For the past while, sci-fi filmmaker Neill Blomkamp has done well for himself at Oats Studios, a production company he founded to pursue more high-concept ideas in short form. There have been a lot of slick-looking shorts that have been produced under that banner, so it made sense that EA Games would hire him to put together a kind of game trailer for Anthem.
So, I’ll admit I’m a bit confused here. This short coins itself as “An Anthem Story,” but it’s not really a story. Instead, it’s a trailer that shows off a cavalcade of money shots with no real context. It was as if they threw a bunch of ideas for set pieces and decided to shoot them and cut them all together into a barely coherent story. I mean, I guess this wasn’t entirely by accident — it sounds like the intention was to make a trailer.
“I was in popcorn movie mode,” Blomkamp told EW. “It just looks like a really big, fun summer movie.”
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Sadly, I’m not sure this fits the bill for me as a fun summer movie. Were this an actual trailer for a movie, it’s so incoherent I wouldn’t even be interested in seeing it due to the lack of character development. Though while it didn’t work for me, that’s not to say they didn’t put a lot of effort into it. Apparently, it required six months of work.
“The amount of shooting time and how much imagery you have to actually capture into three minutes to make it feel legitimate is exponentially more work than you think it would be. I wrote two 10-page scripts, going off of the idea that a page is roughly a minute. I was proposing 20 minutes of footage, which was way beyond the budget scope we were dealing with. So I eventually condensed everything into one 10-page script and everyone was like, ‘Dude, it’s a three-minute piece. You can’t hand in a 10-page script.’ I was like, ‘No, it has to be 10 pages because we don’t know what’s gonna live and what’s gonna die in the edit room.’ We have to overshoot it in order to make it feel like a trailer so we can pick the best pieces. We can’t know that until the footage exists.”
Though while it didn’t work for me, a lot of people really seem to like it online…so what did you think? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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