Case Study 4 – Primer

Primer is a 2004 sci-fi film written and directed by Shane Carruth.  The main idea of the film is that two scientists are trying to make a machine that reduces the weight of an object without affecting mass, they manage this, but in turn the object travels back in time.  The two scientists then use the machine to send themselves back in time to place bets and make money.

Honestly there is not much in this film which can be used in my project and I don’t think I will create a full scene case study for this.  The opening scene shows a group of 4 people working in a garage, we see a lot of hustle and bustle and metals being moved around, but we instead hear a phone call.  We do not hear the sound effects from inside the garage we hear the main character/narrator of the film speaking to the audience through an old phone.

The next good scene in the film is when they are testing the box for the first time.  We are aware that the box is creating a magnetic force as it is explained, but instead of the hum you would expect, there is the sound of wind instead.  This does not take away any of the effect which is trying to be created, as the wind works with the visuals well.

The next effective use of sound design is around 40 minutes in.  This is after the first time Abe uses the machine on himself for the first time, and he is driving away from the site.  We are aware that Abe is feeling bad as it is discussed before he goes into the box too.  He is driving around suburban streets but we hear sounds as if he is underwater.  I think this is used as he is having a head rush after being caught in this magnetic current for 6 hours.  So the water sounds work effectively.


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