well as create audio tracks from scratch, this was a perfect opportunity for Ellwood-Leo to lend his expertise.

Beyond video projects, we were building our still imagery portfolio through graphic design. Starting off with our own logo for XTATX Studio, Ellwood-Leo was quickly approached by musician Thibaut Bernier to design a unique and elegant logo for his brand and upcoming album release. 


Not long after, Covid-19 made its appearance known in Europe and with it came its many challenges and time spent locked down, with nothing more to do than to get creative. This is how many hours were spent on the physical cutting floor, creating new worlds through collage. Stay tuned to hear more about our covid experience, locked down in a room.


2022 in Review

2022 in Review

Did you know… 2022 has been our 1st year of full-time production?!

Here are some highlights which have made 2022 the “best first year”



2022 in numbers, a snapshot of the XTATX team’s activity in the studio