17. April 2015 · Comments Off on Five Questions with “Skip Tracer” Director Zale R. Dalen – Part 2 · Categories: Feature Films, Five Questions with..., Ottawa · Tags: , , ,
Zale Dalen 2

Photo of Zale R. Dalen by Tim Johnson

I’m very surprised. I quite expected to be totally forgotten by now. Though I blush to say it, it seems that “Skip Tracer” is becoming Canada’s equivalent of “The Bicycle Thief”, an early film with historical value that few people have seen but which enjoys an amazing reputation”, replies director Zale R. Dalen when asked about the current interest in his film.

Set on the mean streets of Vancouver in the late 1970s, “Skip Tracer” is a free-wheeling private detective story with the twist that the detective is a loan agency’s debt collector hunting down ‘skips’ who have stopped repaying their loans.

Ottawa Indie Fest’s interview with Dalen continues in Part 2 about his first feature film which screens at the ByTowne Cinema on April 21st as part the Lost Dominion Collective Screenings on-going series of film screenings.

If you could remake Skip Tracer, what would you do differently if any and why?

After we released “Skip Tracer” I had any number of actual skip tracers and bill collectors talk to me, each with an amusing anecdote about their time in the business. For example, one man who was trying to collect for encyclopedias which, remember, were peddled door to door in those days, had the entire set dropped on him from the second floor window. Another told me about a “client”, furious at being harassed, who came into the office and cut off the manager’s necktie with a big knife, after which the manager took his file and threw it in the trash can.

More »

16. April 2015 · Comments Off on Five Questions With “Skip Tracer” Director Zale R. Dalen – Part 1 · Categories: Feature Films, Five Questions with..., Ottawa · Tags: , , ,
zalenarrates

Photo of Zale R. Dalen by Tim Johnson

“When we made “Skip Tracer”, credit cards were a new thing. I could see how they were going to take over, making it easier and easier to spend money and go into debt. But they hadn’t really been developed yet”, Zale R. Dalen, writer/director/editor of the 1977 film “Skip Tracer” tells Ottawa Indie Fest during a recent interview.

“Skip Tracer” is a free-wheeling private detective story with the twist that the detective is a loan agency’s debt collector hunting down ‘skips’ who have stopped repaying their loans.

Set on the mean streets of Vancouver in the late 1970s, Zale provides insight into the making of his first feature film which screens at the ByTowne Cinema on April 21st as part the Lost Dominion Collective Screenings on-going series of film screenings.

Where did the idea for your film Skip Tracer come from?

“Skip Tracer” began as an idea for a B movie. I was trying to figure out why cop and crime drama was so popular. It seemed to me that the reason was that they are easy to write. If the basis of drama is conflict, a cop drama has a built in conflict. There is always a criminal about to do something, or having done something, and a cop who is trying to prevent the crime, or catch the criminal. You can mix in an infinite number of variations in situation and motive, but there is never a problem inventing the conflict. It seemed to me that a bill collector or skip tracer, the cop of the business world, had a similar built in conflict.

More »

15. April 2015 · Comments Off on Five Questions With Lost Dominion’s Paul Gordon · Categories: Feature Films, Five Questions with..., Ottawa · Tags: , , , , , ,
Paul Gordon

Photo of Paul Gordon by Dale Gervis

Skip Tracer is a film with a great mix of hard boiled noir, dunked with social commentary, mixed with a tax shelter vibe”, Paul Gordon, Lost Dominion Screenings Collective Programmer tells Ottawa Indie Fest when we recently caught up with him.

Set on the mean streets of Vancouver in the late 1970s, Skip Tracer is a free-wheeling private detective story with the twist that the detective is a loan agency’s debt collector hunting down ‘skips’ who have stopped repaying their loans.

Prior to the film’s screening at the ByTowne Cinema on April 21st, Paul tells us what he personally likes about the film and about the newly minted digital version of the film.

Why did you decide to screen Skip Tracer as part of Lost Dominion’s on-going series of film screenings?

Skip Tracer is a personal favorite that we discovered back around 2006 from the great website www.canuxploitation.com (Your Complete Guide to Canadian B-Film). In 2010, we played a 16mm print of the film during our first Canadian Cult Revue season at the Mayfair Theatre. Back then we were doing double bills and the film played after John Paizs’s Crime Wave. Five years later we figured it was time to bring it back.

More »