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About The Film's Style
THE HOAX takes place at once amidst the cosmopolitan, freewheeling atmosphere of the stylish 1970s media world – and in a less anchored realm of flashbacks, hallucinations, paranoia and deceptions. Since Lasse Hallström wanted the characters to always be front-and-center in the film, he envisioned a look for the film that, at times, would feel almost documentary-like in its realism, yet that would also occasionally slip into moments that defy realism. Also key to his approach to the film was capturing the zeitgeist of the 1970s, when politics and talk of lies and corruption were everywhere in the mass media – and yet on the periphery of Clifford Irving's life.

"It was important to capture a historical sense of those times, even though the story is so relevant to today,” says Josh Maurer. "We wanted to have in the background a sense of everything that was happening in America with Vietnam and Watergate and the whole Anti-Establishment mentality that obviously affected Clifford and Dick as they were writing. Filled with all these elements, the photography, the production design and the costumes make the story an even richer experience.” The film was shot entirely in New York, both in Manhattan and upstate locations. "It was great fun to be able to work at home,” says Hallström, who has lived in New York for years. "I haven't had that experience since I was making films in Sweden.”

In forging the look of the film, Hallström collaborated closely with his long-time director of photography Oliver Stapleton in their fifth film together. Like the director, Stapleton couldn't resist Clifford Irving's story. "I loved the script as I am fascinated by true stories that are also larger-thanlife,” he says. "When fiction is based on a true story it can give it a real depth.”

The story and the era quickly inspired a lot of creativity. "Lasse was busy finishing CASANOVA during the prep period, so I had a lot of freedom to explore ideas before he was fully on board,” recalls Stapleton. "I came up with the idea of the black-and-white sequences during this time and also started looking at films from the period, including TOOTSIE for the comedy aspect, ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN as a political thriller and THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR for its atmosphere. The black-and-white segments were also influenced by Orson Welles' A TOUCH OF EVIL.” He continues: "I also proposed to Lasse that we filter the whole film through a series of Tiffen FX filters and then sharpen it digitally later to give it some of that 70s softness. We talked about doing some of the sequences – especially those where the truth is in question – in neither color nor black-and-white but in an ‘in-between state' that was desaturated from the main body of the film but not quite black-and-white either.”

Stapleton credits Hallström with giving him exceptional freedom to explore unorthodox visual concepts, pushing into entirely new territory for both of them. "I often heard the phrase from him, ‘be bold, be different,'” says Stapleton. "We wanted a very different feeling for this film – in a sense, I wanted to make the film look as if someone other than Oliver Stapleton had shot it! Creative renewal is an important part of any long-term relationship and has especially been so with Lasse.”

Another key component for Stapleton was the contribution of editor Andrew Mondshein. "Not only is he a great editor, he also has a very perceptive eye for the nuances of cinematography. He put in a lot of hard work on the digitial intermediate when I couldn't be there and I couldn't have had a better person do to stand in for me. Teamwork is one of the aspects of shooting films that I most enjoy and that was very much there on THE HOAX.”

Also keen to join the team was production designer Mark Ricker (THE NANNY DIARIES) who could hardly believe his good fortune when he read the s

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