Last Looks is the 2022 crime/mystery/thriller following disgraced ex-cop Charlie Waldo (Charlie Hunnam) — tasked with investigating the murder of the wife of a famous TV judge, Alastair Pinch (played by Mel Gibson).
The following interview is with Tim Kirkby — the director of Last Looks. The film is currently in theaters and available On Demand and Digital.
What was the casting process like for Last Looks?
The script came to me with Charlie Hunnam attached, and I made a shortlist of 3 names for Alistair Pinch. Mel was at the top. Once Mel attached, we went after finance.
The ending wrapped all the loose ends quite nicely. What was it like working with Screenwriter Howard Michael Gould — who adapted his book "Last Looks: A Novel" for the big screen?
Howard was terrific and open to changing whatever we needed to make the story or production work or enhance. Inevitably with production challenges, we had to cut some scenes, and rework locations. I also called him regularly during the edit to run plot ideas past him and asked him to write ADR lines where we needed. He’s incredibly collaborative.
What was it like working with and directing Actor Mel Gibson?
It was a pleasure working with Mel. A true professional, talented, and conscientious about the material and in giving the correctly pitched performance. We would discuss every line, every scene and he was open to trying anything out.
The ending states that the film was "Filmed in Hollywood, USA." Can you tell us about it and the overall length of the production?
I love the fact that you asked that question! It was my little joke, as we did not film in Hollywood, we shot in Atlanta, (6 weeks in Atlanta, and 1 day in Los Angeles). Because of this, it reminded me of ‘Based on a True Story ‘ from ‘Fargo’. Also, at the end of some of the old black and white noir films, they used to have ‘Filmed in Hollywood’ as if it was a romantic celebrational stamp on the period, so I guess it was a little nod to the old style of credits as well.
What were the influences for the visuals of Last Looks — how was it working with Cinematographer Lyle Vincent?
Chinatown was our main point of reference, that and The Big Lebowski. We also watched Mulholland Drive and The Long Goodbye. With Lyle, we concentrated on adopting a noir style without hopefully not overpowering the film. Also as the film was not shot in LA, we used hard lighting to shape the LA sun. I was also keen for Lyle to operate A camera, to be more connected to the material, so was he. We had a second camera but mostly shot single camera.
Could you also tell us about the decisions behind the Production Design and Art Direction in Last Looks?
Jeremy Reed would draw an artist impression of every set, and we would always try to push the creative where we could. My favorite set by far is Sikorsky’s office. On paper, it was just an office in a film studio, but I remember seeing a shot of Robert Evans in his office in the ’70s with his feet up on the phone behind him many black and white photos of A-list actors. He seemed iconic, powerful. Jeremy did a terrific job of using that as inspiration.
What were your favorite scenes of Last Looks — from on the set and in the final cut?
On the set, I loved the scenes between Mel and Charlie. They had great chemistry and were playful with each other. In the edit, I like the big showdown at the end of the movie. Waldo and... Ah sorry, I can't say.
What was it like working with Composer Peter Nashel on the score?
Pete and I would talk for ages about the flavors in LL. He would go off and cook up something pretty amazing. He always impressed me. I love working with him.
Which films/directors have influenced you as a filmmaker, including Last Looks?
Robert Altman’s style in The Long Goodbye was so disciplined. So restrained. He only moved the camera if necessary. It was a brave choice. Contrast that with the masterful Polanski’s Chinatown. I studied so many shots and was in awe of what he pulled off. And of course The Coen Brothers for their originality and tone.
The Long Goodbye (1973)
Which themes and subject matters interest you as a filmmaker?
I like messing around in the human subconscious and exploring the dark side of human nature. Makes great comedy!
Do you have any upcoming projects you'd like to share with us?
The Pentaverate!.... But it must never be exposed! Seriously, the 6-part TV series is about the 5 secret rulers of the world, all played by the mighty Mike Myers. It's epic world-building stuff, and I can't wait to share it with the world… that's if the Illuminati don’t try and put a stop to it going out...