It's been nearly 10 years since Shane Carruth made a splash on the filmmaking scene with the super low-budget time travel film Primer, which went on to find a cult following. He's now self-distributing his second film, Upstream Color, which follows a relationship across multiple non-linear storylines and also involves pigs and parasites and drugs and kidnappings. He also stars in the film, edited it, and worked on the score. In this episode, Monica Castillo talks with him about the use of symbols, the distinct color scheme, working both in front of and behind the camera, his brief collaboration with Rian Johnson on Looper, and much more.
About Our Guest:
Shane Carruth is a film director, writer, actor and composer. Before pursuing a career as a filmmaker he studied math and worked as a software engineer. His first film, Primer, won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. His second film, Upstream Color, won the Special Jury Award for Sound Design at the same festival in 2013 and is gradually being self-distributed across the country.
0:26 - Introduction and clip
2:28 - There's a structural change between Primer and Upstream Color. Why did you decide to take your storytelling in this new direction?
6:07 - Do you have "fun" with symbols? Do you ascribe meaning to those symbols or do you intend for the audience to read their own meaning onto them?
8:06 - The use of color is gorgeous. Do you plan it in advance, play with it in post...? What is your method?
11:24 - Do you think you have any cinematic influences?
12:50 - Do you have a favorite storyline or scene in Upstream Color?
14:29 - How were you inspired to use pigs?
16:14 - You take on so many roles in the filmmaking process. What's your favorite part of the process?
17:10 - Would you ever consider working within the Hollywood system?
18:14 - What was your collaboration with Rian Johnson on Looper?
19:47 - How did you approach the editing?
22:05 - Do you like acting?
22:58 - What was the most challenging scene?
23:32 - What's the best part of the festival circuit and the feedback you're getting?
25:55 - Show close
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