Just over a week after it announced that it was collecting money to crowdfund a sequel to its short concept film Firebase, Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studios says that it will refund contributions because it hadn’t raised enough money to “do something [truly] awesome.”
It released a series of short films last year that were intended as conceptual starting points for much larger projects. Blomkamp told The Verge earlier this month that the campaign was an attempt “to set up a situation where [fans] fuel our ability to continue to make stuff, and just have this one-on-one relationship with the audience.”
To all backers of Firebase.. Oats will be refunding everyone who contributed completely. Unfortunately we didn’t raise enough to do something truley awesome. We would rather over deliver than create an average film. We thank the thousands of people who did back us- hang in there.
— Oats Studios (@oatsstudios) April 20, 2018
The campaign seems to have fallen far short of its intended goal. Blomkamp didn’t specifically discuss how much they were planning on raising money, other than to say that he had written a feature-length script for Firebase, which could be shot on a budget that was comparable to that of District 9, or around $30 million. However, Blomkamp noted that if the project didn’t get that much — a long shot, considering that the largest movie crowdfunding campaign topped out at $5.7 million — he indicated that they would scale the project down to meet their budget.
“The question is reverse-engineering that to the correct length, or hopefully raising enough to make the entire feature film,” said Blomkamp. While Oats had indicated that they would shoot a short cat film set in the world if they hit $40, it seems that that was in jest, and that despite the “thousands of people” who did back the project, there will be no Firebase sequel of any size.
Oats has since taken down the pledge option from its store. We’ve reached out to Blomkamp and Oats Studios for comment, and we’ll update if we hear back.