IMDb > Primer (2004)
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Primer (2004) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 24 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Primer -- Two small time engineers trip upon an invention that far surpasses their aspirations.
Primer -- Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there's something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they've built, wrestle over their new invention.


User Rating:
7.0/10   66,009 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Primer on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 May 2005 (Spain) See more »
If you always want what you can't have, what do you want when you can have anything? See more »
Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there's something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they've built, wrestle over their new invention. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
2 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
From Tinkering with Tools to Tinkering with People See more (363 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Shane Carruth ... Aaron

David Sullivan ... Abe

Casey Gooden ... Robert

Anand Upadhyaya ... Phillip
Carrie Crawford ... Kara
Jay Butler ... Metalshop Worker
John Carruth ... Man On Couch #1
Juan Tapia ... Man On Couch #2
Ashley Warren ... Hostess

Samantha Thomson ... Rachel Granger
Chip Carruth ... Thomas Granger
Delaney Price ... Laney
Jack Pyland ... Aaron's Co-worker
Keith Bradshaw ... Clean Room Technician
Ashok Upadhyaya ... Laboratory Technician
Brandon Blagg ... Will
Jon Cook ... Will's Cousin
David Joyner ... Rachel's Date
Eric De Soualhat ... Translator
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Vincent Hogarth ... Luca (uncredited)

Directed by
Shane Carruth 
Writing credits
Shane Carruth 

Produced by
Shane Carruth .... producer
Original Music by
Shane Carruth 
Cinematography by
Troy Dick (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Shane Carruth 
Casting by
Shane Carruth 
Production Design by
Shane Carruth 
Sound Department
Shane Carruth .... sound designer
Reggie Evans .... location sound
David Ho .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Daniel Bueche .... camera operator
James Russell .... assistant camera
Anand Upadhyaya .... camera operator
Editorial Department
Omar Godinez .... telecine colorist (uncredited)
Other crew
Chip Carruth .... caterer
Kathy Carruth .... caterer
David Sullivan .... production assistant
Scott Douglass .... thanks
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for brief language
77 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The budget for the entire film was around $7000. Most of the money was spent on film stock.See more »
Revealing mistakes: During numerous takes the director, Shane Carruth, mutters "cut" under his breath. According to the DVD commentary, this is due to their extremely low budget which did not allow them to "waste" film. Carruth notes that a total of 80 minutes of footage was shot; the final film is 78 minutes.See more »
[first lines]
Aaron:[Sound of a phone ringing. Aaron, voiceover:] Here's what's going to happen. I'm gonna read this, and you're gonna listen, and you're gonna stay on the line. And you're not gonna interrupt, and you're not gonna speak for any reason. Some of this you know. I'm gonna start at the top of the page.
Aaron:Meticulous, yes. Methodical, educated; they were these things. Nothing extreme. Like anyone, they varied. There were days of mistakes and laziness and in-fighting, and there were days, good days, when by anyone's judgment they would have to be considered clever. No one would say that what they were doing was complicated. It wouldn't even be considered new, except for maybe in the geological sense. They took from their surroundings what was needed and made of it something more.
See more »
Movie Connections:


How do the boxes work?
How did Mr. Granger know about the time machine?
Why does Aaron say that the boxes are "one time use only," when they use them day after day?
See more »
87 out of 141 people found the following review useful.
From Tinkering with Tools to Tinkering with People, 15 October 2004
Author: noralee from Queens, NY

"Primer" starts out innocently like a "" docu-drama and the first part covers some of those same financial, friendship and entrepreneurial issues as computer geek engineers work out of of one of the partner's garage to perfect an invention.

But gradually, in this antiseptic atmosphere of white shirts, electrical experiments and tweaking mechanics, every human emotion, virtually as every seven deadly sin, except sloth, and beyond, starting with greed, takes them over.

Without any explanation to the audience, we gradually figure out that we're seeing a cleverer, low budget "Paycheck" or what "Ground Hog Day" played for laughs and an original "Outer Limits" episode did for irony (I didn't see "The Butterfly Effect" to see how it also dealt with time changes).

Rather this is an attempt to seriously examine the philosophical issues of chaos theory and how inventions can't be divorced from human frailties, both mental and physical.

Shane Carruth, as the lead actor/writer/director/producer is a true auteur--and could therefore give his nerd a wife and kid-- but perhaps an outside editor could have helped make the permutations a bit clearer as I didn't quite follow the intersections with outside characters. I followed enough to get caught up in the anxiety and suspense of each iteration.

It was amusing that I was the only woman in the audience.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (363 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Primer (2004)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Missing the basket daniellef-83351
What was Granger doing? joeproof16
The problem with this film.... peteitsme
The question that would haunt me mtouchprod
Why create the big box in France? jpalmquist-99-955350
Multiple worlds being created, or a single timeline? mtouchprod
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Source Code Retroactive 21 Grams Layer Cake The Science of Sleep
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.