WORTH WATCHING

Watch: Terrifying New Oats Studios Film 'Zygote' with Dakota Fanning

by
July 12, 2017
Source: YouTube

Zygote Short Film

"It's coming no matter what we do!" Buckle up, you're in for a crazy ride. These films are getting better and better! Oats Studios has unveiled their next new short film, titled Zygote, an intense horror action story starring Dakota Fanning and Jose Pablo Cantillo. This is perhaps the most cinematic film that Oats has released yet. Directed by the main man himself, Neill Blomkamp, this film features one helluva gnarly monster that appears halfway through. I also love the score, by Lorne Balfe, which makes this feel even more intense. At the bottom of the post, I've included a few answers from Blomkamp to follow-up questions after my first interview about Oats. It's so awesome to see them experimenting with projects like this that would never ever see the light of day in Hollywood, but now we get a chance to experience them. Get ready!

Zygote is directed by South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp. The script is written by Neill Blomkamp and Thomas Sweterlitsch. This is the latest feature from Oats Studios, an experimental sci-fi studio based in Vancouver, where they are testing various ideas and developing everything all under one roof. Read my initial interview for more background on the studio. See below for a few answers to more questions about Oats. And stay tuned for the latest updates. You can watch the first film, titled Rakka featuring Sigourney Weaver, here; and the second film, titled Firebase set in Vietnam, here. For updates, follow Oats on Twitter @oatsstudios, or follow Blomkamp on Twitter @NeillBlomkamp. You can also visit the Oats website and buy the content on Steam to support them and keep the studio up and running. Thoughts on Zygote? Best yet?

How is it going so far with Oats Studios so far? Are you making money yet? Is looking like it might be sustainable?

Neill: No, the DLC thing was never a viable way to pay for things the size of the short films. It was more of a way for us to gather data to see if anyone was interested in that kind of thing - beyond watching the films.

Zygote is totally gnarly awesome! How are you getting top quality actors like Dakota Fanning and Sigourney Weaver for these films?

Neill: Thank you! In the case of Zygote, we were already busy prepping it when I got asked to do the BMW commercial I shot [watch here] featuring Dakota, so right after we finished shooting for BMW, I went to scout the "Deifenbunker" (a nuclear fallout shelter that Zygote was shot in) and I realized that Dakota would be amazing for the role of Barklay, having just worked with her days before. So I sent her the script and she seemed to really respond to Barklay. I think she was more interested in the character than in the sci-fi/horror elements. I loved working with her. Would like to do more in future.

Are you building the sets for these films in the same location in Vancouver?

Neill: No, only the smaller stuff is shot in Vancouver – like, we shot four God shorts, four cooking shorts, and most of all the CG mo-cap shorts there, but the bigger stuff is on location. Zygote was filmed in a former Canadian nuclear fallout shelter in Ontario. We added production design elements to make it feel slightly futuristic. Firebase was shot in real jungle foliage.

How long does it take from start to finish to originally come up with, and then complete a film? Can someone give you an idea today and it would be finished in two months?

Neill: No way. The bigger pieces took over a year, but that was to do four simultaneously. So it's hard to know exactly. Start to finish on something– Zygote, and Zygote alone, maybe 6 months? 7 months.

Have you heard anything from Hollywood? Has anyone come to you guys yet with plans to make something bigger out of any of your ideas at Oats?

Neill: Yes and no, not in ways you would expect. For now I want to just keep it all in house. Figure out how to get the audience to help us finance this stuff going forward.

What is the best response you've had from the outside? Have you seen anything totally crazy sent in yet?

Neill: -Gonna leave this blank for now-

A big thank you to Neill Blomkamp for his time, and to Oats Studios for arranging this chat.

Oats Studios

For more info on Oats Studios, visit their official website. Or head to Steam for more details on the assets available. You can also follow Neill on Twitter @NeillBlomkamp or Oats on Twitter @oatsstudios. Have fun.

