Set against the backdrop of post-World War II Los Angeles, “The Last Hurrah” is the story of a virile yet vulnerable bank robber, Samuel, and his exotically beautiful ex-wife and [the] Bonnie to his Clyde, Petra. Shot in black & white in the very newspaper building where none other than the William Randolph Hearst used to office, “The Last Hurrah” re-creates the look and feel of a post-War noir—from it’s hard-boiled dialog to its canted angles, chiaroscuro shadows and its atmospheric, rainy setting.
Determined to make a better life for their son and to set themselves up pretty for retirement, the duo rob a bank successfully, and find themselves a million dollars richer. But it turns out that their checkered past together and volatile relationship isn’t a problem that money can solve.
When the heat rises and Petra refuses to oblige Samuel’s advances the two find themselves in a struggle that is at once new and all too familiar. The pain of the past and the fear of the [unknown] future combust and the promise of better lives through crime ends how it always does in the noir world... in despair.
Today we need your help to fund our homage to the films noir of yesteryear. Your donations make this possible. In return you will receive some pretty awesome perks. Donating just $5 gets you the entire film!
My journey with “The Last Hurrah” began after viewing what I consider to be one of the best films ever, Out of the Past. I'm willing to wager that some of you reading this have had that blue moon experience in which you watched a film and something about it was so seminal that it actually changed the way you watched and appreciated films henceforth.
For me this was my recent experience when I saw Out of the Past (1947) with Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, and Kirk Douglas for the first time and I was awakened to how cinematography is both an art form unto itself and a medium through which good storytelling is enhanced exponentially. The cinematographer who shot that film was named Nicholas Musuraca [he's also well-known for I Remember Mama (1948)]. I read the most beautiful quote from one of his contemporaries: He described him as a "painter with light". If you've seen the film you know that this is not hyperbole; each shot is like a painting unto itself.
Since watching Out of the Past I haven't been able to get it out of my head! It began a personal renaissance of sorts with films noir and one day (more for kicks than anything else and totally expecting to fail) I decided I would try my hand at a little film noir-styled dialog myself. A few days later inspiration struck and I gave it a shot. Much to my astonishment, I actually liked what I wrote and the rest, as they say, is history.
“The Last Hurrah” is my homage to the many great films noir that have inspired and continue to inspire me. For film noir is not a relic of the past but is rather an ever-present force in the present, inspiring everything from the neo-noir sci-fi classic Blade Runner to The Dark Knight Batman series to Netflix’s current hit, House of Cards, to one of my favorite TV shows of all time, the (soon to be rebooted!!!) Twin Peaks.
If you've never seen Twin Peaks-- fear not--- there's time to catch up before Showtime launches the reboot! I highly recommend enjoying it over a "cup of deep black joe" and if you're like me you also might want to pop a couple ginkgo biloba first; you'll not find smarter, more complex, more layered characters and storytelling anywhere on TV. David Lynch and Mark Frost are true masters of their craft. Big ups to Showtime for bringing this seminal series back to the millions of us who have been happily haunted by the series since its dramatic debut! You can check out the trailer here!
Noir is a convention that defies definition but you do know it when you see it. With the help of a venerable team, I look forward to sharing my noir vision with you in “The Last Hurrah”!
Like many of the stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Aleksandra Vujcic came to acting the old fashioned way—she was discovered—in her case in a bar in Auckland, New Zealand. In true femme fatale form, she actually tossed away the script. Thanks to the tenacity of Director Gregor Nicholas, soon after she took the indie world by a storm with her debut in his film Broken English, a film that the Boston Globe called “bold and hard-hitting” and for which Aleksandra collaborated on her character and received a writing credit. At the time, Janet Maslin of The NY Times said she portrayed the role with “astonishing naturalness… carefree, sensual ease and what the hell blitheness,” and "with fire". Since then she’s had leading roles in several other crime-related films including The Man on the Run, in which she played a Chechen rebel and fired semi-automatic rifles opposite Emmy award winner, Golden Globe nominee, and perennial badass, Armand Assante. Soon after, she became pregnant with her first child. “The Last Hurrah” is Vujcic’s return to the silver screen after taking some time off from acting to raise a family and two beautiful children, Marco and Gitane. We are honored that she has chosen our project for her theatrical homecoming.
