Hans Glasmann was born in St. George, Utah. Growing up in the desert, he quickly learned to love and respect the environment surrounding him. He found his place behind the video camera during his undergrad studies at the University of Utah. After realizing the true potential film has at entertaining and teaching he turned himself toward film studies and ended up at Montana State University in the Science and Natural History Filmmaking program. Expecting to graduate with a Masters in 2016, Hans continues to produce entertaining and education short films.
TERRA: What inspired you to make a film about dog breeds?
HG: My wife has wanted a dog since 2011 and we finally broke down after moving to Montana and purchased one. When we purchased Elfi (a pyrenees/poodle) we both felt really excited but also a little uncomfortable with the way the animals looked and smelt. They were kept outside as barn dogs. We decided that we would never purchase a dog again like that without getting to know the breeder or it came from a shelter. Since then, I’ve personally studied many of the issues with both American shelters and breeders. The most obvious conclusion I came to, and hopefully it’s in the film, is that breeding is no longer necessary because A. we have plenty of dogs at shelters that need homes and B. breeds often have physical issues that make them the inferior dog.
TERRA: Give us a behind-the-scenes snapshot of what life was like in the field.
HG: Filming dogs is hard. In some ways it’s easier than filming wildlife. In others it has its own unique set of challenges. One thing you never have to worry about with wildlife, is that they don’t really care about you nor do they want to come near you. Dogs have such an affiliation with humans that they want to approach you and they want to interact with you. I imagine filming dogs is about as difficult as filming filmmaking students. The only plus side is that they could be commanded to sit and lay and speak and etc...
TERRA: What types of equipment did you use? Do you have a favorite piece?
HG: I used SLRs, HDRs, and many other types of cameras. I would say I loved using the Sony NEX FS700 because of its slow motion capabilities. I rented it from a fellow student and decided afterward that I needed my own, so now I have one.
TERRA: What surprised you the most about making a film that includes yourself?
HG: I hate my voice! Which is surprising because I like to talk… a lot. I tried recording my voice several times, and everyt ime I thought I sounded like some kind of Valley Bro… which still bothers me. I work on annunciating my T’s more now.
TERRA: Did you have any particularly rewarding or dangerous moments while making the film?
HG: I think the most rewarding part for me was watching all the dogs I filmed get adopted from the local animal shelter. Gnome, the deaf white dog, actually was adopted the day after I filmed with her and I went around high fiving everyone.
I never felt there were any overly dangerous moments. Most of the dogs I got to know before hand and felt comfortable with.
TERRA: What would you never go into the field without and why?
HG: Audio equipment. I will never again underestimate the power of diegetic sound.
TERRA: What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
HG: I learned early on that I wanted to be a filmmaker during my senior year in high school. I gathered about 10 of my friends and we made an hour-long film that was just terrible. But, I loved it afterward. I still watch it today. I remember thinking how cool it was that I knew how the film was going to turn out and all of my friends were cogs in the overall project. I think they liked it too.
TERRA: What would be your dream project?
HG: I’ve always wanted to make a very personal documentary that is true to either my life, my home, or something. I don’t have any specifics but a few ideas… so stay tuned!
TERRA: What’s your favorite aspect of filmmaking?
HG: Ideas. I can write, talk, film all day long but it’s when I initially come up with the idea that my heart begins to leap.
TERRA: Do you have a favorite project you’ve worked on and why?
HG: I have two. I loved working on this latest film “Purebred”. It was probably the first time that the film more or less seemed fairly similar to my original writing. And, my senior project during my undergrad titled “Nightly Dates” was also a real treat. I love that film. It was just a good old fashioned dark comedy and had some nice easter eggs hidden within it for filmmakers and film buffs.
TERRA: If you could be any breed of dog, which would you be?
HG: Eesh… I’ve taken several online “which dog am I” quizzes and I’ve come up as Pug everytime so I guess I’m a pug. Or I’m lying to myself.
TERRA: Anything else you’d like to add?
HG: Enjoy the film!