Oats Studios

“Oats Studios”, Volume 1. A haunting anthology

On October 1, Oats Studios became part of the extensive Netflix catalog. It is about 10 short episodes in the form of an anthology and with a dystopian or science fiction theme. The shorts are directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9), a director who always surprises us with his unique approach to storytelling.

Oats Studios is a project created in 2017 by South African director Neill Blomkamp. Its objective is to create visual content and distribute it on YouTube or Steam in order to see the reaction of viewers in order to have real data and be able to consider the possibility of creating a movie about them. All the projects are short films with a duration that ranges between 2 minutes and 26 minutes, with independent stories, for which their order is random, except in the ADAM series.

Blomkamp’s peculiar vision

We could say that this compilation of shorts is slightly reminiscent of Love, Death and Robots, more than anything because of the theme that is similar in both. But in reality both series are nothing alike. While the first has closed stories with superior quality and plots of the most witty, Oats Studios seems like a Small Scenes Compilation they are part of a larger whole.

I mean, like you’re watching bits of a movie, so You don’t know what came before and you don’t know what will come after.that’s why his own director calls his experimental shorts, since they are small projects where Blomkamp lets his imagination run wild to tell us what he wants at that moment.

All of them have in common that strange climate that in the vast majority of cases makes the viewer is left with a bittersweet taste. Some stories to think about them and that we hope that at some point they can become a complete film where we can see the beginning and the end of the occurrences of its brilliant and charismatic director.

The 10 Oats Studios shorts on Netflix

1.- Rakka. Duration 21 minutes

It is one of the longest shorts that this compilation has. It also has Sigourney Weaver as the protagonist. We are in a dystopian world where an extraterrestrial race of bloodthirsty lizards have managed to dominate humanity and keep its inhabitants as slaves experimenting with them. These cruel and ruthless experiments are intended more to cause suffering than to achieve any clear objective.

But all is not lost in this inhospitable and wild world of survival. There are still small groups of people who fight those lizards, even when the conditions in which they do so are very unfavorable for humans.

2.- The military base. Duration 26 minutes.

This time the story will take us to a heartbreaking fact: the Vietnam War. Shot hand-held to give it greater realism and even create an atmosphere of confusion that works perfectly. We accompany some soldiers who enter the jungle crouching to avoid being discovered by enemy soldiers.

In this raid they will discover dismembered bodies and others killed with great cruelty and violence. Blomkamp will openly show us all kinds of carnage, creating an atmosphere of suspense where the viewer feels the fear of the protagonists, who will find something they did not count on, the so-called “Omega Event”.

3.- Cooking with Bill: Damaus/PrestoVeg/Milkshake/Sushi. Duration 10 minutes.

One of the most curious that you can find in this anthology of Oats Studios. It is a teleshopping, without more. Two smiling presenters who will try to convince the unsuspecting spectator to buy the most revolutionary and useful kitchen appliances on the market at exorbitant prices. Of course, these devices are not as efficient as their price might imply.

It is a criticism of this consumerist society and on many occasions, very easy to deceive. We buy almost compulsively blinded by the smiles of presenters we want to trust because of their fame, without thinking that they are just doing their job.

4.- God: Seregueti/Chicago. Duration 7 minutes.

How is the life of God? Well, that is what the director born in Johannesburg in 1979 presents us with. A curious vision of what God’s day-to-day life is like. A character who is accompanied by a kind of servant who is there to make his most capricious wishes come true while he reads a newspaper.

A quite cruel satire where questions that we always ask ourselves when catastrophes happen can be answered, how is it possible that God allows this and does nothing?

5.- Zygote. Duration 22 minutes.

It has been my favorite within Oats Studios on Netflix. A story that gives to make a film that I would very much like to see. A distressing and terrifying story where two inhabitants of a kind of spaceship fight to save their lives from a deformed and cruel monster that devours every living being in its path.

It is inevitable to remember Aliens or The Thing when watching it, and perhaps it is a kind of homage that the director makes to these great films. The fact is that the adrenaline shoots up during these 22 minutes full of accelerated breathing and against the clock. Here we find Dakota Fanning (The Alienist) as the protagonist.

6.- Bad president: Raw discharge / The whole subject. Duration 6 minutes.

Another rarity within Oats Studios. Treated as a sitcom, it takes us to the White House office that is currently occupied by a thug president who only thinks about having fun and having a good time, in the midst of the stupor of his subordinates and with the approval of his “game” partners. .

Once again the director makes a satire of the real world where we leave our lives in the hands of people we trust but who do not stop being human who only want to be happy and laugh while their lives last.

7.- ADAM: episode 2. Duration 6 minutes.

ADAM is a project that has several episodes. Unity Technologies had already made a short film in 2016, entitled ADAM: Episode 1, (which you can see by clicking on the link). To do this they used an animation technique based on their Cinemachine tool. The studio decided to make Blomkamp participate in the project, and from that union a series of shorts were born that form a rather intriguing futuristic story of androids.

8.- ADAM: episode 3. Duration 8 minutes.

Continuation of the series based on the story of this enigmatic android in a dystopian and futuristic world. Its visualization is highly recommended due to the great quality of its animation. They have achieved a sharpness and quality that is noticeable in the colors, details, or the movements of their characters. Definitely a visual wonder.

9.- Gdańsk. Duration 4 minutes.

A man defends his wife and son from the attack of some barbarians, when an enormous giant appears capable of freezing the blood of the bravest. We are facing a short film in which the director has long been interested in creating a film that explains the entire story. At the moment what we have seen is really disturbing, leaving us with many questions in such a short space of time.

10.- Kapture: Lobster. Duration 7 minutes.

An animated short from Oats Studios in which he shows us his satire again. Two excited and passionate scientists testing their innovative weapons with which they intend to make their buyer the owner of the world. Again we see that criticism of the director so acid towards a society that has lost respect for life.

By Geeke