Netflix Sci-Fi Horror Series Gives Fan Favorite Director Total Control

By Jacob VanGundy | Updated

It’s rare for a creator to be given free rein to do whatever they want with a project, but that’s exactly what Oats Studios is. Created by director Neill Blomkamp, it’s a series of experimental short films allowing the creator to make mini-films without the limitations that come with making a feature film. Originally appearing online on YouTube and Steam, these videos can now be seen on Netflix as a collection of Blomkamp’s most unrestrained works. 

Neil Blomkamp Cuts Loose

Oats Studio’s Neill Blomkamp is best known as the director of various science fiction movies of the past two decades. His most widely known movies are the science fiction movies District 9, Elysium, and Chappy, but he also directed the horror movie Demonic and the racing video game adaptation Gran Turismo. Known for his distinctive visual style, use of special effects, and exploration of xenophobia, he’s a beloved director in the sci-fi community. 

It’s Very Rare Studios Grant Creative Freedom

While Neill Blomkamp’s direction is the heart of Oats Studios, there’s a small group of consistent members who help maintain the continuity of the productions. Neill’s brother Mike Blomkamp is the co-creator of the studio and executive produced all of the short films. The other team members are visual effects supervisor Chris Harvey and production designer Richard Simpson, who consistently ensure the short films look nearly as good as Blomkamp’s studio productions. 

Range From Alien Invasions To Satire

The short films of Oats Studios vary in tone, genre, and subject, and Blomkamp used them to experiment and test ideas.

Some, like “Raka” are familiar territory for the director, featuring an alien invasion though with a psychic element that sets it apart from his feature-length films. But the most interesting entries are more experimental ventures like the darkly satirical infomercial called “Cooking With Bill” and the theologically minded “God” which centers on a conversation between God and his butler. 

Major Stars Make An Appearance

Many experimental short films exist online, but Neill Blomkamp’s involvement gives Oats Studios a couple of unique advantages over the competition.

One is that the experienced director working with established crews means that the short videos look great compared to the often amateur productions making short films for YouTube. The other advantage is that A-list actors like Sigourney Weaver, Carly Pope, Sharlto Copley, and Dakota Fanning make appearances and elevate the pieces with their performances.

The Longest Short Is Still Under 30 Minutes

Oats Studios works as a great sample platter of Neill Blomkamp’s talents due to how quickly they can all be watched. Most of the short films are under ten minutes in length, with the shortest having a runtime of five minutes. The longest short film in the collection is “Firebase,” which is 27 minutes long, just a few minutes longer than an average sitcom episode. 

Available Only On Netflix

Having all of Oats Studios’ work collected on Netflix is a great way to experience the diverse array of stories from the popular director. The collection is offbeat and eclectic, showing what happens when a director is given the freedom to throw ideas out without millions of dollars at stake. Oats Studios is available to watch on Netflix, and it’s perfect for fans of Neill Blomkamp’s feature-length films.