Carruth at South by Southwest 2013.
|Alma mater||Stephen F. Austin State University|
Shane Carruth (born January 1, 1972) is an American filmmaker, screenwriter, composer, and actor. He is the writer, director, and co-star of the prize-winning science-fiction film Primer (2004), which was his debut feature. His second film, Upstream Color (2013), was an experimental science-fiction film which he wrote, directed, produced, edited, designed, and starred in. He also composed the scores for both films. In recognition of Carruth's idiosyncratic and, at times, bizarre filmmaking technique, director Steven Soderbergh told Entertainment Weekly, "I view Shane as the illegitimate offspring of David Lynch and James Cameron."
Carruth was born in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on January 1, 1972. He attended Stephen F. Austin State University as a Mathematics major. Before becoming a filmmaker, he worked as a developer of flight-simulation software.
For his independent film Primer, Carruth wrote, directed, produced, and performed one of the two main roles; he also composed the score. The film was honored at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival with the Grand Jury Prize and the Alfred P. Sloan Award. Carruth, a former software engineer with an undergraduate degree in mathematics, used his technical knowledge extensively on the project.
On January 21, 2013, Carruth premiered his film Upstream Color at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition category. Carruth, Johnny Marshall, and Pete Horner won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Sound Design for the film. Keith Kimbell wrote that it was the "most anticipated (and most difficult to describe) film in competition", and "most critics couldn't stop talking about it". The film was released via VHX on April 5, 2013. Some of Carruth's music from Upstream Color was featured in the 2016 documentary Tickled.
In 2009, David Sullivan, one of the leads in Primer, tweeted that "Shane Carruth's next project, A Topiary, is in the early stages of pre-production". Filmmaker Rian Johnson tweeted that it would feature a "mind-blowing sci-fi script." In 2010, several news sources reported that A Topiary was in the works and that the script had been written. There was already a website for the movie which, according to Carruth in an interview to io9, "The website for now is just a place mark as financing has yet to be completed. I'm cautiously optimistic that this can happen soon and couldn't be happier with the filmmakers that have committed to the project so far." However, the film (which Entertainment Weekly described as "a sci-fi epic about a group of kids who build a giant, animal-like creature") stalled, and in early 2013, Carruth told EW that it was "the thing I basically wasted my whole life on." Carruth no longer pursues the project; some VFX test footage of the film is visible in Upstream Color in a scene when a character is examining the video for technical flaws.
Carruth was rumored to have consulted on time-travel sequences for filmmaker Rian Johnson's Looper, though it was later revealed that those sequences were deemed too expensive to shoot. In an "Ask Me Anything" session on the site Reddit, Johnson said "He gave some notes on the script but wasn't involved beyond that, sadly."
In 2014, Carruth announced a new film, The Modern Ocean, based on international shipping and the lives of those involved. On August 12, 2015, it was reported that the film was in pre-production, and its ensemble cast was announced in November 2015; it will include Anne Hathaway, Keanu Reeves, Tom Holland and Daniel Radcliffe. However, in an interview in 2018, Carruth noted that the film is "not gonna happen anytime soon".
