"We are essentially doing a cinematic film in a very high end video game engine."
- Film director Neill Blomkamp, writing on Reddit about a current project of his new outfit Oats Studios.
Film director Neill Blomkamp (Chappie, Elysium, District 9) opened up a bit as part of a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" thread today, in the process explaining that his current film is being created in the Unity game engine.
What's interesting about this is not that Unity is being used by a filmmaker -- we're at a point now where both it and competitor Unreal Engine have been used in the production of numerous films -- but that Blomkamp aims to make a 12-minute film that's rendered in real time, so audience members can "enter" as though it were a game.
"Right now at Oats we are working on a 12 minute 'film' that is done entirely within UNITY as a real time renderer. We are essentially doing a cinematic film in a very high end video game engine. this will be rendered out in traditional youtube film fashion, and views will watch like normal," Blomkamp wrote. "BUT because it's ENTIRELY real time, like a game cinematic we have the ability to place a viewer IN the film with Vive, or VR headset and experience it in true real immersive 3d. (not 360 deg global camera, with footage mapped onto the inside of a sphere, which makes me want to kill myself.)"
Elsewhere in the Reddit thread Blomkamp talks up his previously-stated plan to make the assets Oats produces available for both licensed use in commercial products and free non-commercial use, a proposal that may be of interest to game makers down the road.
"I really cannot say this enough. The WHOLE point of Oats is to hopefully have things like this happen," Blomkamp noted. "Every single thing we have made is up for free usage by artists, for the sake of art, and anything we have made is up for licensing by anyone who has a commercial idea. Licence (his short film) ZYGOTE for a game?! HELL YES. all day long. We will hand over all assets, extra stuff we wrote, all artwork, anything that leads to more creativity."
For more of the director's comments, which mostly focus on film-making but span the gamut from cooking shows to indie studio financing, check out the full Reddit thread.