Most interviews about award-winning director Shane Carruth talk about how he is an introvert and a recluse. So it came as a surprise that he is here for a talk at an event in the city. The talk,as it turns out,has been serendipitous. Carruth had just finished penning a 20-page sequence of his new movie Modern Oceans when he received a communication about coming down to Mumbai. You imagine a city when you are writing about it and then you land there and find that its a lot like what you envisioned it to be. Its amazing how this has happened, says the Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner.
Carruth will be in conversation with John Hart a Tony award-winning producer who has also worked on films such as Boys Dont Cry and Revolutionary Road at the day-long Johnny Walker The Journey. The American director will talk about his films Primer,the sci-fi film,made on a budget of USD 7,000,that made him an indie film circuit darling and Upstream Color,his much-anticipated second film,which released to much fanfare at Sundance this year. At one point the movie was trending higher than the festival itself.
One of the reasons Upstream Color released with such a buzz is because Carruth emerged after a decade since his 2004 release. The cult success of Primer had every big studio at his doorstep,but nothing quite worked out,and a string of failed projects followed. I put too much pressure on myself. At that point,I was doing studio rounds,and everything just kept falling through. Now that I know I dont have a place in Hollywood,things are so much easier, he says.
There is reason why the 41-year-old cant work with studios. His obsession with control on a film set is legendary. He has produced,written,directed,edited,given music and acted in Upstream Color. For Primer,he did even more. The incredible bit is that he is self-taught. I spent some time in Dallas where I would go to various camera renting places and ask them a tonne of questions. I must have been so annoying. Then I started experiments of my own,with different lighting environments and angles.
His lack of formal training hardly comes through in his work its not just his other-world stories that make his films a great watch,its also how great they look. After Mumbai,Carruth heads down to Goa,to write his film. He hopes to find the funds soon enough to get the film on the floor.