Earlier this summer, director Neill Blomkamp announced a new creative workshop called Oats Studios, and the filmmaker has just released its latest project. Kapture is a documentary-style CG short about a pair of weapons designers who test out their their latest creations, serving as a callback to a critical scene in Blomkamp’s debut District 9, while also highlighting the oddball sensibilities that have been a focal point of most of Oats Studios’ projects.
Thus far, the studio has released three long-form short films: Rakka, Firebase, and Zygote, each of which Blomkamp hopes to scale up to feature-length projects. But the director has also been releasing more experimental projects — things like Cooking with Bill, and a darkly comic three-minute short starring Sharlto Copley as God.
There’s not much in the way of story here, but it sets up the framework for similar videos
Kapture falls into the latter category, a tongue-in-cheek satire that follows a duo named Gary and Jeff (Ken Lawson and Toby Hargrave) as they test out various high-tech weapons. They show off a gun called the Fluke, which allows them to shoot an enemy combatant and hijack their body. (Coincidentally, Luc Besson’s latest film, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, used an almost identical device.) The two proceed to test it on a prisoner. Needless to say, things don’t turn out well.
Where all of the other Oats videos have been live action, Kapture is notable in that the project is made up entirely of computer-generated animation. However, it follows the aesthetic template that Blomkamp established with District 9, combing the CG characters and sets with a found footage-style filmmaking. Blomkamp has spoken about how he wants to use Oats Studios as a “playground for creativity,” where he and his crew can experiment, and Kapture’s combination of technique and tone seems to fall under that broader mission.
Blomkamp originally described the film as “very games-centric,” saying that it had a “very macabre sense of humor.” That’s certainly the case, and while there’s not much in the way of story here, at the very least, the short gives Blomkamp an opportunity to cook up a number of fictional sci-fi firearms and see what damage he can do with them.