Oral History with William A. Fraker, ASC, BSC

Pictured above: William Fraker on the set of "WarGames." View image slideshow

William A. Fraker (1923-2010) recounts his four-decade career as a cinematographer and his forays into directing with particular emphasis on "Monte Walsh."  He credits his rise through the camera ranks to working with his friend Conrad Hall whose arresting visual style quickly gained notice.  Fraker moved up to DP in 1967; the following year he topped the A-list with highly acclaimed classics "Rosemary’s Baby" and "Bullitt."  These two films are fully discussed as well as his rewarding partnerships with directors Floyd Mutrux, Richard Brooks, Steven Spielberg, Martin Ritt, Andy Bergman and Charles Shyer.

In addition, he discusses his involvement with the American Society of Cinematographers, the issues he faced as its president for three terms, plus his ten years on the Academy’s Board of Governors. Fraker has been nominated for six Academy Awards and received Lifetime Achievement Awards from Camerimage and the ASC. In 1977, of the five Oscar nominations for cinematography, Fraker worked on three of them.  He was the cinematographer on "Looking For Mr. Goodbar;" he did second-unit work on "Islands in the Stream"; on "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" he was credited as DP Additional American Scenes.

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