|2016||The Girlfriend Experience||Yes||TV series (13 episodes)|
|2017||Breakthrough||Yes||TV series (1 episode)|
|2018||The Dead Center||Yes|
|2019||The Wanting Mare||Yes|
|2014||Everything & Everything & Everything||Morgan||Short film|
|2015||We'll Find Something||Steve||Short film|
|Memory Box||The Man||Short film|
|2016||The Girlfriend Experience||Sam||TV series (1 episode)|
|Swiss Army Man||Coroner||Cameo|
|2018||The Dead Center||Daniel Forrester|
Awards and nominations
|2004||Sundance Film Festival||Grand Jury Prize||Primer||Won|
|Alfred P. Sloan Prize||Won|
|Nantucket Film Festival||Best Writer/Director||Won|
|Gotham Awards||Best Feature||Nominated|
|Sitges Film Festival||Best Film||Nominated|
|2005||London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film||Best Feature||Won|
|Independent Spirit Awards||Best Feature||Nominated|
|Best First Screenplay||Nominated|
|Best Actor in a Debut Performance (David Sullivan)||Nominated|
|Fantasporto||International Fantasy Film Award||Nominated|
|2013||Sundance Film Festival||U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Sound Design||Upstream Color||Won|
|Grand Jury Prize – Dramatic||Nominated|
|Sitges Film Festival||Best Directorial Revelation||Won|
|Best Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Los Angeles Film Critics Association||Best Editing||Second place|
|Independent Spirit Awards||Best Director||Nominated|
|Gotham Awards||Best Film||Nominated|
|Best Actress (Amy Seimetz)||Nominated|
|Camerimage||Best Cinematography Debut||Nominated|
|Chicago Film Critics Association||Best Editing||Nominated|
|Dublin Film Critics' Circle||Best Director||Nominated|
|Village Voice Film Poll||Best Film||Nominated|
|SXSW Film Festival||Festival Favorites||Nominated|
|2014||Australian Film Critics Association||Best International Film (English Language)||Nominated|
|Central Ohio Film Critics Association||Best Picture||Nominated|
|Lost Weekend||Best Visuals||Nominated|
|Georgia Film Critics Association||Breakthrough (Amy Seimetz)||Nominated|
|Best Original Score||Nominated|
|Best Actress (Amy Seimetz)||Nominated|
|Best Original Screenplay||Nominated|
|London Film Critics' Circle||Technical Achievement of the Year (Johnny Marshall)||Nominated|
- Murray, Rebecca (October 22, 2004). "Interview with Shane Carruth". About.com. New York Times. Retrieved May 16, 2008.
- Moring, Mark (October 22, 2004). "A Primer on Filmmaking". Christianity Today. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
- Maerz, Melissa (April 5, 2013). "A Mysterious Director Returns, in Living Color". Entertainment Weekly (1253): 50. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
- "New Math: A Conversation with Shane Carruth".
- "Apple Trailers: Upstream Color Trailer".
- "2013 Sundance Film Festival Announces Feature Film Awards". sundance.org. January 26, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- Kimbell, Keith (January 28, 2013). "2013 Sundance Film Festival Recap". Metacritic. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- Sullivan, David (May 11, 2009). "Shane Carruth's next project, A Topiary, is in the early stages of pre-production. Let's hope that I can be a part of that one too!". @davidsullivan. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
- "Twitter / Rian Johnson: to all who asked". Retrieved September 16, 2009.
- "More details about Shane Carruth's next mind-bending film!". io9.com. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- "UPSTREAM COLOR w/ Shane Carruth of PRIMER (B-Movies Interview)".
- "Shane Carruth Working on LOOPER".
- Raftery, Brian (April 17, 2013). "Buckle Your Brainpan: The Primer Director Is Back With a New Film". Wired.com. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- "Forceduse comments on IAm Rian Johnson, filmmaker". Reddit.com. September 24, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Wise, Damon (January 5, 2014). "Shane Carruth Interview: Upstream Color". Empire Magazine. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
- Nguyen, Clinton (August 12, 2015). "We Talked to Shane Carruth About the Human Drama Behind 'The Modern Ocean'". Motherboard. Vice Media. Archived from the original on January 2, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
- Borys Kit, Pamela (November 3, 2015). "Anne Hathaway, Keanu Reeves, Daniel Radcliffe to Star in 'The Modern Ocean'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- Nordine, Michael (October 1, 2018). "Shane Carruth on Why He Won't Direct a Superhero Movie and Acting in 'The Dead Center'".
- Erbland, Kate (January 26, 2016). "Sundance: Amy Seimetz Explains the Most Feminist Decision She Made When Crafting 'The Girlfriend Experience'". Retrieved August 23, 2016.
- Shane Carruth Answers All Our Questions About 'Primer,' 'Upstream Color' and 'The Modern Ocean', 2013-04-04, theawl.com
- Interview with Shane Carruth about 'PRIMER'- 07/Mar/04, MakingTheFilm.Com
- A Primer Primer, By Dennis Lim Tuesday, October 5, 2004, New York – Village Voice
- Interview with Primer director Shane Carruth, 2004-10-03, sffworld.com
- Official websites