Posts Tagged ‘“Moonlighting”’

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

“Moonlighting” Faded to Black & White 25 Years Ago Today

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Airing on October 15, 1985, one of Moonlighting’s most well-remembered episodes is the film noirish “The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice.” It was shot and aired (mostly) in black and white, featured a rare early series kiss between the leads, gave Cybill Shepherd a stage to belt out some sultry numbers, and was introduced by legendary director Orson Welles.  The episode told the story of David and Maddie’s individual “dreamt” solutions to  a ’40s murder case, and was filmed in two styles: a glossy MGM studio look (for Maddie’s dream) and a gritty Warner Bros. studio style (for David’s dream).

At the Emmys that year, Moonlighting scored 16 nominations, but notoriously took home just one award (for editing).  This episode contributed specifically to the Emmy nominations Moonlighting received in such categories as: writing, directing, art direction, costume design, dramatic musical score, hairstyling, editing, and cinematography.

Orson Welles was asked to provide an on-screen introduction to the audience to “warn” them that the show would change to black & white.  Welles shot this introduction just days before his death on October 10, 1985 (the episode was dedicated to him).

The Archive has created a special show page for Moonlighting: “The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice” featuring interview excerpts from show creator Glenn Gordon Caron and cinematographer Gerald Perry Finnerman.