Dennis Hauck brings “Too Late” to Seattle in 35mm. A detective story filmed in five parts of sweeping cinematography. Almost everything we see in modern movie theaters is filmed digitally. Please take the time to check out an actual modern day film. We need to promote artist and their chosen media. Catch this amazing film at Grand Illusion Cinema in Seattle. Take a few minutes to read our interview with Dennis and learn about his work. Lots more info on the movie below the interview.
Check out our interview with Dennis Hauck:
Tell me a bit about your film, “Too Late”.
It is a movie about a private detective looking for a missing woman. I tried to take the sign of the private eye drama and use it to tell a much more personal character driven story. It sort of plays around with the private eye genre in a more modern day setting.
What made you decide to do the entire film in 35mm?
Well, it wasn’t really a decision since I have never shot anything on digital and I never really want to, frankly. There are a lot of different film formats. There are 16, 70, and 35mm to name a few. There are a lot of different formats even inside of 35mm. It was mostly a question of what film format is the best for this story. We had an interesting dilemma with this story. The film is made up of several really long shots. The only way we were able to get these long shots that last about twenty minutes is to shoot at a format called Techniscope which was invented in Italy in about 1960. It was used for a lot of the Spaghetti Westerns. Then, in the seventies it kind of died out. It really hasn’t been used very much until recently. The interesting thing about this format is that the frame sizes are really different from most 35mm formats. They are a little smaller so that you can fit twice as many frames in the same roll of film. Normally, a roll of film would last you about eleven minutes. We can cram in 22 minutes of shots on the same roll.
How does the 35mm format dictate the theaters that can play your film “Too Late”?
In some ways it limits us but in other ways I feel it opens us up to other options. We are a small film anyway, so we never planned on being on two thousand screens across the country. It is funny how a lot of theaters wanted to book us because they held on to these old projectors and are excited to be able to dust them off and use them. I feel like the kind of theaters that held on to those projectors are the kind of theaters that would play a movie like this one. I guess it is a little limiting but if people don’t ever do anything like this we will end up losing that entire format. We will lose the experience of watching 35mm films in theaters all together.
It makes me sad about how many theaters were bullied into adding digital projection but also being contracted to throw out they film projectors. It was in the contracts and mandated by a lot of the manufacturers of the digital projectors. That part really makes me angry.
Are you thinking of making another film in the same style?
No, not really. The movie that I am writing right now will have lots of montage and cutting. It will have a lot of the cinematic vocabulary that we didn’t allow ourselves in this film. It does kind of get addictive doing these really long takes. It wasn’t until after we finished that I thought if I ever did this again I would really know how to handle it well and possibly even do it better. The goal is to always shoot on film.
Do you feel it is more difficult to do the sweeping long shots of this film or the shorter montages and cuts of the upcoming project?
I think everything has its challenges. There are always difficulties and issues in filmmaking. It is like a ballet trying to choreograph everyone for a twenty-two minute shot. There is no one unimportant on the set. Everyone has to work together in concert to achieve a successful shot of that length of time. It does make editing easy in the end because there is virtually no editing. There is just something about knowing that everything you see actually happened on the set. There is no CGI or any sort of trickery. It is all really happening. I think it is a fun experience for the crew as well as the audience when they are watching the film as well. I think it upped everyone’s game on set.
Would you encourage young filmmakers and students to record on film?
Oh, certainly. I want everything shot on film. I am just a film fan. I want students to know that film is not as expensive as you think. If you want to shoot on film, you can make it work with your budget. I think that entire philosophy that film is expensive and digital is cheap is a big myth. There are a lot of hidden costs of digital that people don’t address that often.
PR Info On Dennis Hauck & “Too Late”:
Private investigator Mel Sampson (Academy Award nominee John Hawkes, EVEREST, THE SESSIONS, MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE) is tasked with tracking down the whereabouts of a missing woman from his own past. With this familiar setup, TOO LATE takes the spine of the classic private eye genre and tears it to pieces, weaving it back together into a tapestry of southern California and the menagerie of eccentric personalities and lost souls who inhabit it. From the desolate, overgrown Radio Hill to the ritzy penthouse of The Beverly Hilton, the film presents a sprawling view of Los Angeles that ranges from the undiscovered to the iconic. Ultimately, TOO LATE tells the story of a missing woman, but paints the portrait of a lost man.
Dennis Hauck’s directorial debut is a technical marvel, a feature film shot on 35mm that tells its story in five uninterrupted takes. Hauck uses one reel for each sequence, resorting to no trick shots or edits, and then shows the reels in a non-sequential order to create a story that switches between the past, the present and the future while still making sense. It’s a brilliant device that captures the imagination from the first scene and does not let go until the credits roll.