Neil Blomkamp on District 10: ”I know exactly what it will be, I just don't know when ...”. All of the director's short films (Topic)

World Of Topics » Movies » Neil Blomkamp on District 10: ”I know exactly what it will be, I just don't know when ...”. All of the director's short films

Neil Blomkamp on District 10: ”I know exactly what it will be, I just don't know when ...”. All of the director's short films


These words were spoken by the famous Neal even before his "Robot Called Chappy" saw the light. Much time has passed since then, but the advanced mollusk Christopher Johnson is in no hurry to return to Earth in order to save the clam from oppression, take revenge on the hated MNU, and also heal poor Vicus van de Merwe, doomed to while away the rest of his life in the body of an alien. Why? Let's figure it out.

Acquaintance with Sharlto Copley and activities before full-length projects

Neil Blomkamp was born in 1997 in the capital of South Africa. From an early age, the guy was excited by phantasmagoric worlds. He was a big fan of the Aliens universe, adored films about Robocop, Terminator, etc. And, little by little, he began to draw himself. First on paper and then on a computer. By the 90s, he entered the computer graphics school in Vancouver (Canada), which he successfully completed. Since then, fate has forced him to constantly travel from Canada to South Africa, since his further work and activity involves being in both places at the same time.

At first, the boy grew up and was brought up in Johannesburg, where at the same time the aspiring ambitious self-taught director Sharlto Copley was active.


Yes, for some it may come as a surprise, but Sharlto has no acting education, and he graduated from only a few classes of high school. In 1993, when Sharlto already had some kind of studio (it was called "Channel 69 Studios" and for some time even led television projects on one of the leading cable channels in South Africa), he was attracted by the work of the young Neil Blomkamp, who at that time had everything only 16 years old. Since then, their close and fruitful cooperation began, which, incidentally, continues to this day.

After graduating from Canada, Neil entered Copley's studio as an animator. There he began to show himself not only as a master of staging special effects, but also as a director and inventor of ideas, that is, a screenwriter. His first significant works were advertising projects for Nike. The earlier one was called the Nike Crab and was filmed in 1993.

His new project, Nike: Evolution, was released the following year.

His work with a crab, shod in Nike, attracted the attention of specialists from the advertising management of the firm "Citroen", from whom he received a contract to shoot a full-fledged commercial for the model "Citroen C4". The material was presented to the audience in 2004, and was called "Citroen C4: Alive with Technology".

From this video, it becomes quite clear where the strong cinematography came from the decisions to create bots for "Transformers".

Beginning of artistic activity

The money received from Nike and Citroen was enough to film his first ambitious project Tetra Vaal, which was released in the same 2004 and left an indelible impression on critics.

Here for the first time he acted as a screenwriter and producer, and at the same time he directed and even edited his own short film. Let's see what he did. There is no film in the USA voice acting, but everything is clear here anyway.

The action takes place in the near future, in which not ordinary policemen, but police robots are fighting crime. Filmed by motion capture, the mechanical police officers were very impressed with the leaders of the modern film industry. Subsequently, we will be able to see similar models of robotic technology in Elysium and Chappie.

Next, there are no less interesting short lengths. Blomkamp understands that it is the short films that can propel him upward in the career of the film industry, and therefore does not skimp on money or time to create them. So, in 2005, his famous short film "Alive in Joburg" (2005) was released, which later served as the prototype for the future "District No. 9".

It might seem that Sharlto Copley migrated to the big project from Surviving in Joburg as a free add-on to the plot. In fact, Blockamp simply did not see a person and an actor who would play the role of Vicus van de Merve so vividly and believably. In addition, Sharlto himself took an active part in the creation of this short film, and therefore Neil was simply obliged to him both humanly and in a friendly way.

Then there were a couple of excellent projects, which were also excellently received by critics around the world. In particular, these were the tapes "Yellow / Yellow" (2006) about androids living for 18 months and about the wide range of them people have learned to use.

And also "Tin / Tempbot" (2006), in which an experimental office robot Tempbot (also filmed using motion capture) tries to learn the basics of human relationships. It is clear from the video that it comes out a little clumsy.

