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Biography of Neill BLOMKAMP

South Africa > Arts : Neill BLOMKAMP

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Born on 17/09/1979 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Neill Blomkamp (b. September 17, 1979), is a South African short film director, and screenwriter.

Neill Blomkamp established himself in his field with a hand-held, first person camera style. He also became highly sought after for his ability to blend computer generated effects with a film's naturalistic elements, soon becoming a popular director for commercials. He provided his visual effects services for a number of American TV shows, like Smallville and Dark Angel, before combining his skill sets as the director of a feature film, helming the sci-fi epic District 9 in 2009.

Born in South Africa, Neill Blomkamp moved to Vancouver Canada at the age of 18 in order to take up cinema studies. Specialised in special effects, he is specialised in short films and publicity films with a science fiction style.

Recognised as one of the most talented artists of the young generation; at the age of 21 he was named at the Emmy awards for the best visual effects for his work on the pilot for Dark Angel. Soon after he was working as a director on the realisation of video clips and publicity films.

Blomkamp began as a specialist in visual effects and worked on series such as SmallVille and Stargate SG-1. He then went into producing videoclips and publicity films for renowned manufacturers such as Nike and Citroen, for whom he created the famous C4 dancing transformer clip.

In 2004was named one of the 5 directors to follow in the Saatchi and Saatchi New Directors Showcase at the Publicity Film Festival at Cannes and was a finalist at the Shark Awards. In 2005, he received the Visual Effects Society Award for the Citroen publicity film.

He has since appeared in various magazines such as Shots, Shoot, Campaign and Creativity and took three prizes at the BTAA Award Show in London. He has recently shot three Halo films for Microsoft.

At the age of 26, Blomkamp's first short film, Alive in Joburg, in which, he imagined the problems of Johannesburg with the problems of immigration and the integration of extra terrestial people, a metaphor of Apartheid in South Africa. Shot as a documentary and shot with a hand held camera.

Originally by Peter Jackson, the Australian Director, to produce a cinema version of Halo, which didn't happen owing to the high budget, he was encouraged to produce a long version of his short film Alive in Joburg. 

With a budget of 30 Million Dollars District 9 recovered its budget within a week of its release in the States.

Last update : 09/20/2009

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