Ad blocker interference detected!
Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers
Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.
(written from a Production point of view)
Gerald "Jerry" Perry Finnerman (17 December 1931 – 6 April 2011; age 79), also known as Jerry Finnerman, was director of photography for the first two seasons and the beginning of the third season of Star Trek: The Original Series. In 1996, he was honored for his work on Star Trek by becoming the first director of photography to be inducted into the Producers Guild of America Hall of Fame, for his cinematography on that series.
Early career Edit
Finnerman's career spanned over three decades, from the early 1960s to the mid-1990s. The son of cinematographer Perry Finnerman, he began his career as the apprentice of his father, then his godfather, the famous cameraman Harry Stradling. He worked as a camera operator on some of Stradling's films, including the 1961 comedy A Majority of One (featuring Madlyn Rhue and George Takei), the 1964 musical My Fair Lady (featuring Theodore Bikel), and the 1966 comedy Walk, Don't Run (starring Samantha Eggar and featuring George Takei).  He also worked as camera operator on many other films, such as Cheyenne Autumn (1964, with Ricardo Montalban and Charles Seel).
Star Trek Edit
In 1966, soon before production began on "The Corbomite Maneuver", the first regular episode of The Original Series, the production staff realized they didn't have a director of photography. The producers originally wanted Harry Stradling, Jr. (the son of Stradling, Sr.) for the job. However, he was busy working on Gunsmoke. Stradling, Sr. then went to the Desilu offices with his young protégé, wanting to recommend him for employment in place of his son. Robert Justman, after meeting Finnerman and his godfather, went into Gene Roddenberry's office, claiming that he had found a cameraman for the show. Roddenberry replied, "If you want him, I want him," and immediately ordered to hire Finnerman. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p 112-113) Star Trek being his first job as a director of photography, Finnerman was eventually very concerned if he would be able to do the series properly.  Finally, it was Stradling who convinced him to take the assignment. 
Several sources (including The Making of Star Trek) claimed that Finnerman worked as camera operator on the two pilot episodes, "The Cage" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before". However, Justman's crew sheets revealed these claims are false (Richard A. Kelley was the camera operator on "The Cage"). (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p. 36)
After he finished working on Star Trek's first season, Finnerman photographed the final three episodes of the first season of Mission: Impossible (including one directed by Joseph Pevney). However, he decided to return to Star Trek for its second season instead of continuing on Mission.
Finnerman remained with the series until early in the third season, quitting after production of the episode "The Empath". He left partly because he felt the series had become ridiculous, but mainly due to a dispute with Fred Freiberger, who wanted Finnerman not only to accept a wage reduction, but to have his equipment allowance hugely reduced. However, the main reason behind his departure is that he was offered the chance to photograph a feature film (The Lost Man, with Paul Winfield).  Gene Roddenberry invited Finnerman back to Trek for Star Trek: The Next Generation, but he turned the offer down.
Before filming of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations" began, Jonathan West called Finnerman and asked him about the type of lighting used on TOS and how the DS9 episode could recreate the famous "Finnerman lighting". (Trials and Tribble-ations introduction)
Many of those who worked on the original Star Trek, including Justman, director Ralph Senensky, and actress Grace Lee Whitney, praised Finnerman for his outstanding work, especially for his use of artistic lighting and colored lights, which were mainly responsible the famous visual look of the series.   (The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy, p. 78) Nichelle Nichols claimed that Finnerman was the unsung hero of Star Trek. 
Post-Trek career Edit
After The Lost Man, Finnerman worked as director of photography on two more feature films starring Sidney Poitier, They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! (1970, with Anthony Zerbe, Jeff Corey, Ted Gehring and Garry Walberg, Bob Herron and Dick Dial as stunt performers, and Rusty Meek as First Assistant Director), and Brother John (1971, with Paul Winfield, Michael Bell, directed by James Goldstone, and featuring Herb Wallerstein, Charles Washburn, and George H. Merhoff in the production staff).
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Finnerman served as Director of Photography on such television series as The Virginian, Mission: Impossible (including an episode directed by Joseph Pevney), Kojak (where he worked with director Leo Penn on three episodes, and was replaced by Charles Correll after he left the show), Night Gallery, the Ricardo Montalban series Fantasy Island, and Moonlighting. On Night Gallery, he worked with directors including John Newland, Jeff Corey, and Leonard Nimoy. He also directed two episodes of the series, including "She'll Be Company for You", starring Leonard Nimoy and Kathryn Hays. He also photographed the short-lived Planet of the Apes television series, in which directors included Ralph Senensky, John Meredyth Lucas, and Don McDougall. The series' recurring cast included Mark Lenard as Urko and Booth Colman as Zaius. He was also the director of photography on Gene Roddenberry's failed pilot, Genesis II, which starred Majel Barrett, Ted Cassidy, Mariette Hartley, Harvey Jason, and Percy Rodriguez.
