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Henri Jaffa

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Henri C. Jaffa (13 April 1905 – 14 August 1988) was the Technicolor consultant who worked on the 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz.

The touchiness of their color process inspired the Technicolor Motion Picture Crop. to provide its own consultants: each Hollywood studio that made a movie in Technicolor had to hire a company consultant to supervise the results. Henri Jaffa served as color consultant for 150 Hollywood films over a two-decade career. He worked on some noteworthy musicals, including An American in Paris (1951) and Singin' in the Rain (1952). From 1943 to 1954 he was "on loan" from Technicolor to MGM and worked only on their projects.

Later in life, Jaffa complained about the salary and working conditions of his job. "I didn't make a motion-picture salary.... All the people I worked with were making $1000 to $3000 a week. Since I worked as a consultant, my advice was advisory. I had to use great tact and diplomacy, and I hated all the behinds I had to kiss."[1]

On The Wizard of Oz, Jaffa had one notable dispute with costume designer Gilbert Adrian over the colors in the Munchkins' costumes, which Jaffa insisted would not work onscreen. In this instance, Jaffa won out when Cedric Gibbons, head of the Art Department, supported his position.

Jaffa claimed that his favorites among all his films were The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind.

References

  1. Aljean Harmetz, The Making of the Wizard of Oz, New York, Delta edition, 1989; p. 227.
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