One thing is not clear here: how can artificial intelligence like a living woman? Does he have it in the program? Or, in the process of self-study and self-knowledge, he learned to identify more and less attractive women according to his own incomprehensible criteria? All this is on the verge of absurdity, but the story does not become less interesting from this.

Meeting and working with Peter Jackson

Neil Blomkamp's motion capture robots impressed Peter Jackson (Gladiator, The Lord of the Rings), a well-known director and one of the strongest film producers. He meets with Neal, and invites him to lead the idea of his life - the project "Halo", a film inspired by the video game of the same name.

With the allocated money, Neil is filming a promotional video that Jackson really likes.

By the way, many thousands of fans of the game around the world liked it too, who eagerly began to wait for the film's premiere.

Alas, this premiere was never destined to come true. Despite the fact that Blomkamp worked on the project for almost two years, put a lot of effort and money into it, did a great job preparing for filming and, most importantly, wrote an excellent script, Peter Jackson hacked the project at the stage of extended casting. After reading what Neal had written in the script, Peter Jackson decided that he was not able to recoup such an ambitious and expensive project. And he put it in the safe until future times, which, most likely, are unlikely to come.

If not for the failure with "Halo", the light would hardly have seen "District 9"

But after observing Blomkamp's work in their joint project Crossing the Line (2008), Jackson is imbued with great respect for Neal and has no doubt that he can be entrusted with a project of any complexity.

Unlike Blomkamp's short films, this 15-minute film was not made publicly available, so we can only post a trailer here.

As a consolation prize for his two-year worthless work on Halo, Jackson gives him $ 30 million and invites him to shoot any picture he likes. Without thinking twice, Blomkamp, together with his wife Terry Tatchell, writes the script for "District 9" based on the short film "Survive in Joburg" and starts shooting the film.

And, as it turned out, Jackson's production instinct did not disappoint. Neil's film, with a budget of 30 million, grossed 210 million and it was a great success, which was the start for such outstanding personalities of the cinema art as Neil Blomkamp himself and Sharlto Copley, who first debuted as an actor on the big screens at the age of 36.

Elysium: Heaven not on Earth (2013)

Next, Neil Blomkamp thought: "What the hell is not kidding?", and decided to sponsor his own project - "Elysium: Heaven is not on Earth." Here he was a producer, a director, and a screenwriter. Only something in his car rusted this time. Despite the fact that the film came out unusually entertaining and large-scale, fans of science fiction did not particularly like it.

The people went to him reluctantly. With a budget of $ 115 million at the worldwide box office, he collected about $ 300 million and this can be considered a victory. But Blomkamp didn't think so. In the United States, the collection did not cover the budget and amounted to only $ 93 million, which gave a very strong cause for concern.

What did the people dislike about the film:

  • The main character was poorly designed by Neil. It is somehow inadequate, one-sided and contradictory. Damon in the personality of the protagonist looked "clumsy" and not interesting.
  • Kruger, who is also an agent of the Elysium Ministry of Defense on Earth, played by the eternal friend of Blockamp Copley, turned out to be overly impulsive and unnatural. Copley was clearly overplaying, but Blomkamp did not consider it necessary to pull up his friend and put him in his place. Therefore, Kruger in this film was completely inadequate and uninteresting. Like a caricature of unfinished villains.
  • The very idea of resettlement of humanity into space in such a short period of time sounds somewhat delusional. To drag such gigantic masses of the earth and other things into the near-earth orbit ... But, meanwhile, this gigantic frame still needs to be piled. It is simply unrealistic to get as much metal as it spins in the film in near-earth orbit.

In general, for all its spectacularity and drama, the film turned out to be not that interesting, but simply rather weak.

And the advertising campaign, to be honest, let us down. This is one of the rare occasions when managers around the world have performed better than in their home country. Yes. It turns out that this happens.

Chappie (2015)

Still, Neil could not resist and decided to produce another full-length feature film. It was "Chappie", which became his second project on the basis of earlier filmed short films. Chappi has become a large-scale implementation of the world of Tetra Baal, where robotic technology units are protecting law and order.