A native New Yorker, Michael began his career on stage in the city playing the Male Lead roles of Stanley and Brick, respectively, in the Chelsea Repertory Company's productions of A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Not long after, Michael's talents took him Off-Broadway. After taking his bite out of the Big Apple with recurring roles for legendary series Guiding Light and As The World Turns, he eventually came out to LA and has since worked consistently in television, commercials, and film. He still maintains an affection for live theatre, appearing in LA's Deaf West Theatre production of Bent, with Variety Magazine calling his portrayal of Wolfe "carried to voracious hilt".
No stranger to the world of crime, Bronte has appeared on NBC's juggernaut, Law & Order and inside 'Her Majesty's secret service' playing James Bond for A&E's Biography. Most recently he's stayed on the right side of the law in the short film "Scorpion," which is currently running in the UK's Raindance Film festival.
Keith Tutera, M.A. has been sharing his stories with the public ever since he won his first forensic competition in third grade. “The Last Hurrah” is Keith’s first foray into the world of film noir. A seasoned writer and erstwhile real life “Mad man,” Keith’s work has appeared in a variety of international media including the silver screen, the talkie box, books, magazines, key art, literary journal, and even the good ol’ radio.
Keith believes films noir to be some of the most interesting ever produced in or out of the Hollywood system and he looks forward to being a part of shaping how film noir continues to sculpt and enliven the landscape of cinema present and future.
Randy is known for his work on Around the World in 80 Days, The Wedding Planner and Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. The most recent film he produced, It's Gawd, stars Luke Perry and Rebecca Mader and is currently in post-production. Through his company Fictitious, Randy has produced dozens of commercials, music videos and branded entertainment series for some of the worlds top brands (NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Disney, etc.) In addition to Randy's extensive producing experience he is also an accomplished writer, having sold his television pilot, Heavy Metal Nanny to A&E. He is currently writing a script based on an idea by musical phenom Pharrell Williams."
Rachel Tolliver is a native Californian actress and up-and-coming Writer/Producer. This past year Rachel produced, wrote, and co-directed her first web series pilot AA-LA - Actors Anonymous and also worked on filmmaker/actress Tania Zee's feature film debut The Internship Games as Second Assistant Director.
Philip Hurn is an award-winning director of photography for feature films, television, documentaries and commercials. He began his career as a cinematographer and editor at PBS in San Diego where he produced and directed the documentary, The Best For Most which won an Emmy award, Bronze Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival and a Cine Eagle that placed it in the permanent collection of the U.S. Library of Congress. His work has aired on American Masters, Frontline, HBO America Undercover, and A&E Biography. His documentaries have won three Emmy awards. His most recent movie Trade of Innocents was filmed in Thailand with Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino and Dermot Mulroney. The film dealt with the difficult subject of human trafficking and screened for a world-renowned delegation at the United Nations.
Katherine studied Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago and Theatrical Set Design at Columbia College. Her extensive training in the history of art and architecture have enabled her to design any period piece with accuracy and grandeur. Excelling in both period and contemporary design, she has an inspiring eye for the details that make a film set come to life and that tell a deeper story to the audience. She has worked with networks such as BBC, SKY TV- England, and National Geographic. Her most recent film project, The Desperate, has won over 80 awards worldwide.
The author of Just Effing Entertain Me: A Screenwriter’s Atlas, Julie Gray is a story consultant and writer living in Tel Aviv, Israel. A Huffington Post, Script Magazine and Times of Israel contributor, Julie is a favorite speaker at the London Screenwriter’s Festival and has taught story at Warner Bros. Entertainment, Oxford University and The San Francisco de Quito University in Quito, Ecuador. Julie directs the Tel Aviv Writer’s Salon, consults with prose and screenwriters all over the world and volunteers with Amnesty International in Israel, helping African refugees to tell their stories, as well as with Natal, a non-profit for survivors of terror and war.
Storyboards by David Green
Page design by Just J&P Pages
Risks and challenges
As Gilda says, "We make our own luck". With that said, we face most of the usual risks and challenges of any film production. If unforeseen circumstances necessitate rescheduling, equipment breaks, gets lost, stolen, or an actor or actress gets sick or drops out, this could adversely effect the production. These are just a few things that should they happen could cost us some serious loot.
On top of that we are shooting this digitally, but in a black and white noir style, which adds another layer of technical challenges to achieve the mid-forties look we are after. We have to pay close attention to lighting and set design for the period, which is an expensive proposition compared to shooting a more contemporary piece. These are just a few things that we have to overcome or look out for, but rest assured, we're up to the challenge!
Thanks very much for your financial and/or social media support. We simply can't make this film without it.
"The Last Hurrah" teamLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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