Filmmaker Neill Blomkamp rose to stardom with critically acclaimed science fiction films District 9, Elysium and Chappie — as each have garnered moderately positive reviews and a financially successful box office return.
Leading to the creation of his own film production company, Oats Studios, that explores a series of experimental short films and other content titled Volume 1 — the third and final short of the set was just recently unveiled with Zygote starring Dakota Fanning, following Firebase and the first short, Rakka.
Earlier today, Blomkamp took some time off to discuss Oats Studios, previous films, and essentially anything else on Reddit, so check out some excerpts of the discussion below.
colorhope: “Hey Neill, love your work and what you are doing with OATS STUDIOS. The top post on r/movies today says “[Neil] wants to make features and include young artists.” Are you looking for up and coming directors, writers, producers, VFX artists, etc…? How can we get in touch with you and get our work in front of your eyes. If you want to make a true difference here, give us an outlet somehow of contacting you. Is this in the future you are thinking of a way to make this happen? Thank you!”
nblomkamp: “so this question is a good place to try and iron out some of the thinking behind OATS and where we want it to go. the first thing to say is that we are not 100% up on our feet with a business model that is stable, we inside the company are figuring out the best way forward, and in that state we certainly cannot fund other peoples scripts and ideas. A better way to think of what oats is trying to do is this: instead of locking up our ideas and films and threatening people online who make short films based on our stuff, we want to do the opposite, if we owned spiderman we would make all the assets to do with spiderman available so the online community who is interested could do whatever they want. make films, do animation, use the score to remix their own score, make collectibles, make t shirts, whatever they are inspired to do. If however someone has a commercial idea, selling thousands of shirts, or making a real fps shooter out of zygote then we can talk about licensing that. separate from that if an artist submitted a design for something inside one of the worlds we have created and we love it, we can see about incorporating it into future pieces we make. same goes for almost any department, BUT that is very different from accepting other peoples original ideas. those original ideas are more for traditional studios.”
Xerop681: “Are there any plans for District 10?”
nblomkamp: “ok, so with district 10 the basic answer is yes. I want to go back to that world and tell rest of the story with wikus and christopher. the issue right now is that I have many other projects and ideas that I also want to work on and complete….. and most importantly, the exact right REASON to make district 10 needs be very clear. the first film was based so explicitly on real themes and topics from south africa that effected me greatly growing up there, that we need to make sure the next film does not forget that.”
GURBTRON: “Are elysium and district 9 connected?”
nblomkamp: “negative. i think because i have a particular visual style people think the films are tied together and actually read them as being more similar than they are. District 9 is EXTREMELY south african and an allegory for apartheid and race in SA. Elysium is about immigration, refugees and class warfare, etc. – chappie is the least connected. its about the birth of a soul, about the farcical random nature of life, about nature vs nurture.”
tasdo13: “How many volumes are your planning for Oats Studios? If the response is good will you turn any of them into full features?”
nblomkamp: “as many as we can fund – indefinite amount. If it seems like people want to watch features out of a few of the ideas, that is our goal. we would love to make them.”
ChecksUsernames: “Does pineapple belong on pizza?”
nblomkamp: “fuck yes”
For more, head over to Reddit and read the Q&A in its entirety.
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