Steven-Charles Jaffe

Steven-Charles Jaffe (born 1951) is an American film producer, director, and screenwriter known for his work on such films as Motel Hell (1980), Near Dark (1987), Strange Days (1995), and the Best Picture-nominated romantic fantasy film Ghost.[1] He is a long-time friend and collaborator of directors Nicholas Meyer and Kathryn Bigelow, and has worked with them on films like Time After Time (1979), Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), and K-19: The Widowmaker (2002).[2] He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[3]

Steven-Charles Jaffe
Steven-Charles Jaffe

Other namesSteven C. Jaffe
OccupationProducer, writer, director
Years active1975–present
OrganizationAcademy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Known forNear Dark
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Strange Days
RelativesHerb Jaffe

Life and career

Jaffe was born and raised in New York state, the son of Herb Jaffe, a successful literary agent and whose clients included Mario Puzo, Paddy Chayefsky, Irwin Shaw, and Margaret Bourke-White. At an early age, he wanted to be a novelist, and later an architect. His father entered the film industry while Jaffe was in high school, and became an executive at United Artists after selling his agency to ICM Partners.[4][5][6]

While attending the University of Southern California to study linguistics, Jaffe developed a keen interest foreign films from directors like François Truffaut, Akira Kurosawa, and Michelangelo Antonioni.[7] His first job in the industry came when he was involved in the making of a behind-the-scenes documentary of the critically acclaimed 1972 drama film Fat City[8] through producer Ray Stark, who had established a scholarship at USC in his son's name. Stark proposed a promotional film that would intersperse behind-the-scenes footage with footage of real boxers on whom the film was based. Jaffe worked closely with director John Huston during production.[9]

On the verge of being drafted with only one semester of school left, Jaffe flew to Amsterdam where he stayed for a year. While there, he served as an assistant director on the film Lifespan and as a personal assistant to its director Alexander Whitelaw. His father, upon leaving his position at United Artists, convinced Jaffe to join him in Spain for the film The Wind and the Lion after an initial refusal to avoid accusation of nepotism.[10]

Jaffe served as an associate producer on the 1977 horror film Demon Seed, which he co-wrote with his brother Robert and co-produced with his father Herb. He wrote and produced Motel Hell with Robert in 1980.

Jaffe formed long-term collaborative partnerships with directors Nicholas Meyer and Kathryn Bigelow, serving as a second unit director and producer on films like Time After Time, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,[11] and Strange Days.[12] He was an executive producer on the 1990 film Ghost, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for Best Picture.

In 2008, he formed the independent production company Helix Films with producers Gaukhar Noortas and Kevin Foo.[13][14] He wrote, produced, and directed Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still Weird, a documentary based on the life of the eponymous cartoonist.[15]


Year Film Pro. Dir. Wri. Other Notes
1975 The Wind and the Lion Yes Assistant to producer
1977 Demon Seed Yes Associate producer
1978 Who'll Stop the Rain Yes Location manager
1979 Time After Time Yes Yes Associate producer
Second unit director
1980 Motel Hell Yes Yes
Those Lips, Those Eyes Yes
1983 Scarab Yes Yes
The Day After Yes Second unit director
1985 Flesh and Blood Yes
Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins Yes Executive producer
1987 Near Dark Yes
1988 Plain Clothes Yes Executive producer
1989 The Fly II Yes
1990 Ghost Yes Yes Executive producer
Second unit director
1991 Company Business Yes Yes Second unit director
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Yes Yes
1995 Strange Days Yes Yes
1997 The Informant Yes Executive producer
2000 The Weight of Water Yes
2002 K-19: The Widowmaker Yes Co-producer
2008 It Was a Dark and Silly Night Yes Yes
2013 Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still Weird Yes Yes Yes


  1. "Overview for Steven Charles Jaffe". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  2. Meyer, Nicholas (2009). The View From the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood. New York City: Viking Press. pp. 62, 173, 202, 256. ISBN 978-0-670-02130-7.
  3. "Special Collections | Margaret Herrick Library | Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences". Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  4. "AN INTERVIEW WITH STEVEN-CHARLES JAFFE". Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  5. "Herb Jaffe Biography (c. 1921-1991)". Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  6. Staff, (February 2, 2015). "Herb Jaffe | Biography and Filmography | 1921". Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  7. "AN INTERVIEW WITH STEVEN-CHARLES JAFFE". Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  8. Fat City, retrieved November 26, 2017
  9. "AN INTERVIEW WITH STEVEN-CHARLES JAFFE". Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  10. "AN INTERVIEW WITH STEVEN-CHARLES JAFFE". Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  11. "The Prop Gallery | Steven-Charles Jaffe personal production bible". Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  12. "AN INTERVIEW WITH STEVEN-CHARLES JAFFE". Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  13. McNary, Dave (September 8, 2009). "Jaffe spins Helix Films". Variety. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  14. "Index". Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  15. "Writer/Director Steven-Charles Jaffe Takes Documentary Top Honor at 2011 Comic-Con International Film Festival". Retrieved November 26, 2017.
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