Thursday, January 12, 2012
Director Shane Carruth films part of latest project in The Colony
Carruth is known for his Sundance Film Festival-winning film, Primer.
Film director Shane Carruth dove to the bottom of the pool for a third or fourth take. The weights on his ankles and waist to help him stay submerged were a little awkward, but it was all necessary to get the footage he wanted.
Carruth, a producer, and an actress were filming a scene for his latest film project at The Colony Aquatic Park on January 5.
Places in The Colony have been used as film sets before, but not The Colony Aquatic Park. Carruth was in The Colony visiting his mother and other relatives in Frisco for the holidays. He thought he'd get some work done on his new film while he was here.
He has a track record in the film industry for getting people's attention. His first film, Primer, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004. Sundance, founded by actor Robert Redford in 1981, is the granddaddy of film festivals in the United States for independent films.
Carruth's film Primer is a complicated science fiction tale that involves a bunch of young, upwardly mobile programmer types that accidentally discover time travel ... maybe. Or maybe not. It was filmed in Dallas on a budget of $7,000. Carruth plays one of the computer geeks.
Both the producer, Ben LeClair, and the director are not forthcoming with details about the current project. Carruth just isn't chatty about any of his films.
"Shane is known for doing a lot with very little," LeClair said.
LeClair earns his living as a film producer in Los Angeles.
"I'm here because Shane has talent and I believe in his project," he said. "Anybody can buy a camera."
He is right about doing a lot with very little. It would have been hard to tell at the Aquatic Park last week that the three people were a film crew. Carruth worked as his own camera operator with a small camera and only a few, small portable lights. LeClair was the one-man technical crew. He made sure Carruth had whatever he needed while the director and actress worked on a scene submerged in the pool.
All three wanted to make sure that photos and the name of the actress did not appear in The Colony Courier-Leader. She is a well-known actress in the Dallas area.
Attired in a one-piece, modest, black swimsuit, she worked tirelessly, diving to the bottom of the pool, performing an action that may have been pretending to pick up things. She and the director did this over and over.
All of this went on for several hours after the pool closed. The Colony Aquatic Park Manager Elise Knox stood by to make sure the trio had everything they needed. Lifeguard Josh Naph also was on hand, just in case.
Knox said she thought at first Carruth was doing a film project for school, but was delighted to discover she had seen his first film, Primer.
She charged them the same rate a small group renting the pool for a party would be charged. She also showed the director other locations he could use. She said he would consider The Colony for other projects.
"It took two hours and we got about 10 seconds of film we'll use," Carruth said as he dried off.
The City of The Colony also will be listed in the film credits.
"We're always open to new streams of revenue and it did give us some excitement around here," Knox said.
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