3 Reasons Why Quentin Tarantino Chooses to Film The Hateful Eight in Telluride, Colorado

At Comic-Con 2014 earlier this year, Quentin Tarantino finally confirmed that he will indeed turn his famous script The Hateful Eight into a movie. Set in the early 1870's post-Civil War Wyoming, The Hateful Eight tells the story of a group of bounty hunters trying to find shelter during a blizzard.

Since his letting the cat out of the bag, the director has been actively searching for the perfect film location for his screenplay. After much due diligence on various proposed locations, Tarantino decided to film The Hateful Eight entirely in Telluride, Colorado.  

What prompted the director to choose Telluride? Below are three major reasons that influenced his decision.


1. Colorado's $5 Million Film Incentive Package

Colorado’s generous film incentive package which includes a 20% cash rebate program definitely helped tip the scale to its favor. With a budget of $44 million, The Hateful Eight’s budget for Colorado is approximately $15.7 million. As part of the agreement, the production promises to hire 168 Colorado crew and to spend at least $9.35 million in Colorado for other film-related expenses (such as lodging for example).

With this substantial budget, Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight will be the biggest production to come to Colorado since True Grit was filmed there in 1969. "The whole movie's going to be shot here, exteriors and interiors," said Colorado film commissioner Donald Zuckerman. "They're going to build it on a ranch."

Colorado's generous film incentive program has lured many productions to film in the state, including the most recent installment of the globally popular Fast & Furious franchise.

Colorado's generous film incentive program has lured many productions to film in the state, including the most recent installment of the globally popular Fast & Furious franchise.

Zuckerman believes the movie will bring many benefits to Colorado. He expects that state tourism will grow exponentially because of The Hateful Eight since people love to visit the places where their favorite movies were filmed. In addition, with the latest Tarantino film at the helm, Colorado is once again reminding the film industry the depth and breadth of its crew base. The state is proud that its talent pool can easily accommodate large filming projects such as The Hateful Eight and Fast & Furious 7.

“One of the things we get questions about all the time is: Do you have skilled crew? This is an affirmation that we have skilled crew,” Zuckerman said. “I think getting this [The Hateful Eight] is a phenomenal coup for Colorado.”


2. The Need for a Snowy Landscape

With the script of The Hateful Eight calling for a snowy, wintry setting, the ability to have real snow on location during filming is a big plus. Telluride, Colorado can grant this wish … in spades. For almost half of the year and especially from January through March, Telluride has at least one to three inches of snow on the ground daily. On the average throughout Telluride's winter season, snow can easily accumulate to over ten inches deep as early as October and as late as May.

A typical winter day in Telluride, Colorado - image via Google.

A typical winter day in Telluride, Colorado - image via Google.

With this kind of snow record, it’s no wonder Tarantino has chosen Telluride as the film location for The Hateful Eight. Having real snow during filming saves the production both money and time, two very important factors to consider in any film project.

3. The Schmid Ranch

The Schmid Ranch - image via Google.

The Schmid Ranch - image via Google.

After securing a big film incentive rebate as well as, hopefully, the perfect weather condition for filming, the only thing left on the filmmaker’s wish list was to find the perfect actual film location(s). For The Hateful Eight, Tarantino decided to shoot it mainly on the Schmid Ranch built in 1882 (about the same time the movie is set in).

On their website, the Schmid Family proudly states: "The Schmid Family Ranch is a Centennial Farm on Wilson Mesa, about ten miles West of Telluride, Colorado. The Ranch has been in operation since the family homesteaded in 1882. The family worked with the Nature Conservancy to preserve the entire ranch through a conservation easement now held by the San Miguel Conservation Foundation. Today the family's wish is to share this unique property with the community while maintaining a way of life that honors the land.” By sharing with the public, the Schmid Family allows their property to be used for weddings and other special events (such as filming).

Shooting is scheduled to begin in December through January for 49 days. The production will build interiors and exteriors on the ranch and will film the entire movie there. Even though Tarantino’s shooting permit begins on December 8, the production has already started preparing for the project this month. After all, they have an entire homestead to build for the movie. During the prep and filming stages, the crew will stay in Telluride which in turn will help boost the city's economy.

Zuckerman is thrilled to have a major Hollywood production filming in the state. "Even though there have been some big movies shot here over the years, this is the biggest thing since True Grit, because it's all Colorado," Zuckerman said. "Because it's a Western. And because it's Tarantino."

For more information on filming in Colorado, visit the Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media.


PHOTO CREDIT: Banner image of Director Quentin Tarantino via Google.