Tag Archives: film making

An e-mail to the maker of “Primer”

I wrote an e-mail just now to the maker of the film Primer, Shane Carruth. Shane is currently planning/producing the movie “A Topiary”, but that was not the immediate topic of my e-mail. My spark was an enquiry to his view on free culture.

Having found an old post on the Primer discussion board [archive], discussing the budget and production, I noticed his attitude towards expensive editing and production software:

Music: I did it on my computer using lots of samplers and sequencers (fruity loops, sound forge, sonar, etc.). I’d rather not say how I got that software, but if I ever make a living at this I know which ones to buy.

This of course inclined me to ponder whether he could ever produce that film without the help of filesharing. Thus, maybe he may see the possibilities of sharing his work too under a copyleft license? We’ll see if he answers me, assuming that e-mail address I found even works…

Hello Shane! I recently rewatched the movie Primer together with a couple of friends, together with whom I am planning the second year of a local “free culture festival” in Umeå, Sweden.

By free I mean the type of free which the Free Software Foundation promotes, that is “open source software”. When it comes to culture, you may know of the prominent license “Creative Commons”. If not, you may read more about it on http://creativecommons.org/ (or Wikipedia for that matter, where all content is licensed “CC by-sa”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:CC-BY-SA )

Our discussion after watching Primer was mostly related to the low budget of the production, and what great opportunities there are today for amateur film makers. My personal point of view is that amateur film makers are a much greater threat to the short-sighted, popularity contest Hollywood film market that’s the reality of today’s cinema.

The discussion encouraged me to write you this e-mail to ask whether you have given any thought about licensing the movie Primer as a “Creative Commons” work?

I am also passively collecting information to an essay on how contemporary culture is formed, produced and distributed which may benefit from an answer to that question.

Having seen the news about you also producing the new film “A Topiary”, would a free “copyleft” license be possible to apply to that material?

In either case it would be interesting to hear your quick thoughts, or elaborative if you please, on free culture and the Creative Commons.

Mikael Nordfeldth