Los Angeles: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” cinematographer Michael Gershman is no more. He was 73.
He was found dead in his Malibu house on March 10. The cause of death was not known, reports variety.com.
Gershman began work on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” from the beginning in 1997, and continued through its fifth season in 2001. He also directed several episodes of the cult TV series, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Before embarking on his work with the show, Gershman studied under cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond as a camera assistant on films like “The Deer Hunter”, “Heaven’s Gate”, “The River”, “The Blow Out” and “The Rose” during the 1970s and 1980s.
He received an Emmy nomination in 2000 for outstanding cinematography for a single camera series for his work on the episode “Hush”, widely considered one of the most frightening “Buffy” episodes.
He also directed 11 episodes of “Crossing Jordan”, working on the show for its first two seasons.
Having retired a few years ago, Gershman was a dedicated woodworker, and according to his Facebook profile, had finished a Nakashima chair, which he deemed possibly “one of the most comfortable chairs in the house”.
Gellar wrote an emotional tribute to Gershman on her Instagram page, explaining that he had served as a surrogate father of sorts, dancing with her at her wedding and teaching her how to take care of her dogs.
“Everything I know about great photography and lighting, is because of Michael,” the actress wrote.
“The lessons I learned from him are endless. But more than lessons, there was love…I am lucky to have been loved by Michael.”
“Buffy” showrunner Joss Whedon posted a tribute on Twitter, lauding Gershman’s abilities to turn a budget of “zero dollars” into a show that looked “grown up and gorgeous”.
“It helped define the show more than people know. Great guy, great eye,” he wrote.
“Crossing Jordan” casting member Chad Darnell also remembered Gershman, calling him a “great guy” and writing that “Hollywood lost a good man”.