If you’re not regularly on YouTube, you may have missed what famed director Neill Blomkamp has been up to.
He formed Oats Studios which has been constantly uploading high quality short films to the platform with that same near future, gritty sci-fi feel that you know him for.
The studio has been making some money back by selling assets from these films through Steam and, we assume, through YouTube’s ad revenue.
Despite this it was clear that this model was not sustainable given the time and money poured into each film and now we see how it’s going to continue through crowdfunding.
After looking through their library, the team has decided to turn their 26-minute piece Firebase into something bigger.
How big exactly? Well, as per the film’s page on the Oats Studios site, an entire feature trilogy, provided they raise $100 million.
And if they raise just $40? Well, they’ll make a cat video.
While that sounds a bit ridiculous – no traditional Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign has raised anything close to that – they’re not looking to make all their money from this first campaign, which will last only 30 days.
Instead backers will see the film first, and then it will go onto a wider release where it will hopefully generate more money to pay for future films.
You can pledge your money right now but, as outlined in the video above, the perks you’ll be getting are limited.
It’s $10 (~R200) minimum to become a backer, which gets you your name in the credits, three “behind the scenes” updates, a PDF of all the film’s concept art, and a private link to the finished movie.
The first 100 backers at the $250 and $1 000 levels will also get a poster signed by Blomkamp and the rest of the production crew at the studio.
At this point we have to provide the regular warning about crowdfunding: you may never see your money do anything, and if the final product ever comes out it may not be exactly what you expected.
Despite this, we love what this team has been doing and seeing these films available for free on YouTube has gone a long way to win us over.
Firebase is embedded below to watch whenever you like, and make sure you read the FAQs of the campaign before handing your money over.