The follow-up from Neill Blomkamp‘s experimental film venture, Oats Studios is here. Firebase is a story about a supernatural being lurking in the rain forests with the Vietnam War as the backdrop. The short features an engaging plot, science fiction roots and breathtaking visuals, akin to Predator. Blomkamp’s first short film Rakka takes place in 2020’s Texas where mankind is enslaved following an alien invasion, while a resistance group lead by Sigourney Weaver attempts to combat the otherworldly threat.
Although these short films are being released for free, die hard fans can purchase additional assets from each production via Steam. In an interview with The Verge, Blomkamp goes into detail on his short film projects. An excerpt of the interview can be found below.
You guys have the extras for Rakka up on Steam where users can buy all the 3D assets and concept act. Have you seen a lot of people buying those?
There’s been quite a lot of that. We’re basically just testing to see what data we get back, and to see if people are interested in it, more than selling them as a viable business model to pay for shorts of this scale. But in terms of the kind of collaborative, open nature of what we’re trying to do, the option to buy the DLC assets was the right way to go.
Firebase is set in the Vietnam War, and it has some pretty horrifying things going on —even for a war. What inspired this story, and where did it come from?
The initial idea was the concept of living in a virtual simulation: simulation hypothesis was the core basis. The theory behind this was born out of the idea that we exist in a simulated construct, where there are errors or anomalies. If you think of the universe as a piece of software, then there would be this self-correcting code that would come in and fix the erroneous code.
We came up with the idea of someone who accidentally breaks through the program and is able to see and understand that there’s more to reality than the level they exist in. We wanted someone who could play with the laws of thermodynamics, time, and space. In the case of the River God, he’s acting almost subconsciously. He’s more of an error or an anomaly. Plus, the idea of a science fiction story set in Vietnam is interesting, and a concept I haven’t seen that much of.
In this film, the River God starts tampering with the fabric of space-time. This universe corrects that by sending in people like Hines, who don’t understand why they were drawn to these anomalies, or what their purpose is. They just know they have to stop this thing from happening. On a higher level, he’s almost like an antivirus program.