Finnerman won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography in Entertainment Programming for a Special for NBC's 1978 TV movie Ziegfied: The Man and His Women. This production featured David Opatoshu and Nehemiah Persoff in the cast and, like the aforementioned Walk, Don't Run, starred Samantha Eggar.
Finnerman also received Emmy nominations on five other occasions: one for his work on the series Kojak; another for an episode of From Here to Eternity; a third for the first chapter of the 1981 mini-series The Gangster Chronicles (starring Michael Nouri, Jonathan Banks, Michael Ensign, Louis Giambalvo, and Kenneth Tigar, with set decoration by John M. Dwyer) and two more for his work on Moonlighting. The last occasion saw him running against cinematographer Edward R. Brown, who was nominated for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Big Goodbye". Neither Finnerman nor Brown won the award, however.
He later became director of photography on a number of films, including two featuring Paul Winfield: 1969's The Lost Man and the James Goldstone-directed Brother John (1971, also featuring Michael Bell). His other films include They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! (1970, starring Jeff Corey and Anthony Zerbe), SSSSSSS (1973, featuring Ed McCready, Charles Seel, and Felix Silla), and the Joseph Sargent-directed Nightmares (1983, featuring Robin Gammell, Louis Giambalvo, and Tony Plana). Among his many TV movie credits is the 1980 drama The Dream Merchants, which starred Robert Picardo of Star Trek: Voyager fame.
Personal life Edit
Finnerman was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of cinematographer Perry Finnerman. He attended Beverly Hills High School, which fellow Star Trek alumni such as Corbin Bernsen and Roxann Dawson later attended.
In 1969, Finnerman survived a plane crash that killed fellow TOS director Robert Sparr while the two were scouting locations in Colorado.
Other Trek connections Edit
Additional projects on which Finnerman worked with fellow Star Trek alumni include:
- The Sunshine Patriot (1968 TV movie, directed by Joseph Sargent and featuring Antoinette Bower)
- Barquero (1970 film, featuring Ed Bakey and Mariette Hartley)
- Hitched (1971 TV movie, featuring John Fiedler, John McLiam, and Bill Zuckert)
- See the Man Run (1971 TV movie, directed by Corey Allen and featuring Michael Bell and Antoinette Bower )
- Welcome to Arrow Beach (1974 film, featuring Meg Foster)
- The First 36 Hours of Dr. Durant (1975 TV movie, directed by Alexander Singer and featuring Alex Henteloff; music by Leonard Rosenman)
- The Turning Point of Jim Malloy (1975 TV movie, starring John Savage, John Hoyt, John McLiam, Allan Miller, and Byron Morrow)
- Gone with the West (1975 film, starring Robert Walker, with art direction by Joe Jennings)
- In the Glitter Place (1977 TV movie, directed by Robert Butler and featuring Salome Jens, Stanley Kamel, and Anthony Zerbe)
- Corey: For the People (1977 TV movie, starring John Rubinstein, Eugene Roche, Ronny Cox, Joan Pringle, and Bill Quinn)
- Kill Me If You Can (1977 TV movie, featuring James B. Sikking)
- The Last Hurrah (1977 TV movie, featuring Robert Brown, Mariette Hartley, Stewart Moss, Bill Quinn, and James B. Sikking)
- Keefer (1978 TV movie, featuring Ian Abercrombie)
- Go West, Young Girl (1978 TV movie, featuring Michael Bell)
- Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell (1978 TV movie, featuring Ike Eisenmann, Warren Munson, and Bill Zuckert)
- The Legend of the Golden Gun (1979 TV movie, featuring Rex Holman and John McLiam; executive produced by Harve Bennett; edited by Robert F. Shugrue)
- To Find My Son (1980 TV movie, starring Julie Cobb)
- Drop-Out Father (1982 TV movie, featuring Bill Erwin, Bruce Gray, Mariette Hartley, and Richard Penn)
- September Gun (1983 TV movie, starring Sally Kellerman and Christopher Lloyd)