The first effort from filmmaker Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studios has been released online. This short film venture finds Blomkamp directing a series of experimental short films that may serve as the foundation for feature film adaptations. The first, titled Rakka, is now available and it imagines a post-apocalyptic world dominated by an alien species that has nearly wiped out humanity. They terraform with methane factories, experiment on human bodies, and have essentially destroyed all vestiges of civilization.
Rakka features a pretty big A-list star in Sigourney Weaver, who co-starred in Blomkamp’s last feature film Chappie and had given Blomkamp her support to lead his now-dead Alien sequel that would’ve picked up with Ripley, Newt, and Hicks. The aesthetic here in Rakka is woefully familiar—Blomkamp really likes a grungy, grimy, realistic future with hard-edged tech and handheld cameras. The alien designs are, unsurprisingly, stunning, as Blomkamp has proven adept at crafting incredible looking effects on smaller budgets. But the story also feels quite familiar—like a mash-up of Terminator, Edge of Tomorrow, and Blomkamp’s own District 9.
The short ends on a cliffhanger, and Blomkamp says that while they know where the story will go, they need resources in order to complete it. The aim of Oats Studios is not only to gauge interest in these short film stories, but to also serve as a sort of proof-of-concept for feature film ideas that may or may not secure funding and distribution.
It’ll be interesting to see what Blomkamp has cooked up for the other two short films, which will be released in due time. For now, check out Rakka below and head over to Steam for more details.