God Gets Cranky in Neill Blomkamp’s Latest Oats Studio Short ‘God: Serengeti’
Despite the runaway success of Neill Blomkamp’s District 9, the writer-director has faced increasingly diminishing returns as a filmmaker ever since. Whiz-bang visuals and an impressive cast weren't enough to save Elysium, while Chappie has become better known in film circles as an internet meme (“That’s Chappie!”) than a film worth seeking out. Add in Blomkamp’s failed attempt at an Alien sequel and it seemed the director’s star had fully faded… that is, until Blomkamp announced his decision to create a serious of outrageous and expensive short films at zero cost to the public.
For the past month now, Blomkamp has been releasing his own short films under the brand of Oats Studio, a project the filmmaker started that allows him and his VFX team to tinker with story ideas on the cheap. With two short films in the books already - the alien-invasion romp Rakka and the science fiction Vietnam War short Firebase - Blomkamp has now released the third chapter in his project with God: Serengeti, a darkly comic short film about Sharlto Copley’s deity messing with a group of indigenous tribesmen. Like all of Blomkamp’s work, the visuals are impressive, but the shorter format allows him to tell a sharper story.
And what’s Blomkamp’s endgame with Oats Studio? How is he planning on turning one of his shorts into his next Hollywood project? It sounds like the filmmaker himself isn’t exactly too sure. Earlier this week, Blomkamp sat down with The Nerdist and tried to explain what he had in mind for his short film collection:
The goal is to communicate with and make films for the audience as if I was an audience member. So I thought, all free, see how it goes, is the best approach. Figure out the insane business model later. The business model right now is like a dumpster fire of money. That’s the model. But you do end up with interesting creativity through it.
So there you have it. If you’ve ever wanted to watch a director throw a bunch of money away solely in search of projects that excite him/her, then you need to get onboard with Blomkamp’s Oats Studio ASAP. After all, Hollywood loves a redemption story, and Blomkamp’s narrative is shaping up pretty nicely.