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

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.

Find more posts: Sci-Fi, Short Film, To Watch



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!

David Diaz on Jul 12, 2017


3 for 3

Jon Odishaw on Jul 12, 2017


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.

Sascha Dikiciyan on Jul 12, 2017


Sounds like you want to score one of these? 😉

Alex Billington on Jul 13, 2017


Well *ahm*..nods

Sascha Dikiciyan on Jul 13, 2017


Dakota Fanning!!! hahaha!!

CyraNOSE on Jul 12, 2017


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.

tarek on Jul 12, 2017


And what would a thread be without you two jerking each other off.

Jon Odishaw on Jul 12, 2017


I'm not trying to rob you Jon...I'm here to help you.

tarek on Jul 13, 2017


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.

tarek on Jul 13, 2017


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

Sascha Dikiciyan on Jul 13, 2017


Indeed. They could have died a horrible death, I wouldn't have raised an eyebrow.

tarek on Jul 13, 2017


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!

Sascha Dikiciyan on Jul 13, 2017


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.

tarek on Jul 14, 2017


hey, it's that Rimmer monster http://www.ganymede.tv/wp-content/uploads/vlcsnap-2016-10-07-18h36m12s465.png

Dan Hibiki on Jul 12, 2017


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.

Carpola on Jul 12, 2017


Damn these are fun little stories. What he is doing is damn respectable.

DAVIDPD on Jul 12, 2017


Dakota Fanning! worst choice .

Бабак on Jul 12, 2017

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