Glee Cinematographer Dances His Way to Emmy Nomination

By Alyssa Altman 9-19-2012

Michael Goi still can’t believe his luck. He’s an Emmy nominated cinematographer who has been working on a show that combined his two loves: film and musicals.

“The musical sequences on ‘Glee’ have always been fun for me because I’m a huge Vincent Minelli fan and I’ve always been a fan of the MGM musicals,” he told WEBN today.

Goi was nominated for the episode “Asian F.”  It follows the character Harry and his struggles with his father’s being able to accept his passion for music and dance. Surprisingly, it was Goi’s first episode on the show, and he said it couldn’t have been a better experience.

“Working with a director like Alfonso Gomez- Rejon was eye-opening and really refreshing because Alfonso thinks like no other human being on Earth. He sees things in an entirely different way,” Goi said.

Goi also came in with a new vision, which is what he thinks the show needed at that time.

“When I came to the show, part of what I talked about with Ryan Murphy was just trying to shake up the numbers a little bit by adding elements of one of our favorite films ‘All That Jazz’ which almost has a documentary style feel to it with little pieces of life interspersed in it.”

He also explained that shooting the elaborate musical numbers ia not as easy as they look.

“The biggest challenge of shooting ‘Glee’ is that you’re essentially making a major musical every week. We have to make a major musical number in an average of six hours. Trying to get all those cast members in to record is a feat upon itself. “

Aside from being the director of photography on “Glee” and “American Horror Story,” Goi has also served as the president of the American Society of Cinematographers for three years.

“What I think I’m proudest of as ASC president is that I called together an international cinematography summit conference. It was a great week of intense discussions, demonstrations, and we were aided by the motion picture academy,” he said.

Goi also has some treasured moments from working on “Glee.”

“I think the favorite part for me has been seeing how talented these young people are, watching them perform, and seeing that level of talent in people so young is really refreshing.”

Last season Goi shot seven episodes of “Glee” and is currently the director of photography on “American Horror Story.” He also shot “The New Normal” pilot that aired earlier this month.

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