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Hilariously Dark Short Uses Sheep to Poke Fun at Fake News and Conspiracy Theorists


Herd Immunity, from up-and-coming-director Rosie May Bird Smith, stars Jonny Freeman and a herd of actual sheep

Hilariously Dark Short Uses Sheep to Poke Fun at Fake News and Conspiracy Theorists

From injecting bleach to drinking cow urine, the past two years has thrown up some pretty wild Covid “cures”. So when gullible fifty-something Tony hears an online news report trumping sheep’s wool as effective protection against the virus, what’s a man to do? Bin his mask, cancel that vaccine appointment, and buy a herd of sheep, of course.

That’s the premise behind Herd Immunity, the hilariously dark, close to the bone short from up-and-coming writer/director Rosie May Bird Smith.

The three-minute film, which follows Tony and his herd ‘til death do them part, is a cutting – but very funny – take on the scourge of fake news and the slightly ignorant, slightly gullible conspiracy theorists that fall for it.

It premiered at the Papaya Young Creators competition in Warsaw, Poland, where it was named Best Film in the Branded Stories category – while London-based Bird Smith was awarded Best Director.

Herd Immunity is a co-production between production studio Havas Studios and creative agency Havas London – where Bird Smith is an award-winning writer and creative – in collaboration with Papaya Films/Papaya Young Creators. 

Bird Smith says: “With Herd Immunity, I wanted to write something simultaneously bizarre and yet rooted in reality; something so utterly ridiculous yet something you could imagine a slightly nutty neighbour doing. Yes, it’s hyperbolised – but given the way fake news spreads nowadays, not impossible.

“Whoever said ‘don’t work with children or animals’ is a wise but boring man. Sheep, for the record, are an absolute hoot to be on-set with, although they don’t take well to direction and defecate more than I ever thought possible. Most of the time they didn’t do a thing we wanted them to do, but that ‘improvisation’, shepherded superbly by Jonny, made for all the funniest moments.”

Katie Keith, executive producer, Herd Immunity, head of production at Havas London and global head of content at Havas Studios, adds: “At Havas, we’re committed to supporting and enabling rising creative talent, and there aren’t many rising faster than Rosie. Simultaneously, we’re on a mission to develop as an exciting and aspirational content production hub, working in new and innovative ways – so when Rosie came to us with this script, we knew we simply had to make this film.

“Herd Immunity was a real labour of love for a huge amount of people, with contributions of time and effort going way beyond anything we could reasonably expect. We’re so happy for that whole crew the film came together as brilliantly and as hilariously as it did.”

Daisy the sheep adds: “Baaaaa”.


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Genres: Comedy, Storytelling

Categories: Short films, Short Films and Music Videos

Havas UK, Wed, 06 Jul 2022 09:31:07 GMT