(written from a Production point of view)
Bernard "Bernie" Abramson (3 November 1923 – 14 August 2010; age 86) was an American photographer and cinematographer who was the Second Unit Director of Photography on Star Trek: The Motion Picture. He did not receive on-screen credit for his work.
Abramson was born in Los Angeles, California, and began studying photography in junior high school. In 1942, he joined the United States Navy as an aerial cameraman. He received a number of decorations for his photographs after they assisted the Navy in destroying hundreds of Japanese ships and aircraft. In 1945, Abramson's plane was shot down and he spent two and a half days in the ocean before being rescued.
After World War II ended, Abramson became a photographer in the motion picture industry. He served as a still photographer on many films over the years, one of which was the original Ocean's Eleven (1960). While working on this film, Abramson became a favorite of the film's stars (collectively known as the Rat Pack) and was subsequently invited to attend and photograph their private functions.
Another film Abramson worked on was the 1961 musical West Side Story, which was co-directed by Robert Wise, who later directed Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Later, Abramson worked on the little-known 1966 film Deathwatch which, like Star Trek: The Motion Picture, co-starred Leonard Nimoy. This film also featured Star Trek: The Original Series guest actor Michael Forest and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home actor and TNG guest star Robert Ellenstein.
Among the other films on which Abramson served as still photographer were Some Like It Hot (1959, co-starring Nehemiah Persoff), Cleopatra (1963, featuring John Hoyt), The War Wagon (1967, featuring Robert Walker), In Cold Blood (1967, co-starring Jeff Corey and John McLiam), The Wild Bunch (1969, with music by Jerry Fielding), Which Way to the Front? (1970, featuring George Takei), the Academy Award-nominated Five Easy Pieces (1970), and Dirty Harry (1971, co-starring Jeffrey Combs). He even ventured into science fiction productions with the 1971 productions THX 1138 (featuring Sid Haig and Ian Wolfe and The Omega Man (starring Anthony Zerbe).
In 1972, Abramson gave up still photography and became a cinematographer. He was a Director of Photography on Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids during the show's early years, after which he directed photography on such films as Pony Express Rider (1975), Mickey and Nicky (1976), Biker's Hawk (1976), and the 1977 made-for-TV movie It Happened at Lakewood Manor, which was directed by Robert Scheerer and starred Robert Foxworth. (Bernie Casey and Bruce French also had roles in the movie.) He also directed second unit photography for a number of films besides Star Trek, including McQ (1974, starring Diana Muldaur) and All the President's Men (1976, featuring Stephen Collins, F. Murray Abraham, Nicolas Coster, Gene Dynarski, Richard Herd, and Paul Lambert).
Later in his career, Abramson was a cinematographer on the 1988 mini-series War and Remembrance and on such films as Ghost Rock (2004), which co-starred Adrienne Barbeau and Craig Wasson. Abramson died in California on 14 August 2010, at the age of 86.