Frances Adair McKenzie

Frances Adair McKenzie

Nature is wondrous and clever. As Darwin taught us, those who improvise most effectively prevail. There are species who under threat revert to earlier forms, others who cultivate parasitic relationships with neighbouring beings, while the most inventive ones transform their bodies to mimic and seduce unsuspecting companions. The Orchid and the Bee is an expressionistic VR ode to life’s struggle for existence, explored through a chain of genetic love affairs.

Flowing freely between unsettling disembodiment and empowering creation to offer an uplifting vision of our evolutionary future, interdisciplinary artist Frances Adair Mckenzie brings her mischievous sense of play to the realm of virtual reality by combining the tactile materiality of old-school stop-motion animation and stereoscopy with cutting-edge technology. The result is a beautifully crafted five-minute immersion into a reimagined primordial soup of life—where the survivors are not the strongest or most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change.

Frances Adair Mckenzie

Frances Adair Mckenzie has exhibited in Canada and Europe. Her work negotiates speculative investigations into concepts of materiality, staging and form, most often through the interface of digital technology and sculpture. Frances’s augmented reality book, Glossed Over & Tucked Up, was published in 2016 by Montreal’s Anteism Press. Her association with the Nation Film Board of Canada began with the 10th edition of Hothouse, when she created the surrealist animated short A Little Craving. The Orchid and the Bee is her most recent NFB project.


Written and Directed by Frances Adair Mckenzie
Producer: Jelena Popović
Executive Producer: Michael Fukushima
Based on the idea by Frances Adair Mckenzie, Michael Juretic & Luka Sanader
Design + Animation: Frances Adair McKenzie, Brandon Blommaert, Fred Casia, Elise Simard
Compositing and Stereoscopy: Fred Casia, Frances Adair Mckenzie
Technical Director: Eloi Champagne
Online Editing: Serge Verreault
Set Fabrication: Dany Boivin, Frances Adair Mckenzie
Set Dressing Assistant: Eva Cvijanović
Maquette – Maya: Noncedo Khumalo
Technical Consultant: Dominic Mercier
Technical Advisers: Frank Nadeau, Frédéric Sauvé
Music: Jennifer Castle
© 2019 National Film Board of Canada – Office national du film du Canada (SOCAN)
Sound design: Catherine Van Der Donckt
Immersive Sound Design: Headspace Studio
Re-recording: Geoffrey Mitchell
Foley and Music Recording: Geoffrey Mitchell
Foley: Karla Baumgardner
Foley Assistant: Rod Thibeault
Titles and Credits: Brandon Blommaert, Fred Casia
Technical Coordination: Randall Finnerty, Luc Binette, Maud Chayer
Studio Administration: Victoire Bessette, Rosalina Di Sario
Senior Production Coordinator: Dominique Forget
Studio Coordinators: Barry Ahmad, Faisal Moula
Special thanks: Charlotte Fisher, Astroplastique
Marketing: Laurianne Désormiers, Sophie Thouin

Produced by the National Film Board of Canada
© 2020

Virtual Reality activities are not recommended for children under 13.

Please arrive ten minutes in advance.