What is Oats Studios? That’s a question the studio in question made an entire 2 minute video about. They don’t really answer the question so much as tease about it.
Oats Studios is an experimental film studio spearheaded by Neill Blomkamp, the director of District 9, Elysium and Chappie. When Blomkamp made the announcement, he said he wanted to make short films that could be produced collaboratively, both creatively and financially. This concept is not entirely new as explored by Joseph Gordon Levitt’s HitRECord. The only thing that separates the two is the chosen platform; Levitt uses his own website to produce and release projects, while Blomkamp went with Steam, an established community of potential collaborators.
Thus is the concept: anything produced by Oats will be available for purchase or download. Such things like raw footage, 3D assets etc which then can be used by the Steam community to produce new ideas for curation and distribution through Oats. This comes from Blomkamp’s desire to work on diverse projects as well as surround himself with like-minded creative people.
But even the big budget director understands the cost of producing high quality content, which is why anything produced by Oats is free to view, but support can be lent via DLC.
This raises eyebrows and in all the right ways. Not only does it pave the way for new aspiring filmmakers to get a foothold in the industry, but it has the potential to disrupt the industry in very positive ways, much in the same way Netflix did to cable television.
Oats Studios first short film is called Rakka. The film examines the impact of an alien invasion and the effect it has had on Earth and her people. It is not a linear narrative, rather brief snippets of different groups trying to survive in this new hostile environment. The end result is perhaps reflective of what Oats wishes to sow upon its audience; fresh, innovative and willing to take chances.