Engineers Aaron, Abe, Robert and Phillip are working on an invention, the prototype being built in Aaron's garage. This project is beyond their day jobs. The project truly does belong to Aaron and Abe, as they use all their free time working on it, primarily trying to overcome the many engineering related problems they've encountered. It is during one of his tests with the invention running that Abe discovers that a protein inside the main unit has multiplied much more rapidly than it could in nature. Rather than the invention being a protein super incubator, Abe, using himself as a guinea pig, and a very meticulous one at that, discovers that the invention can be used as a time machine. In his self experiment, Abe was especially careful not to interfere with his own self in that time warp. Abe passes along this discovery to Aaron, who he expects will tell his wife Kara in what is the sanctity of their marriage, but he doesn't want to tell either Robert or Phillip. Much to Abe's ...Written by
The budget for the entire film was around $7000. Most of the money was spent on film stock. See more »
When Abe and Aaron are in the walk-in freezer at the university laboratory, at the end of the scene, the knee of a crew member holding the microphone is visible when they walk out the door. See more »
[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.
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, ...
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Thanks to Scott Douglass for having the faith to invest in the final stages of marketing and post production See more »
From Tinkering with Tools to Tinkering with People
"Primer" starts out innocently like a "Start-up.com" 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.
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