Director Michael Winterbottom Talks THE LOOK OF LOVE at Sundance 2013

     January 24, 2013


Premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was director Michael Winterbottom’s The Look of Love.   Starring Steve Coogan, the film is based on the true story of British adult magazine publisher and entrepreneur Paul Raymond who went on to become one of the richest men in Britain.  The film also stars Anna Friel, Imogen Poots, and Tamsin Egerton.  For more on the film, here’s all our previous coverage.  In addition, IFC Films has picked up the rights, so it’ll be in theaters at some point down the road.

Shortly after the premiere I got to speak with Winterbottom backstage at the Eccles theater in Park City.  We talked about the experience of being at Sundance, how the project came together, how they came up with which aspects of Raymond’s life they should focus on, the editing process, what he learned from his friends and family screenings, film versus digital, future projects, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

the-look-of-love-steve-cooganBefore getting to the interview, here’s the full synopsis from Sundance:

With an eye for business opportunities and a taste for beautiful women, Paul Raymond (Coogan), realized early on that sex sells.  It all started out with one gentlemen’s nightclub so hot that no real man could resist.  Soon he took over the block, and shortly after, all of Soho.  But that wasn’t enough for Raymond, who, fearless to opposition, went on to publish erotic magazines and produce nude theater, earning the title of Britain’s richest man!

Raymond’s personal life was not too different from his shows.  His marriage to Jean (Friel), a nude dancer, choreographer, business partner, and mother of his children, fell apart when he met Fiona (Egerton), a glamour model who became a pin-up star of his shows and magazines.  The love of his life, however, was his daughter Debbie (Poots), who became his business partner and heir to his empire, until her tragic and untimely death at age 36.

Michael WinterbottomMichael Winterbottom Time Index:

  • 0:25 – Michael Winterbottom talks about the timing of releasing his film, The Look of Love.
  • 1:00 – Gives a synopsis of The Look of Love.
  • 2:20 – Talks about honing the focus of the film.
  • 3:25 – Comments on the financing and development for The Look of Love.
  • 4:00 – The assembly cut for Winterbottom was about five hours; he goes on to talk about the process.
  • 4:40 – Talks about the editing and what he considers his first cut to be.
  • 5:25 – Comments on the length of the shoot and what effect “Friends and Family” screenings had on the process.
  • 6:45 – On deleted scenes, Winterbottom discusses particular scenes that proved difficult.
  • 8:45 – Talks about using the festival circuit as a way to further hone the film.
  • 9:45 – Film vs digital.
  • 10:45 – Talks about using the ARRI Alexa camera and getting the “film look.”
  • 13:00 – On the topic of high frame rate (HFR) and 48 frames per second (FPS), Winterbottom offers his comments.
  • 13:50 – Reveals his in-development projects and future work.
  • 15:40 – Comments on the quality of current television programming and whether he’d want to produce anything for the small screen.


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