Director Neill Blomkamp Loves Shooter Games – He’s Been Playing Battlegrounds Lately

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Jun 7, 2017
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South African director Neill Blomkamp is certainly no stranger to movie buffs who are into sci-fi flicks after hits like District 9, Elysium and Humandroid (Chappie).

In an interview with Glixel, after talking about his project to share experimental work and even assets on Valve’s Steam marketplace, Blomkamp talked about his love for games – in particular, shooter games. He mentioned Counter-Strike, Battlefield 4, Half-Life 2 as well as the hottest 2017 game – PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

I love games. It’s one big fluid thing to me. I love three-dimensional virtual environments, that’s what I used to do when I was in VFX. I love the idea of something existing virtually and as a 3D space which is probably why I like VR so much.

Games have all of the elements that I, as an artist, really love. This tangible world that you can go and exist inside of and you can start adding sound design and music and do what you need to do to place the audience member in that environment. It’s an incredibly compelling thing to me.

I’m kind of obsessed with Counter-Strike, we play CS:GO at Oats most Fridays. Just the idea of running around in an environment that’s 3D, and after a while you get to know the maps and they become these 3D places that you visited in your head over and over.

Games also distill down the other 50 percent of cinema that is overlooked. Cinema is often discussed as character and plot and story – which it should be, that is the skeleton that you pin everything on to – but there are far fewer discussions about design or tone or environment, production design, costume. Those elements rise to the top in games. Everyone relishes in them. They don’t need to make excuses for why they just spend 40 weeks designing a dropship to look awesome. They can just do it. So there’s an element of that in games that I love as well.

[I’m now playing] PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. A lot of it for me is just the big FPS games. Battlefield 4 is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, just playing that over and over and shooting people in the head. I love that game.

I was obsessed with most of the stuff Valve made. I was literally obsessed with Half-Life 2. If you look at District 9 a lot of the weapons are basically Half-Life weapons, which is funny. The gravity gun is essentially what the exosuit uses. Those are the big ones. It goes back too, back to the formative stuff. Myst had a massive effect on me. It’s that kind of stuff where you break new boundaries in game or in film that leaves resounding effects on people.

Blomkamp is hardly the only one fixed on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds these days. According to SteamSpy, the game might have just passed the impressive mark of 3 million owners in less than three months after its debut on Steam Early Access.

Blomkamp, who is set to direct an unnamed movie based on the Alien franchise, also said he’s a massive Halo fan but would say no to directing a movie because of the limited creative freedom that would inevitably come with the job.

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