Archive for the ‘Genre: Drama’ Category

Noted Cinematographer Gerald Perry Finnerman has Died

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Sad news, legendary director of photography Gerald Perry Finnerman ASC passed away on April 6th at the age of 79. Best known for his cinematography on Star Trek and Moonlighting, Finnerman also worked on many television movies as well as episodes for The Bold Ones, Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, Planet of the Apes, Emergency, and The New Mike Hammer. He was interviewed by the Archive on October 8, 2002.

Embeddable video clip:  Gerald Perry Finnerman on filming the classic 1985 Moonlighting episode “The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice”

Here are a few more selections from his 5-hour Archive of American Television interview:

On his contribution to the Star Trek “transporter” effect

“Jim Rugg was our special effects man, and he’s brilliant, he’d come up with innovations….Although I did come up with some innovations in the transporter room, where they always get transported. They would go up there and stand there and then they would dissolve.  So when I got on the show, I had them cut holes in the ground, top and bottom.  I put fixtures in the bottom and fixtures in the top and they would stand on them.  Then I would have somebody on a dimmer work the visual, the special effect of light going on and off and then they would zap them. It really looked good.”

On the start of filming on Moonlighting

“They were good sports.  When the show first started, we shooting in Monrovia on the top of a roof, it’s 32 degrees.  And they’re in their underwear, skimpy stuff.  They’re supposed to jump off into a pool, and we’re freezing.  I have a coat on and I’m really cold.  And Bruce Willis said, ‘I don’t know about you guys, but I’m happy to be here.  Six months ago I was a bartender.”  That’s what he said.  And you know, I thought, ‘this kid is pretty good.’  Good sports.  Cybill was a good sport, too.”

On how he would like to be remembered

“I’d like to be remembered not so much as a great cinematographer, but a nice guy.  That’s important.  If people say ‘he’s a nice guy,’ I’d just be happy that way.  If he’s a gentleman.  I mean, I know what I’ve done. It speaks for itself.  But it’s more than making films. It’s having intimate relationships with your peers.  That was, the most wonderful experience I’ve had, working with the guys. They may be a little crazy, but they were always wonderful.”

See the full interview at http://emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/gerald-perry-finnerman

Jeffrey Hayden Interview Now Online

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Interview Description:

In his Archive interview, Jeffrey Hayden talks about his career as an associate director in the first years of the ABC-TV network (1948-50) and as a prolific director of comedy and drama series from the 1950s to the 1980s, including: The Donna Reed Show; The Andy Griffith Show; 77 Sunset Strip; Peyton Place; Quincy M.E.; Palmerstown, U.S.A.; and Knight Rider.  Hayden outlines how he came to produce one of the earliest sitcoms The Billy Bean Show (with Arnold Stang), before he began his work as a director gaining experience on such programs as the variety series The Bert Parks Show and quiz/variety show The Big Payoff.  He talks about his acceptance into the Actors Studio and its influence on his work, and notes throughout the interview the importance of rehearsal and improvisation to his directing style. Among dramatic series, he comments on the Philco-Goodyear Playhouse (and a memorable production he did with a difficult James Dean), 77 Sunset Strip (and the rewrites he’d do with the cast during lunch hour, despite network warnings to stick to the script), and The Lloyd Bridges Show (which he describes as one of the most arduous directing jobs of his career). He speaks fondly of his years on The Donna Reed Show, working with writer-producer Paul West who incorporated some of Hayden’s own family life into scripts and The Andy Griffith Show, a reunion with Griffith whom Hayden knew from his college days.  For Peyton Place, Hayden notes his working relationship with breakout stars Ryan O’Neal and Mia Farrow (and the dramatic real-life moment when Farrow decided to cut her hair short mid-season).  Among the other personalities he discusses are: E. G. Marshall (The Bold Ones), Peter Deuel (Alias Smith and Jones), Raymond Burr (Ironside), and Jack Klugman (Quincy, M.E.).  Additionally for Quincy, Hayden discusses memorable episodes: “Seldom Silent, Never Heard,” that influenced the passing of the Orphan Drug Act (ODA) and “Nowhere to Run,” whose incest storyline hampered actor Charles Aidman’s career.  He recounts the challenges he faced working on the series The Incredible Hulk, Knight Rider, and Palmerstown U.S.A. (this series led to a DGA rule about providing drivers to locations). Lastly, he acknowledged his satisfying work on daytime soaps Capitol and Santa Barbara (a return to the kind of work he did in his “live” TV days) and on two documentaries he made in the 1990s. Jeffrey Hayden was interviewed in Los Angeles, CA on April 29, 2010; Stephen Bowie conducted the two-and-a-half-hour interview.