Director of Photography Kramer Morgenthau
Hoblit referenced the work of various photographers he's admired throughout
the years.An avid fan of Bruce Davidson, whose book Subway made a huge impact
on the director, Hoblit pays homage to Davidson's muted backgrounds, the neutral
faces of his subjects and the unusual, iconic pops of color he uses in each
When Hoblit began his search for a director of photography, it was imperative
to find someone who could think outside the box, but not too far outside so
that Hoblit would have to spend valuable time reining the cinematographer back
in line. After discussing his ideas with some colleagues he found a daring new
talent in Kramer Morgenthau, who had made a mark in commercials and low-budget
films. Hoblit also saw a level of frustration in Morgenthau that could work
to the film's advantage.
"His juxtaposition of colors was great," Hoblit says of Morgenthau's
work, "I had never seen anything quite that bold. And I liked the fact that
he was eager to move out of the box he'd found himself in, which happens in our
business. But he's off and running now," Hoblit says proudly.
"In terms of the look, Fracture is a story about class," says Morgenthau. "Willy's
world is gritty, in the trenches, more like the D.A.'s office and even the courtroom
to a certain extent. Crawford exists in a world of wealth and big, beautiful spaces.
So we talked a lot about color versus a gray scale to create a contrast between
Once Morgenthau and Hoblit met with production designer Paul Eads, set decorator Nancy
Nye and costume designer Elisabetta Beraldo, they developed the film's overall look.
There are a preponderance of low-lit scenes and a good deal of night work both
interior and exterior that the filmmakers would light with different hues of
color to set the tone of each scene.
"The movie is fairly dark," Hoblit explains, "but we also used
vivid greens, oranges, reds and yellows. I wouldn't say that there's a color palette
so much as there is a vibrancy of color always cutting through the darkness so
that it's unexpected and we don't know where the color is coming from. Kramer
and I were always negotiating with ourselves to make sure we didn't tip over the
edge into self-indulgence or idiocy," he jokes.
"Greg is first and foremost about the story," says Morgenthau. "He
wants it to be truthful and logical. I think that's why he's been so successful.
He doesn't take anything for granted and feels as though it's an insult to the
audience to cheat or not have the environment or action as it would be in real
life; that's become a stylistic trait of his. Yet,at the same time, he'll take
the lighting to an expressionistic level, which is also my approach."
Hoblit credits his producing partner Hawk Koch with the ease of the shoot. "Hawk
puts together a brilliant game plan for getting a movie done," the director
Shooting in Los Angeles
It was important to the filmmakers to shoot in Los Angeles for a variety of reasons, not only because of proximity to home, but also with the desire to help keep production in Hollywood