South African-born short film director 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. The film earned strong reviews, and was a box-office hit. In addition, Blomkamp earned a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination from the academy for his work on his debut.
Biography by Cammila Collar
- Grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, but moved to Vancouver at the age of 18.
- Did computer-graphics projects while still a teen for Sharlto Copley's company in South Africa, and later cast Copley as the lead in District 9.
- Studied animation and visual effects at the Vancouver Film School, and produced live-action shorts to promote video game Halo.
- Made commercials for such products as Nike and Gatorade.
- Was scheduled to make the movie Halo with producer Peter Jackson, but financing collapsed.
- Adapted his short Alive in Joburg for his directorial feature debut, 2009's District 9. It was nominated for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay Oscars.
- Was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in 2009.