NEW YORK — Academy Award-winning screenwriter/director Quentin Tarantino, and the cast of his new film The Hateful Eight, recently gathered in New York to promote the feature’s upcoming release. Joined by stars Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Demian Bichir, Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins and Michael Madsen (Samuel L. Jackson was not in attendance), the filmmaker spoke with excitement about once again working in the western genre, and the special roadshow that would allow audiences to view the feature as a 70mm presentation.
One hundred theaters in 44 markets will offer 70mm presentations in the week leading up to the nationwide release on December 31st. The 70mm presentations — which run seven minutes longer than the digital cinema presentations — will then continue throughout the film’s run.
Tarantino, who says he will “never shoot on digital,” captured most of The Hateful Eight in Ultra Panavision 70 — a rare format that he and Academy Award-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson agreed on. The film was captured using Panavision’s anamorphic camera lenses on 70mm film as an aspect ratio of 2.76:1.
The Hateful Eight was shot on location in the mountains of Colorado, and was completed on a soundstage in Los Angeles. The film is set post-Civil War Wyoming, where bounty hunters try to find shelter during a blizzard, but get involved in a plot of betrayal and deception.
Kurt Russell’s and Jennifer Jason Leigh’s John Ruth and Daisy Domergue characters find themselves literally chained together for much of the film, and both noted the unique working relationship.
Post briefly caught up with the filmmaker after the event in New York City, where he answered some specifics about writing, directing and his filmmaking process.
Post: So much time takes place between the writing, directing and editing process. Did the film ultimately turn out the way you envision it would when you started so many months ago?
“The answer is, absolutely! But also, the movie needs to become the movie. You need to make it and so, what I’m thinking about in my room, even when I’m writing for Kurt Russell or so, then there’s actually working with them and you want them to pull it all together. So you want the movie to have its own personality as it goes. And I’m very happy that it did that.”
Post: Do you enjoy the post production process? How does it compare to the production stages for you?
“To me, it’s always the situation where, the writing process is fantastic. And I love that. And it’s always my favorite part when I’m doing that. And just when I’m getting tired of it or sick of it — I’m done with it. And I don’t really like pre-production, I want to get into it right away. So then I start shooting, and then that’s fantastic. And just when I’m getting sick of it, usually we’re wrapping it up. Same thing with editing — and now that’s my favorite part. And just when I’m getting sick of it, we’re done. I like the sound mix. I like the color timing. But those three — writing, shooting, editing — those are my favorites.”
Tarantino went on to talk about his career as a filmmaker, and how so much of his knowledge came from on-the-job experience. Having written and directed the western thriller Django Unchained, which was a commercial success and won both Oscar and Golden Globe awards, he felt there was less of a learning curve on
The Hateful Eight — also a western — than in the past. But looking back at
Reservoir Dogs, he jokingly recalls being one of the least experienced people on-set. And on the
Kill Bill films, the whole concept of shooting martial arts sequences was very new to him. Still, he says, “they figured it out.”
With two westerns now under his belt, one might ask if he considers himself a ‘western director’? Probably not, says the filmmaker, noting that a director would have to create at least three films in the genre today — an a dozen back in its heyday — to lay claim to the title.
Moviegoers can purchase tickets for the 70mm roadshow presentations at tickets.thehatefuleight.com.