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  • David Diaz
    These are amazing. What a sick creature! Must have been fun to animate. For me Rakka still has the most potential as a film or tv series. There was a lot left to explore in that world. This one really worked as a self contained short, although the world it existed in sounded really cool. After seeing the God short I thought that I would love to see it as a series of shorts with different time periods and places on his tables. Glad to hear that there are 3 more already!
  • Jon Odishaw
    3 for 3
  • These are all cool but I really disagree and don't understand why he's letting a Hollywood dude score them. Something less predictable would have made it even more edgy. IMo.
  • CyraNOSE
    Dakota Fanning!!! hahaha!!
  • Here's my opinion. Not impressed. I didn't feel any intensity in the drama. Neill should work more on the script part. He seems to focus obsessively on the vfx part. Cloverfield lane 10 is a good example for a movie with almost zero vfx (save the last 5mn) and great drama tension.
    • Bo
      Yea, I wasn't impressed either, tarek. Not in the least. First off I didn't believe either of the actors for one second...and I've always liked Dakota Fanning. I also agree that the intensity was lacking or not even present even though one could see the lame attempt at it. It also just wasn't involving in any way as I didn't know who they were and really didn't care about them one way or the other. The whole affair was also pretty derivative in that nothing about it was original. The monster...well...I just chuckled at that whole mess and really laughed at it's sound/screaming/whining or whatever it was...lol... It's too bad as I don't enjoy seeing people who have put in a lot of hard work and turn out such mediocre product. I've never cared for this Blomkamp's work and even less so now. Cheers, tarek!
      • Jon Odishaw
        And what would a thread be without you two jerking each other off.
        • I'm not trying to rob you Jon...I'm here to help you.
          • Bo
            Heck, I blocked Jon a while back as his replies and whining are just too low brow for me to take any longer...I shall leave him to you as you're better equipped than I with your retorts to him...lol..good luck..
          • Leave that to me. ;D What saddens me is the fact that movies should help to reunite people, not to be a source of fighting. Jon is taking the matter too seriously. Nobody will die for real Jon! I promise.
          • Bo
            I agree...and poor Jon. He should bone up on he old saying by some old music/sage...'The uncritical acceptance typical of the herd mentality is the soil in which all ignorance grows and gives way to the flourishing of evil among men'. Poor Jon. He likes everything that comes down the pike without realizing most of it is worthless junk for the masses. He is getting worse in his immature rants when you and I discuss our mutual perceptions of this kind of junk. I wonder if he'll ever wake up and realize that he's the doofus here and we are seeing what he can't see at this time in his life. Poor sod...but I've blocked him and never see what he posts anymore. You'd think exhibiting that kind of anger and seeing our response to it might help him to unite with us and understand our perceptions. Ignorance remaining as it is then turns to stupidity. For an older guy it saddens me too to see a young man trapped in his unwillingness to see his own ignorance. If he only knew that both you and I are willing and fully capable of communicating with him on a respectful and intelligent level. He might learn something he obviously doesn't know now. You are trying to help him...you really are...it's there for him to take if only....if only.... Good luck in this endeavor...lol...later gator.
        • Are you really still not getting the point of these comments? Bitch moan whine praise etc. What ELSE is the point of being here? Sheeesh
          • Bo
            Well said...sheeesh!...I mean, really...lol...me thinks that sometimes when young guys on these comment sections like something and someone else comes along and really hates it, they take it as a personal affront...lol...weird...or just immaturity and insecurity. Cheers.
      • Indeed. They could have died a horrible death, I wouldn't have raised an eyebrow.
        • Bo
          ...lol...I know...I know....lol...
    • I can appreciate what he is trying to accomplish esp. his connection with STEAM is really cool. You can actually buy the 3d models of the monsters and do your own 3d printing if you have one. I mean its a fresh and new approach. I like it. However, being a creative snob I thought Rakka was good but the rest not so much. This last one was really not paced well. The creature was cool but The Thing already done a better job, IMO. Still, I feel he's onto something unique and needs a bit more funding and write better scripts....Here's to hope!
      • I fully agree. I respect what he's trying to do, but the story is what he should focus on, not the special effects. Not that they aren't important, but because they can't save a weak story. How many great movies have bad vfx and how many bad movies have great vfx... Thanks for the level headed reply.
  • Didn't really feel the tension, but the monster was quite fun. As long as they can afford to make these, then fair play to them.
  • DAVIDPD
    Damn these are fun little stories. What he is doing is damn respectable.
  • Бабак
    Dakota Fanning! worst choice .

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