Herd Immunity  | Short Film of the Month

Short Film of the Month September 2022

Herd Immunity

By Rosie May Bird Smith with 7.2

comedy · Short Films · english

The film locates itself in a reality we are all too familiar with, and then ties it with a bizarre premise. The beauty of this union, however, is the seamless manner in which the real and the ridiculous meet, leaving the viewer with the question — is it truly that bizarre to begin with?

With the Covid-19 pandemic, also came the deluge of fake news of all kinds, gripping the world in a grasp sometimes tighter than of the virus itself. The film introduces us to one such instance where Tony, the protagonist, decides to choose a…fairly untraditional method, to say the least, to safeguard himself against an unnamed virus.

As the events are realized on screen, the film offers a lighthearted take, though not without its suggestion of darkness, on self-medication, conspiracy theories and the effects of misinformation masquerading as facts, ensuring that their consumers end up incorporating the most absurd claims into their daily lives. The narrative does not waste a single beat, and employs each moment judiciously to bring the story to life. With a fun subversion of the words in its title, ‘Herd Immunity’ becomes an entertaining, intelligent ride marked by humor and ease of storytelling.
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I wrote this film as a comedic comment on just how quickly fake news can travel and escalate in twenty-first-century society. Covid-19 really played on people’s weaknesses in that regard - from crazy Facebook articles and Reddit threads to forwarded WhatsApp scare stories - it became hard to decipher what was legitimate and what wasn't. With that, came a whole new world of conspiracy theorists. And those people really do make for great comedy.

I wanted to write something entirely bizarre, but something that was still rooted in reality; something so utterly ridiculous, but something that you could still imagine a slightly nutty neighbour doing. I’d also planned the whole “man-reads-bonkers-article-about-sheep-wool-then-buys-a-whole-herd-to-protect-himself-from-Covid” thing way before I realised that Herd Immunity might be a pretty good title.
Rosie May Bird SmithDirector, Herd Immunity