Johnny Kelly: Shape

Director Johnny Kelly’s latest short, “Shape” is about the changing shape of the world around us. From home to school to work, it’s a tale of progress and technology rendered in deceptively simple line work and meticulous animation.

Scott Burnett of multidisciplinary Dublin-based studio Aad wrote the script, and production was handled by Nexus Productions, who have long represented Kelly.

Commissioned by Pivot Dublin, the film culminates in a question: “What would you change?” From the film’s website:

MAKESHAPECHANGE is a project to get young people thinking about how the world is made around them and where design fits in. At its heart is a short film that shows changes happening before our eyes that we might not normally notice, and how these affect us.

The co-star of “Shape” is its delightful analogue soundtrack by Antfood. The sound design is seamlessly woven into the music, which rolls along with the same effortless optimism of the film.

Other projects directed by Johnny Kelly


Directed & designed by Johnny Kelly
Written by Scott Burnett
Produced by Ali Grehan

Production Company: Nexus
Nexus Producer: Isobel Conroy
Animators: Felix Massie, Joe Sparrow, Alex Grigg and Johnny Kelly
Editor: Steven McInerney

Thanks to Mark Davies, Sergei Shabarov and Chris O’Reilly
Special thanks to Cllr Naoise O’Muiri and Dublin City Manager Owen Keegan for their support

Music & Sound Design: Antfood
Andrew Rehrig — Flutes
Will Bone — Trombone, Trumpets, Tuba, Baritone Sax, Tenor Sax I, Clarinets
Jesse Scheinin — Tenor Sax II
Wilson Brown — Pianos, Guitars, Synths, Percussion
Chris Marion — Strings

Composition and Arrangement: Wilson Brown
Sound design: Spencer Casey, Charlie Van Kirk, Wilson Brown and Pran Bandi
Final Mix: Andy Baldwin

Website designed and built by Aad
Written by Scott Burnett
Illustrations by Johnny Kelly

EDIT April 4, 2014: The original text erroneously reported that Johnny Kelly and Scott Burnett worked on this under the studio Aad. While there is a Johnny Kelly at Aad, it is a different Johnny Kelly who was not affiliated with this project.

About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



Some beautiful line art but all told this was a bit mysterious and slightly unsatisfying. The music reminiscent of the worst of Michael Nyman.


Very nice animation, just enough without being showy. The story though, rough. Not sure why it has to be so long to express that.

Jacinta Patterson

Just awesome!
Truly a creative way to highlight the importance of shape.
Thank you for sharing.

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