The Short Works Of… Neill Blomkamp


The Short Works Of… is a semi-regular feature on Film Junk where we spotlight commercials, music videos and other short form work from a well-known director.

With the recent release of the first trailer for District 9, arguments over the talent and skill of director Neill Blomkamp have resurfaced across the blogosphere. Blomkamp is perhaps best known for the movie he never directed: Halo. Peter Jackson chose him to direct a blockbuster movie based on the popular video game franchise despite the fact that he had never directed a feature film. However, it is his short form work that landed him the job, so I figured it would be a good time to look back at his impressive resume and show why this guy is the real deal.

Citroen Commercial: “Alive with Technology”

You can’t start a discussion about Neill Blomkamp’s work without talking about this amazing car commercial, which won a VES award for Outstanding VFX in a commercial. If this commercial didn’t exist, Michael Bay’s Transformers never would have happened… plain and simple.

Alive in Joburg (Short Film)

This is the short film upon which District 9 is based. Aliens crash land in Africa, only to end up being taken advantage of and basically enslaved by the human race. The documentary feel and subtle CG helps evoke the brilliant allusion to Apartheid.

Halo 3: Landfall (Short Film)

After the Halo movie fell apart, Blomkamp was hired to direct a few web shorts to promote the release of the Halo 3 video game. This is perhaps the closest thing we have to imagining what his Halo movie would have looked like… and it’s pretty damn impressive.

Nike Commercial: “Crab”

This commercial is another example of Blomkamp’s skill integrating photorealistic digital effects into a live action environment.

Adidas Viral Ad: “Adicolor: Yellow”

Another breathtaking short about an intelligent robot living in human society, this was created as part of a series of viral ads for Adidas themed around different colours.

Tetra Vaal (Short Film)

Perhaps Blomkamp should have been given the reins to the Robocop reboot as well?

Nike Commercial: “Evolution”

A morphing shoe.

Tempbot (Short Film)

Another short about robots in the workforce, this one guest starring Lynda Carter aka Wonder Woman!

Crossing The Line (Short Film)

This is footage from a short war film that Peter Jackson shot with the Red camera to see how it would hold up in a professional environment. Blomkamp is only credited as an “additional director” on the project, but I thought some people might be interested to check it out nonetheless.

LiveonRelease – “Let’s Go” Music Video

Okay… so not everything he has done is groundbreaking. Hey, you gotta pay the bills somehow, right?

  • Alright Sean! Thanks for posting these all in one place. As soon as I get a minute away from the prying eyes of upper managment I will have a gander.

    The D9 trailer was awesome, so I’m curious about NB’s previous work.

  • Did I spell “management” wrong?

    … yup.

  • Wauw, that LiveonRelease music, it’s just so bad and the video so average and boring. Am I the only one who is reminded kind of about Avril Lavigne?

  • Lynne Portland

    Great summary of his work – but that image at the beginning is definitely NOT Neill Blomkamp. He is far less brooding and gangster looking. Very funny though. The REAL Neill BLomkamp’s image is here

  • mike

    are the people in charge of the Halo movie fucking retarded? This guy IS BRILLIANT! I especially love the Adicolor Ad, it’s like Bourne Identity mixed with robots. I’d see that movie (if it were real)

  • Yeah I saw that other picture too… seemed like they could have been the same guy. Just thought the hooded one looked cooler.

  • swarez

    What depresses me most is that the guy is 4 years younger than me.

  • Bunyip

    I was reading the discussion about Blomkamp yesterday involving a certain Mr Cheel on my former favourite movie site yesterday, so I had to laugh when I saw Sean had posted the full list on my new favourite movie site today. Of course there’s no guarantee D-9 will be great, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing it.

  • yeah that Rodney guy at TMB is mental. I really don’t know why he is in the internet discussion business?! I took him to task for awhile then posted this:

    rus in chicago says:
    May 4, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Well, I’m satisfied. I gave The Movie Blog a chance but I will not be visiting here again for any type of movie news or banter. Strictly my opinion, I find the tone of the owners/writers unbecoming and illogical. I wish you all well with this aggressive unconventional approach. Back to Filmjunk I go.

  • swarez

    I don’t think that District 9 will make any massive waves at the box office and I predict a rather low key release. I’m betting that the critical response will be favorable but the film is too “strange” and has no big stars to become a block buster, unless it pulls a Blair Witch and word of mouth is what gets it to the top.

  • Really I think the entire Movie Blog “discussion” can be summed up as Jay Cheel isn’t a director because he directs short films, documentary films and documentary short films.

    Also District 9 looks mind bogglingly awesome.

  • Jabba

    So, you know by now that the guy in the photo you have there isn’t Neill Blomkamp; right?

  • Dave

    So yeah, having seen District 9 now. . .wait. . .the switches in my mind that filmed turned on have’t stopped shorting out. It’s violent, it’s sincere, it has some of the coolest weaponry I’ve seen in a sci-fi flick, and it makes me want more. It’s totally fucking cool.

  • My software company has put together a collection of these shorts in HD. If you’d like to check it out we love the attention:

    You need Silverlight 3 installed. If you do not have it you can click the image or download it from our blog :

    Damon Wilder Carr

  • Mr. Dudds

    As an “ordinary” movie-goer, I must say I enjoyed D-9 as much as – if not more than – I had expected. Special effects are the best when you forget they’re special effects. There were no action-hero one-liners (“that’s what I’m talkin’ about!”), no inane budding romances, and no dramatic war movie tragedies. In short, it’s the anti-Independence Day.