It also shows a certain similarity with Robocop, where he opposed more advanced and powerful varieties of technology (ending of the 2nd part of the 1990 film).

The idea to make a film based on a script in which a naive artificial intelligence, placed in the body of a powerful machine, turned out to be a kind of "orphan," was brought up by two scumbags from the ghetto, when he attended a concert of his favorite rap group Die Antwoord. After that, he invited them to play in his new fantastic action movie the original "educators" of the robot Chappy, with which they, of course, agreed.


But Neil was destined to go through unpleasant moments here. With a budget of $ 55 million in the United States, the film managed to collect only 31 and a half. And although the film paid off almost threefold at the expense of the world receipts, the young filmmaker is now afraid of producing expensive projects.

Incomprehensible and indistinct Ridley Scott

In 2015, 20th Century Fox gave Blomkamp the green light to develop Alien 5. Neal took it with great desire. He offered the studio his own plans for a script in which the action in the filter would take place ten years after what happened in the second film. That is, in fact, the film can be considered exactly "Alien-3". Moreover, he will completely reject the story that happened in 3 and 4 films.

"For" were not only the Fox Studios, but also the fans who have long been unhappy with the turn the franchise has taken in 3 parts. And when the people around found out that the same Sigourney Weaver (Lieutenant Helen Ripley) and Michael Bienne (Corporal Higgs) would star in the main roles, and the little girl Newt from "Aliens", as well as the robot Bishop, would not die, everyone was absolutely delighted .

But the joy of the fans was premature. As time went on, Ryldy Scott was messing with his idiotic "David" from the "Prometheus", and, in the end, when he came to the bosses of the Fox studio, he said that everything that Blockump was going to explain was contrary to what he was going to take .

The studio is always quicker to listen to an old fart with experience than to a young director, who has only three full meters behind him so far. That is why Blomkamp's project was "hacked to death", and the script of his "Alien-5" for a long time, if not always (as in the case of Jackson's "Halo") lay in a spacious studio safe-settling tank.

Activities after full-length projects

Neal was not too worried about what happened to the Alien. Of course, it was a little offensive, but he received the compensation due to him under the contract, and went headlong into creating his new advanced computer special effects studio "Oats Studios".

Now he is waiting for something big from the outside to just shoot, and so that his head does not hurt at the box office. In the meantime, he is not offered suitable projects, he again churns out short films, putting them in the public domain. Maybe some ambitious producer will fall for which of them.

All the short films by Neil Blomkamp, created by him after "Chappy", are laid out in our material. They are very spectacular and, believe me, are worth spending a little time on them. Here, for a short time, our site turns into a kind of cinema, where you can watch all of Neil Blomkamp's short films online.

The Escape (2016)

Promotional short film, filmed by order of the BMW concern. Notable for the fact that it stars Dakota Fanning (the nasty daughter of Tom Cruise's hero from The War of the Worlds), Clive Owen (Dwight from Sin City) and John Bernthal (the well-known Punisher from the Marvel universe). It turned out great!

Once Owen, the official driver of the BMW concern, once in a series of videos about the car brand of the same name, gave Madonna a ride in a sedan so that she did it. And even though Guy Ritchie acted as a director then, she could not show off the advertisement with anything but the beaten Madonna and part-time director's wife. Here, Neil released a whole short action movie.

Who wants to refresh their memory and compare the work of Neal and Guy - please.

Rakka (2017)

Here is a tale about how people survive in a world invaded by reptilian aliens with telepathic powers of suggestion. They mercilessly destroy humanity and put cruel experiments on its representatives. But, as it turns out, humanity still has gunpowder in its flasks ...

Does this short film remind anyone of the universe of "The Terminator"? As for us, this story seriously looks like the one that Michael Bien's character told Sarah Connor about the world of the future. About how they huddle in some kind of dungeon and fight against cars.

Cooking with Bill (mini-series 2017)

Four cool shorts that make it clear that Neil Blomkamp really hates three things:

  1. Hair in food.
  2. Useless food processors.
  3. Rotten meat.

Strongpoint / Firebase (2017)

The action takes place during the Vietnam War. In this universe, one of the local residents was so imbued with anger, hatred and a sense of revenge against the occupiers that he mutated into a supernatural entity. She was immediately dubbed the "River God", and a fighter with incredible luck, equipped in a suit of the latest development, was sent to destroy her.

