Johnny Kelly on the making of his new short film, Fern

Director Johnny Kelly is renowned for his animations for brands including Chipotle and Apple. Here he talks about his first live action short film, Fern, and his experiences on the short film festival circuit

Fern is a darkly comic tale about a woman and her houseplant, and the unlikely relationship that forms between them after her husband dies.

Commissioned by Channel 4, Fern stars Monica Dolan, and is Kelly’s first live action film. He takes his skills in animation successfully across into the short, however, where he brings Dolan’s plant to life in ways that are sinisterly effective. Shot over just three days in Kelly’s London home, several plants were hurt in the making of the film, he admits.

Below we talk to Kelly about making the film, including securing Dolan’s involvement and animating the plant; plus his views on the role of short film festivals in the digital age.

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