Neill Blomkamp, whose films like District 9 and Elysium make extensive use of vfx and animation, has unveiled his new passion project: Oats Studios, a Vancouver company dedicated to creating experimental vfx-driven short films.Blomkamp released a teaser trailer today for the company’s first upcoming project, Oats Volume 1:
“The whole point of the studio is to just do what we want,” Blomkamp explained on Twitter. “No constraints.”
But there’s also a clear endgame for Blomkamp, who has confirmed an intent to use the studio as a development pipeline for his future big-budget studio projects. When a fan asked him on Twitter, “Could one of the ‘experimental films’ you are doing on your channel and Steam, become a fully fledged big budget film?,” Blomkamp replied, “That is absolutely the goal.”
Blomkamp says that initially most of the studio’s work will be available for free on Youtube, but that he will experiment with “one or two charged items on [S]team to see if the ecosystem works for film.” Another concept he has floated is to give away the films on Youtube, while charging a “nominal price” on Steam for extras like 3D models, vfx assets, concept art, raw footage, and music.
Borrowing an idea from the world of gaming, where creators like Tim Schafer interact extensively with fans through various online channels, Blomkamp said that he intends to “have direct open dialogue with audience going forward – at least on all things #oatsstudios related.”
For future updates on the company, stay tuned to Oats’ website and Youtube page.