The story is a bit crazy. But remember how crazy the short film "Survive in Joburg" seemed before. And a story like this could be fine-tuned. Only so far none of the producers have coveted her. Although everyone nods very encouragingly.

God: Serengeti (2017)

Here, a certain deity in the guise of the bearded friend of the Neil Sharlto Copley mocks the primitive tribe inhabiting the shredded Serengeti. Comments are superfluous. The role is just for him.

Zygote (2017)

Somewhere in the Arctic, scientists are conducting experiments on asteroid fragments that arrived on Earth, apparently, a long time ago and from a distant, distant galaxy. And, as usual, having thawed out extraterrestrial matter / entity, adapting to new conditions, begins to create bodies for itself. Her final business turned out to be the essence of Zygote, collected from the "spare parts" of the bodies of miners and researchers.

It is clear that this work of Blomkamp is a consequence of his viewing in his youth such masterpieces as "Frankenstein" by Kenneth Branna and "The Thing" by John Carpenter. And these "consequences" turned out, in our opinion, very impressive. Dakota Fanning has a separate respect for this short film.

Parasite / Kapture: Fluke (2017)

This film advertises yet another invention of geniuses from a corporation that develops weapons for the armed forces.

This weapon is advertised, as we can see, with a particularly cynical humor. You won't find fault.

Adam (2017)

A series of films about a universe in which extra mouths (and, in particular, prisoners who have to be fed) are disposed of by transplanting their consciousness into artificial bodies. Thus, they do not seem to be killed, and there is no need to feed them. All three episodes are also in the public domain and you can watch them right here.

Adam: The Mirror (2017)

Adam: Episode 2 / Adam: Episode 2 (2017)

Adam: Episode 3 / ADAM: Episode 3 (2017)

The entire trilogy is more conceived to showcase the capabilities of the Unity game engine. Well, you can be glad. He has great opportunities. The characters placed in the virtual world and controlled by motion capture are simply impressive.

Praetoria (2017)

It is not clear what Blomkamp wanted to present to us in this picture more - the mental ordeal of the invisible behind the armor of the protagonist or the original armor of the protagonist?

God: City (2018)

Another series about the idiotic god Sharlto Copley, mocking people. Only now people from our time fall under the distribution.

Future Projects

As of today, Neil's next short film entitled "Lima" is being prepared for release. Here's her trailer.

It follows from it that the main character of the future film - a veteran of the special services, will try to fight evil by putting on a "super suit", which endows him, in addition to being invulnerable, with some other useful abilities.

It is already known that Blomkamp's next full-length project as a director will be the fantastic disaster film Greenland. The details of the plot have not yet been disclosed, but it is known that the speech in the film will go, literally: "About a family trying to survive a natural disaster." It is not said about what kind of family it is - local, or visiting, nor about what kind of disaster it will be - related to flooding or icing. But it is known that Chris Evans, the First Avenger of the Marvel Universe, has been assigned to one of the main roles in the film. Well, let's look forward to the next creation of Neal with the greatest impatience.


As well as we will wait for his subsequent film "The Return of Robocop", for the production of which he was officially hired by the figures from the Columbia Pictures film company in 2018.


Returning to the topic of the title, I would like to believe that the director and author of the story about the clam, Christopher Johnson and his son, will nevertheless return to the theme of "District 9". In every interview he is asked about the fate of the sequel and he constantly repeats that the story has already been written, but, allegedly, there is not enough time. Each time he assures that after the next project he will definitely return to the second film about Vicus Van de Merve. So he said before "Elysium", he promised the same before "Chappie", he repeats the same thing before "Greenland".

It seems that our beloved genius of special effects just doesn't have enough money for his own expensive project, and he doesn't want to take anyone for a share. So it pulls the rubber ...If only it doesn't break ...

The Topic of Article: Neil Blomkamp on District 10: ”I know exactly what it will be, I just don't know when ...”. All of the director's short films.
Author: Jake Pinkman