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Filmcraft: Production Design by Fionnuala Hannigan

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Legacy William Cameron Menzies

William Cameron Menzies is the original production designer, the man for whom the job description was invented, and the winner of the first Academy Award for art direction. So great was his contribution to the look, color and staging of Gone with the Wind in 1939 that producer David O. Selznick declared in a memo that Menzies was “the final word…responsible for all the physical aspects of the production and for the color values of the production and any difference [of opinion] should be settled by him.”

Thus Menzies was crowned “production designer,” but when he won the Academy Award for Gone with the Wind the following year, it was an honorary statuette given “for outstanding achievement in the use of color for ...

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