Cinematographer Michael Gershman, best known for his work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, passed away on March 10th at his home in Malibu. He was 73.
The St. Louis native worked on the show, starring Sarah Michelle Geller, during the first five seasons from 1997 through 2001, after which he began work on the NBC crime drama Crossing Jordan, starring Jill Hennessey and the late Miguel Ferrer.
Gershman earned a Primetime Emmy nomination in 2000 for the work he did on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer entitled "Hush. He also eventually went on to direct episodes of the show, as well as those for Crossing Jordan.
Though Gershman worked primarily in television later on in his career, he got his start in the 70s working under Oscar-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond as an assistant camera operator on films such as The Deer Hunter, The Rose, Blow Out, and Heaven's Gate.
In response to his passing, many who worked with Gershman wrote touching messages on social media, including Buffy director Joss Whedon and star Geller, who penned a heartfelt tribute to the late cinematographer on her Instagram account, sharing that not only did Gershman teach her "everything [she knows] about great photography and lighting, but he also was the one who danced with her in the traditional father-daughter dance at her wedding when she married fellow actor Freddie Prinze Jr.
\u201cTV fantasy was all fisheye lenses and purple gels. With a budget of zero dollars DP (later director) MICHAEL GERSHMAN made Buffy look grown up and gorgeous. It helped define the show more than people know. Great guy, great eye. R.I.P.\u201d— Joss Whedon (@Joss Whedon) 1521418086
Having retired a few years ago, Gershman became an avid woodworker before his passing. His absence will surely be felt not only by the film industry as a whole but by those who were lucky enough to work with him and call him a friend.