(written from a Production point of view)
Jay Gayne Rescher (19 December 1924 – 29 February 2008; age 83) was a Hollywood cinematographer who served as Director of Photography on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Although he started his career working on motion pictures in the 1950s, he began working primarily in television in the 1970s; in fact, Star Trek II was one of only three feature films Rescher worked on after 1973 (the others being 1976's Norman... Is That You? and 1978's Olly, Olly, Oxen Free). After making the transition to television, Rescher received a total of three Emmy Awards and five Emmy nominations for his work in that medium.
1950s – 1970s
Rescher's first motion picture was Elia Kazan's acclaimed 1957 drama A Face in the Crowd. His subsequent film credits included 1960's Murder, Inc. (with Seymour Cassel), 1968's Rachel, Rachel, 1969's John and Mary, 1971's A New Leaf (with Graham Jarvis), and 1974's Claudine. He worked on his first made-for-TV movie, The Third Girl from the Left, in 1973, after which he rarely worked on features again.
Among his TV movie credits during the 1970s were three directed by Lou Antonio: 1977's Something for Joey (featuring Stephen Parr), 1977's The Girl in the Empty Grave, and 1979's Breaking Up Is Hard to Do (featuring David Ogden Stiers, Walker Edmiston, Robert Ellenstein, and music by Gerald Fried). Empty Grave was one of two 1977 TV mysteries Rescher worked on which co-starred veteran Star Trek actor James Cromwell, the second of which was Deadly Game. Empty Grave also featured Jonathan Banks, Don Keefer, and Byron Morrow, while Deadly Game co-starred Morgan Woodward.
Rescher's other TV movie credits during the 1970s included 1975's Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic, 1978's A Christmas to Remember (which featured casting by Mary Jo Slater), and 1978's Dummy. The latter production starred Star Trek: The Next Generation regular LeVar Burton and TNG guest actor Paul Sorvino.
1980s – 1990s
Rescher worked on the Maviola series of TV movies, all of which debuted in May 1980 and all of which were directed by John Erman: This Year's Blonde (featuring Michael Strong and Vic Tayback), The Scarlett O'Hara War (with Warren Munson, Clive Revill, Patricia Smith and Don Keefer), and The Silent Lovers (starring Brian Keith, featuring John Rubinstein, Terrence E. McNally and music by Gerald Fried). For his work on the latter, Rescher received his first Emmy Award nomination, and his first win, for Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or a Special. His second and third Emmy nominations came for his work on the 1981 TV movies Bitter Harvest (featuring Dwight Schultz) and The Princess and the Cabbie (featuring Ellen Geer); he earned a fourth nomination for the 1983 Mike Hammer thriller Murder Me, Murder You (featuring Michelle Phillips).
After working on Star Trek II, Rescher was recruited by that film's director, Nicholas Meyer, to serve as the cinematographer for the controversial 1983 nuclear holocaust movie, The Day After (which featured Wrath of Khan actress Bibi Besch and makeups by Michael Westmore). Rescher's work on this project garnered him a fifth Emmy nomination, while a sixth Emmy nomination came for his work on 1986's Promise (featuring Eric Stillwell). Rescher won his next two nominations, the first for 1988's Shooter (starring Jeffrey Nordling and featuring Rosalind Chao, Alan Ruck, Noble Willingham, and Kavi Raz) and the second for part one of the 1990 mini-series Lucky/Chances (featuring Robert Duncan McNeill, Phil Morris, Jimmie F. Skaggs, Alan Rosenberg, Stephanie Beacham, Robert Sampson, and John Winston).
In addition to his Emmy Awards, Rescher received four award nominations from the American Society of Cinematographers for his work on Promise, Shooter, 1989's Single Women Married Man (starring Jeannetta Arnette), and Lucky/Chances. He won the awards for the latter two.