So that above marks trailer number 3 for Upstream Color, released at the same time as the production drops their distribution plan which –hey!– doesn’t involve a distributor! The what, how, and the why of the film are also starting to develop via an interview with Carruth from the LA Times- a piece that also brings us the first synopsis of the film and a bit about the director’s next.
“You can force your story’s shape, but the color will always bloom upstream.”
Before we turn to the release details, it should be noted that this isn’t just an incrementally different new trailer. Though still mysterious and non-committal about specific plot points, the scope of the film is opened up with more characters, a ton more imagery, and dialogue that ambiguously suggests strange experiments or something going on. Still looks like something I really really want to see. Here’s the synopsis from the interview, which lets loose a detail or two the trailer so far have not…
A young woman (Amy Seimetz) is abducted and seemingly brainwashed via an organic material harvested from a specific flower. She later meets a man (Carruth) and after the two fall for each other, they come to realize he may also have been subjected to the same process.
As for the release, Carruth has taken it upon himself and his team in typical fashion to forego the typical sales route and instead release the damn thing himself.. The film is set up for an April 5th IFC Center release in New York, which will then be followed by a 20 market platform release. Following that in May will be a wide-open VOD release “in fluidity with the film’s theatrical expansion” that will include “Cable VOD, iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, Hulu, Xbox, Sony Entertainment Network, VUDU and Netflix and DVD/Blu-ray.” So pretty much everything.
This is all the result of Carruth wishing to set the tone for the film through marketing himself. A man who filled virtually every possible role on his first film and most on his second, he’s apparently absorbed the current indie distribution landscape and from that data formulated his own plan.
Mad respect- that’s confidence in a product and some heavy duty pre-planning to successfully pull this off so seamlessly. I have a feeling a lot of people have worked very hard to make sure that Sundance is all about building buzz and not parading around for buyers. The three trailer drops have all garnered maximum attention, and now this third –coupled with new information– will likely do the same. Sharp group of kids, Carruth and co.
As for Carruth’s next movie? It’s apparently called The Modern Ocean and he’ll be shooting it by summer. His other film, A Topiary, that was in some level of development ages ago is apparently dead and “the thing I basically wasted my whole life on” in his mind. I guess we’ll not be hearing much from that project anytime soon. Despite his long hiatus between Primer and Upstream Color, he’s decided filmmaking is it for him.
“I now know what I will be doing. I will be doing this. I will be making films and I’m going to keep working, no matter what I have to do. And I don’t plan to ever ask for permission from anybody.”
Read that full interview here.