The greatest example of innovation on a tiny budget since Robert Rodriguez’s El Mariachi, Shane Carruth’s Sundance-winning science-fiction thriller Primer was photographed in 16mm on a $7,000 budget, but the price barely hints at its resourcefulness and sophistication. A former math major turned engineer, Carruth taught himself how to make movies, and his homemade production rivals Vincent Gallo for above-the-line credits: He’s the writer, producer, director, star, composer, editor, and co-cinematographer. After a long and mostly fruitless search for actors in his native Dallas, Carruth cast himself alongside sole professional David Sullivan. The two men play hardware engineers who create an astonishing device while working out of their garage. Though they quickly deduce that their invention, which ruptures the space-time continuum, would be too dangerous to bring to market, they take advantage of it themselves, but the potential consequences are immense. Carruth recently spoke with The Onion A.V. Club about shooting on film, the state of science fiction, and the ethics of invention. The Onion: What was the genesis of the idea for Primer? Shane Carruth: It really started thematically. Before I knew it had anything to do with science or science fiction, I was interested in trust, and how… Read full this story
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