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Episode 50 – What’s the deal with Shane Carruth

We talk a lot about Jeremy Saulnier and Robert Rodriguez, but what about Shane Carruth who directed Primer (2004) and Upstream Color (2013). There’s a lot to learn about how Carruth approaches his films. In addition we tackle the problems of discipline, procrastination and talking vs doing.

Listen now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.

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The Daily Struggle

Write a movie that will change your life!

  • What is Truby trying to say? Have an idea, leave us a comment.

Talking vs Doing

  • Why hasn’t Alrik started raising money for the Alternate? He’s talked about, but he hasn’t gone to action.

How do you discipline your art?

  • Discipline and art. Do they go hand in hand?
  • Do you think it’s better to waiting for inspiration or force yourself to do a little everyday?
  • What are some of methods for discipline?

Shane Carruth

  • We talk a lot about Jeremy Saulnier and Robert Rodriguez, but what about Shane Carruth? A listener, Derek, wrote us and wants us to talk about Shane Carruth who directed Primer (2004) and Upstream Color (2013)
  • Who is Carruth?

Writer-director Shane Carruth, a former software engineer, burst onto the independent movie scene with his extremely low-budget science-fiction film Primer (2004) in 2004. Carruth also played one of the two leads in the film and composed its music. “Primer” won the Grand Jury Prize and the Alfred P. Sloan Award at the Sundance Film Festival. 

  • Primer production and what we can learn from his approach to his first feature film

Budget: $7,000

Schedule: 5 weeks principal photography and 2 years post-production

Crew: 5 (Camera Operator, Assistant Camera, Location Sound, PA and Caterer)

Carruth: Writer, Director, Actor, Composer, Editor, Sound Design, Cinematographer

Camera: Film, Super 16mm

Shooting Ratio 2:1

“After shooting, Carruth took two years to fully post-produce Primer. He has since said that this experience was so arduous that he almost abandoned the film on several occasions.

  •  the success of Primer

Grand Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival in 2004Alfred P. Sloan Prize, the 2004

Sundance Film FestivalBest Writer/Director (Shane Carruth) at the Nantucket Film Festival in 2004

Best Feature at the London International Festival of Science Fiction in 2005

  •  His follow up film: Upstream Color

Budget: $50,000

Schedule: Unknown, but a 40-day schedule was reported on Slashfilm.com

Carruth: Writer, Director, Actor, Composer, Editor, Sound Design, Cinematographer

Distribution: Self Distributed

Camera: GH2

  • Why hasn’t he made more films?

Things to Share

Alrik recommends Doom 3 and Timothy recommends Uncharted 4!

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  • Derek Johnson

    Thanks guys love the show. I always listen to it when i want motovation to write a short. Probably because the podcast lets people know they aren’t alone when battling the inner critic every day.

    • Hey Derek, thanks for asking us to talk about Shane Carruth. We tend to fall back on Rodriguez or Saulnier when talking about low budget starts, but there are a lot of other filmmakers to gain inspiration from, including Carruth.

    • Thanks so much for the suggestion Derek! I still haven’t watched Upstream Color but I gotta give it a shot soon, if only to support an indie filmmaker who’s making movies on his own terms, which is pretty awesome in itself.