Navigation Bar - Text Links at Bottom of Page

A CIVIL ACTION

About The Production
"A Civil Action" features a top-rate production team and reunites director Steven Zaillian with many of his valued collaborators from "Searching for Bobby Fischer," including producer Scott Rudin, co-producer David Wisnievitz, Academy Award'-winning direc

"A Civil Action" features a top-rate production team and reunites director Steven Zaillian with many of his valued collaborators from "Searching for Bobby Fischer," including producer Scott Rudin, co-producer David Wisnievitz, Academy Award'-winning director of photography Conrad L. Hall ("Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"), production designer David Gropman ("One Fine Day," "Marvin's Room"), film editor Wayne Wahrman ("Last of the Mohicans," "2 Days in the Valley") and casting director Avy Kaufman. Shay Cunliffe ("Multiplicity," "Dolores Claiborne") joins the team as costume designer, along with composer Danny Elfman ("Good Will Hunting," "Men In Black").

The film's texture is achieved through Hall's naturalistic lighting and a tightly controlled color palette that permeates everything from set design to costumes. "We didn't want to romanticize the story," Hall explains. "We wanted an almost black and white feel, very monochromatic and very contrasty. With every film, I try to get a sense of the story and set it into my soul so that everything springs from it. This film is about truth and fiction, with white standing for the truth and black being the absence of it." Hall earned Oscar' nominations for his work on Zaillian's "Searching for Bobby Fischer," and on the films "The Day of the Locust," "In Cold Blood," "The Professionals" and "Morituri."

Zaillian uses water as a recurring visual image throughout "A Civil Action." "It gave us opportunity for extraordinary symbolism," observes Hall, "whether it was a mother pouring a glass of water at dinner, lawyers drinking water in court, a river, a dripping faucet or pounding rain."

"A Civil Action" was filmed on location in Boston and New England, and on sound stages around Los Angeles. Principal photography began at the Hollywood Center Studios, where craftsmen built the interior of Schlictmann's Boston law firm. "We followed the patterns and look of old Boston," describes production designer David Gropman, who along with his team, recreated details of the trial- everything from intricate business cards to extensive court documents and depositions.

"It was like going back in time. Seeing the documents, photographs, exhibits spilling out every which way in that office just brought me back to that whole period," recalls attorney Schlichtmann of his first visit to the Los Angeles set. The exterior of the law firm was shot on Charles Street in Boston.

The most impressive set, Boston's federal courtroom, was built at Universal City in Los Angeles. It had a 1930s neo-classical style, boasting 24-foot-high walls and windows of equally enormous scale.

"The idea was to create a monolithic institution that Jan walks into, something far greater than any courtroom experience he's had before. When Jan walks into it for the first time, it has to be overwhelming. He's suddenly struck with the scope of the case and the scope of his competition,"explains Gropman.

Wardrobe also plays a crucial role in defining Travolta's extravagant persona. The real Schlichtmann wore Dimitri suits and Bally crocodile shoes. "The Yankee tradition of not look

Next Production Note Section

TOP

Home | Theaters | Video | TV

Your Comments and Suggestions are Always Welcome.
Contact CinemaReview.com

2014 3,  All Rights Reserved.

Google

Find:  HELP!

Google